International Adoptions- Helpful or Hurtful

While some see the issue of Haitian adoptions as a way to alleviate a mounting crisis, others see it as children being exploited and the adoption process becoming commercialized. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Madonna have glamorized international adoptions, making foreign children their new accessories.  In Madonna’s case, the father had been given false information that led him to believe his son would be educated and raised by Madonna, and then would be returned to him in Africa. He also claimed: “Had they told us that Madonna wanted to adopt my son and make him her own son, we would not have agreed to that.”

This process of commercialized adoptions is now beginning to rear its head in Haiti. The debate is raging whether these children should be adopted out of their native countries to new families where they will not have ties to their native family or culture. Is it really ethical to buy a child? It seems like the more money someone has, the faster and easier the process of adoption becomes. In Madonna’s case, to adopt a Malawi child you must live in Malawi for 18 months. Yet Madonna greased some wheels through her money and fame and bypassed this requirement. In the process she missed out on learning and absorbing the culture of Malawi to share with her child.

UNICEF has been waging a war against international adoptions, claiming that funding should go to the underdeveloped countries so that families have the means to raise their children. Sounds like a concept worth investing in!


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