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Old 02-21-2013, 09:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogluvr2012 View Post
It just isn't true. Do you know WHY Ukraine changed their legislation. It wasn't corruption that made them change it. It was the fact that there weren't enough children to meet the demand in their own country. So, why do they keep the borders open to foreigners? To get rid of the unhealthy children that are passed over by nationals. If you think Ukraine is so unique in this regard, they aren't. The same thing happens in the US. Unhealthy children remain unadopted. This is not unique to their culture.

It's a myth that Ukrainians don't want to adopt their own children. They weren't given the opportunity and the proof is in the numbers. Before the change in legislation, foreigners were adopting twice as many as nationals. After the legislation, the numbers flip flopped- in 2010 Ukrainians adopted 2,247 children, while foreigners, only 1,200. As for the children under 1 year old, the figures are 998 and 38.

So why did foreigners get preferential treatment over Ukraine nationals before the legislation? MONEY.

Your bolded statement seems to argue it both ways: you say that Ukraine allows international adoption to "get rid of the unhealthy children that are passed over by nationals", which implies that these children are being adopted internationally. Then you say, "The same thing happens in the US. Unhealthy children remain unadopted."

However, the waiting line for American families hoping to adopt American children with Down syndrome consistently stands at around 100, which is why many such families turn to international adoption of kids with DS and/or other special needs rather than wait for years for an American child to become available. Other families, aware of what typically happens to children with special needs in the orphanage systems of the developing world, deliberately commit to adopt these children.

As for Ukrainians not being "given the opportunity" to adopt their own children, or foreigners receiving preferential treatment, this simply is not the case. Ukrainians have been given preferential treatment by their government for a very long time, well before the recent reforms. All children listed for adoption are available only to Ukrainian families for one year before being made additionally available for international adoption. This has been the situation for at least the last seven or eight years, well before the reforms you cite, and still remains the case.

I would venture that needed changes in Ukrainian society, increased government advocacy for adoption, growing awareness of the needs of the children, and economic changes including tax benefits for adoptive and foster families have led to the encouraging increase in adoptions by Ukrainians.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
Here we go again...

Maxim Kuzmin

The drums keep on beating...
You might want to follow this very tragic case's coverage in media other than or at least in addition to "The Voice of Russia", which consistently demonstrates very obvious biases.

Look at the other headlines and stories in this Russian online newspaper's site - they are anti-Semitic, pro-Islamic, highly nationalist, and far from even-handed or objective, making me question the manner in which this very sad situation is reported as well.

This case is currently undergoing investigation in the American justice system, and the autopsy reports are far from complete, something ignored by this article.

The loss of a child is tragic in any circumstances, and if abuse is involved, it is crimina and those responsible should be punished severelyl. Certainly this case looks very suspicious - but wait until all the facts are known before judging where blame should fall. The time to prosecute, judge and sentence is after the full facts are confirmed, not before, and certainly not on the sole basis of biased sources such as this one.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Your bolded statement seems to argue it both ways: you say that Ukraine allows international adoption to "get rid of the unhealthy children that are passed over by nationals", which implies that these children are being adopted internationally. Then you say, "The same thing happens in the US. Unhealthy children remain unadopted."

However, the waiting line for American families hoping to adopt American children with Down syndrome consistently stands at around 100, which is why many such families turn to international adoption of kids with DS and/or other special needs rather than wait for years for an American child to become available. Other families, aware of what typically happens to children with special needs in the orphanage systems of the developing world, deliberately commit to adopt these children.

As for Ukrainians not being "given the opportunity" to adopt their own children, or foreigners receiving preferential treatment, this simply is not the case. Ukrainians have been given preferential treatment by their government for a very long time, well before the recent reforms. All children listed for adoption are available only to Ukrainian families for one year before being made additionally available for international adoption. This has been the situation for at least the last seven or eight years, well before the reforms you cite, and still remains the case.

I would venture that needed changes in Ukrainian society, increased government advocacy for adoption, growing awareness of the needs of the children, and economic changes including tax benefits for adoptive and foster families have led to the encouraging increase in adoptions by Ukrainians.
Well, I just can't talk to someone with rose colored glasses on! But you can't deny history. The Ukraine reform I speak of was in 2005. To me that's not a "very long time". In 2006, number of exported children from Ukraine were cut in half, from over 800 to just over 400 and that's with some adoptions that were already in progress before the 2005 decree. They changed from the #5 exporter at that time to #7. It's not a coincidence.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
There are long waiting lists of American families hoping to adopt American children with Down syndrome, but very few such American children are available for adoption. The length of that wait is one of the reasons many of these families turn to international adoption of children with DS instead.
It is my understanding that the most current numbers have shown most people are NOT adopting children with these special needs. Most families who adopt internationally did so for reasons OTHER than wanting to help older children with special needs.

