I am not going to post on the situation in Haiti, especially since I can't watch a single news story on the tragedy without it ending with some piece about all the orphans being airlifted to the U.S. or the Netherlands. It's going to be the next generation's version of Operation Baby Lift.
Instead, I am going to link to two important pieces I believe everyone needs to read. Trust me, there are enough folks who think unquestioned airlifting of children out of Haiti is "in the best interest of the child" to counter these two perspectives.
International Social Services position: click here.
A Korean adoptee's perspective: Whites Make Pact With God, Expedite Haitian Adoptions click here for the story.
I’m going to write a post about this starting tonight… I think one positive spot is that the airlift advocates do NOT have the unqualified support of the policy makers.
The story that really grabbed me was one I heard on NPR this morning… a Haitian immigrant who worked as a security guard in the US, who had been visiting Haiti, waiting in the long line at the embassy trying to get her unofficially adopted daughter a visa s that she could bring her back to the US. The story implied that her odds were very long.
I believe the US should immediately start an expedited guardianship/sponsorship/adoption program for Haitian immigrants and their extended relatives in Haiti. Everybody else in the US? FORGET IT. Unfortunately an idea like that doesn’t have an army of deranged adopto-imperialists to back it up.
I thought it a step in the right direction to see an article clearly visible on cnn.com resisting the baby grab.
I don’t think that the adoption angle has been picked up much here. I wasn’t really aware of orphans being airlifted out of the country here. I did see this report ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/haiti/7054469/Haiti-earthquake-charities-warn-against-rush-to-speed-adoptions.html ) (sorry, I don’t know how to put the links in properly) which raises the issues of adoptions being speeded up where there might be living family members to be located. It is a massive concern though if children are to be seen as commodities.
I thought this is nothing like the Vietnam baby airlift. I know that the 80 that came this week were all in the process of adoption – from a year to three years – mired in bureaucracy. With all the govt bldgs having been destroyed, the other option would be to keep those children in an orphanage forever. I think that takes on a different perspective.
Grace, I respectfully disagree that the only other option would be to keep those children in an orphanage forever, and please, I am NOT talking about those children who were already in the process.
Didactic reasoning and positioning things as either/or does not in any way help. We need to be more creative in how we approach systems of care and any humanitarian efforts – within our own shores and everywhere else in the world we leave our footprints.
The only difference that I see between the current situation and Operation Babylift is that some of the first cohort of children flown into the US were going to adoptive parents who were already matched with these children.
What about the group that went to PA who were not in the process? That, to me, is exactly like what happened with the mass transportation of Vietnamese children to the U.S.