Note: This is a post that I placed on the Adoption Avenues Yahoo Group. I am placing it on my blog as well because I feel that it is important.
International adoption is not for the faint of heart. Choosing an agency that you feel is ethical and fulfills your own requirements is a daunting task. My advice to you is remember that we live in a society where sensationalism is the norm and not the exception.
In my limited time on the big Ethiopian adoption board I have seen many agencies accused of many different things. I believe all of us want ethical adoptions where everything is clear cut and defined but that is not reality. Ethiopia is a developing country where much of the populace is uneducated (unable to read or write) and I believe that some of the “confusion” stems from this. Also, think about the 80 or so different languages that are spoken in Ethiopia–could this cause difficulty? Finally, consider that some of the children pass through multiple orphanages before being adopted–yet another opportunity for things to become confused.
I believe that most adoption agency directors try to steer through these obstacles the best that they can. They end up being responsible for the actions of people who are a continent away from them. Is this a daunting task? To me it is. I believe that the majority of the people who are in the adoption “business” are there because they have a desire to help. Do I think that child trafficking exists–of course. However, I believe that it is usually the exception to the rule (and no I am not a cheery optimist by nature.)
I was not aware of any rule regarding saying only positive things when I joined this group and it has never influenced my posts. In my experiences Radu is a quick but brief communicator. He often replies to my email within an hour. His paperwork process could be a little more organized and give more instructions–but if you have questions he responds. These are my experiences so far. I read other Adoption Avenues blogs before committing and some of them felt that there was a breakdown in communication when you reached Ethiopia. If you are interested in reading these look through the blogs listed under links. In my opinion these are forgivable flaws.
If you have not read There Is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Greene I would highly recommend it. Part of the book talks about how the actions of the orphanage director became misconstrued and the topic of many an adoption board. We only hear part of the story and make a judgment about the piece we hear about. The majority of us on this board are here because we believe that Adoption Avenues is the right agency for us. Is it the right fit for you? Do your research and check your facts but in the end it is a leap of faith.
Waiting for Immigration Approval