Some of the West\’s biggest, and richest, nations – the United States, Germany, France, Spain, Canada, Belgian and Holland – are rushing through adoption applications in order to airlift children out the death and destruction in Haiti.
However, Save The Children, World Vision and the British Red Cross have called for an immediate moratorium on new adoptions until sustained efforts have been made to trace and reunite children with their families.
\”Taking children out of the country would permanently separate thousands of children from their families – a separation that would compound the acute trauma they are already suffering,\” said Jasmine Whitbread, Save The Children\’s chief executive.
On the one hand, we know that hundred(s) of thousands have died so there are a lot of orphans. We also know that Haiti, pre- or post-quake is a pretty shitty place to grow up. Getting out is the single thing that will do the most for anyone\’s, let alone an orphan\’s life chances.
On the other, yes, there\’s the possibility that those adopted might not be orphans, to the distress of those losing them and to the children themselves.
However, I have a feeling that the rush to adopt would rather fall in volume if this delay were to go into place. Yes, I know, raising a child is a long term job, not something that people ought to find themselves influenced upon by short term (even medium term) issues like the quake.
I have a feeling though that here we\’re seeing the perfect becoming the enemy of the good. The solution might be to use a base and pragmatic calculation. Will the lives of those adopted be better out of Haiti than no? Yes, I think is the clear answer there. Is there a chance that non-orphans will be adopted to the distress and anguish of the parents? Given the entire lack of a functioning government, almost certainly. But the balance of good done against potential evil seems to favour ploughing straight ahead.