Trans4mind Home Page

International Adoption - Is It Possible To Triumph from Tragedy

By Stephen Morgan

In the early hours of Dec 26th 2004 the Western world awoke to the unfolding horror that we came to know as the Asian Tsunami. Those of us still recovering from obscenely large amounts of food and drink from the previous day sat transfixed as we watched a horror story of biblical proportions unfold before our very eyes.

The United Nations estimated that the Asian Tsunami left more than five million people homeless, including about 1.5 million children most of whom became orphaned. The outpouring of emotion from around the world was of mixed benefit as far as the region was concerned in that yes we all dug deep into our pockets and yes we all lobbied our Politicians to something about it and yes bizarrely this tragedy may have had some knock on effect in the movement to alleviate Third World debt and poverty but the blessings were mixed as far as the people on the ground were concerned.

Since the disaster, adoption agencies around the world have been fielding phone calls from well-meaning families wanting to adopt a child from one of the countries hit.

Adoption experts say the best thing people can do is to donate money to causes that directly help the children. They say it's wrong to take a traumatized child away from the environment that they have grown up in.

"Adoptions, especially inter-country ones, are inappropriate during the emergency phase as children are better placed being cared for by their wider families and the communities they know," said the charity Save the Children in a statement released Jan. 6, 2005.

International Adoption needs to be well planned

"The last thing they need to do is be rushed away to some foreign land," said Cory Barron of Children's Hope International, an American adoption agency. "We have to think of the child first."

Adoption by some well meaning couple in the west flying half way round the world bearing large sums of money to whisk the child away to a life totally alien to everything it has known isn't always what is in the best interests of the child.

It is worth bearing in mind the following facts after any tragedy like this:

Children will be experiencing an immense sense of loss and grief.

They will need to know what they feel is normal and that they're not going crazy.

They need to be with people they know and to feel as safe as possible.

They need to establish a daily routine as soon as possible to reduce their fears.

They should play with other children to have time away from their fears and allowed to have creative expression such as materials to draw.

Those separated from family members need to be registered as soon as possible and reunified quickly.

Putting children in a temporary care facility or an orphanage should be the last resort.

Around 200 children were orphaned and many more lost one parent when the Tsunami struck the district of Nagappattinam in Tamil Nadu state, the worst-affected region in India.

The local administration has handled scores of queries from individuals and organisations wanting to adopt the children.

But fears of human trafficking have made the government tread with caution. The emphasis now is on rehabilitating these children in the local communities. Suryakala, a district social welfare officer in Nagappattinam, says many children they talked to preferred to remain here rather than move out of the area.

The local administration has asked those interested in adoption to send in applications. But they are in no hurry to move these children out.

Around 60 children have been put up in an orphanage run by the Zion Church in Nagappattinam.

Parvathi lost her parents but has returned to the school to take her examinations. She visits her relatives once a month and says she prefers to stay in Nagappattinam.

Local charities and social activists have lobbied hard with the government not to "give away" these children for adoption. Aftab, a young activist, says he learned a lot from the aftermath of the Gujarat earthquake in 2000.

He says that in the past two months there have been several instances of representatives of organisations trying to "forcibly" take away orphans. Nagappattinam was one of India's worst-hit areas" The local community objected and expressed its willingness to take care of such children," says Aftab. "None of these children want to be moved out," he says.

The local administration, Aftab says, is still not clear about what it wants to do with them.

He has met representatives of different villages who back the idea not to move them out.

"Why should these children be sent to orphanages and homes far from here?" he asks.

Efforts by individuals like Aftab seem to have had an impact.

The local administrator's office has decided against any hasty decision.

One official summed up the dilemma faced by the government: "The issue of children is a delicate matter in any community... one wrong step and we will invite the wrath of the people."

Adoption experts are hoping the outpouring of interest in adoptions from the tsunami disaster might translate into adoptions elsewhere. The real tragedy is that the tsunami doesn't even dent the numbers of orphans worldwide, the real numbers are unfathomable. Most adoption specialists say the number of orphans globally may be somewhere in the range of 40 to 60 million"13 million in sub-Saharan Africa alone due to the AIDS crisis there, and many more in Russia, China and Latin America. Only a fraction of those children are in official adoption pools.

"We are hopeful that the tsunami-affected countries will eventually have an open mind to international adoption, says Thomas Atwood, President of the US National Council for Adoption. "But we're also hopeful that parents will look to adopt children in other parts of the world. There are thousands of children available for adoption right now. For those whose hearts have been tugged by the tsunami, perhaps this is a step in their journey towards another child."

So perhaps even after the darkest and most terrible of tragedies there can be some positive long term benefits and these are that whilst a large number of people may ignore the need or desire to adopt from within their own communities in favour of adoption with an International dimension this raising of the Adoption Profile and the inherent potential problems may well bring some of those new to Adoption back to considering Adoption from within their communities. The other benefit that can be taken from this whole affair may be the overall increase in the awareness of the concept of Adoption itself. If this in turn leads to more children being partnered with Adoptive Families then that can only be considered good.

About The Author
Stephen Morgan is the principal advisor for International Adoption Information, an independent advisory organisation in social and child welfare.

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

Support your personal development with these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • Public Speaking Fear ~ Banish speaking anxiety and nerves with hypnosis.
  • Motivate Yourself to Exercise ~ Build a powerful exercise habit that you can't break.
  • Get Rid of Fear & Anxiety ~ Stop worry and apprehension wrecking your life.
  • Self Esteem ~ Break the negative trance of low self esteem and give yourself a chance in life.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
This is our selection of favorites, but there's a session for every need! Choose from over 800 Hypnosis Downloads...
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

View all the Hypnosis Downloads here

The New Wave in Meditation Technology

Click here to learn more about the iAwake Profound Meditation Program
The iAwake Profound Meditation Program
is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...
Learn More and Download the iAwake Experience
We think you'll find this technology a tremendous aid on your transformative journey of becoming your best and most creative self - and you can get started today!
Copyright © 1997-2018 Trans4mind Ltd