19 April 2012
Corruption in Adoption There are plenty of children in this world who do not have somewhere to call home, or parents to give them the love and devotion they need. There are also couples and individuals who want to adopt these orphans, and give them a home and a family. One study found that the “loss of fertility, pregnancy, a child, or a marriage [contributed] as a factor that led [couples or individuals] to seek, nurture, and rear a child who [is] not biologically related to them.” Also, “at a certain point [people] sought another way to add to their families” (Pryor and Pettinelli). Due to all the demand between orphans and potential parents, there are a lot of adoption agencies that are formed, both nationally and internationally, and underground agencies as well. In 1990, there were approximately 7,093 adoptions of overseas children by U.S. citizens, and in 2004, that number climbed to a stunning 22,884 adoptions. The top five countries the adoptions came from in 1990 consisted of South Korea, Columbia, Peru, Philippines, and India. In 2004, the countries consisted of China, Russia, Guatemala, South Korea, and Kazakhstan (Roane). With such a great demand for infants who “should never be treated as commodities,” countries have made the “decision to end international adoption” because of the growing amounts of corruption (Kapstein; Knox). In 2000, “the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 . . . was enacted”. This policy is aimed to “protect the rights of, and prevent abuses against children, birth families, and adoptive parents,” and to “improve the ability of the Federal Government to assist United States Citizens seeking to adopt children from abroad” (Bailey). The only problem with the Intercountry Adoption Act is that it is a policy, not a law that would be strictly enforced. Ending international adoption seems to be a solution for some countries, but it is far from a solution to their problems. One reason corruption in adoption needs a solution is because of the creation of underground adoption agencies due to complicating conditions like costs, restrictions, status, age, health, and sexual orientation. In underground adoptions, “human consideration is unheard of and money lights the eyes of greedy ruthless people who use children as objective pawns.” Involved in these adoptions are: “the mother or couple who give up the baby, the desperate infertile couple, and the baby broker.” Usually, the reason for a parent giving up a baby deals with the mother’s belief that she “doesn’t have the emotional or financial means to raise her baby, the father isn’t around and she has no family support, and her religion forbids abortions” (“Underground Abortions”). Sometimes, if circumstances permit, mothers give up their children unwillingly. People like health-care professional Ruby Hightower, take babies during birth to be sold for adoption by drugging the mother during labor, then informing the mother that her baby “died at birth.” Other ruthless baby brokers like Georgia Tann, “stole babies—sometimes from the backyards of poor families” (“Underground Adoptions”). Underground black-market adoptions are a worldwide problem. “Nearly everyone involved can pay a nasty price—including parents who sometimes have to give back their illegally adopted baby. The supply and demand is out of balance [because there is] abundant money in underground adoptions and an insufficient supply of babies in the world” (“Underground Adoptions”).
With adoptions having such high prices involved, it is not a surprise why facilitators make these illegal adoptions happen. Adoptions average “$20,000 per adoption” with “substantial portions of the expenses [going] directly to an agency of the sending state, or to private intermediaries.” For example, China requires a “$3,000-$4,000 “donation” to the child’s orphanage” (Varnis). However, these funds are not properly disbursed by corrupt adoption