An article ran on CNN’s website this week Overseas adoptions rise — for black American children. It was interesting reading through the different points of view, and I remember hearing the same thing about Canada a few years ago.
I am going to play devil’s advocate here: It seems that the article has a slant towards Holland being a very open- minded country, lacking in racism, and this may be true. The article contrasts adoptive parents from Holland to the adoptive parents in the US. Emphasizing the US parents who choose to pay high fees, and endure the red-tape of foreign adoption to avoid adopting from the US, which is known as domestic adoption. The article states that this is a race issue. I disagree.
Let’s explore the idea of Holland being a Utopia of “One World” thinking. Historically, the Dutch were heavily involved in the slave trade. This does not mean that this is still the sentiment, but it does bare mentioning.
I am curious to know the number of ‘Foreign/US adoptions’ verses domestic adoptions that are occurring in the Netherlands? Could the reasoning behind the rise in these adoptions be the same reasoning behind many US families? That a the best distance between birth families is a long distance? The writer points out that many birth mothers are leaning towards adopting out their children to The Netherlands because they are welcoming to an open adoption. I have to interject that it is much easier to be open to the idea of an open adoption when the families are not living in the same town, or even state, but thousands of miles away in another country.
Speaking for myself, and many parents that I have had conversations with, we all have our reasons for the countries that we have chosen. Usually birth-family contact was one reason why they/we chose to go with a foreign adoption, not race. As a matter of fact, most of these parents ended up adopting a child of a different race (Ethiopian, Guatemalan, Chinese, Korean or Vietnamese). It’s not an emotional threat that most of these parents are concerned over, but more about the complications that an open-adoption creates. Other reasons included the length of time, the road to adoption can sometimes take years, but some programs are known for having a shorter process. Another friend offered this when asked about choosing international adoption:
“When I decided to adopt, my first call was to the agency that my parents adopted me from in South Dakota. They would not consider a single mom. That led me to Vietnam, and after that long journey(in more ways than one!), I absolutely believe that my daughter and I were meant to be together and that she was the one meant to be in my life. I knew it the moment I first saw her, she was waiting for me and looked at me like, “finally! where have you been?”.~Mary
As a parent who is experienced in both foreign and domestic adoption, I believe that yes, foreign adoption is much easier in regards to birth family contact. Domestic adoption is not for the faint of heart. We chose domestic adoption for this journey because we had been through adoption, fostercare and we knew that it would be a challenge, but we were ready and up for this challenge.
In response to the media, in particular this CNN reporter, please stop questioning the motives of adoptive parents, and smile upon these beautiful families. While researching this blog post, the answer I received repeatedly was that there was a “pull” towards that country, whether it was here in the US or as far away as China! It is my belief that we do not choose our children…they have chosen us, it is up to us to find them.