Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Growth in Ethiopian Adoption Bucks the Trend

From the Associated Press:
As the overall number of international adoptions by Americans plummets, one country — Ethiopia — is emphatically bucking the trend, sending record numbers of children to the U.S. while winning praise for improving orphans' prospects at home.

It's a remarkable, little-publicized trend, unfolding in an impoverished African country with an estimated 5 million orphans and homeless children, on a continent that has been wary of international adoption.

Just six years ago, at the peak of international adoption, there were 284 Ethiopian children among the 22,990 foreign kids adopted by Americans. For the 2010 fiscal year, the State Department projects there will be about 2,500 adoptions from Ethiopia out of fewer than 11,000 overall — and Ethiopia is on the verge of overtaking China as the top source country.
The report suggests that this enormous growth spurs worries about corruption without mentioning any specifics (like here,  here,  here,  here, and here for reports of corruption in Ethiopian adoption), but goes on to say:
However, a high-level U.S. delegation — led by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Susan Jacobs, the State Department's special adviser on children's issues — came back impressed from a visit to Ethiopia last month in which they met President Girma Wolde-Giorgis.

"What's encouraging is they want to work with us, they want to do it right," Jacobs said in a telephone interview. "Other countries should look at what Ethiopia is trying to do."
(I posted previously about the visit of the delegation to a pilot project designed to help Ethiopian orphans in country.)

The primary sources quoted in the article are from adoption agencies, and the article makes no mention of specific charges of corruption, so it isn't surprising that the article paints a "rose-colored glasses" version of adoption from Ethiopia.

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