Singles everywhere are still faced with the arduous task of finding love. It’s a job many children up for adoption know well.So what do you think about adoption fairs? Photo listings? "Wednesday's Child" features? Up side -- may work to find a family for a child in need of adoption. Down side -- smacks of marketing, commodification, objectification; invades a child's privacy. On balance, is it worth it?
Potential adoptees often engage in their own pursuit of love, a speed dating of sorts called adoption fairs. At least 20 states run adoption fairs these days. Children available for adoption are brought together in a party-like atmosphere to mingle with would-be parents. The idea is to see if there is a mutual attraction. And like speed dating events everywhere, there’s usually an imbalance in attendees (sometimes the adoptees outnumber the prospective parents) and everyone wears nametags.
Alas these fairs are not all fun and games. Adoption fairs are ineffective, set the wrong expectations, and are damaging to the children. They should be eliminated. Instead of speed dating, kids would be better off if states used “arranged marriages” to place them in homes with certified “professional parents” – parents ready to handle all the challenges and joys that adoption brings.
I would know.
When I was ten years old in the early 80s, I participated in an adoption fair.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Speed Dating is Not For Children
From the Christian Science Monitor, a heart-wrenchingly personal and impressively researched article about adoption fairs: