Sunday, April 5, 2009

Who knew adoption was so controversial?

I was watching the news and saw that Madonna was rejected by the Malawi court to adopt her second child. Madonna's case has sparked much debate on International adoption. From what I read, she was rejected because part of the Malawi law requires prospective parents to live in the country for 18 to 24 months while child welfare authorities assess their suitability — a rule that was bent when Madonna was allowed to take David to London in 2006. When she was able to adopt David, this caused a lot of controversy in the adoption world. In addition, her son may have had family that could take care of him and it was questioned if he was a true orphan. Madonna is appealing the recent court decision.
This post is not to give my opinion on this case...see below.

Madonna and David


The reason why I bring this up is because there has been a lot of chat on the adoption yahoo groups, blogs, personal emails sent to me and more about International adoption and some difficult questions. The media is now bringing attention to some of these topics. Some of those questions include but are not limited to:

Are the children being adopted true orphans?

Should the children be allowed to leave their birth country?

Why don't you give money instead of adopting so the child can stay in their country?

Why don't you adopt domestically and not internationally?

These are just a few of the questions/comments that we have encountered personally not just heard on the media.

I read an article today that was written after the Madonna court rejection. It really sums up my thoughts and feelings and gives the answers that I would give to some of these questions.

The article was written by Melissa Fay Greene, an author and mother of five adopted children. Melissa is the mother of four biological children, four children adopted from Ethiopia and one adopted child from Bulgaria. In the adoption community, She is a very well known author of a book called, There is no me without you.

Here is part of the article published by

CNN: What's your initial reaction to the news that Madonna's adoption of a Malawian child has been rejected?

Greene: Surprise. ... It was awfully tricky with Madonna's first adoption, when the child turned out to have devoted family members nearby. [The singer's adoption of a Malawian boy was finalized last year.] And if that's true with this child also, it seems a similar sticky situation.

That's not the situation for the majority of orphanage children around the world, who don't have caring grandparents or aunts and uncles a short walk or bike ride away.

I think it gives people an odd perspective on what international adoption can mean for children who don't have any support network outside the walls of an orphanage.

You often hear attacks on international adoption as robbing a child of his or her culture, and that's both true and false. It's true that an internationally adopted child loses the rich background of history and religion and culture and language that the child was born into, but the cruel fact is that most children don't have access to the local, beautiful culture within an orphanage. ...

There's a culture in orphanages that children are eager to escape from, and it's a culture of being reared as a group and not being doted upon by parents. For any child, that's the bottom line. The fact is that a human child wants that mommy or daddy or both. We're just wired to want that and to need that. And there's no way an institutional setting can give a human baby what the child needs. It's impossible. So you have to balance priorities. ...

I think what some of the human rights group say is absolutely accurate: that international adoption does not begin to solve the problems of the world's orphaned children. It's truly not the answer. ...

At the same time, international adoption, even though it doesn't solve the whole problem, it solves a problem for a few. I think it can be a brilliant solution to the problem of adults wanting a child in their lives or wanting more children in their lives and the problem of children who want parents in their lives.

To read the rest of the article and to hear more answers to some of the questions that were posed in this post, go HERE.

Well said Melissa!

So most of the time when we're living our day to day lives, people are very supportive. But sometimes, people can be downright rude and judgemental. To be blunt, I don't care if you approve or not. I can't please or be popular with everyone. We followed all the US laws and all Ethiopian law when adopting Ayana. She was an orphan in an orphanage with no one that could care for her. Money would not give her the love of a parent. I know that God called us to adopt from Ethiopia. When God is in control, it can't be wrong, right?
Sorry, rough day... ranting.


Robbin said...

Well said. Funny how cruel other PAP's can be. Almost as if they have amnesia when it comes to what they went thru to adopt. Sometimes they cannot be reached. Its indicative of their parenting style...

Sorry! Robbin

Angela said...

I agree with you Amber. Thanks for including the article. Modonna's adoption ruling was based on the laws of Malawi, nothing else.

It had nothing to do with her maritial status, sexual orientation, age, race, lifestyle choices, or any issue we associate as discriminatory in the U.S.

