Are you considering adoption? One of the essential choices you can make in the adoption process is determining which kind of adoption to pursue. Should you adopt a child in the United States, or should you adopt a child from a foreign country, which is probably severely impoverished? This decision should not be taken lightly, as there are immense ethical concerns to take into consideration.
Inter-country adoption is a very lucrative business, and many of the countries engaged in inter-country adoptions are known to have some level of government corruption. It means that government leaders have been known to receive bribes rather than engage in the democratic process and do what is best for their people. As a result, the countries remain in poverty, and many children go to orphanages. With sometimes tens of thousands of dollars exchanging hands in the process of an American adopting a child from a corrupt country, there is always a possibility that the child being adopted was trafficked. You want to do everything you can to ensure that you do not find yourself in a position in which you are adopting a trafficked child kidnapped from his or her own family to be placed for adoption.
Two countries to consider are South Korea and Hong Kong, if you want to adopt a child from another country. Both are relatively well-developed countries, but social stigmas are surrounding unwed pregnancy and children with special needs. Most of the children available for adoption from South Korea and Hong Kong have some level of special needs that keep them from being adopted by a family in their own country. High levels of transparency help ensure that these children have not been trafficked. Taiwan may match a prospective adoptive family with an infant or toddler, but these children will likely also have special needs.
Currently, some countries have open adoption programs for children who are five years old and older. These programs are less risky in terms of child trafficking, as an older child can communicate whether or not he or she was taken from his or her parents. These countries include Ukraine, China, and Colombia.
The easiest country to adopt from is your own. While the United States’ foster care system is undoubtedly broken, adopting a child from foster care can be much less expensive (it is often entirely subsidized by the state) and has virtually zero risks of trafficking.