Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Few Thoughts on the Haitian Adoption Situation

In light of the recent Haitian adoption story, MinnPost interviewed transracial adoption activist and writer Jane Jeong Trenka. Well worth reading, but here's my favorite part:

MP: What do you think adoptive parents of children from situations like Haiti don't understand?

JJT: I feel there is such a lack of imagination. What I mean by that is, if you could imagine yourself being in the shoes of, say, a Haitian mother who has been separated from her child, and who is desperately searching for that child, you would not rush to airlift that child out of the country for adoption. If you could imagine yourself in the shoes of that mother, you would be working feverishly for family reunification and accurate identification. You would be working on building infrastructure in Haiti. You would be concerned about not just children, but also the adults. A little imagination could go a long way toward building a world that is more equitable, where everyone — children and adults — is given the tools to work towards improving their own lives and that of their families and communities.
Clearly, the bumbling Baptists from Boise lack this type of imagination and empathy, believing they're on a one-way mission from God, who must also be short in the imagination department.

One other piece of the wall-to-wall coverage of the Idaho meddlers was an AP story from the Star Tribune on February 2:
Since their arrest Friday near the border, the church group has been held inside two small concrete rooms in the same judicial police headquarters building where ministers have makeshift offices and give disaster response briefings. They have not yet been charged.

One of their lawyers said they were being treated poorly: "There is no air conditioning, no electricity. It is very disturbing," attorney Jorge Puello told the AP....
Treated poorly, huh, because they have no air conditioning? Does anyone have air conditioning in Haiti at this point, or even electricity? They're in the same building where the government's ministers are also working, so it sounds like it's the best the country has to offer right now, and this jerk has the temerity to complain about his clients' treatment? He should be happy they've got food and water and are being accorded an actual judicial process.

The story ended with these words:
Chuck Johnson, chief operating officer of the National Council for Adoption, said the arrests of the 10 U.S. Baptists would probably undercut his orgainzation's push to expand adoptions form Haiti as soon as feasible.

"Maybe the Americans thought they were helping 33 kids, but now there's going to be a much slower process and maybe even a ban on future adoptions..."
If I had a mind to, I might almost take this possible outcome as a message from God that He doesn't want these trans-racial adoptions to happen. But I'm not in the habit of speaking for God.

Update: The New York Times reports on another effect of the Baptist adoption enthusiasts: Medical personnel can no longer evacuate injured children for treatment in the U.S. because they may be perceived as kidnappers, and the proper paperwork is not available for most of the kids.
Before..., the largest pediatric field hospital in Haiti was airlifting 15 injured children aboard private flights to the United States each day.

But since the arrests, it has been able to evacuate only three children on private flights to American hospitals, according to Elizabeth Greig, the field hospital’s chief administrative officer, who has been in charge of trying to get the necessary Haitian and American approval.

At least 10 other children have died or become worse while waiting to be airlifted out of the country...

1 comment:

Blythe said...

These people have a mission--and no compassion. There is a fundamental brutality to their plan that stuns me. Why not invest in a school for the village where the children had none? Why not take the money they spent to get to Haiti and send a shipment of medicine? The only reason I can see is that such behavior wouldn't further their mission. They may have been blinkered by their belief, but that doesn't mean that they weren't as guilty of trafficking in children as others who swooped in to take advantage of the disaster.