Whether on a short-term immersion, or long-term service experience, many of us have held children in an orphanage. It is hard not to be moved to try to help improve their lives in some way. Discerning a call to global citizenship, some have gone on to work in international adoption or have chosen to become parents who adopt internationally.
The Seattle Times recently featured the story of Jenni Lund, the now-legal mother of two-year-old Pukar. They wait in Nepal alongside other parents and children, as US visa regulations won't allow her to bring Pukar to her home to central Washington without clear proof that he had been abandoned. Such documentation is virtually non-existent there. Meanwhile proof exists that some orphanage directors, who benefit from getting children adopted, have threatened local parents to forfeit their children.
Stopping visas puts pressure on Nepal to improve documentation in hopes of reducing the influence of child trafficking. In the meantime, children remain in orphanages, and the prospective parents, many of whom are deeply invested (financially and emotionally), are left with dim prospects.
Read Nancy Bartley's Nov. 1 article Nepali adoptions investigated; U.S. parents agonize.
Do you have a connection or experience related to orphanages or international adoption? Please share your thoughts and comments below...