By Emily Deinert
It’s practically inevitable that at some point while you’re at Asbury, you will hear at least one student proudly proclaim, “God has called me to adopt.”
As someone passionate about God’s people, I am so thankful for everyone who is willing to pour out the time, money and resources to help all God’s children. It’s awesome.
However, when people talk about adoption there is often the follow up statement of “a child from (insert desired third-world country).”
When we think of international adoption we tend to have the mental picture of a beautiful couple scooping up a starving infant and giving it a loving home and a happily ever after.
However, the current state of international adoption has become more and more troubling to me. The hidden reality is that this industry is not immune to the greed of making a profit. So much corruption has taken place, leading some, including me, to beg this question: is it orphan-rescuing or has it become child trafficking?
Orphanages across the globe resort to extreme measures to obtain children, including kidnapping or, in some cases, tricking parents into believing they are sending their child to America for an English education. Although it is uncommon, there are some highly publicized stories of biological parents attempting to find and contact the child they were tricked into giving up to unsuspecting American families.
The demand for international children is so extreme in some countries that adoption agencies resort to horrific measures to make a profit by trafficking and selling children for obscene amounts of money to western families who are desperate to have a child. Some orphanages or agencies make thousands of dollars in profit for each child they sell.
However, children are not the only victims of this consumerism market. In countries such as Nigeria, there are what some have coined as baby factories, where young women are driven, either by poverty or by force, to get pregnant, carry the child to full term then give up their babies to orphanages that cater to American and European families looking to adopt.
I am by no means saying that international adoption is a bad thing or should stop because every child deserves a loving family. We are called as Christians to help the widows and the orphans, and there are so many wonderfully successful international adoption stories filled with joy and blessings.
And if you aren’t dead set on adopting from one particular country, look into the children that are right here in the States, whether that be through a private adoption or the foster care system. All too often the thought of adoption from our own country slips our mind, and, unfortunately, there are so many needy children right in our own backyard.
As with any scenario there are pros and cons, but if you do feel called to adopt a child from another country in the future, I implore you to do your research. Try your best to know as much as you can about the country, agency and child you are hoping to adopt. And, as with everything else, enter your decisions thoughtfully and prayerfully.