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Adoption: a blossoming industry

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When we were adopting from a certain foreign country, we ran into problems. Problems with our facilitator not realizing that Kevin actually understood the local language, and was aware of the prices and expenses associated with living costs as well as official fees. From being charged 47 times the cost of a taxi ride for a ride to the orphanage by the driver hired by the facilitator, to trying to put him up in a smoke filled apartment for three times the price of the regular rent-by-the-month rate… yes, we were clearly to be taken advantage of. It was only through Kevin’s presence of mind and the assistance of his second cousin, a lawyer and expert in family law, that we could avoid having to pay twice the already agreed fee to this facilitator for… nothing. Being told that we needed to pay for monetary gifts to get the kids’ paperwork sorted out and so on and so on didn’t help the situation either.

One time when Kevin stood up to the facilitator, he was quoted the oft abused 27th verse of James 1: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” Kevin being the atheist Jew he is, completed the verse to the facilitator: “and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Being greedy and using others’ weaknesses against them when they try to do a good thing is clearly a sign of being polluted by the world.

In addition to being annoyed by certain agencies and “ministries’ trying to monopolize adoption as a Christian calling and only a Christian calling, the abuse of their own scriptures left me sad, and turning to my own favourite verse on the matter:

That’s Exodus 22:22-23, KJV. I photographed that verse straight out of my old English Bible. For those of you, who don’t like Elizabethan English, the NIV translates the verse as the following:

22 “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. 23 If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.”

G-d is pretty straightforward here. Of course, there are a number of arguements. Let’s look at two of them:

1) “But no widows or orphans are being taken advantage of! Just rich Americans are overcharged a bit here and there!”
By making the fees skyrocket with small extra charges here and there adding up to thousands of dollars, there are fewer families, who are able to afford adoption–or who believe they can raise enough money to adopt either domestically or internationally. In many countries that are popular destinations for families adopting internationally, the promotion of corruption makes adoptions more expensive once again, and often local families are turned away in favour of the rich foreigners. Because of this many children will never have a family, and those, who could be and should be raised in their own countries and cultures are robbed of that opportunity.

Laws are broken left and right to fuel in-country facilitation teams, to gain attention and the adoration of man. You remember that half sentence about not being polluted by the world? Breaking those laws is also afflicting the fatherless child: they might very well be the reason why certain countries will close their doors to certain other countries.

2) “But that is the Law! Christ fulfilled the Law, it doesn’t apply to us!” My only comment on that is… and you say we (Jews) are legalistic? I feel sorry for anyone, who so easily disregards passages, that make them uncomfortable. Misuse of the Torah is a different topic entirely, but let’s not  forget: G-d is on the side of the orphan. Not the agency, the facilitator or the ministry that make profit–or even just make a very comfortable living–from exploiting the orphan, taking advantage of their new families.

So please, before you decide to adopt internationally, make sure you know the laws of your target country, and you use an ethical agency or child matching ministry before you jump into something, where you let others rip you off in the name of G-d’s call.

11 Responses to “Adoption: a blossoming industry”

  1. You summed it up very well, Hevel. I’m going to link to this post, if you don’t mind.

  2. Annie says:

    I happened to know a woman adopting a girl from the same orphanage that Sergei was in. While we paid in all about $14,000 for the whole thing (apart from travel), they paid almost $40,000. In Russia they had the same facilitators, same drivers, stayed in the same hotel…. The only difference was that due to the errors made by their agency with paperwork, they waited almost a year longer than we did. They paid a high price foe incompetence.

    • Hevel says:

      We had to pay again for our American agency when their facilitator managed to translate 8 as 4… and we had to redo some paperwork. They still charged us a ginormous fee for facilitation by the same person in country, when I think, the agency should have paid for any paperwork redone because they messed up. They all but laughed in our faces when we suggested that.

  3. Christie says:

    What a GREAT POST! Well Said Sir Hevel! 🙂

  4. doesitevenmatter3 says:

    This is an excellent post! Excellent insight and info!
    I have relatives that were adopted during the late 70’s. Their stories are very interesting.
    HUGS! 🙂

    • Hevel says:

      I promised myself I’ll never adopt in/via America again. I am just apalled with the information that has been coming to light.

  5. doesitevenmatter3 says:

    It’s sad to hear about this…as there are so many amazing children needing loving homes. I have relatives who were adopted from Korea, Mexico, America. Then I have in-laws and married-in family from China and Africa. I am blessed to have a very diverse family. 🙂

  6. Andi says:

    Már tegnap sem értettem, és most megint nem értem…
    MOST utálom, hogy ilyen nyomi vagyok, és nem tudok angolul… 🙁

    • Hevel says:

      Ez egy ilyen post. Nem is értheted, mert amiről írok, az rendkívül távol áll a magyar realitástól. Nem felfogható, mert egyik oldala a történetnek sem lényeges. 🙂

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