For years, adoption practice has focused on the pursuit of that which is in the ‘best interest of the child.’ What, exactly, does that mean? There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question, because every child is different. Every culture is different. Every family is different.
Adoption is complicated, challenging and beautiful. Everyone loves a good homecoming, but this joyous moment is only the tip of the iceberg compared to the journey leading to this end. There is much more going on under the water’s surface.
- “What are the reasons adoption is in a child’s best interest? Why can a child no longer live with birth family? Who makes this decision, and how do they make it?”
- What has been the emotional cost of living in the care of well-intentioned but limited governmental systems, and how can new parents best respond?
- How are children matched with families?
- Who made these rules, whether federal or state government or agency guidelines, and why?
Regardless of one’s specific role in the adoption triad – or the many others who are part of the adoption journey, emotions run high and opinions are strongly felt. What’s more, those opinions they can sometimes disagree.
Since WACAP’s foundation, we have focused on the unique circumstances of each child. This has lead us to develop a system to consult on each case when needed as we work toward determining what serves a child’s best interests. Considerations include:
- Perspectives of adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents.
- Statutory and regulatory requirements.
- Clinical research.
- Our collective professional experience.
Occasionally, these decisions are readily apparent. More often, they are quite difficult. We love those situations when we get to say ‘yes,’ but integrity occasionally demands that we say ‘no’ to orphanages, officials, or opportunities. It is at these times that we hold close our value of integrity and the ethical practice of adoption. The children we all serve together deserve more than ‘good enough,’ don’t they? They deserve our very best.
Interested in learning more? Visit www.wacap.org and follow this blog feed for a new post each week through July to read more about our organization and the concepts that drive us forward for children.
About WACAP’s Vice President of Adoptions, Mary Moo: Mary has had the joy of bringing families and children together through international adoption since 1991. During these years she has coordinated adoptions in several countries including China, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Korea, and Romania. Her career in adoption has been supported by immediate and extended family who are also members of the adoption triad.