These last few weeks have not been good in the world of international adoption.

First, this article: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1004119.html, really highlights the current troubles with international adoption and the language used to discuss it (and the politics surrounding adoptions, too, which was the point of the article). Aside from the nearly-obligatory mention of Angelina Jolie, the article makes some attempts to analyze the situation – but the author makes a lot of disconcerting language choices. At issue are the myriad global references to “investment” (middle of article) and “getting a child” (last line). [Total aside – ER – that was a fine reference to a certain prolific researcher – ha!]

At any rate, the issue is really how we, Prospective Adoptive Parents [PAPs], see ourselves in the adoption process. It’s very consistent with the language used in adoption agency websites, which has always, aways, always bothered me. (This is the language used to describe children looking for families in the little clips describing the situation in various countries.) I cannot identify one single agency (to stay away from any potential liability – adoption agencies have a reputation to be ruthless), but it is almost universal language (just Google international adoption and click on the first link you see and check out any “country profile”). Consider this, the standard in the industry: “Boys and girls aged 12 months – 7 years are available for adoption“. WTH?!?

Here’s my reword: “There are boys and girls aged 12 months – 7 years looking for families“.

What, exactly, are we trying to accomplish – finding families for children or finding children for parents?

And, in other news, Kazakhstan reportedly suspended its international adoption program today with no warning.

These are a few of the things I think about when I wonder if international adoption is for us. I want it to be, so desperately. But at the same time, there are aspects of it that are heart-wrenching.

More on that later.

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