Earlier, we talked about The Hague and how it is more than just a city in Holland. If you go over to this page and read the article about proposed changes that President Obama and his administration want to make to international adoptions, you’ll see 9 pages of information. A very important point is at the bottom of page 2 and the top of page 3.
Let me quote what that part says……
The State Department now wants to add another layer of accreditation for working in certain countries – something it calls Country Specific Accreditation (CSA).
Isn’t the Hague enough? Isn’t a fully implemented Hague conventions enough to provide that international adoptions are done ethically and carry a solid balance that protects the rights of birth parents, children, and adoptive parents?
It should be.
If it was properly administered, I believe it would.
But it’s not.
It’s not properly administered – at least not in the same way everywhere.
And that’s a common problem.
Because the demands that The Hague put in place, demands that should be met to make sure that adoptions are done right, those demands are too much.
Too much for the staff that most governments can dedicate to the cause. So, the adoption departments in most countries are understaffed and can’t do what needs to be done to do it right and do it in a timely manner. Why does time matter? Because every day, week, month, year that a child spends in an institution is a day, week, month, year that they don’t spend with their family.
So what do we have? We have numerous governments all across the world who agree that the Hague is a good set of guidelines for adoptions.
But many of those governments can’t afford to adequately staff and enforce the guidelines. The effect of those understaffed departments makes a huge difference in the lives of many children and many families.
Now a question for you. If a government guideline isn’t being enforced and followed the way it should, what is the best way to solve that problem?
a. Pass more laws and create the additional bureaucracy in the governments and countries that can afford it and make it an even greater impossibility for the less affluent countries to be able to keep up with the rules?
b. Attempt to have the governments of the affluent countries help the less wealthy countries so that they can adequately implement the rules and guidelines that are already in place?
That’s right. The Hague is already in place. The Hague, if it is adequately staffed and adequately enforced will achieve the results that we need.
So why do we want to add more problems and more governmental rules? Because the ones we have don’t work? No, not really. The ones we have appear like they will work.
But we don’t currently have enough staff dedicated to making sure that the rules work the way they are supposed to.
Let’s fix that problem, let’s make sure we have enough staff to follow those rules and then, then if we see there is a problem, then we can look at adding additional rules.
The lives of children will be harmed if the plan to put additional laws in place is done without making sure the existing ones are fully staffed and enforced.
Yes, I believe the Hague is enough – but there needs to be more staff to get the rules implemented.
And we don’t have that. At least not by all countries……