International adoption not the only answer

November 26, 2012

In response to the recent commentary by Howard Alstein ("International adoption, once common, dries up," Nov. 13), the real story about what happened to international adoption is about poverty and the lack of investment in women.

Trafficking and the coercion that everyone loves to cite as a root cause for the end of international adoption did not play a large role. The Hague did, however, crush adoption through unneeded bureaucracy. We need transparency to determine orphan status, but what we really need is social work infrastructure to help women get education so that they can keep their children and have healthy families in their own countries.

True, orphans deserve permanency, and the Hague took that opportunity away. We see families agonize to stay intact, and we need to do a better job to help families achieve economic strength so that their children are not relinquished or abandoned. Adoption should always be an option, but it is not the solution to hundreds of millions of orphans around the world.

Dr. Jane Aronson, Maplewood, N.J.

The writer is found and CEO of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation.

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