Oh my. First, Reuters Online puts out an adoption story with minimal fact-checking, and now The Nation publishes an opinion piece by Columbia Law Professor Patricia J. Williams that is so full of international adoption stereotypes it's depressing. In Save the Children? Professor Williams essentially says:
- If someone wants to adopt for humanitarian reasons, she should work for an NGO or just go "plow a field" instead.
- People are adopting out of "missionary smugness."
- International adoption is a form of human trafficking.
- "In many international and interracial adoptions, kids are raised to look down on their origins."
- Adopters see children as commdodities that can be returned.
- People want "exotic" children.
- People want to be like Angelina Jolie.
- Many white adopters prefer a damaged and "catatonic" white Romanian orphan to a healthy African American child.
- Adopters are selfish.
Where to begin? For starters, can I just point out that Romania's international adoption program has been closed for almost seven years? That may seem like nit-picking, but really, if Ms. Williams is unaware of the drama and turmoil surrounding the closure of that country, how deeply has she delved into the facts and specifics vs. opinion, prejudice and ideology on the subject?
There is so much real child welfare work to do, so many meaningful ways that international adoption can and should be improved. Angelina Jolie is not the problem.
Please, if The Nation article bothers you as much as it does me, go leave Ms. Williams a helpful comment there. Let's talk facts.