3 Positives of International Adoption

3 Positives of International AdoptionThis post is part of a series on International Adoption. Part One was 3 Problems of International Adoption. The introduction and explanation for the series can be found on that post.

1. A Brighter Future

Children raised in institutions around the world face a grim future. Life without a family does little to prepare and equip them to support themselves. The statistics are grim. In many countries 60% of female orphanage graduates end up in prostitution while 70% of boys become hardened criminals. In Orphan Justice, adoptive dad Johnny Carr relates his thoughts when a friend asked what would have happened to his daughter had she not been adopted.

 If we, or someone else, had not adopted Xiaoli, her future prospects would have been no different than Xiao Quing’s–living on the streets, sleeping wherever she could find a dry spot, unable to communicate, and addicted to drugs. More than likely, Xiaoli would have been trafficked–taken into custody against her own will, her body sold for men’s dirty pleasure over and over and over again.

There are many valid concerns about international adoption. It certainly is not a journey safe for the faint of heart. But when people cite a child’s right to maintain their nationality and remain in their country of birth, I can’t help but think what that will mean for the Xiao Quing’s of the world.

In an ideal world, of course, children would stay in their own culture and maintain their birth language. But are those things really more important than a family? I don’t think so.

2. Not All Negatives Are True

International adoption has come under heavy fire for abuses of the adoption process. Many concerns are valid, but there are also many accusations that are not valid. For example,

Supporters of international adoption are quiet about the children who are not adopted and left behind. —International Adoption Problems, minute 2:45

I can’t speak for secular adoption circles, but I know that Christian adoption advocates are most certainly not quiet about the children left behind. Bethany Christian Services, a large adoption agency, runs a sponsorship program designed to keep poverty-stricken, biological families together. Christian Alliance for Orphans offers webinars about international orphan care ministry, malnutrition in residential care, and how to help orphans aging out of the system alongside webinars about both international and domestic adoption. Adoptive father Johnny Carr wrote an entire book of how to care for orphans beyond adoption.

Another common argument cites the UN Rights of a Child statement that the right to,

…preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.  —Convention on the Rights of a Child, Article 8

I tend to cringe at the mention of the UN Rights of a Child, but even under this statement, international adoption is not a violation of a child’s rights. A child living in an institution has already experienced severed family relations (before adoption entered the equation). Above board, rule following adoptions are not unlawful interference. And an adoptive family moving their child to a new country is no more a human rights violation than a biological family moving from one country to another.

3. Demonstrates God’s Love

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father. —Romans 8:15

This overflow of joy is what makes us desire to protect and care for children in need. We want to do a little bit of what God did for us. When we do, we don’t just preach the gospel–we embody it. We give a picture of the fact that we have been adopted by God and that he takes us on as his children. –Francis Chan in Becoming Home, pg 80

Of course, all adoption does this, but International adoption seems to do it in an especially strong way. We were far, far away from God. We could never reach him on our own strength, but he came and rescued us us anyway. Nationality and patriotism means so much to us now, but as Christians our true homeland is heaven, and our goal–in adoption and otherwise–should be to bring others into that homeland, regardless of their earthly nation of origin.

And he came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. —Ephesians 2:17

I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on both the problems and positives of international adoption. There’s so much to think about, and there are certainly more than three points in both direction. What are some that aren’t covered in this two posts?

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