domingo, enero 31, 2010

"These children need homes"

I was listening to the CBC radio and they were talking about adoption and how there is three times more demand for adoption after the Earthquake in Haiti. I think it is good to have a compassionate and loving intention of helping someone that is in need. But what struck most with all this devastation and natural&human mess in which more than 150,000 people died, and many more survived with physical and psychological injures, are the moments right before and right after the earthquake.

We have a country that in the last 200 years was manipulated, dominated, suffocated by many foreigners governments, mainly France and the USA, but also Canada and other European countries (and helped by government such as Cuba who sent hundreds of doctors). We also have a minor elite who had collaborated with the domination. We have to remember that in 2004 a democratic elected governmnet was deposed. In this context of manipulated poverty the need for help after a massive destruction and loss should, needless to say, be estimulated and expanded. But my argument here, and a feeling of uneasynes, is that it seems the easiest path to only look at the devastated present and the need for many children to have a home. But there is more going here.

1. The families of these children no matter how devastated are still there, so only thinking in the "best for these children" without considering what the extended family think and consider is not acceptable.
2. The whole system of adoption for middle and upper class parents from Global North adopting children from the poor countries has to be considered under an ethical gaze: Are they all ethical? This is connected with how the economy and job market work in the Global North with couples that wait to have children until the late thirties or forties, with lower chances to be fertile, on the one side, and, poor families of poor countries on the other side.
3. If there is a sincere need to help these children, and to give them homes, as a Canadian or American I would also try to push the governmnet in any possible way to let Haiti become free again, and helping poor families to raise their own children. It would be wonderful to add a word to what I've listened at the radio and say "These children need THEIR homes".
4. The other thing that exasperate me is to blame Haitian for everyting they had to endure: their culture, their religion, their lack of leadership... without considering how much they had to concede because of external pressure.
5. Canada, USA, France could also help by first erase any debts from Haiti to them, second, by allowing Haitian people in their lands to become citizens or have legal authorization to work and let them send money back to Haiti.

I am not saying these couples from Calgary or New Jersey are doing something wrong, but the whole thing with Haitian children being sent out of the country to new families, even if they are orphans, to me seems problematic. This is only a tiny visible part of a major landscape traversed not only by legal and ethical human adoptions but also by human trafficking, especially child trafficking. Trafficking which is also connected with other trafficking such as organ and others...

Anyway, some thoughts that came to my mind today.

PS: As an example take a look at this article where it says that 33 children (not orphans) were taken out of Haiti without papers

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