Are we causing Child Trafficking?

One of the blogs I follow took on a really tough subject today. Lori Printy is an adoptive mom of 6 kids, 3 of whom are adopted internationally. In her blog here she asks the hard question: What role do international adoptive parents play in child trafficking?

This is such an hard, awkward, uncomfortable subject. I appreciate that she is taking it head on, and that she forced me to examine and articulate my answer. The following is what I wrote:

What a good question, Lori. It's one most people, including me, are afraid to look at too closely.

I am an adoptive parent waiting on the last couple of months of paperwork for a special needs adoption from China. As much as I know my motives, and those of the vast majority of adoptive parents, are good, loving, moral ones, I know that the money I am "donating" in China is a powerful incentive for child trafficking. I also know that every child deserves a family, not an institution, to grow up in.

In my case, my daughter was probably abandoned because of her birth defect. This gives me some comfort because I can be fairly certain she wasn't stolen. But the whole system that makes a mother abandon her child for the sake of medical care is most certainly very broken. Now that she has been abandoned, the choices for her no longer include her birth family, at least until she is older and we can seek to find them.

I sit uneasily with the fact that someone's tragedy will become my blessing. Only huge changes in government would fix the problem that made my daughter available to me. But generally I would love to see the profit margin removed from the adoption equation. That would remove the incentive for the trafficking of children.

Lori, I saw that you are going to the Empty Stroller March. My husband and I will be there - I hope to meet you.

Hopefully many more people will comment, and this will spark a good discussion on a very hard subject. Check out her blog and see what people are saying.

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