Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Culture of Adoption
I am taking a class on multicultural counseling, and we had to do a cultural immersion project. We got to choose the culture, so I asked if I could study the culture of adoption. Obviously, I was super excited when my professor responded that she thought that was a great idea that had not been done before. We had to read some professional literature and internet sources on our culture, and write a summary of our findings. Reading and writing gave me a new perspective on the culture of adoption, and I wanted to share it:
I chose to study the culture of adoption. My husband and I are adopting internationally, and I would love to learn more about adoption as a whole. I have found that once we started our adoption a new culture emerged in my worldview. I am now connected with families all over the nation. The culture of adoption is special because it is not defined by ethnicity, but combines many ethnicities to make new families. Currently the number of adoptions has declined severely over the past decade (Samuel Goldwyn Films & Jutunen, 2012). Part of the Hague treaty that was enacted in 2005 involves stricter guidelines that countries must follow to be approved for adoption with the United States (Samuel Goldwyn Films & Jutunen, 2012). Many countries are not complying with the strict standards, and the United States is closing down countries that may not be entirely corrupt. The Hague treaty was put in place to protect children, but not it has created a situation where fewer children are finding homes. Guatemala has been closed for many years, and is now building super orphanages that can hold over 700 children (Samuel Goldwyn Films & Jutunen, 2012).
Part of the problem is that a lot of the literature on adoption focuses on the difficulties such as attachment disorders, academic issues and behavior problems. These issues are a real part of adoption, but they are not the only part. Once one becomes part of the adoption community, and sees adoptive families first hand he or she can see the joyous part of adoption. Adopted children may face many more difficulties, but they also achieve many victories. To be part of the adoption culture means to celebrate these victories along with other families, and to hope to see the same joy in your own family one day. I have learned that adoption culture means being an advocate, not just for the child that you want to adopt, but for all orphans. James 1:27 calls us to be part of this culture in saying, “ Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Samuel Goldwyn Films, & Jutunen, C. (2012). Stuck [DVD]. Available from www.stuckdocumentary.com