Have we ever wondered what the fate of adopted infants and children will be other than the common imagination and wishes of the children living a lavish life with the new parents? It is unquestionable that there are so many wonderful adoptive parents that changed the life of many children, nurtured them with love and prepare them for success. But on the other hand how many of them were imposters endangering the life of several children and victimizing them? Until when will adoption continue to be the big money making business by many?
Keeping the holy idea of adoption in mind, it will also be wise to mention about its dark side particularly the International adoption which is increasing and becoming a common practice by individuals coming from western countries to developing countries where adoptees or the so called “orphan” kids are found. It’s been quite some time since individuals from overseas adopt and take children mainly from poor countries of Africa, Asia & South America. But what is really the fate of the adoptees after that? Do they live a good life? Do these poor kids get parents that will love and take care for them as their own children? Personally, my answer to this will be both YES and NO. It has been a while since the adoption issue start boggling my mind and I begun to wonder and talk about it with family members and friends from the time I started noticing the large number of infants and children taken away from their country almost on a daily basis through the Addis Ababa Bole Int’l airport to different parts of Europe and U.S.A. I would say that’s when I slowly begun to wonder what the destiny of the children might be?
Just like everybody else when I first saw the adopted kids dressed up neat, holding toys and being hugged, carried or pushed on a baby stroller by their seemingly happy and smiling adoptive parents, preparing to board a plane to Europe or America, my heart delighted for both the parents and kids until the day I began to notice how similar individuals (“adoptive parents”) take various children at different times. I began to wonder as to what really might be going on in the name of adoption overseas and start to doubt the process and its purpose which slowly changed my happiness to sadness when I think about adoption.
I can never forget the day where I saw and heard an Ethiopian toddler being held in the arms of his adoptive parents (Caucasians) crying out loud nonstop, saying few words he knew in his native language: “Ababa…baba…yetale baba…” who was basically calling out for his dad saying “ Baba… Baba… where is Baba?..” That filled my eyes with tears and gave me a heavy heart to see this baby who obviously has someone he loves and calls “Baba” from whom he doesn’t want to separate is being taken away by total strangers with a decision that was not his own. If it was for the betterment of him, we can say let it be….but it will still leave us with a question as to how the man he calls Ababa gave the child away for adoption and if he will ever have the chance to hear the wellbeing of him.
After moving to the U.S, my questions and doubts start to grow and even get a clear answer of how some adoptions have hidden motives behind by some adoptive parents and as a result how the children suffer in the hands of their new parents. A couple of years ago in New Jersey, I heard an African American woman talking to her friend at a beauty Salon how she has a plan to adopt a child from Haiti so she can get a child support from the government. She tells the other woman how she will only spend around 200 dollars for the child each month and how the rest will be her profit and even claims that the support will be more if the child is disabled. I was really shocked and sad when I heard this woman who basically wants to make a profit at the expense of the life of orphan children. It was my wish to get her name and report this to the authorities but I was at a loss in proceeding with that other than mentioning what a heart wrenching idea that was. That again left me wondering how many people might be doing this everywhere and how many kids suffer and face trauma as a result? A friend of mine was telling me that there is also a chance of these poor kids being their organs stolen too. How sad and frustrating is that??
The case of Hana Williams, who was adopted from Ethiopia and was taken to Washington state to live with her adoptive parents who instead lived a living hell, suffered, starved and killed by her adoptive parents Larry and Carri Williams who then were convicted of manslaughter for her death had attracted the attention of some medias in the U.S through a strong fight of the Ethiopian Community and also memorized in social medias by caring individuals. In addition to that, the recently released video under the title “ Unwanted in America” about three adopted children from Ethiopia who then suffered in the hands of their adoptive parents and ended up becoming homeless, has got the attention of the Ethiopian community in Seattle as well as Ethiopians and none Ethiopians in other states that care about a human life and stand against such cruelty to provide these kids with shelter, food and other necessary assistance including legal fees to clear the name of the adoptee among the three who was falsely accused by the adoptive parents and also to bring the abusive parents to justice.
As the wisdom book says: “Blessed are those that are pure in heart”. Genuine adoptive parents who give love and care to their adopted children and who go by the true purpose of adoption deserve our appreciation. At the same time, a lot has to be done to stop the inhuman act on the voiceless infants, children and young adults by the so called adoptive parents who are simply using the adoptees as an income generating commodities rather than a precious human life.
* The author, Meaza Moges, is an Ethiopian residing in the United States.