Friday, May 13, 2011

three myths about international adoptions

Three myths about international adoptions
And how is the situation really
Erica Marat | Washington Friday, May 13, 2011

In 1992, triplet baby girls enrolled in one of the orphanages in Astrakhan. One girl soon died, two others had injuries. "They are not tenants," - returned a verdict doctors. Nevertheless, the girls were to adopt an American family, grew, learned, and today one of the sisters - the artist.

Somewhat different fate of two sisters in Pskov in the year. Eight-eleven-Kate and Natasha (the children's names changed) decided not to move to the U.S. after they intimidate schoolteachers. "You arrive and you will cut it, kill, and so forth - that talked a girl", - says Dmitry Fasolyak, a consultant who works with international adoption agencies in the U.S.. The sisters eventually written waiver, despite the fact that they have already met with their adoptive parents and their aunt, acting as guardian, fully supports the idea that girls living in the U.S..

The incident took place in Pskov, after a year ago has been returned to Russia seven Artem Saveliev, adopted by a young American Torrie Hansen. Artem flew to Russia alone, without adult supervision. If there was a note from the foster mother with a request to take the child back.

After the incident with Artem Russia has suspended international adoptions. For the resumption of the United States and Russia should sign a bilateral agreement. A similar situation exists in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where international adoption is temporarily suspended. In Azerbaijan and Belarus, international adoption is prohibited. Georgia allows foreigners to adopt children with disabilities only.

Authorities and the public in these countries are concerned that child care is bad, they grow in the alien culture and may even become victims of transplant organs. Nevertheless, the number of orphaned and abandoned children in these countries in the thousands. The vast majority of them live in orphanages.

"All the above arguments one can give one explanation - nationalism," - says Tom DiFilipo, chairman of the Joint Council of the International Save the Children, who studied the condition of children raised in orphanages post-Soviet countries. According to him, the authorities of these countries consider the norm to raise children in orphanages instead establish a system of adoption. But few people realize that after two years in an orphanage children lag far behind in the mental and physical disabilities from their peers raised in the families, he added.

Especially the United States gained notoriety because the Americans are leading the world in adoption of children from abroad - every year American families adopt up to 120,000 children, of whom more than 30,000 from other countries. Usually such arguments are without any evidence or granting organizations of international adoption the opportunity to express their opinions. Voice of America "examines each argument separately.

"Over the adoptive parents of children bullied"

Arguments about what over foster children being bullied, often used by those who adamantly opposed to international adoption. The basis for such views is the statistics. Since 1991 more than 60,000 foster children in 1916 died as a result of domestic violence.

However, few know that the fate of graduates of Russian orphanages is composed as follows: 10 persons life be arranged only at one, four fall into the jail, four sopyutsya and one committed suicide.

American experts note that in the U.S. abuse of children in foster care is much rarer than in "normal" families. This is because the adoption agency conducted a thorough screening of prospective adoptive parents.

Physical abuse is common in children's homes. Anna Kirei, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a few years ago was a volunteer at one of the orphanages in Bishkek. Anna tells how, during the day children walk, she saw that one of the girls took a snail in his mouth. Kirei asked her to spit out the snail. Instead, the girl sat down and covered her head with both hands. "She thought I was going to hit her for it" - says Kirei.

Foster families must be prepared to ensure that children are mentally or physically unwell. Often, children who spent the first five years of living in orphanages, diagnosed reactive attachment disorder. "A child or strikes all around, whether it be foster parents or strangers, or fail to develop an emotional attachment to anybody," - says an expert from the Social Security Agency United States, on condition of anonymity.

Several U.S. organizations, helping American couples to adopt foreign children, warn that even if a child falls from an orphanage in a loving family - still no guarantee that it will be easier, and it quickly gets used to it. The adoption process is accompanied by numerous stressful for both the child and for new parents.
But such cases are a minority. Basically adaptation goes smoothly, because foster families willing to all sorts of difficulties when adopting a child from another country. In the case of surprises they can always contact the adoption agency for help and advice.

