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Adoption and Child Separation at the Border

On June 1, 2018 Rebekah Henson published an important thread on Twitter critiquing the hashtags #FamiliesBelongTogether and #Ke...

Monday, November 9, 2015

ROUND TABLE: Lost Daughters #FlipTheScript on Crowdfunding and the "Orphan Crisis"

Today's Prompt: Many people view adoption as the best solution to the world’s so-called “orphan crisis.” To this end, prospective adoptive parents routinely crowdfund in order to raise money to be able to adopt children from countries outside the U.S. Talk about your thoughts on the practice of asking for help in funding an adoption and/or your thoughts on adoption as the primary solution for children labelled as orphans. Do you think it’s ethical for prospective parents to crowdfund their adoptions? Why or why not? Do you believe there is an orphan crisis? Do you think intercountry adoption is the best solution for children outside the U.S. who have been designated as orphans?

Image courtesy of sheelamohan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Amanda: I am really interested in hearing from our sisters who were labeled "orphans," and who experienced displacement across national borders. As an observer of these movements from the inside-outside (a sojourner with fellow adoptees who does not have the experience of intercountry adoption), there are a number of issues I have with crowdfunding for adoption. To name just one, I take issue when a movement focuses on funding the displacement of children as a response to economic and social injustices, rather than fund-raising to alleviate those economic and social injustices that lead to child displacement. Whether intentional or not, focusing on adoption instead of family preservation is a politicized determination that one effort is more worthy than the other. It sends the message that the creation of new families for adoption, often at the behest of white Westerners, is more important than preserving the families, communities, and cultures of children. As an inside-outsider, I think the same can be said for domestic private adoptions and even foster adoptions. Not that children needing alternative caregivers never happens, but that we make politicized choices about what children need by inadequately addressing poverty and access to health care while pouring money into private adoption fees and tax credits after the fact.