Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Agencies & Ethics

Completely unacceptable.

This video is a clip from a recent story by Australian reporter Andrew Geoghegan, which aired last night on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Mr. Geoghegan enlightens his viewers with the sickening corruption occuring in the adoption community by one of the most well-known agencies working in Ethiopia.
The agency: CWA - Christian World Adoption. (yes, that C stands for Christian)

It's difficult to watch and raises a lot of questions; many go unanswered. The gist - open your eyes when going into international adoption. What happens in this video can be avoided. It should also be noted that CWA is among many. They are by no means the only agency operating with such paltry ethics. They just happened to be the ones on Mr. Geoghegan's radar. It is our job as PAPs to put the rest of these pathetic agencies on his radar and shut them down before they end up shutting down the entire Ethiopian program because of their antics.

Kai has a rule, which is: I can only worry about the people living under THIS roof. This is what he says when there is drama...drama with a friend. drama with family. drama with job. ha! Pretty good rule, yes? Well, today I must step outside that rule and jump up & down waving my arms to worry for one little minute about all the families beginning their adoption agency research and shout to them "RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH YOUR AGENCY!" This is the biggest decision you will make in your life. Do not rush. Do not feel pressure. Do read the fine print.

You buy a house - you can move. You get married - you can get divorced (you shouldn't, but you can). You adopt - you can NOT leave your child. Again, this is the biggest decision you will make so take that into consideration when you select your agency. Think about how much time you spent on planning your wedding (six months? a year?) and then buying a house (another year?). I speak from first-hand knowledge. We started back at the beginning after leaving our first agency. A very reputable one, I might add. We felt we were chasing them for information and getting very little in return so we left everything behind and started researching all over again. It's worth it.

I'm well aware of the unwritten rules in this new world we've entered that include tight lips on the actions of agencies, so much so that some agencies have a gag clause in their contract. This clause carries over post-adoption and they will NOT hesitate to sue you, should you overstep. The outcome: you can't raise a valid concern publicly and they are allowed to continue with their ways. Why shouldn't your agency be transparent and have accountability?
There are many, many people all over the world performing amazing work for international adoption. The problem is that it is a business. It is not a charity. And when money is involved, especially when there is a demand for said business, all walks of life will try their hand.

I will wrap this up by stating this is our little blog. We are not here to change the world, but you better believe we will not stay quiet when more than one validated case of corruption involving innocent families and children crosses our path. It may not be the PC thing to do while blogging about your adoption story, but we have no problem calling out any agency that crosses the line to such corruption. It is shameless for any person to assist, negotiate or turn their head to such blatant injustice to innocent families and most of all, children.

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