"The most famous law in economics, and the one economists are most sure of, is the law of demand. On this law is built almost the whole edifice of economics." – David R. Henderson, "Demand," in The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics, 1993.
Received the following from Ethica.
I am saddened by the fact that Americans fail to realize that the baby hungry Americans, salivating over a child, at any cost, are creating situations like these. As long as Americans continue to believe they are entitled to a child, as long as the continue to fool themselves into believing Mommies can be replaced and babies are blank slates, these attrocities are sure to continue. Why bother addressing social issues that place mothers in these situations when you have lines of Americans too happy to buy the "product" being sold?
It is basic supply and demand folks.
My heart aches for these mothers in Vietnam. It also makes me a bit embarassed to be American. Are Americans the only adopters buying babies from Vietnam? Surely not.
Even still, I feel dirty to be part of a country that finds nothing wrong with this. Or this.
Since we launched our campaign, "Voices for Ethical Adoption-Join the Chorus," I’ve been receiving troubling information from Vietnam regarding international adoptions. A social worker wrote how adoption agencies and orphanages are not working with children who are legitimately available for, and in need of, adoption. Instead, financial motives have structured a process so that infants are provided in order to meet a demand.
"How do I really understand the needs of people who want to adopt a child? And what about their pressure on policymakers and related programs? The key issue lies in giving and receiving children purely with the spirit of humanitarianism. It’s also correct that a situation of exploitation can easy develop to turn this into a business, that’s not good. Because both the mother and the child will become victims and that will bring such unspeakable harm."
A researcher also wrote asking for assistance:
"During a recent return to the area in 2007, some parents expressed a concern to me regarding their children. As one mother explained, local officials from the provincial capital, and communal authorities had come to the village offering help to the children. After some discussions and visits, several households agreed to send their children to the institution. These were supposed to be short stays, but now apparently many of the children were gone and had not come back to the villages. One mother explained how she had become worried and gone to town to see her children, only to be informed that they were gone. "Do you know if my children have been sold?", she had asked me. She had received a photo picturing what seemed like a ceremony of her children being handed over to foreigners and was now seriously worried about the fate of her children. Others told me that some villagers had received money, apparently as "poverty alleviation" support. Figures mentioned were between 500.000 VND (some 31 USD) and 1.000.000 VND (some 62 USD).
Mothers, many illiterate, had apparently signed two contracts. One official contract involving support to the child in a provincial children’s centre. The other, in hand-writing, entailed giving away all rights to the children. Apparently as many as 10 to 13 children in this small ethnic minority community had been sent to this institution, and many were being adopted without the formal or informed consent of the parents. These included older children such as the siblings Cao Duc Muoi and Cau Duc Buoi aged between 7 and 10 at the time of adoption."
These are the voices that need to be heard as we navigate press coverage on Vietnamese and adoptions worldwide.
These are the voices seeking assistance since their government can not or will not assist them.
These are the voices that Ethica advocates for in order to lend transparency and accountability in the adoption process. Please help support our work so that more of their experiences can come forward. I would be most appreciative if you could include the ChipIn ticker on your blog. By raising $20,000 or roughly the cost of one adoption, Ethica will be able to continue assisting thousands of families from the adoption triad and from communities where there are women still asking, "Where are my children?"
Linh Song, MSW
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