Friday, October 3, 2008

Panel Promotes Foreign Adoption

Not in the U.S., but in Czech Republic:

Local institutions have joined an international effort to break down bureaucratic obstacles preventing foreign couples from adopting Czech children.

At a Sept. 24 conference in Brno, south Moravia, addressing international adoption, a panel of European experts agreed that children should be placed within their country of origin as much as possible, but stressed that other options must be made available.
A mere 277 Czech kids have been adopted by foreign families since 2000, when the Czech Republic ratified a Hague convention on adoption and child protection. These children, predominantly of Roma origin, often find their new homes in Denmark, Germany or Italy.

“Czech parents are very picky. They practically require a warranty with their adopted child,” said panelist František Schneiberg from the Institute of Social Medicine and Public Health. “They expect guarantees that the child will be always healthy, extremely talented, get good marks at school and go to university. Foreign parents are much more tolerant.”

Aside from this comment, most panelists skirted the exact reasons behind the difficulty in placing children with suitable families in the Czech Republic. However, Lenka Pavlová, director of the government Office for International Legal Protection of Children (ÚMPOD), reluctantly hinted that prejudice and racism in Czech society prevents locals from adopting underprivileged children.

Could well have been in the U.S., though. After all, the U.S. isn't just a receiving nation in international adoption, we're a sending country, too. I find that that fact surprises many people. After all, sending countries are supposed to be poor and undeveloped . . . .


wblossom said...

I had no idea that was going on; and I consider myself fairly well informed in the adoption world.

Wendy said...

It was only after I became an AP that I learned we were a sending country too (other than a few Canadian adoptions). I really feel that any country that cannot feed or give good care for their orphans should consider looking for families outside of their country, but I feel it is a last resort and should only be a temporary solution; it would give time to better educate and set up systems for domestic adoption. I am hoping that is what China is doing now. I know the long held attitudes about people with visible needs will take time overcoming and the sn program should continue until those children are wanted in their home country, but the nsn program is unnecessary--there are many families in China waiting to adopt and it should be MUCH easier for them to do so--the big money in adoption has to end.