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Babies and Big Business: The Child Commodities Market

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mirah Riben       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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Adoption was once a social insitution to find homes for orphans. After World War II, increased access to birth control pills and legal abortion, and a lessening of the stigma of single parenting, coupled with an increase in infertility resulted in a demand for babies that outstrips the “supply.” And where there is demand – be it for diamonds, drugs, sex, or babies – corruption follows.

Adoption is racist. The scarcity of “white American-born babies” has led to an increase in international adoptions, fracturing family ties and heritage in what some are calling cultural genocide. Madonna was criticized. Angelina confounds. Westerners, however, continue to believe that adoption “rescues” orphans; though saving children from poverty, one at a time, does nothing to ameliorate the conditions that continue to produce them. And, many so-called orphans are in fact stolen, kidnapped, or their parents were coerced to relinquish them under false pretenses to be sold on the black and gray adoption markets with prices set by age, alleged health, skin color, gender and nationality.

As Americans import mostly light-skinned babies, non-white children are left behind, and the number of black, American-born babies adopted by overseas families has increased significantly in recent years, with black babies being placed with Canadian couples more than ever before. Adoption trends follow poverty and sociopolitical upheaval from Latin America to Asia and Eastern Europe. Since the 1990s, China and Russia have become the largest exporters of children for international adoption. Unrest and poverty in these nations makes them ripe for corruption and trafficking. In April 2007, the U.S. State Department confirmed that Guatemalan babies are kidnapped for adoption and other mothers pressured to sell their babies by corrupt, inadequately supervised notaries. The previous month, a Utah adoption agency was indicted for “systematically misleading birth parents in Samoa into signing away rights to their children while telling adoptive parents in the United States that the children had been abandoned and were orphans” (“Pacific Islands Report: Utah Agency Indicted In Samoa Adoption Scam,” March 5, 2007 http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/2007/March/03-05-01.htm). All of this while UNICEF is investigating child trafficking and babies being sold for adoption in Nepal (Nepal: Unicef On Inter-Country Adoption

 

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Mirah Riben is a human rights activist with a focus on families, children and adoption reform. She is author of two internationally acclaimed books - "shedding light on...The Dark Side of Adoption" (1988) and "THE STORK MARKET: America's (more...)
 

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