"Cultivating bodies"

The Russian blogosphere is often flit article that the orphans had been adopted from the former Soviet countries, are used as organ donors. "On the black market in human organs the heart is 160 thousand dollars. The liver is 60 to 150 thousand. The pancreas is estimated at 45,000 dollars. Kidney - 10 thousand. Foreskin of a boy - of 20 000 green. For 5 years in the country disappeared 150,000 children "- writes the author of one of these blogs.

Although official sources, these data do not confirm the fear that children will use the bodies, deeply rooted in the view of officials and the public in some post-Soviet mills. "I heard that our children use for kidney transplantation", - shares with "Voice of America politician from Kyrgyzstan, who requested anonymity.

Voice of America asked for a comment to the anesthetist from Arizona Teresa Edwards. According to her, the purchase of human organs in the U.S. - is illegal. For organ transplantation requires the consent of the donor or his family in case of death of the donor. In addition, the tissue donor and recipient must be compatible, which is detected by sophisticated tests. Some patients wait decades before they find a suitable organs.

Teresa Edwards has more than two years waiting for the foster daughter of Kyrgyzstan. She has repeatedly had to deal with suspicions that the American parents of children trafficked abroad as donor organs.

"Cases of organ transplantation in children in the United States are extremely rare," - she said. Most children serve as bone marrow donors for leukemia treatment for someone in the family. However, more often, children are recipients of organs from adult donors. For example, in certain diseases of the biological parents can give a child a part of his liver.

Among doctors there is a code of ethics not to harm and not engage in illegal organ transplants continues to Teresa Edwards. "There are times when the doctors come to patients who were transplanted organs in developing countries", - she said. In such situations, if a doctor there is doubt the legality of the operation, the doctor refuses to provide their services. If a doctor found guilty of violating their professional code, it denied a license.

"To do organ transplants in the U.S. illegally is simply not profitable from a commercial point of view," - said Edwards. That the cost of medicines and medical personnel ready to work illegally, paid off, you need to make every year hundreds of operations that would have cost to patients at least 20 000 dollars, it counts. Patients also need post-operative observation that after the illegal organ transplants they can not get from conventional doctors ... "It's hard to imagine such a market in the U.S." - concludes the doctor.

"Orphans should be raised in a spirit of national culture"

In Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union often heard the opinion that, giving children for international adoption, the state deprives them of the opportunity to know their own culture and language.

Sure, some children are adopted by foreigners are losing part of their native culture, leaving abroad, recognizes Dmitry Fasolyak. Children generally learn about their traditions of festivals and clubs, which they organize the adoptive parents.

"Many families go to the Russian Orthodox Church, Russian cooked meals and help children to retain Russian" - the director of the American adoption agency Linda Perilsteyn. Some families celebrate Christmas and Easter, watching Russian performances.

Much depends on the family - some parents try to teach children their native language and culture. Other families pay less attention to such matters. Nevertheless, most families tell children about their native country, and even carry them home, said Fasolyak.

But there are other cases. "Some children associate the Russian language with the language of violence and are trying to forget it", - says Dmitry Fasolyak. For these children a change of atmosphere after moving to a new country can forget about the fact that they had been abused in orphanages.

A society without children's homes?

For some Americans who have adopted children from the former USSR, it was important to adopt a child from a country where children are just in children's homes rather than in foster care.

Not surprisingly, these parents are fundamentally opposed to education of children in orphanages. In the U.S. there is no children's homes. American parents wishing to adopt infants, must stand in line. They are thoroughly tested before they are permitted to adopt a child. "There were times that the adoptive families were denied adoption because twenty years ago, they smoked marijuana or something stolen in the store", - said Fasolyak.

According to Teresa Edwards, in the early 1990's, American families adopt children mainly from Eastern Europe. In particular, Poland, Romania and the Baltic countries. However, as these economies develop, reduce the number of abandoned children and the increased number of local families willing to adopt. Today in these countries, foster care is almost completely replaced the orphanage.

"The ultimate goal of any state should be a complete deliverance from the children's homes" - Teresa Edwards said. Many studies have shown that the best place for raising a child is family, agrees Tom DiFilipo.
Other materials about events in the CIS countries, see the heading "Commonwealth and regions"

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