Sunday, June 1, 2008

We Can Dream

What is your "adoption utopia"? In other words, what would adoption look like in a perfect world?

In a truly perfect world there would be no need for adoption. Young girls would not have sex and therefore not get pregnant with an unwanted child. Young women would not make stupid mistakes that lead to unwanted pregnancy. There would be no families so poor they can not take care of a child they would otherwise care for. There would be no infertility. People who wanted children could have them, and people who did not want children could not. In a perfect world... but that does not exist.

Perfect adoption certainly does not exist either, but since we are allowed to dream... here is my idea of adoption utopia.

All agencies would truly be non-profit. Money would go only where it is needed. Governments would not charge outrageous fees for the processing of paperwork. (there also would not be as much pointless paperwork required, but more on that later) I do think there should be an orphanage donation but it would really go to benefit the orphanage. None of it would end up in the pocket of orphanage directors or adoption coordinators. Instead the money would be used for food, clothing and supplies for the children in the orphanages... where it belongs.

There would be no need to bribe judges or other officials to make things run smoothly. Paperwork would not get done quickly only if someone was paid to make that happen. There would be no threats and no fear involved for the PAP's either.

How about the agencies? They would be strongly regulated and observed by the government. Agencies could not charge hidden fees or inflate their prices. Non-profit means non-profit! Agencies would not charge PAP's more for an apartment in country than they are actually paying. Yes, this happens. I know from experience, having paid $175/day for an apartment that was costing the agency less than that for the month!!! This would significantly lower the cost of in-country stay allowing more people to do one trip rather than two. (this is likely a Kazakhstan thing only) Background checks would be mandatory for all agency employees and owners!!! Agencies would be required to offer post-adoption support groups and classes.

As for the paperwork... Documents would not expire in a mere 3 or 6 months. Once a dossier is submitted to the Embassy or Consulate it would not expire. It is beyond the PAP's control how long it sits untouched on someones desk. Why should we have to pay even more money and have to do even more paperwork because someone else did not do their job in a timely manner? Only necessary papers would be required. Let's face it, a lot of the paperwork they are requiring is not truly necessary. Also, why do we have to have state clearance, FBI clearance AND USCIS clearance? They all check the same things, and if one of them says you have a clean background... they all will. It's just one more way to get money out of us and waste our time.

I do believe that the children should not be handed over to complete strangers. It is frightening and stressful enough on them without that. Because of that I believe a required bonding time is a good thing for the sake of the children. However, I think it is wrong that once a family starts bonding with a child that officials are required to contact the birth family to be sure they really don't want the child. If they have not bothered to see the child in over 6 months, they obviously do not want the child. This practice of notifying them only allows for the opportunity for threats and extortion of the PAP's. Finally, in my adoption utopia a court decision would be final. NO waiting period after court allowing for someone to contest the decision!!!

1 comment:

Marilyn@Mixed Bouquet said...

Great post! I have heard of many struggles from families. It's very frustrating.

We adopted locally, but still had frustrations regarding the funding. Our youngest is 16, so in some ways it was easier then; yet, we chose to adopt a special needs baby and still had frustrations.

I plan to read through your site. I like what I see so far.