Child Adoption dropped drastically around the world - Seeker's Thoughts

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Child Adoption dropped drastically around the world


Every day, an estimated 5,700 more children become orphans. There are roughly 153 million orphans worldwide. Children are often relinquished due to war, natural disasters, poverty, disease, stigma, and medical needs.


Several countries like the democratic republic of Congo and Russia, all of which have discontinued intercountry adoption, the top three intercountry adoptions to the USA are China, India, and South Korea. 

Of these three, there are rough, 0.5 million orphans in China, 20 million orphans in India and 17,000 orphans in South Korea. Each year these numbers keep rising according to the UNICEF data...


Why the number of Orphans Drops around the world?

Around the world, government and private groups are working to get children out of orphanage.

In the past, Eastern Europe placed children in orphanages at the highest rate in the world. Now it is the center of the movement to empty them.

In Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, the orphanage population has dropped from 11,000 to 2,000 since 2011.  Aid groups did this by reuniting children with parents and establishing foster care services.



Neighbouring Bulgaria used family-style care centers to remove children with disabilities from a state institution. In Bulgaria, the orphanage population drastically dropped. Along with Georgia.

The European Union has provided millions of dollars in aid to support child reforms. Private aid agencies like hope and homes for children have helped place children with foster families or smaller homes where they experience a more usual childhood.

In Russia however, child welfare reforms have been slower.



In China, most orphans are children who surrendered because of medical issues.

Many families, especially in poor rural areas, cannot support a child who will face high medical costs. 

Chinese babies the medical problems would often be left alone in fields and other public and private places, as a result.

In 2011, China responded with an experiment. The government established so-called “baby hatches” attached to the orphanage. The hatches provided parents a safe place to leave children they could not care for.
                                  
However many of the programs were suspended after being flooded with hundreds of children. Still, the number of adoption in china has steadily fallen.

In India, the government says there are 20 million orphans and abandoned children, some orphanage receives government inspection to enforce rules of care. However, there are hundreds of privately-run centers that are not inspected.


Haiti suffers from extreme poverty and the ever-growing number of orphaned children. There are about 35,000 children in 814 homes, according to Haiti’s social service agency. Cases of illegal adoption are common. 

Haitian parents also report of being tricked into placing children in orphanage seeking international adopters.




The Haitian government created new restrictions on adoption after the deadly earthquake there in 2010. About 150 homes have been closed since 2015.

In Africa, Rwanda plans to close all its orphanages. This is unusual, as there are few services for the millions of children living in poverty.


The Rwandan government employs social workers to help children with the change from orphanage life. But critics say the program has moved too fast. There have been cases of families unable to feed their returned children, and some young people from the former orphanages are alone and homeless.


Data collected by – UNICEF



Adopted children need Essential services

Children need various types of support ranging from those things necessary for survival, such as food and health care, to those interventions that will provide a better quality of life in the future such as education, psychological support and economic self- sufficiency. In an ideal world, all children would have access to all types of high-quality services. 


In the real world many children, orphaned and not, malnourished, sick and without shelter. Some argue that a comprehensive programme to support children should include all essential elements including food, health care, education, clothes, shoes, bedding, psychosocial support, economic self-sufficiency, etc. others hold that some of these elements are not essential or far exceed the situation of most children living in poor households with both their parents.

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Each country will make its own decisions about what types of support to provide in light of the availability of funding, level of need and socio-economic situation. In this analysis, we provide estimates of the resources needed for six categories of support: 



Food: Food and clean water are the most basic need of all children. Food supplied from external sources could actually reduce food security in the long run if it disrupts the local market, but food procured locally or produced through community gardens can contribute to local food security. Food may be provided as either bulk grain needing preparation or as cooked meals.


Health care: The need for health care includes childhood immunizations and vitamin supplements for children under five, routine health care for all and reproductive health services for older children aged 10–17. In some countries, health care is free for all children or for the youngest children. However, patients often have to pay for drugs and supplies. Some have argued that orphan-related programmes should advocate for free health care for all children rather than focus on providing funding to pay for care for children. However, in that case, additional resources would need to be made available to governments to provide free care to families.


Education: This includes school fees where they exist, funds required for uniforms, books and other supplies, and special fees. Many countries have eliminated school fees and additional advocacy efforts could help to eliminate them in other countries as well, but the extra costs of uniforms, supplies and special assessments can still be substantial.


