Why the International Adoption Process Needs an Overhaul

Source: http://www.brownpoliticalreview.org

By Alexa Clark

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Year-long waits, onerous assessments, and disappointment—prospective adopters in developed countries have a lot to deal with when trying to adopt a child. The scarcity of adoptable children and rigor of the adoption processes in developed countries drive prospective adopters abroad in the hope of finding children to join their families. Due to the prevalence of disease, poverty, and abandonment as well as fledgling social safety nets, less developed countries often have many children in state care that are in pressing need of adoption. In the latter half of the 20th century, many of these countries welcomed international adoption. Under that system, children were matched with more affluent parents who could provide better lives for them than could be expected in the state system, and overcrowded state children’s homes were relieved of the difficulty of caring beyond their capacities.

While international adoption is an ideal solution for both the overcrowding of state childcare systems in developing countries and the difficulties of adopting children in developed ones, it’s currently on the decline. Intercountry adoption fell by 64 percent between 2004 and 2013 in the top 10 adopting countries, indicating a seismic shift away from the practice of adopting children abroad. While modest gains in health and income mean fewer children are orphaned and abandoned, these factors alone do not explain the huge shift away from intercountry adoption. Rather, the decline is the result of an international law that tightens the regulatory barriers to intercountry adoption, decreasing its attractiveness to prospective adopters and increasing negative sentiments towards international adoption in countries where it used to be common.

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Spotlight on Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc Board Member, Kristin Dadey, Esq.

Board of DirectorsKristin Dadey, a licensed attorney, lives overseas in Cairo, Egypt managing anti-human trafficking programs for the International Organization for Migration. Before moving overseas in 2003, Kristin practiced labor law in Washington, DC, working in both the government and non-profit sector. She received her Masters in Public Administration and Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and College of Law in 1998. Kristin’s work in Indonesia, the Republic of Georgia and Egypt changed her in profound ways, witnessing firsthand the extreme vulnerability of children, especially in developing countries. Her years of overseas experience have given her a keen understanding of the international rights of children, and dedicated to the basic children’s rights’ principle that all children have the right to grow up in a permanent family, Kristin is passionate in her advocacy on behalf of orphans.

Kristin and her husband Sean are the proud parents of one adopted daughter from Indonesia, one adopted daughter from Ghana and two biological daughters.

Kristin has personally visited with our partners in Armenia, Georgia and Ghana.  November, 2011, she will visit with our partner in Morocco.  Hopscotch is honored to have an experienced and passionate child advocate as a board member to Hopscotch Adoptions.

In Kristin’s capacity as a board member, her visits to our programs allows firsthand knowledge and oversight, further endorsing Hopscotch’s commitment to best practice and ethical permanency planning for orphaned children.

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