Thanks for stopping by! Whatever Things Are True covers politics, policy, and parenting in international adoption. Too often, the way we talk about international adoption reminds me of that old fable about The Blind Men and the Elephant – we tend to confuse one small part of the animal for the whole beast. Although I’m the mother of three via international adoption, I try to take a child-centered approach to adoption issues. I hope you’ll stick around and share your thoughts, too.

For More About International Adoption

  • All the Social Orphans
    Suffolk University Law Professor Sara Dillon on International Children's Rights and Social Orphan Policy
  • Center for Adoption Policy
    Center for Adoption Policy provides research, analysis, advice and education to practitioners and the public about current legislation and practices governing ethical domestic and intercountry adoption in the United States, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.
  • Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute
    Educates federal policy makers about the need for adoption reform, and coordinates efforts of policy makers and public groups to improve the lives of children.
  • Harvard Law School Child Advocacy Program
    The Child Advocacy Program (CAP) at Harvard Law School is committed to advancing children's interests through facilitating productive interaction between academia and the world of policy and practice, and through training generations of students to contribute in their future careers to law reform and social change.
  • Joint Council on International Children's Services
    Adoption advocacy organization comprised of adoption agencies.

« One Mom's Answer to "Why Adopt from There and Not Here?" | Main | Technorati »

December 01, 2010


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Hi Christopher,

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I may not agree with everything Andrea Poe has to say, but I do believe that despite its stated policy of support of adoption in appropriate circumstances, as a large organization with many moving parts, at times UNICEF both actively and inadvertently opposes inter-country adoptions that meet its own written standards of appropriateness. I base this on my own personal experience as an adoptive parent who had direct interactions with UNICEF staff in India in 2002-03. The UNICEF workers were all lovely people, but attitudes toward adoption among them varied, and in many cases revealed bias against the adoption option. I need to write a post describing what happened in more detail. I hope you'll come back to take a look.

Christopher de Bono

We are grateful to Andrea Poe for recognizing the value of UNICEF's immunization work around the world. Unfortunately, however, her column misrepresents UNICEF’s position on intercountry adoption. UNICEF supports intercountry adoption as one permanent care option for children in need. We have never sought to reduce the number of intercountry adoptions. In fact, we have provided help to national authorities and others to improve the efficiency of ethical intercountry adoption processes. And we are well aware that international adoptions have provided loving homes for many children.

Our first priority is greater support for families in need, so no mother ever feels forced by poverty or insecurity to give up a child she loves. Where adoptive care is the best option, we believe the best interest of each child must be the primary motive for all decisions. Adoption processes should be carried out in an ethical, transparent and legal manner because that is in the best interest of the children and also of adopting families.

We encourage your readers to look at our position, available on our website, at http://www.unicef.org/media/media_41918.html.

Christopher de Bono
Spokesperson, UNICEF

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