Like all human experiences, adoption can be a hugely positive, enriching one. It can, however, very occasionally be a disheartening, heartbreaking one. It seems fair to say though that the process leads to a far greater number of happy, life-long outcomes than tragic ones. It, if all goes well, opens a door for a lost child while giving new meaning and purpose to adoptive parents’ lives.
Social evolution, and the legacy of so many child-centred scandals, means domestic adoption is not as common as it once was. Foreign adoptions are even less frequent than a decade ago, they are down 82% in eight years. There were just 33 foreign adoptions last year but there were 188 in 2011.
Even if there are many reasons for this, some official, some less so, this is a tragedy. Some couples long for the opportunity to share their world and the opportunity they can gift, their love too. There are, sadly, more than enough abandoned children in our world to match this craving.
Children’s charity Barnardos has pointed to the legislative changes and the international agreements needed to make this happen. It is, for all sorts of obvious reasons, essential that any international adoption process be administered properly to ensure children’s needs and rights are always paramount.
That should not dissuade legislators from trying to break this human bottleneck especially as there are very few processes where the reward to effort ratio is as high.