Greed is nothing new to our society. We invented it and then spend our lives either pursuing it or trying to avoid it, depending on who we are. Some of would like to proclaim we are innocent of greed but think about it, do you really need that car you are driving or could you share one with your spouse? Do you really need that cabinet of comfort food or could you survive on bread? How much money do you need to finally feel that it is enough? Do we have to own big screen televisions, IPods and computers or can we all agree that we have fallen into the trap of greed? I can attest my home is full of items that are only serves to appease my appetite for comfort.
However, when we combine greed with low ethics and a desire to rise above your impoverished neighbors, greed takes on a whole new meaning. The latest case of greed to catch and hold my attention is the child-trafficking scandal in China that has been blown wide open. Scum-of-the-earth criminals either steal or buy infants from impoverished or desperate parents iand sometimes supply the children to the orphanages in China, who in turn process them into the international adoption program. (See LA Times article here)
The ripples of this scandal are far and wide, damaging the reputation of international adoption as well as causing worry to the parents of adopted children all over the world. Later when the children are older and want answers about their origin circumstances, many parents will only be able to relay the fraudulent details made up by devious directors and/or criminals. How will this look to the children?
My strongest frustrations are targeted towards the Chinese government’s inability to follow through on investigations and strict punishment to all those involved in child trafficking. Some proven criminals are executed while others go free and are even rewarded in some circumstances! (see Brian Stuy’s post here)
Readers of my book, Silent Tears, have written me numerous times in the past few months to ask what I feel they should do about the dilemma of not knowing whether their children were trafficked or not. I don’t have all the answers but here are some of my thoughts:
1. Search out any websites with pictures of children who were trafficked to see if the photos match your children’s finding photo. Baby Come Home is one based in China. (You can hit the “Translate” button in top right corner of their website for English)
2. Keep an open mind and read all you can find on the issue of child trafficking in your child’s birth country in the pursuit of awareness.
3. Never pass along unproven details of your child’s origin to your child as truth. If you don’t know, tell them you don’t know. Do not make up fairy tale stories that they will remember into their adulthood.
4. Do not tell your child they ‘may have been stolen’ before they are old enough to process a statement like that. Talk to a counselor or other professional for advice on how to proceed at what age.
5. Carefully investigate any adoption agency that you are considering signing on with. Get references! Google! Research!
6. We can all support any attempts at setting up a DNA data base in China for parents of stolen children to come forward and have a chance at one day solving the mystery of their child’s whereabouts.
Also remember that many abducted children were stolen for other purposes and were not involved in the IA program. Some children are used as props for beggars or taken to work as laborers—there were even children rescued in one case who were still wearing their school uniforms while performing hard labor in a brick kiln. People will erroneously surmise that all of China’s stolen children can be found in homes around the world, living new lives with adoptive parents but the reality is that I believe it will come to light that only a very small percentage of the children actually were adopted. Many more are probably still in China, forced into unfortunate circumstances by the greed of their own people.
If you have any ideas or comments to share with others on this subject, please do! Perhaps there are other ways to deal with this issue that I am not aware of, and we’d like your input.
Most of all please do not let the cases of child trafficking steal your joy of raising your child! If you entered into the adoption program before all of this came to light, you are innocent of any wrong-doing. You should maintain a balance of being educated for awareness purposes while avoiding having your life turned upside down for something you cannot control or resolve.
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