& you don't need to tell us how horrible the conditions are in orphanages -- I'm sure most of us here are well aware. But this point is moot when adoption is not helping solve that problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Your bolded statement seems to argue it both ways: you say that Ukraine allows international adoption to "get rid of the unhealthy children that are passed over by nationals", which implies that these children are being adopted internationally. Then you say, "The same thing happens in the US. Unhealthy children remain unadopted."
I think what they meant was that the reason why borders remain open -- is the hope they will be adopted by foreigners. However, most continue to be passed over just like many special needs children do in the US. Are some adopted? Absolutely. But most are not.

You are making it seem like most Americans choose IA to save unwanted special needs children all over the world because none are available in the US. This just isn't true.

Quote:
As for Ukrainians not being "given the opportunity" to adopt their own children, or foreigners receiving preferential treatment, this simply is not the case. Ukrainians have been given preferential treatment by their government for a very long time, well before the recent reforms. All children listed for adoption are available only to Ukrainian families for one year before being made additionally available for international adoption. This has been the situation for at least the last seven or eight years, well before the reforms you cite, and still remains the case.
So how do you explain the flip in statistics, then?

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 02-22-2013 at 04:19 AM..
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
It is my understanding that the most current numbers have shown most people are NOT adopting children with these special needs. Most families who adopt internationally did so for reasons OTHER than wanting to help older children with special needs.

& you don't need to tell us how horrible the conditions are in orphanages -- I'm sure most of us here are well aware. But this point is moot when adoption is not helping solve that problem.




I think what they meant was that the reason why borders remain open -- is the hope they will be adopted by foreigners. However, most continue to be passed over just like many special needs children do in the US. Are some adopted? Absolutely. But most are not.

You are making it seem like most Americans choose IA to save unwanted special needs children all over the world because none are available in the US. This just isn't true.

So how do you explain the flip in statistics, then?
Yes and the fact that Craig made it seem that it is something unique to the Ukraine people that they don't adopt these "special needs" children. In fact the same thing happens in the US as well. The babies and healthy children are snatched up right away while older children, handicapped children, children with Aids, children with deformities, etc will wait a long time, if not forever for adoption. Yes, we have all those things here in the US too.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogluvr2012 View Post
I guess I don't subscribe to the "UScentric" view that children of other countries are better off in the US in middle class homes. All of the things you talk about, drugs, prostitution, and crime exist here too. There are also children here in the US that languish in foster homes and whose prospects are limited. Why not "save" them?
I have my issues with international adoptions, which is one reason we did a domestic adoption. That being said, I am always bothered by the "there are children in need here in the US, so why wouldn't you adopt them first?" question (usually said to imply that the person adopting internationally has no concern for children here in the US).

Children everywhere are important. American children in need are not more deserving than Russian or Ethipopian or Chinese children in need. "Charity begins at home" is just a saying. People are not required to believe it, and it doesn't make them callous towards American children if they decide, as an individual, to help a child in a foreign country.

One if my very dear friends starters her own non profit about ten years ago. It serves babies in two flooors hospital in Romania. These babies have been abandoned or orphaned. My friend provides basic necessities like diapers, pays the salary of a worker dedicated to caring for the babies (holding them, changing them more frequently than twice a day, and generally providing a loving interaction), clothing, blankets, formula, etc. she's purchased a washer and dryer so that the babies can have clean clothes. She buys toys (although they were recently outlawed in the hospital as germ spreaders- so all toys have been completely removed from all children's rooms). Is my friend (who is also an American foster parent and an adoptive mother) wrong for helping foreign children when so many here in the US could benefit from that money? Not in my opinion. It's essentially the same concept. Like I said, although I take issue with a lot of aspects of international adoption (including agreeing with everything said about babies being bought and sold), it's not right to use the "Anerican children need adopting too" guilt trip. All children deserve help.

Btw, Romania is closed to international adoptions (aside from a few isolated French cases). Their children are not better off for it. Domestic adoption barely exists. So the arguement that if international adoption didn't exist, children would be better off and countries would learn to atart caring for them does not hold water. Without my friend's non profit, the children she serves would be without even the most basic necessities. Their government does not care for them, and fifteen years if closed foreign adoptions has brought little change. Bigotry is a strong factor- the Romani (gypsies) children are not adopted by Romanians. Period. Without foreign adoption, these children are without any chance of a family. Closing foreign adoptions did not change this fact.

Like I said, I have issues with international adoption. But it's wrong to toss the "why not adopt needy American children" in people's faces. It really implies that other countries' children are somehow less worthy of help.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:34 AM
 
297 posts, read 419,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffjoy View Post

Like I said, I have issues with international adoption. But it's wrong to toss the "why not adopt needy American children" in people's faces. It really implies that other countries' children are somehow less worthy of help.
I think you misunderstand where I am coming from. This is not what I said or meant. My original comment was that I don't feel that IA is in the best interest of the child for many reasons that I stated before. It has nothing to do with they are less worthy or anything like that.

