But too few Westerners are aware that in too many countries, there’s a heartbreaking underside to international adoption.
For decades, international adoption has been a Wild West, all but free of meaningful law, regulation, or oversight. Western adoption agencies, seeking to satisfy consumer demand, have poured millions of dollars of adoption fees into underdeveloped countries.
Those dollars and Euros have, too often, induced the unscrupulous to buy, defraud, coerce, and sometimes even kidnap children away from families that loved and would have raised them to adulthood.
Since the fall of 2008, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism has been releasing our reporting on aspects of this problem. Where did Westerners get the idea that the world was overflowing with healthy orphaned babies in need of new homes? How is a child with a living family transformed into a “paper orphan,” adopted for someone else’s profit? Whose lives have been scarred by corrupt adoptions? What U.S. policy changes might prevent children from being wrongfully taken from their birthfamilies, simultaneously helping to keep Americans from unwittingly creating an orphan instead of saving one?
This website offers a collection of the Schuster Institute’s releases on intercountry adoption, as well as many of the source documents, independent research, government materials, and other resources that will help interested readers pursue the topic further if they wish.
Read: Fraud and Corruption in International Adoption | Gender & Justice Project | Schuster Institute | Brandeis University