Adoption Voices

I wasn’t going to blog about Haitian orphans again. Really, I wasn’t.
I figured I had worn my audience thin on the subject; it was time to
move on. My resolve wavered, but held firm even when last Friday’s
mail brought Time Magazine and the Wall Street Journal both
running stories on the “Haitian orphan crisis”. But after reading both
articles I couldn’t get them out of my mind, try as I might. Oh, what
the heck, as long as I’m obsessing on this subject, why should I suffer

The situation in Haiti is complex, to say the least. A natural instinct when faced with complexity is to simplify by assigning black and white hats to the players in order to keep them straight. But the
$64 Million question is who should wear the black hat? UNICEF?
International adoption proponents? Orphanage directors? For better or
worse, the situation in Haiti defies simplification and easy

Haiti in some ways is a microcosm of the larger debate on the place of international adoption in a third world country’s child welfare system. In other ways, Haiti stands unique in the degree of poverty
and family disintegration. These problems existed before the
earthquake, but the earthquake has exacerbated the problem and focused
the world’s attention on Haiti for this short time.

Views: 2

Tags: Haiti, adoption, ethics, international


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Comment by Kea on March 12, 2010 at 10:05am
Thank you for this post, Dawn. Never give up on writing about Haiti. If some members of your audience have their patience worn thin, that's their weakness. Others might discover a future post for the first time and learn something that could become a turning point for them and for Haitians! You never know!
Your fantastic and essential book, The Complete Book of International Adoption, is sitting her near me at work. I read it during breaks. I'm reading it for the 2nd time, as this time, I'm less than one month from traveling to Ethiopia to meet and bring home my 10-year-old daughter! Thank you for such comprehensive, sensible, and experience- and fact-based guidance! It's invaluable! I hope in your next edition, you'll include more info and anecdotes about Ethiopian adoptions.
Sincerely, Kea, Mama to Kiya (!), blogging about it at



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