The following is an email that my husband sent to me after reading the link to Mei-Ling's post, "failure" (http://yoonsblur.blogspot.com/2009/08/failure.html). I wanted to share his thoughts. Here is the email:
After you posted the link on your blog, I was thinking about international adoption...
I know it's a very complex issue and that there is no perfect solution. But I started thinking about the reasons why so many people, particularly in Korea, end up giving up their children. It's a matter of support, right? The women in many of these situations feel they will not have the resources to raise a child.
So let's make it personal. What if you and I were thinking about adopting from Korea? In a practical sense, we would have to raise a lot of money and plan on spending a lot of money in the future to support a child, right? But then money, in part, is what is keeping the mother from raising the child herself. I think of JH for example. Would it be better that we adopt her child, or that we give her the money to help raise her own child (provided that is what she wants to do)?
I guess what I am getting at is that it takes the same amount of resources to support a child that isn't your own as one that is. Yet I don't really hear any enthusiasm about programs to do this--a kind of adopt-a-parent rather than adopt a child. Help the parent to have the resources to raise the child themselves.
I know it's complicated. I know that adoption is about more than helping someone--it's about love and wanting a relationship with a child. There's something that would be much less emotionally gratifying about supporting a child from afar than raising a child that becomes your family.
But I guess I'm with you as far as thinking that if a child is able to stay with their parents, that is often the best situation. I just wonder if there isn't more that people could do to facilitate what is ultimately best for the child. It seems strange when you step back and think about the money that is changing hands--from the costs of running orphanages, the cost of adopting and travel, etc. And in the meantime the birth mother is sitting there alone, wishing that she could have had a way to raise her child herself.
Even when well-intentioned human beings hurt other people deeply. I hope some day we are able to come up with a better way that doesn't end up in so much pain and loss for people.