A US family have done it again - killed a newly adopted child. This time it appears that the father is to blame, with his defence being that the child was malnourished and when she awoke at 3 am, he tried to give her some milk, but she refused it....so he made her stand outside, across the road, under a tree. Who does that?? What kind of treatment is that of a little child? My heart goes out to her in her last few hours - she must have been terrified. It is completely heartbreaking.
And now, there is the anti inter country adoption drum being beaten. Of course no child should ever be killed, and especially by those who have been entrusted to care for them - that is simply horrific. But you cannot throw the proverbial baby with the bathwater. One incident does not negate thousands of hugely successful adoptions. Thousands of children who have escaped the deprivation they were cast into and who now go to sleep knowing that they are loved, and who wake up knowing that they are safe and secure.
Children who come into the care system will have issues. They have lost their primary connection to their mother and this is a wound that they will bear for the whole of their lives. But they are able to heal from the trauma, with love, with patience, understanding and the correct intervention through therapeutic parenting these children's brains will rewire and they will learn to trust and be safe. But it takes time and huge understanding. And potential adoptive parents need to be aware of this.
International adoption is the most scrutinised and monitored process in the world. We are analysed, checked, examined from every angle. Everyone operates in the understanding that children will be placed with these families who will love and protect them for all the years of their life. But it is not a fool proof method - and neither is birth. The US reports an average of 7.2 child homicides per one hundred thousand children. Adoption, like all of life, has its risks - one has to mitigate those risks. And factor those risks into the process. No one wants any child to be killed but no one wants any children to spend their lives in an institution, be kicked out at 16, and spend their days surviving on the streets either. UNICEF estimates there are over 11 million street children in India. So banning inter country adoption is not a solution, in 99% of the time adoption is the answer.