We've been talking about Chinese adoptions lately, and the new guidelines China has put in place. Today, the New York Times has a heartbreaking story about international adoptions from other countries, with a focus on the Ukraine and Russia. As strict as the Chinese adoptions are, they at least are not this manipulative*! The story is just a nightmare of things done wrong: bribes paid to directors, organizers, and agencies, older children being sent on "hosting tours" to potential adoption parents so that the parents can, and I quote, have a "trial run" at the children, only for everyone to become attached - and then the prospective parents find out that the child is not available for adoption, or is being fought over by multiple families, or that if they do want to adopt, they must come to the originating country and be shown a portfolio of available children which may or may not include the child that "toured" with them.
And this isn't even taking into account the child, who is often told upfront by the agencies that they are auditioning for their "forever family"! Many children "test" well, and so are repeatedly sent to different families, yet never actually made available for adopting - the hope appears to be that they will lure the families in to adopt other children.
The United States is in the process of attempting to ratify an intercountry adoption treaty with several countries, which supposedly includes a code of ethics to prevent these kinds of systematic abuses, but I have to wonder at how effective that will really be. And for too many people, prospective parents and children alike, it's way too little, way too late.
*At least from what I saw, as close friends adopted their daughter several years ago, and are now going through the process - following the new rules - to adopt a second girl. And as my "niece" is absolutely adorable, and has me wrapped completely around her finger, I am in no way impartial or objective about adoptions because of it.