When do regulations become red tape? | Redeeming international adoption - The Koch Family
The Koch Family The Koch Family

Latest news

جاري التحميل ...

When do regulations become red tape? | Redeeming international adoption

Over the last six months as I’ve been writingIn Defense of the Fatherless, our family has also been in the process of adopting one more little girl.
My book takes a hard look at corruption in international adoption – and how we as Christians should respond. The Bible is clear that we are called to protect and provide for orphans, widows and the least of these. I have been wrestling with the question: how do we defend orphans in a messy, broken world?
I believe children need families.
They need families more than they need anything else in the world. More than clothing, shoes, education, even food and water. This conviction is rooted in the Bible. God the Father, Son and Spirit are a family. We are created in the image of God. Family is part of God’s design. Mothers and fathers are called to protect and provide, to steward and nuture children. Our families are intended to be a reflection of the family of God. Families are to be communities of sacrificial love and overflowing grace.
If children need families, our primary mission in defending orphans is defending their right to grow up with a family.
There are 163 million orphans in the world today. This means 163 million children who have experienced the loss of one or both parents. But most of the world’s orphans live with their families: with their surviving mother or father, or with another caring relative. As Christians, we should defend the rights of children to grow up with their families, even if these families are vulnerable. These orphans do not need new families. This makes sense. If my husband died, I would be a widow and our children would counted among the world’s orphans. But they would not be alone, without the love and care of a family. If my husband died, life would be hard. Our family would be suddenly vulnerable. But the last thing I would want is to be separated from my children. So whenever possible, we need to defend the right of orphans to remain with their families.
At the same time, there are millions of orphans in the world who are truly in need of new families. Some of these children have experienced the death of both of their parents as a result of AIDS or war. Some of these children have been abandoned. Others have been separated from their families by abuse or neglect. Their families are broken and it would not be safe for these children to return home. These children do not need orphanages or institutions. They need families who will love, nuture, protect and provide.
But this is where it gets complicated. And where people take sides.
There is widespread corruption in international adoption. In many countries, a lack of regulation of the adoption process means that children are trafficked for the purpose of international adoption. Children are bought and sold. Poor families are bribed or coerced into plaicng their children for adoption. Sometimes adoptive parents turn a blind eye to the corruption. They don’t ask questions. They are unwilling to walk away even when they discover  corruption in their adoptions. They have been told there is an orphan crisis and they are willing to adopt at any cost.
Critics of adoption look at this mess and jump to conclusions. Some go so far as to say that all international adoptions are corrupt, that all adopted children are trafficked. They argue international adoption needs more regulation.
This is true. But it is not the whole truth.
Some regulations do serve to protect vulnerable families and children from trafficking. But many regulations make the adoption process more difficult and expensive. These regulations become red tape preventing orphans from being adopted.
Very few countries in the world are open to international adoption. Even fewer countries prioritize the needs of orphans and vulnerable children. Most international adoptions are from a small number of sending countries – not because there are more orphans in those countries but because most of the rest of the world is closed to international adoption. Likewise, many countries that are open to international adoption make it  impossible for many good families to adopt. There are restrictions based on age, religion, family size, income, health and weight. Furthermore, the adoption process in many countries is difficult and expensive, requiring adoptive families to travel for months at a time or costing more than $30,000. Altogether this means that thousands or perhaps millions of children who could benefit from international adoption wait – growing up in orphanages or on the streets or in poor quality foster care – because of red tape.
None of this makes sense.
If governments were prioritizing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children – and seeing that more than anything else in the world children need families – adoption would not be this hard.
There would be laws in place to protect vulnerable families and to prevent children from being trafficked for international adoption. Governments would take corruption in adoption seriously. These laws would consider fraud, coercion and the buying of children for the purpose of adoption trafficking – and would hold those responsible for trafficking legally accountable. These laws would make sure that adoptive parents are highly qualified. These regulations would carefully protect children.
But at the same time, these regulations would not prevent children who are truly in need of new families from being adopted. If governments prioritized the needs of the fatherless, adoption would be easier, faster and less expensive.
We know that governments seldom prioritize the needs of the least of these. But we – as the people of God – have no excuse. God calls himself the Father of the fatherless and the Defender of widows. We need to prioritize the needs of orphans and widows. We need to the defend the right of vulnerable families to remain together – and defend the right of children who are truly alone in the world to be adopted.
What does this mean for our family?
We are trying to adopt this sweet little girl from Eastern Europe. Her name is Lana. She was abandoned in the hospital shortly after she was born. Lana is living in an orphanage. She is HIV positive. She lives in a country where fear of HIV keeps her from being adopted domestically. Lana is legally free for international adoption.
We’ve completed our home study, our immigration paperwork and almost our entire dossier. We are waiting on one document. As we have moved to London in the middle of our adoption process, this one document has become a bit of a road block. We’re having a hard time finding the right way to get it done. Finding a way forward is taking much longer than we expected.
Regulation in international adoption is good, but it is frustrating when it makes the process harder, longer and more expensive. This is where we are at. We are waiting patiently, hoping for a path forward, trusting that God will bring Lana home.
I believe everyone involved wants Lana to be adopted, but working through the details is not easy. Would you please join us in praying for our paperwork? Pray that everyone involved would care about the sweet girl in this photo as much as we do. Pray that we would not grow weary in doing good.
Living as an adoptive family in London is hard. We feel very alone. In Seattle, we knew dozens of other adoptive families. Here in London, international adoption is rare. The UK makes international adoption difficult and only recently allowed white families to adopt black children domestically. All of this means that our family is very conspicuous. Many people are kind and curious about adoption. Others are critical. Discrimination is very real in London – and there seems to be a very real divide between people of African or Eastern Europe heritage and the British. As an American, African, Eastern European family walking around in this city, we will be challenging many peoples assumptions. Answering questions about adoption is a tremendous opportunity to share our hearts and even the Gospel – but it’s also exhausting.
With this exhaustion comes a weariness. I am tempted to despair, to worry that living as an adoptive family in London might be more than I can do. I know I cannot rely on my own strength. And I also know that this is where God wants us to be. And that we should expect opposition if we are following Jesus. So please pray for renewed strength as we try to honor Jesus and love this city.
Please also pray for Lana to come home. And if you feel led, would you consider giving to support our adoption? We’re the featured family on Give1Save1 this week. We’re asking everyone to give $1 – and to challenge their friends and family to do the same. 


If you like the content of our blog, we hope to stay in constant communication, just enter your email to subscribe to the blog's express mail to receive new blog updates, and you can send a message by clicking on the button next ...

إتصل بنا

About the site

author The Koch Family <<  Welcome! I'm so glad that you stopped by Your Modern Family blog. Together, we will talk about raising kids, organizing the home and saving money! and Tips & tricks and more…

< Learn more ←

Blog stats

Sparkline 2513183

All Copyrights Reserved

The Koch Family