I want to draw your attention to 16 little ones who are
growing up languishing in a Vietnamese orphanage, even though they have families desperate to bring them home.
I’ve blogged before about the cost of stopping international adoptions in light of concerns about corruption. No one wants to turn a blind eye to corruption. As adoption parents and adoption professionals, we have to be a vocal and active part in helping to protect vulnerable individuals involved in the adoption process. And yet, removing international adoption as an option for children who have no other opportunity to grow up in a family does nothing to solve problems–it simply shifts the burden onto the shoulders of the most vulnerable individuals involved–
Sure, if international adoptions are stopped, we’ve stopped potential problems with corruption. But, we’ve also denied these babies and children one of the most basic human rights, the right to grow up in a family. Even the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child allows that if a child does not have a family (birth or adoptive) in their country of origin, then international adoption is an acceptable alternative to growing up without a family.
All of this sounds theoretical, but we cannot lose sight of the real impact, the burden of which is borne by the children who wait and continue to wait… and wait… and wait… in conditions no individual could ever, with a clear conscience, condemn a child to.
- inadequate nutrition (approximately 1 cup of rice per day; very little protein or vegetables)
- no medical or dental care (1 child died in 2008; all of the children have extensive tooth decay)
- frequent skin disorders (scabies, heat boils, ringworm)
- oppressive heat and humidity (heat indices regularly above 100 & no air-conditioning)
- cramped living conditions (15’ x 20’ concrete room with 11 children in a room)
- sleeping and eating on unsanitary and filthy floors
- little stimulation, toys, play time, or education
- inadequate supervision (often 1 caregiver per room and left long periods of time unsupervised
For three years the families who were adopting them at the time of the
shut down have done their best to “parent” from afar. They’ve made many visits bringing supplies like food, milk, clothing–things that we tend to take for granted. In January, officials barred further visits, making the children’s situation even more precarious. Even so, these folks are still “parenting” by advocating for these children.
You can help. Here’s how:
Sign an online petition.
Email AskCI@state.gov and request action on behalf of these 16 children and the families waiting for them.