Intercountry Adoption

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Intercountry adoption (ICA) is non-existent, statistically speaking. Last year, just over 11,000 children were adopted into the U.S. from other countries. The world’s orphan population is variously estimated between 143,000,000 and 163,000,000 with some estimates even higher. You do the math - less than .01%.

Yet so much time, thought and other resources go into shaping and reshaping agreements, laws, regulations and procedures governing ICA, as well as continuous, sometimes acrimonious, sometimes self-serving debate on the “best interest of the child”.

Many of us in the field of ICA are working to change this .01%, but consciously or not, we’re simply working at the margins to address a problem of enormous magnitude.

Let’s just throw in the towel. Let’s redeploy all of our efforts to another noble cause, or……

Let’s get serious and confront the fundamental challenges and barriers, and bring about systemic change so that ICA truly becomes a viable part of the solution to the orphan crisis rather than a statistical footnote.

Will we be content if ICA addresses .02% of the problem by 2020? I know I won’t. A reasonable target is 1%. This can happen if 1) the adoption community takes a hard line against any behaviors we witness that are not grounded in absolute integrity, and 2) we align our priorities with those of the countries where we work.


emily said...

Really great post Frank. Thank you.

Jen said...

Great post!