Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Saturday, November 13, 2010

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month and November 7th was Orphan Sunday so there has been a lot of emphasis and information on adoption in the media.  As part of this media coverage there has been a "sour" note in some of the coverage.  This "sour" note  is the idea that international adoption is "un-American" adoption option.   I would like to clean up these myths from my perspective.  However, before I get started I want to make one TRUTH clear--Neither international nor domestic adoption is right or wrong or better or worse.  It doesn't matter where an orphan comes from, if God calls you to meet a child's need in the form of adoption, then you have a responsibility to answer God's call...its not about being American.  Its about being a Christian.

Myth #1:  Adopting kids from the United States is the "American" thing to do.  Adopting internationally brings new "burdens" to the United States.

A reader's comment clipped from the
Joplin Globe online edition
      Right now the United States has many strong "anti-illegal immigration" beliefs and I think this often gets confused with adoption issues.  When a child is adopted from another country, that child's parents must seek permission for their child to enter the United States and become a citizen.  As part of gaining permission, the parents must prove the child was an orphan, prove the adoption is complete and show that they have the income to meet the child's needs without welfare and verify that no other child in their home is receiving welfare. 

    For Mr. Workman and I, adoption was not about nationality, it was about being called to adopt.  We tried domestic adoption and each time were told no.  We were told no on our first international attempt too, but God used all those "no's" to bring us to the child that He had for us.  We never considered what others would think of her nationality or race.  We loved her from the first picture and we knew we were supposed to bring her home. 
Myth #2:  Internationally adopted kids have less "problems" than kids available in the United States.

    Warning:  I'm about to be rudely blunt!  If you are looking for a child with less "problems" to adopt, then you need to be adopting a pet and not a kid.  All kids have "problems" no matter if adopted or by birth and it is the job of parents to help the child with the problems that they face as they grow.

    Now truthfully some childhood experiences of trauma, abuse, starvation, abandonment and neglect place scars on kids that only certain parents are ready to pray their way through.  No matter if adopting in the United States or internationally their are kids with all different backgrounds and families need to consider which backgrounds can be handled in their home.  Some kids should be an only child and others should be the youngest or other with a single mom, but these issues are not unique to a country.  These issues are unique to the child.

Myth #3:  International adoption has less requirements and less oversight than domestic adoptions.

    Each country has different amounts of oversight and different kinds of oversight.  Some might argue that the HIV, syphilis and TB tests that we had to have for Haiti is more oversight than the United States.  Others would think the fact we got to pick our social worker to be less oversight.  The bottom line is ALL adoptions have a home study by a licensed professional which will include proof of marriage, income, expenses, mental stability and explanation of the home environment. 

Myth #4:  International orphans are not "really" orphans...their parents just cannot afford them. 

   This is a newer myth that comes largely from international aid groups who are trying to use orphans as a reason to leverage large amounts of money from the UN and countries like the US.  One group recently suggested that it could empty orphanages by offering families cash to take the children home, and I suspect that they are correct.  Extended family members and strangers would show up to claim their cash and their orphan, but I cannot let my mind think what would happen to that child next.

   Adoptive families must be a part of making sure their child's family was offered humanitarian aid and resources to keep the child.  Plus the adoptive family needs to check that the story of how the child became an orphan is true.  Parents should get the opportunity to meet the remaining members of the child's family and others who have been a part of the child's life.

Myth #5:  People who adopt internationally are just "showing off" and trying to be "trendy". 

   Oh, Brad and Angelina, you have supposedly made international adoption "cool".  (Shaking my head)

    Warning: I'm about to be rudely blunt AGAIN! If you are looking for a child to make you "cool", then you need to be adopting a pet and not a kid AND you need to go all out on the pet.  You should buy a purse for it to be carried in, and a diamond studded collar is not out of the question...just stay away from kids.

So this month, I'll be sharing some adoption facts and figures in my blogs...some international and some domestic because I don't know what God is calling you to do.  If you have questions about adoption in general or about our family's adoption experiences, please feel free to email me.  I'll try to answer your questions or get someone who can answer, if your questions are not within my expertise.
God sent him to buy freedom for us who were
slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us
as his very own children.--Galatians 4:5 NLT


  1. The things I'm learning today. I didn't know there was a mindset regarding national vs. international adoptions. Wow.

    Thank you for explaining it to me. And outlining the myths. It's important, it seems, for them to become debunked.

  2. Great post.... Linking over from Comfy Denim's response to my post.

    And "knowing" the ignorance/misinformation that is out there IS key to changing the information to truth. However, sometimes for me, the hardest thing about "knowing the truth" is also knowing that some just may never ever be open to hearing it. About adoption, about faith, about financial management, and so on.

    Which is why, over at another post of Dawn's, I said something to the effect that in the end, how I build my family has to be btw. God, me and my hubby, and my family. And I have to find the way to be okay with that.