My comments regarding adopting children here were in response to people reasoning that they are "saving" these children from poverty, crime, etc. So, my answer is, if that is the REAL reason you are adopting foreign children, the same thing can be accomplished by adopting domestically and not having the extra complication and trauma to the child of uprooting them from their home country, culture, etc.

It's sort of a "challenge question/comment", because I believe that adoptive parents main motive to adopt foreign is NOT to "save" children (SOME, not ALL) have their own reasons, such as wanting a white child, or a young child or they don't pass some requirement here, etc etc.

Let the flogging begin....
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogluvr2012 View Post
I think you misunderstand where I am coming from. This is not what I said or meant. My original comment was that I don't feel that IA is in the best interest of the child for many reasons that I stated before. It has nothing to do with they are less worthy or anything like that.

My comments regarding adopting children here were in response to people reasoning that they are "saving" these children from poverty, crime, etc. So, my answer is, if that is the REAL reason you are adopting foreign children, the same thing can be accomplished by adopting domestically and not having the extra complication and trauma to the child of uprooting them from their home country, culture, etc.

It's sort of a "challenge question/comment", because I believe that adoptive parents main motive to adopt foreign is NOT to "save" children (SOME, not ALL) have their own reasons, such as wanting a white child, or a young child or they don't pass some requirement here, etc etc.

Let the flogging begin....
I disagree that every IA adoptive parent has ulterior motives. Some do, I have no doubt. Perhaps the majority. But a blanket statement, no, I don't agree.

And I still see what you are saying as some children are more worthy if being saved than others. Again, you reiterate that if the motive is to save a child, that could be accomplished in the US far easier. I see that for what it is- saying those who wish to help a child should do so in their OWN country.

I do agree that it is almost always ideal for a child to stay in their country of birth. Quite frankly, it's almost always ideal for a child to stay within their family if birth (obviously if there are no abuse issues, as a CMA statement that I have to make on this forum). Unfortunately, reality does not allow for what is the ideal situation for the child.

No flogging from me. Adoption, especially international adoption, is full of flaws. I appreciate the discussion here from both sides and see many valid points being made, again, on both sides. Sadly, I think it's a very, very complex situation with no good solution.
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:43 AM
 
10,511 posts, read 8,441,653 times
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I don't think disparaging personal comments about others having heads in the sand, wearing rose-colored glasses, being entrenched, etc. are relevent or helpful to civil discussion and debate of this or any other topic, and they may well be against the rules of conduct here at C-D. Can we please cease such efforts at discounting and/or demeaning others here, and attempt to display more civility and maturity, please? Thank you.

Our varying points of view should stand on their own merits without the need to discount the knowledge, supposed views or personalities of others.

I'd also appreciate some citations for the quoted statistics concerning in-country vs international adoptions from Ukraine. Sources? Dates? Veracity and objectivity of the sources? Again, thanks.

I will not attempt to make sweeping statements about the motivations of adoptive families, but will note that motivations are individual in each case, although obviously there are frequently encountered reasons for adoption.

It might be relevent to take a look at the 2011 adoption statistics for Ukraine, which can be found at http://orphancareresource/ukraine-2011-adoption-stats

According to these statistics, 2,109 children were adopted in Ukraine by Ukrainians in 2011, while 969 children were adopted internationally (which includes countries other than the US). Of these children, only 13 children under the age of one were internationally adopted - presumably these babies either were part of sibling groups or had special needs). 844 children under one year of age were adopted by Ukrainians.

As I've noted in other posts, international adoption of children under the age of six is permitted only for children who are part of sibling groups or who have specific special needs listed by the Ukrainian government - many conditions which would be considered special needs in this country are not included on the Ukrainian list at present, although some are working to change this and a few additional conditions have been added since the list's first appearance. Also, children must be listed for adoption within Ukraine for one year prior to being listed as available for international adoption. Occasional exceptions are made for children with life-threatening medical needs which cannot be treated adequately in Ukraine, but these exceptions are very rare. These facts help explain why far more children in this age bracket were adopted domestically as compared with those adopted internationally. Ukrainian law is responsible.

I will omit most of the other figures, but only 167 children aged six to ten were adopted domestically (in Ukraine by Ukrainians), while 412 children in this age bracket were internationally adopted. And only 34 children ages 11 through 17 were adopted by Ukrainians, while 269 children in this bracket were adopted internationally (only children under age sixteen may be internationally adopted by Americans, due to current American law, unless they are part of sibling groups including younger children or unless their parent' legal commitment to their adoption began prior to their sixteenth birthdays). A child can be adopted by Ukrainians or other parents before the American family hoping to adopt them arrives in Ukraine and has their appointment at the adoption department office in Kiev - no child is "held" for a specific family.

