October 30, 2008

Quirky International Adoption Countries Have Own Complications, Laws

International adoption has been booming of late, and it turns out to be a complex, ever-changing landscape fraught with cultural differences, legal and ethical dilemmas, and emotional trials. So naturally, the best way to understand this phenomenon is through the captions of a web slideshow of adorable babies, only some of whom are actually orphans.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that for someone contemplating international adoption as well as someone deep into the process, the information on Foreign Policy will barely scratch the surface.

And for the rest of us, it'll be the kind of half-informed factoids that only increase the likelihood that we'll say something thoughtlessly stupid when we meet adoptive parents at the store, or at a party, or on the playground. Something like, "Oh, Guatemala? I can't remember; isn't that the country where most of the babies were actually stolen?"

Cute kids, heartstring plucking tales, but caveat lector.

Photo Essay: The Baby Bazaar [foreignpolicy.com via bookforum]

1 Comment

As a daddy currently ensnared in the adoption industrial complex.... on our second country (with no child as of yet).... I can second that emotion and firsthand state that the international adoption experience is kind of akin to a rollercoaster, blindfolded, and not necessarily inspected by any type of engineer. Yet, I paid (and paid) for my ticket, and there's no turning back now..... I think ther'll be a pimply teen at the end who will pull that lever, releasing me from the seat and when i emerge, a secondhand storebought babybjorn knockoff will be full with one or possibly two kids to call our own.

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