Sunday, July 3, 2011

Why tracking living kin is ethically necessary

From the blog, Rileys in Uganda, Keren Riley shares in her post, "For Little Hearts to Heal," about two siblings who had been removed from their mother and placed in institutional care for 15 months even though their father and grandmother are alive and desperately requested to care for them, but simply lacked the resources to retrieve them. (Please read the original post for the full context):

...the children's father visited the "orphanage" to see his children for the first time in 15 months and then he visited again today bringing along the children's Grandmother...I spent quite a lot of time with these two children in the early days and witnessed countless Western visitors wanting to adopt the little boy who always had a smile on his face. I would always tell them that he had a sibling and that would usually quickly turn them off the idea. Thank goodness nobody adopted them...

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt over the last few months is that not all children in "orphanages" are orphans, that they weren't all abused and unwanted. There are many examples of miscarriages of justice going on in the "orphanage" business and unfortunately, business is what it often is. If only "orphanages" started tracing these children's families and finding birth parents/extended family members who were given the chance to look after them and love them, then the landscape of institutional care would look very different here.

How can you say that these children's families don't want them, if nobody is even looking for them or giving them the chance?


Von said...

Some institutions would have sent them to adopters long ago in a financial deal that has no ethics or humanity.

Elle said...

I couldn't agree more with what you have written here you really do capture the most essiental thing (that very often is misunderstood or left out).Sadly it was exactly what happened to me... Anyways it's another proof of your excellent writing !!!