These figures would seem to indicate that Ukrainians have considerably less interest in adopting older children than do Americans or members of other nationalities (many Italians adopt from Ukraine, as do some Canadians and people of other nationalities).

The slowdown and slippage of numbers of adoptions from Ukraine by Americans previously noted have more to do with the tightening of Ukrainian restrictions upon adoptions and the eagerness of many Americans to adopt children without excessive delays and red tape than they do with lack of commitment. Ukraine is to be commended for attempting to tighten up its requirements - it would also be commendable if they now would attempt to streamline the process and eliminate not the very much needed safeguards, but much of the red tape and petty requirements (such as having documents signed only in blue ink, requiring the apostille seals to be placed very precisely so that they do not inadvertently touch any print or signatures on said documents, not accepting documents that are more than six months old, especially as the adoption process often takes more than six months, and applicants are frequently forced to renew documents at considerable additional cost and delay, although the renewed documents are identical to those which have expired, and so on). However, Ukraine has made major efforts to improve the adoption process in recent years, and to encourage more adoptions by Ukrainians, which is all commendable.


As for American adoption of children with special needs, it would be great if more families were open to such adoptions, be they domestic or international. It would be even better if all biological families of children with special needs received the encouragement, education and support they need to adequately care for their children. No argument there.

However, awareness of the potential of children with special needs is growing, along with awareness of the numbers of such children who are currently living without permanent families, many in deplorable conditions in foreign orphanages and mental institutions.

I previously noted the long list of Americans waiting to domestically adopt children with Down syndrome. Many of these families have turned to the more rapid process of international adoption of children with special needs, rather than wait three years or so to domestically adopt a child with DS. These families are also aware that the plight of the child with special needs living in an orphanage or mental institution in the developing world is extremely bleak, and filled with severe neglect and suffering in far too many cases. Adoption of these children does save lives.

There are more and more international special needs adoptions taking place each year as well, as can be seen from viewing the numbers of such adoptions completed in preceding years with the assistance of Reece's Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Ministry, at www.reecesrainbow.com The numbers have increased enormously each year of the last seven years, and this does not include other children with special needs who were internationally adopted or adopted within their own countries outside of RR. These figures do include a few adoptions by Canadians, but the majority of the RR families are U.S. citizens. Reece's Rainbow currently operates in around 25 countries throughout the world, including Ukraine.

It's hard for me to comprehend why some continually state that "adoption is not solving the problem", when all agree that the "problem" is multifaceted and complex. It's clear that corruption needs to be erradicated or at best minimized (we live in a fallen world, and perfection is unlikely), that biological families should be assisted wherever possible to retain custody of their children, that domestic adoption should be encouraged in the developing world, that the orphanage and institution system needs major overhaul, that children who age out need much more support than they currently receive, that the lives of people with special needs throughout the world but especially in the third world and the developing world can and should be vastly improved by implemented needed changes at both governmental and societal levels, and that well-overseen foster care might be a better substitute, if not solution, for the orphanage system and all its flaws in many of these countries.

It's also clear that adoption DOES make a huge difference for the children who find loving adoptive families, wherever those families may live and whatever their nationality. Those children are a minority of the world's orphans, sadly - but they account for 97.9% of all children who are adopted.

Completely ending international adoption would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. The answers to the problems are not easy or simple. No, adoption won't change things for all the children, sadly - but it does change and save lives.

Now, anyone want any more info about all those NGOs I listed the other day which assist kids in the orphanages? No one has commented about them here as of yet, though I was asked to provide their names and info. about them. No matter what your views about adoption, these groups and other similar organizations offer significant ways to help all those kids currently caught up in the system, ways which are readily available to anyone reading or posting here. If you'd like to learn more, or have questions, just ask. Thanks.

(edited to add, Tiffjoy, I was so glad to read about your friend's work in assisting the orphanage - give her my thanks and best wishes!)

Last edited by CraigCreek; 02-22-2013 at 11:04 AM..
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tiffjoy View Post
I disagree that every IA adoptive parent has ulterior motives. Some do, I have no doubt. Perhaps the majority. But a blanket statement, no, I don't agree.
Tiff, I agree with you. But a blanket statement was never made about all adoptive parents. You cannot ignore the fact that most adoptive parent's choose IA for reasons OTHER than "saviing older, unwanted children who are not available in the US." This is the main point that has been made -- not that every IA adoptive parent has ulterior motives. That is obviously not true.

Quote:
No flogging from me. Adoption, especially international adoption, is full of flaws. I appreciate the discussion here from both sides and see many valid points being made, again, on both sides. Sadly, I think it's a very, very complex situation with no good solution.
Agreed.
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