Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gender Equality & International Adoption -- Are They Connected?

-- Dee made a special mention of Jane Jeong Trenka's latest blog post about IA in the comments to my post about Michael Gerson's treacly pablum about international adoption.


--Bukimom made a comment to the same post about what role adoptive parents should and could take to work for elimination of China's one child policy.

So I thought I'd share this particular part of Jane's post:
Click here for gender gap rankings from the World Economic Forum. South Korea ranks 115th in the world, between India (114) and Bahrain (116). In the general pattern, I think you can see that countries with high gender equality = “receiving countries,” such as Norway (3), France (18), and the U.S. (31). Countries with low gender equality = “sending countries,” such as Ethiopia (122) and China (60) and the Russian Federation (51). What does that mean about what women really want for the babies they give birth to? Are women really exercising “choice” when they “give” their children for adoption?

In the case of South Korea, I think that the international adoptions enable the government to avoid making a real social welfare system to support unwed mothers. They also enable the government to fail to create a real culture of ethical domestic adoption. Because of this, we are faced with illegal domestic adoptions that are called “secret” (because not even the adoptee knows), and that is a real problem. Both are huge problems and the government must deal with it. We have been waiting for 60 years!
So, is there a connection between gender inequality and international adoption?  It seems inescapable that the answer is yes, doesn't it?  Is the one child policy in China an instance of gender inequality?  Again, that has to be answered in the affirmative, doesn't it?  So perhaps there's an obligation that adoptive parents work for gender equality around the world.

Here's a small start -- how about encouraging the U.S. to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)?  Go here to learn more.

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