The ABC’s 7.30 Report last night aired several adoptees speaking out against adoption. They were supported by former Family Court Judge: Professor Nahum Mushin. The long term mental health damage that adoptees suffer from being separated from their mothers in particular, extended family and their loss of identity was discussed . And in the case of intercountry adoptees – loss of their cultural identity as well.
One adoptee mentioned that many orphanages sprung up to warehouse babies and toddlers for adults wishing to adopt. She labelled these “dodgy orphanages” and “trafficking stations”.
The adoptees questioned Tony Abbott’s promise to fast-track adoptions from overseas
I have discussed what amounts to an orphan/orphanage industry in more detail on this blog.
Once westerners begin to move in to an area and demand babies, black markets develop. The number of orphanages directly increase as a result of demand and entrepreneurs in baby trafficking will stock them with babies and toddlers that may have been kidnapped or coerced from parents. UNICEF is urging that poor parents are supported so that poverty does not force them to turn to these orphanages once set up. So ubiquitous is this problem that some have labelled the collection of children – mostly NOT orphans – as Orphan Shopping. And/or Orphan Tourism
(See) Orphan Tourism in Cambodia
Many of these orphanages allow unsupervised visits by foreigners and some foreigners pay to “help out”. Intercountry adoption as was local domestic adoption is racked with crime, mismanagement and the commodification of children for money. It is about the wants of adults – as adoptees stated in their ABC interview – and so ‘eloquently’ underscored by Tony Abbott ‘ “Adoption should be made easier quicker and cheaper for those wishing to adopt”.
Deborra Lee Furness’s representative on the program provided the adopters side, briefly stated – their providing a service: ‘Orphan saving – because there are millions of needy orphans worldwide’. This is spin:
The truth is there are millions of poor families who are separated from their children because of poverty: http://apologyalliance.com/2014/05/01/modern-day-slavery-the-reason-australia-has-stringent-regs-re-intercountry-adoption/
If all the rhetoric is true and adoption is really ‘about the children’ then shouldn’t the so called ‘saved children’, now adults be the ones listened to? And why if it is really about ‘saving children’, is the national conversation around adoption always framed by adopters – or their representatives or organisations who financially benefit by the institution?