Recently with the change of government in Australia and the ascendancy of the pro adoption forces in Australia, one could be forgiven in thinking that adoption is back on the rise. I contend though that in reality this and others is one of the last signs that adoption as a means of creating a family is slowly losing favour and that we are now slowly entering the era of designer babies through commercial surrogacy overseas and eventually within Australia. Whenever a change in attitudes and thinking occurs there is always a last gasp from the old guard and whilst we must always be careful not to link child protection to adoption as a means for creating families or extending families, the statistics do show a world decline in adoption trade
In the past year there has been the closing down of the Seven day Adventists adoption programme LDS is shutting down because of the shrinking availability of local and international children and the business model is unsustainable. Catholic adoption services around the USA are shutting down because of the requirement not to discriminate against unmarried and same sex couple. Ethiopia and other third world countries are restricting adoptions to special needs and older children. Adoption Advocates international and other USA agencies are finding the going tough in relation to cash flow and are closing their doors. The following article from a pro adoption point of view is showing how they are blaming UNICEF for the decline in children. Yet UNICEF and others have worked towards keeping the children in country and with education help to advance their societies.
In Australia the situation is also the same. Whilst the federal government has been making noises and changing the rules to make it easier to adopt their own interdepartmental report indicates that the major delays in processing the applications to adopt are in fact from the countries where the children are and; that these countries are in fact trying to retain most under five year olds and are in fact pushing for foreigners to adopt their special needs and older children. What this means in relation to blowouts of health costs and and who would be able to handle such children is any ones guess because we all know a three hour class does not a special needs carer make. So as such the international market is drying up and no matter how much you change local adoption to be used as a choice for child protection purposes, it will never reach the numbers that occurred in the past. But that does not mean complacency as has been recently evidenced by Barnados recruiting a researcher from the United kingdom, a nation with a appalling record when it comes to the treatment of children at risk and their parents in relation to unjustified removals, to conduct a study on open adoption by researching 200 odd families. One would have thought that since open adoption has been going on now for over 25 years there would be adult adoptees they could research because quite often many of the issues arise later in life not when one is in their teens with other matters relating to life taking priority. So complacency is not a option even if I do believe adoption is slowly reaching a use by date. The fact is that long after the death throws there will be still be attempts. An example of this is the Eugenics movements was pretty well wiped out in 1945 after the death camps of Europe became public knowledge. but the influence emanating out of that movement was seen in Victoria with the priority spending on Technical colleges so the lower class children could be trained in menial labour intensive tasks. but the biggest ting that is making adoption redundant is the advances in alternative methods of creating a family.
People and society do not remain stagnant. When i was married back in 1969, Sheryl and i were both teenagers. Yet such a marriage was not the exception back then. Nor was having children. By today's standards, Sheryl and i are dinosaurs in that we were married so young and because we had children so young. In addition the longevity of our marriage is no longer the normal situation. So the idea of a forever family for children has changed dramatically. Also medical advances have allowed for the termination of pregnancy where a major defect can be discovered. Science is now also able to correct any anomalies whilst the child is in the womb. So we must ask ourselves why would any person who wants to create a family by other than natural means adopt a baby with a unknown background and predispositions when one can crate a designer baby and have the gestation completed by surrogacy. It is now a viable proposition for those with the ability to pay either via loans or with their own available cash to create a fertilised egg in a laboratory with all undesirable characteristics being removed and then heading overseas to a third world country for impregnation impregnation and birth. in fact some companies are quietly advertising the fact that the costs are competitive. In the USA a white baby can be obtained for adoption through commercial agencies as well as religious for about 30,000 dollars US yet you can go to Thailand or India and have your own designer baby for about the same price. And you know what you are getting unlike a adopted child. And we all know there is no thought as to the welfare of the young ladies in those countries after the have been used as gestational carriers. No wonder third world countries are keeping the babies; there more money to be made with surrogacy. And sadly within y lifetime we may the use of artificial wombs as the link shows:
Many people who read this may think i am off my rocker what with the federal government moves to make international adoption easier and moves by the NSW to make adoption of children in out of home care easier. The first point is that no matter what the federal government does to ease bottlenecks in Australia they have no influence in the countries who permit adoption which is where the waiting times are the biggest bottlenecks unless you have much coffee money. Most people wishing to adopt will not want anyone child over 5 or with special needs so that market place will primarily be restricted. In relation to the NSW moves, whilst they may concern some the fact is there is no proposal to bring back wholesale adoption practises which were practises in the forced adoption era. The moves are primarily in relation to children at risk. And whilst it is reasonable to say the NSW system does appear to be badly flawed, hopefully the senate reference Affairs committee enquiry into out of home care may bring some of the state practises to light and create a nation-wide standard in relation to protecting children at risk. So yes in Australia market place adoption is slowly but surely reaching its use by date and whilst i may not see it in my lifetime it is slowly becoming a international process