Each country has an obligation to it's citizens to abide by its' own laws to provide stability in government. This adoption would have opened the country to other international adoptions in which they apparently don't want at this time.

I respect Malawi for providing a democratic ruling based on its' current laws, and I respect Madonna for having compassion to rear another child.

Again, laws are created to avoid dictatorship, this is an especially impressive ruling for a for small country such as Malawi.

That's just my two cents.

Beautiful Mess said...

I wanted to point out another blog that I read yesterday along the same lines but with a neat twist on "saving a child". She is another adoptive momma that will encourage you.

Thank you for being obedient! For being an example. For being you!

Check out this blog:

Meg DeZutti said...

Excellent post Amber. You always have a wonderful way to get the information out. Information/facts are our best defense. There are children who need families. Thre are families who need children. It should be as simple as that. It's not...but the facts (especially with our agency) should speak for themselves.
I really hope publicity like this doesn't hinder people from investigating IA. So many children need a home.

Stephanie said...

Thanks so much for including this article! It was great to read her input (and yours) and we totally agree.

It makes me think of the phrase: "Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change."

As much as I hate jumping through all the "hoops" with adoption, I am so thankful that there are laws protecting the children!

Mona said...

Great post! Thank you!

Chantelle Becking said...

Hey there
I read some of the ridiculous stuff on the big forum...And then decided offically to never visit the site again! Talk about people who are over the top, when you would think we are all on the same team...Truly you just never know!
I get it totally.
Thanks for your posts and know that we support you and totally are in agreement.
Much Love

Cyndi said...

I enjoyed Green's perspective when I read that the other day, too. She has a way of getting right to the point. And I agree with Chantelle above... I stopped reading the big ET forum a long time ago. Everyone AP I met in ET when we were there shared the same opinion of that group, and most had stopped reading it as well. I have found I don't miss out on anything of value, but I do avoid a lot of you-know-what... ;)

Debbie said...

Thanks for ranting!!!! I really should do some ranting on my blog as well.

Ellen Enright said...

Thank you so much for opening up. I'm going to have to read all of that article. I completely agree with you. I have a son from Ethiopia and am currently in the paper work process of adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. Some questions asked of us are quite rude/awkward, so it is nice to read a post like yours. And you are allowed to rant!!

Melanie said...

Well said And I completely agree with you. I feel that some of our close family does not approve or seems disapproving about us adopting again. I do not care and feel sad that they may feel that way. The truth is that GOd called us to adopt two beautiful daughters from China and baby Noah. That is our call and we are walking it. We may not have all the pieces put together, all the money we need, or everything planned out perfectly, but we are trusting that God has it all under control. We have the love to give to a child in need and that is what we are doing. I look forward to seeing how God puts all the pieces together. We are truly blessed to have Jordyn in our lives. She sends me emails everyday saying she loves me and she is happy that I am her mommy. I can't wait to meet Jailynn and hold her in my arms and my heart goes out to all the waiting children. I hope that God uses me in the future to reach out to them. I also hope that the media coverage tugs at the hearts of people to consider adoption whether international or domestic. There. That is my ranting!LOL!
Hugs and Blessings,

Domestic Goddess said...

I LOVE your rants! You have the best way with words! I really like what Melissa had to say in that article. "even though it doesn't solve the whole problem, it solves a problem for a few." You can't save the world in one act but you can save a life which is a great place to start. The most you can do is worry about yourself, in the end YOU stand before the Lord and account for your life which is why it truly doesn't matter how anyone else feels about your actions. You did them with God's guidance and with your heart and I think that speaks louder than any words ever could. It wasn't a quick thing, not like eloping or an impulse buy. You and Rick poured your heart into the process and gave it your all and end the end the #1 person who benefits from that is Ayana and I don't see how anyone could rightfully see anything wrong with that!

Kate said...

Rant girl!!! Just for the record, the crap that is going on over at the "big board" is ridiculous and I appreciate people who stand up for what they believe in. It's sadly a place I won't be visiting for advice...such a shame. You and you're family are an inspiration to me and I appreciate your viewpoint.