Family/home support: This category includes clothes, shoes, bed nets and economic self-sufficiency. The need for bed nets will vary depending on local climate and other conditions. In many cases donated clothes and shoes are available at no cost, but reliance on donated goods may not be sustainable as programmes scale up considerably. Economic self-sufficiency refers to programmes to provide older children and/or their families with economic support such as microfinance loans, skills training, grants or seeds.



Community support: This includes identification of vulnerable children and funding for community workers who can assess needs, organize support and provide some counseling and individual support. Many community workers will be volunteers but significant funds may still be required for training and transportation.


Other services: We have not explicitly included costs for national-level advocacy and legislative reform. These may be needed in many countries to address specific issues such as school fees, the cost of health care or child protection. 

Also many important activities such as memory books, camps, etc. are assumed to be covered under community support but these may require additional resources beyond the community worker training and support included here. 

We have included an estimate of the costs of administering support programmes including fund raising, planning, research etc. This category applies to the organizational costs of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) providing support or central administration costs for governmental organizations (NGOs) providing support or central administration costs for government-run programs.




Who can adopt?

Anyone over the age of 21 can adopt. They don’t need to be married or be in a relationship. It also doesn’t matter if someone is straight, gay and lesbian, what’s most important is that the child is loved and cared for.



Even if someone has a disability they can still adopt as long as their condition doesn’t stop them from being able to care for a child.

People can adopt even if they already have their own children and they can also adopt more than one child at a time. 


Why people don’t adopt children often?


People do not adopt more often because all of the couples want to have a sense of having their own child, whom they gave birth to. It can often be answered as having pride in giving birth to them. That is why even after one of the couples is infertile or the lady is unable to conceive a baby, they still invest millions of money in infertility treatment and opting for test-tube babies. They are ready for sperm donation to giving birth to their own babies.

For a lot of couples, adopting a child is orthodox and they do not want to have the responsibility of raising someone else’s child. God forbid if the parent ever returns, to ask for their child back, the couple who adopted won’t be able to do much after all. All the parents are very strongly and emotionally connected to their own child and hence believe in having one of their own.

Religious contours of adoption in India


In India, the only codified law available for adoption is the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (HAMA), 1956 and it is applicable to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. It is not applicable to Parsis, Muslims, Christians, or Jews.


And under the Guardian and Ward Act, persons belonging to the Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jewish community, if they wish to adopt, can become guardians. And the legal connection between child and parent ends when the child becomes an adult.


Islamic law


Islamic law followed the so-called kafala system under which a child is placed under a kafil (guardian) who takes care of the child’s upbringing, marriage, and well-being but the child continues to remain the true descendant of his or her biological parents and not the adoptive ones.


Under Islamic law, an adopted child cannot inherit the guardian’s property and retains his or her biological name. However, if the child’s family is not known, the adopted child can carry the name of the adoptive family.


Adoption was not always prohibited in Islam. In fact, the prophet Muhammad had an adopted son Zaid bin Haarith, who was a slave freed by the prophet. The two became so close that the prophet declared Haarith his son. However, following a revelation, the practice of adoption was given a different connotation. One could be a legal guardian of a child but the child could not inherit the property.




Adoption under Hindu law


The shastric Hindu Law Looked at adoption more as sacramental then secular act. Some judges think that the object of adoption is twofold: to secure one’s performance of one’s funeral rights and to preserve the continuance of one’s lineage. Hindu believed that who died without having son would go to hell called poota and it was only a son who could save the father from going to poota. This was one of the reasons to beget a son. Ancient Hindu shastras recognized Dattaka and kiritrina as types of sons.



In the Hindu shastras, it was said that the adopted son should be a reflection of the natural son. This guaranteed protection and care for the adopted son. He was not merely adoptive parents, but all relations on the paternal and maternal; side in the adoptive family also came into existence. This means he cannot marry daughter of his adoptive parents, whether the daughter was natural-born or adopted. In modern adoption laws, the main purpose is considered to provide consolation and relief to a childless person, and on another hand, rescue the helpless, the unwanted, the destitute or the orphan child by providing it with parents.




Adoption under Parsis and Christian laws


The personal laws of these communities also do not recognize adoption and here too an adoption can take place from an orphanage by obtaining permission from the court under Guardians and wards act. A Christian has no adoption law.


Since adoption is legal affiliation of a child, it forms the subject matter of personal law. Christian has no adoption laws and has to approach the court under the guardian and wards Acts, 1890. National commission on women has stressed on the need for uniform adoption law. Christians can take a child under the said Act only under foster care.


Once a child under foster care becomes major, he is free to break always all his connections. Besides, such a child does not have the legal right of inheritance.


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