Conducive Magazine article: Trading in Babies

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Second, here is a third article from Conducive Magazine about international adoption.

Trading in Babies by So Young Kim

Transnational adoption is a thriving global business. Its success and lack of regulation has created a profit motive for child trafficking. Writer, activist, and adoptee filmmaker So Yung Kim
recommends reorganizing the transnational adoption industry in order to
protect the rights of children. Domestic and international adoptees are
already coming together
to discuss options and partner on policy issues.  Kim also proposes
more coalition building between adoptee groups and other collectives
fighting for the basic rights of all people.

When adoptees speak out about the human rights abuses that come with human trafficking, the adoption industry turns its back.
This is the very system that paints itself as the savior of children,
the one that claims to know and fulfill the best interests of the
child, and the one that acts as final judge of who is and is not fit to
be a parent. It cannot even tolerate adoptees testifying against it. We
are dismissed as being crazy, complainers, angry, bitter, and a small
minority. We are told it is a shame that, for us, things just didn’t
work out, but it is not the fault of the system. We once again become
receptacles for a system of shame.

is now considered to be so natural, normal, and inherently good that to
think outside of the system is considered a form of insanity. Point out
the power dynamic of an industry and an economy that depends on the
buying and selling of human beings; refuse to stay within the framework
of a social work analysis of adjustment and the cost-effectiveness of
adoption versus foster or other institutional care; see the placement
of children of color in White adoptive households as an extension of
the colonization of people of color; speak out about the psychological,
emotional, and spiritual costs of permanently severing and displacing
children of color from their birth families and countries. These are
the surest ways of being labeled crazy by the system that supposedly
saved you.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

2 thoughts

  1. I am actually in the midst of an e-mail exchange with an agency in my birth country about this aspect of adoption.
    One of the volunteers I e-mailed responded back with something like “Well, if the parents cannot care for the baby or don’t have any support, we say the child has been abandoned. They love the child very much but have no choice. So they sacrifice the baby in order to give it life. We use the term ‘abandonment’ to refer to parents who cannot care for the child.”
    And I said “I understand that if the parent has left the child with no trace of information then the child would be considered actually abandoned. However, I have heard many adoptive parents [from Taiwan] claim to have full background about the child’s original parents. Do the feelings of the original parents matter at all?”
    We’ll say what the volunteer has to say.

  2. The BBC has done several podcast documentaries examining international adoption and how children are obtained from their parents in African countries and then represented by agencies as being free for adoption when, in fact, the parents were never really told that their kids would be adopted. They essentially thought that it was a boarding house to help them care for their kids when they could not. They signed the paperwork thinking it gave the caretakers rights to care for the children, not knowing that it actually terminated their parental rights and gave the caretakers rights to adopt out their children. Totally misleading. Then American couples would come in and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the kids…

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