I just read one more "we shouldn't adopt from Africa" article (because we are removing children from their families and culture.) First of all, I agree, the adoption industry is ripe for corruption; anytime you have the potential of making money in a third world country, the potential for abuse is a strong possibility. I completely agree that there should be strong laws by the country and standards by the adoption agency and when they are abused, the agency should lose their license. I chose the agency we are using for Ethiopia largely on the commitment that they use to make sure that abuse doesn't occur.
One thing that is way too simplistic is the idea that no child that isn't 100% orphaned should be adoptable. Many people even go to the extreme to say that even the orphans don't need adoption, because the community will step in and care for those children. While that is a lovely idea, it is not the reality that I've seen. The children at the school that our adoption agency just took over are majority orphaned and they are living in the worst of conditions because the extended family and neighbors do not generally treat them like family, but domestic workers. These children would be so much better off, in my opinion, becoming a legitimate family member through adoption.
Here is my personal, heartbreaking example of "family" that would appear as a statistical success to those that are anti-adoption. This is a picture of Evelyn, the little girl that we were adopting in Liberia that was removed from the orphanage by her Grandmother. The agency we used tried to persuade Evelyn's grandmother to allow her to be adopted, as her mother wished, because they knew that the Grandmother's plan was that Evelyn provide for her by prostitution once she was old enough to work.
Evelyn, and a lot of children like her, deserve better!