Sunday, August 14, 2011

". . . and then we send them back to their parents."

Mass was interesting today;  we had a guest priest from India who spoke about a special project in Bangladesh that he was soliciting funds for.  Part of the project was an orphanage -- at least he called it an orphanage.

He talked about the abject poverty in this area of Bangladesh, and then he said that at the orphanage children were fed and clothed and educated. And then, after ten years there, "we send them back to their parents."

I've posted before about the fact that not all kids in orphanages are orphans, that poor families in poor countries use orphanages as temporary placement for their children when they cannot support or educate them.  It was interesting to hear confirmation of that outside the adoption world.

Zoe got it immediately -- after mass, she said, "that doesn't sound like an orphanage, it sounds like a boarding school." 


Sunday said...

I agree with Zoe, and I don’t think that is such a bad idea...even in this country where the chances of many kids being adopted into adequate homes out of foster care are slim…feed them, cloth and educate them and let them keep their roots.

윤 said...

Yeah, it's not a bad idea, yes it's like a boarding school, so CALL IT BOARDING SCHOOL. "Orphan" has such awful connotations. Don't make kids think/feel that they're something they're not, regardless of your "good" intentions. 9_9

윤선 said...

Oops, I forgot to fill out the rest of my details. 9_9

Anonymous said...

There are many homes just like that for kids around the world. It works and should be the first choice and supported if the family is having a hard time as it provides a safe secure environment for their kids. Not sending them away from everything they have ever known.

The problem happens when a different swoops in and assumes that every culture is the same or that their culture is the better way.

Louise said...

OK, nice and all but how about the kid's development and moral outlook while away from their biological family?
Do they get visitation?
Are their rights violated in any way, are they abused when away from their parents?
How about universal foster care, with visitation anticipating a return to the parents?
Boarding School (aka orphanage?) during the week and home on the weekend to see parents?
Just taking them away and sending them back? Huh?

Anonymous said...

I have to agree in part with Louise:

On paper, in theory...sounds great.

Children get to theoretically maintain their familial connection, remain in their culture of birth and it alleviates the issue of hunger, lack of educational resources, etc.

Except....except? So they spend 10 or more years without that family base; not part of the mores, traditions, celebrations, day to day fuctionality and life with a family?...etc.

Then they simply are returned? Gosh, can you just imagine the transition there?

And why? So these "parents" can now be supported by these children? Hope not! Why at 10 years can they magically educate a now 10 year old or older child...feed/clothe them? Are they strangers to this child? Is this child now on the verge of adulthood and still without an anchor? Or past shared history? Within a culture but not part of it?

Hmmmm...I don't know. Seems to me its sort of a band aid to repair a broken arm and not completely thought through. "Boarding school" sounds pretty enough but I doubt the reality is child centered or best for most kids.

P.S. In many countries this happens where children are "temporarily" placed by birth parents who plan/wish to return for them one day. The percentage of those who actually do return or are able to....very slim.

In the meantime those children miss out on a chance for a family/future.

Anonymous said...

I almost hate to post this link because I am sure "someone" will find an issue with what this organization has done for the past 50 years. And they don't deserve that.

There are proven valid good solutions that do not include international adoption. It can and does work.

Spend some time on the site and see just how much they do on the ground, what advantages there are, what they do for single mothers, what they do for the children.

Adoption is a bandaid solution whereas on the ground work helps the community.