Posts Tagged ‘adoption in Guatemala’

Article from India discusses relationship between surrogacy and adoption

Monday, December 12th, 2011

I believe family-making is an intensely personal choice. What’s right for me may not be right for you, and vice-versa. For some people, IVF, embryo or sperm donation, or surrogacy makes sense. For others, private adoption where a birth mother chooses the adoptive parents is the right choice.  Some 114,000 children are available for adoption through US foster care. That process best-suits many. It’s crucial that individuals know what makes sense for them, so they are able to be the best parents they can be to their children. If international adoption feels like the right choice, as it did for my husband and me, so be it.

Having stated that caveat, I’m posting a link to “Why Surrogacy Doesn’t Need a Celebrity Role Model,” by Lakshmi Chaudhry on the India-based website Firstpost. Chaudhry discusses the actions of Aamir Khan and his wife, who opted to discuss publicly their choice to add a child to their family through surrogacy.

The article interests me because it touches on the relationship between surrogacy and adoption, and how the increasing numbers of the former correlate to the decreasing numbers of the latter. In no way am I advocating for one method of family-making over another; nor am I excusing corrupt practices in either. I’m simply noting the relationship between the two.

Chaudhry writes:

Surrogacy satisfies the natural urge for a biological child that is genetically our own. Medical science now offers surrogacy as a last resort option for couples who may have remained childless. More importantly, it is also becoming a choice for couples who would have otherwise chosen to adopt. The number of surrogacy-assisted births are growing worldwide even as the numbers for adoption are on the decline.

In recent years, responding to cases of child trafficking and kidnapping, governments across the world have cracked down on inter-country adoptions. This laudable effort, however, has had an unintended effect, as reproductive health expert Karen Smith Rotabi notes:

With this new system, combined with problems like the recent adoption scandals in Russia and other nations, inter-country adoption has undergone radical decline and it is no longer the opportunity it once was for building families. In the US, the practice peaked in 2004 with 22,990 children sent to the nation as adoptees as compared to only 12,753 in 2009. As adoption has become more difficult, the global surrogacy industry has begun to surge to meet the fertility demands of individuals and couples seeking to secure healthy infants.

As a result, nations like India and Guatemala are instead becoming surrogacy destinations, where it is now far easier to rent a womb than to adopt a child.

Add to this the strict adoption procedures in the West, and you have increasing numbers of foreigners turning toward surrogacy as a quicker, less burdensome option. (more…)


YouTube video, Abandoned in Guatemala

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

If you care about adoption from Guatemala, please watch this powerful YouTube video, Abandoned in Guatemala: The Failure of International Adoption Policies. The video examines the aftermath of the December 2007 shutdown, and its effects on children sentenced to spend their lives in orphanages.

Every line in the film is telling and significant, but for me, one in particular resonates. It’s spoken close to the end, by a man who helped institute the new regulations:

“As a Guatemalan, I’m very proud that… our image of being the number one exporter of children has changed. The children have dignity. Guatemalans have dignity.”

How does a child sentenced to 18 years in an orphanage retain more dignity than a child adopted to a family who will love him? That is logic I don’t understand. As I’ve written on this blog in previous posts, I believe the issue of dignity–and its corollary, shame–is central to the debate of international adoption. Quite simply, countries are “ashamed” they cannot “take care of their own.” Instead of enforcing existing adoption laws and prosecuting those who break them, countries shut adoption systems down.

Certainly, in-country adoption by Guatemalans in Guatemala must be encouraged. Women in Guatemala must be empowered through access to family planning, education, and equal opportunity. In the meantime, what happens to the children who are abandoned every day, in Guatemala and around the world?

This video depicts the very bleak reality.