I started answering some of Jan’s questions about ethical international adoptions yesterday. She wanted to know why families ignore warnings and take the risk of an unethical adoption?
Yesterday I wrote about the sometimes useless and general warnings that adoptive parents receive from the US State Department and US Embassy in Kyiv. Today I want to flash back into past. I want to discuss how ethics played a role in my decision to adopt from Ukraine.
When I started researching adopting 1999 I quickly discovered that there was too much information. So I used unbiased web sites (AKA they weren’t trying to make money off me) and statistics to narrow down my choices.
I used my sense of right and wrong (ethics) during the entire decision making processing. Actually I tend to use my ethics all the time.
This doesn’t mean that I am perfect. I sometimes drive over the speed limit. I know it is wrong, but I do it anyway. And sometimes I get imperfect information and therefore make an unethical decision accidentally.
I took about a year to research my adoption options. And I am not unusual. I know many families that researched adoption for six months to one year. There are just too many opportunities for adoptive parents to be ripped off and abused.
Here are just a few examples.
A Child’s Hope International (David Bentley/Dolinsky) – Dolinsky’s past links to pornography raised serious character questions and troubled those active in the international adoption community.
I finally decided to adopt from Ukraine because it met all my criteria.
- children 3 years or older available
- centralized adoption authority
And I ethically felt comfortable with the Ukrainian adoption process. I wasn’t buying a child. I would purchase services along the way. I would pay the Ukrainian government $0. There was no linkage between money and the availability of children.
But the tipping point for me was Cathy Harris’ first Ukrainian adoption. She traveled to Ukraine in 1998 and had a very difficult time. But in the end she completed her adoption.
Cathy’s story gave a sense of certainty. If she could do it then I could too.