Friday, May 30, 2008

I tried to be brave...

I said in a post below that if I were brave I would start an NGO to help single mothers in Ghana. An NGO to help them get registered for National Health Insurance...to help them pay for the child's delivery if they didn't have NHI when they delivered....to help with parenting...to help with getting back on their feet.

I got brave for a day, and was ready to do this. I just knew it was right. There is such a need. But I can't do it. Because of my association with an adoption agency, I can't do it. It might be perceived as me somehow trying to "find babies" for AAI (even though my goal would be to never have a mother place their child for adoption, and would just refer them to Social Services if that were the case). Because of the fanatical paranoia about "baby buying" and agencies trying to "find" babies I can't follow through on my pure (NOT adoption-related) idea for an NGO in Ghana.

I'm not mad at AAI for saying I can't do this (at least I can't do this if I still want to work for AAI). Merrily has learned through the years how pure motives can be interpreted as self-serving. I know she wanted to say yes. I'm not mad at AAI, but I am mad.

I'm so angry with the history of international adoption right now. WHY do people act unethically when it comes to innocent children? WHY do agencies "hunt" for babies. WHY can they not just do what they are supposed to do and help kids that come to them without pressure or extra gifts? Those agencies have RUINED it for others who just want to help!

How twisted is it that I can't start an organization on my own to help families STAY TOGETHER without bringing up suspicion that I am trying to help AAI profit in some way? For one thing, THERE IS NO PROFIT! WE PROFIT NOTHING!!!!

In the United States we are allowed to pay birth mother expenses including lodging, medical, and food for as long as she is pregnant and until 6 weeks after giving birth. But in a foreign country we can't give a birth mother medication to help her body heal after giving birth without bringing up suspicions that our motives are impure. We can't help a mother who wants to parent to get back up on her feet. We can't send her off with baby care items and a bit of money to start her own business. No...to do that would be considered "unethical" in the topsy-turvy international adoption code of ethics. We can't help materially or financially or we would be acting "unethically" (even if the mother was given the items so that she could parent).

I just feel sick at my stomach right now. At the same time, I don't blame foreign governments and US immigration for being leery of corruption in international adoption. I don't blame AAI for being cautious and not "allowing" me to do thi. How could they NOT be? They'd be idiots if they weren't! I guarantee there is some agency somewhere today that is asking how much an orphanage will "charge" per orphan they place for adoption. I guarantee there is some agency somewhere that is taking a short cut and having a death certificate "created" rather than doing it the hard way. So these foreign governments and embassies SHOULD be paranoid at this point--because of the history and culture that has been sickly created by greedy adoption agencies and facilitators.

Who loses? Families lose. Adoptive families and Biological families. Good adoption agencies (or even employees wanting to act independently) can't do anything really meaningful to help families stay together because there might be an illusion of impropriety. We have to be so careful that we are stunted in our own ability to help. If we aren't that careful we'll be lumped into the same group as those that are greedily trying to profit from international adoption.

I'm sorry to be so "down" on the blog this week. I love the "end product." I love to see children that can't be reunited with their biological families find a new hope and future in the arms of adoptive parents. I love to see adoptive parents discover the blessing of these children. I love it when it all works out well. It's just all of the things that happen to tie my hands from helping more that have me frustrated. I just wanted to help, but I can't, no matter how brave I am.

Anita
P.S. To my sweet AAI families...thank you for your kind words during my difficult week. You and your children make it all worthwhile for me.

6 comments:

Christy O 1:55 PM  

Is there a way someone else can get involved if you cannot?
mommyturtle@tm.net

HollyAnn 2:45 PM  

Amen and Amen! The dishonest in international adoption have ruined for those of us truly wanting ot do right by the children....and you are right, the governments and Embassies HAVE to be so careful...so many do not follow the laws!

Heather 7:20 AM  

Anita, what makes you think that you are not brave every day? Bravery is marrying a man with a serious illness even with the knowledge that you might not have the family that you intended, that you might lose the love of your life at an early age.

Bravery is starting a family knowing that you might be a single parent, doing the job of provider, mother and father.

Bravery is adopting a child that you know is failing to thrive or seriously ill. Even with the knowledge that you might know the unspeakable heartache of losing that child.

Bravery is going to a forein country for three weeks without the support of an agency, to fight for your child.

Bravery is speaking up for what you believe in, even though those beliefs are unpopular or when others try to tear them down.

From here, I see an incredibly brave woman.

Amalama 9:16 PM  

I think Heather said it all...

Fabu

Brandi 12:45 PM  

oooh, it makes my heart so sad. I agree with you on EVERY point! Why oh why does it have to be so hard? Why oh why do people act unethically or cut corners for the "good" when it screws up the system? Why can't help just be help? aagh!

Have you heard of House of Hope in Ghana? It is a home for single moms doing a very similar thing to your vision. Maybe just connecting with them, bringing donations and raising awarenss. . .

Brandi

A. Gillispie 7:51 AM  

Brandi,

Do you have any contact information for the House of Hope org you mentioned? I am VERY interested in learning more, as I haven't found an org in Ghana meeting the needs of single moms. I'm excited! I did a web search for "House of Hope Ghana" and came up with one orphanage and one home for the disabled, but niether spoke of working with single moms. Help!
Anita