Haiti has already been a trading ground in the past for traffickers, and the natural calamity is making the situation even worse now. Unicef adviser Jean Luc Legrand has reported that children have gone missing from hospitals, and we have started seeing the first evidence of trafficking. Trafficking networks are springing into action, taking advantage of the weakness of local authorities and relief coordination to kidnap children and get them out of the country.
It is clear that orphans are at risk of being separated from their family, and the well-meaning moves by Westerners to adopt the children could be considered abuse. Some efforts have been made by welfare groups to call for an immediate moratorium on new adoptions until sustained efforts can been made to trace and reunite children with their families.
When you see any child who has lost his or her family on the news, your natural instinct is to want to go and pick the child up. Of course, sometimes international adoption is the right solution for a child, but far more often it is not. Children who have started growing up in a community and lost their parents still have some inner security from knowing their environment.
Even though Westerners may find it a worthy cause to provide a lending hand to raise an orphan child, when the child turns 15 and is in enormous need of signpost for his identity, it would be difficult for him to undergo the trauma once again. It's not abuse in the sense of mistreatment, but it's abusive in the sense of making a permanent break.
The best option is to provide a loving environment that is culturally local where children can feel secure.
We as a social human race need to understand that children can be happy in their original habitat and with their families.
The most important message about children, whether they are orphaned or not, is the fact they desperately need our help at this point of time. Please help us prevent children from being sold into adoption. You can go to www.troniefoundation.org for more info on today's slaves.
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