vrijdag 8 augustus 2008

WELCOME TO UNITED ADOPTEES INTERNATIONAL

Dear Visitor,

Adoptions are often presented as a life-saving intervention for lives of children. But what often is seen as a humanitarian act has direct linkages with civil society and social economic circumstances and developments in countries of origin andthe receiving countries.

The provision of Children for (prospective) adoptive parents has in recent years gained power in the context of enforcing (international) adoptions instead of the implementation of a real humanitarian intention.

Since the existence of (legal) adoption, adoption at itself has been many times discussed for its complexity. Adoptions is been presented largely as a successful and necessary intervention. An statement which particularly was and is dominated by Western scientists and politicians who are often themselves adoption parents and have great interest in adoption. Since recent years, adoption generally, and international adoption in particular, are under heavy pressure domestically as well abroad.

The Netherlands know the adoption law since 1956 and only since the early seventies it was additional changed for intercountry adoptions, also known as international adoption. What, however, was intended as an applied sense of emergency, adoption often has changed into legal and illegal framework and a facility for ‘adopters’ especially for those who remained childless.

In particular by the increase and influence by adult adoptees the so-called adoption world is heavy in turmoil. Supporters and opponents have been end up in complex debates about the pro and cons of (transnational) adoption. But the key question remained up to now often unanswered. Namely, why is the removal of children by adoption organizations, from their immediate family, environment, culture and country always presented as necessary for happiness and luck for children as it always has been claimed by agencies, scientists, politicians and adoption parents organizations?

The UAI is not against adoptions but finds the ease how global adoption laws be designed, implemented and accepted open for serious discussion. The UAI is against the international development of childtrafficking and trade of children, answering the law of demand and supply of adopters and agencies. Something which is structurally denied and hidden in the adoption world.
The UAI is also surprised about the fact that there is more attention, space and money available for the rights of adoptive parents than for parents, children and Adoptees.

United International Adoptees find it particularly important; to address, in cases of intercountry adoptions, that all attempts of finding solutions in order to pursue transnational adoptions, that when adoption is the last resort, these adoptions should seriously been considered - as far as possible - from the cultural values, norms and ideas of the cultural necessities and understanding of the country of origin.

The UAI believes that now the time has arisen, that adult adoptees should be involved in the ‘inter-national’ adoption debate, and that the painful side which is part of international adoption should not be hidden. It is time that people are not talking about adoption without those directly involved, the adoptees . Not longer about 'the better off’ issue but about the consequences. Not longer as deplorable and anonymous people, but as courageous persons who prove each day that they find ways to be creative and loveable people in a world and life which they were not destined for by origin.

The UAI feels the need to give Adoptees a voice and face in the international debate. An impact on lives which has been given another twist in a situation they have not chosen for, but which many have to life and bear the consequences of it each day.

Adoption is not a 'life style' product but a ‘dramatic’ human event; something that should be taken serious. The UAI would like to invite everyone involved in adoption to take stand against abuse and those who are willingly and purposely neglecting the ‘dark’ side of adoption, to create hope for all those who are in despair and not taken seriously in their fight against injustice and taken lives.

For all those adoptees who are in need for a place and an environment to share, become active with fellow adoptees, regardless background, religion, race or social economic status, and not afraid to meet the colorful shades of adoption, will find a welcome place within the UAI.

Yours sincerely,

Joan J.H. Hansink

Chairman Executive Board

UAI OBJECTIVES

The UAI is the first 'inter-national' independent organization for Adoptees regardless country of origin. The UAI seeks to place the never acknowledged human rights of adoptees (inter) national to be addressed because the UAI believes that international human rights also should apply to all adoptees scattered around the world.

Participation

The UAI participates in issues that touch the social, political and cultural heart regarding adoption. Its policy is characterized by three main pillars:

* Awareness
* Development,
* Change

of the world of adoption in all its facets, especially where the rights and interests of children and adopted are endangered. The UAI strives for a proportionate participation and a full partnership in the (inter) national adoption community and decision making situations.

Official Representatives and Human Rights

The UAI also strives for a proportional official representation by adoptees as an interlocutor for governments, agencies and adoption institutes, till now a stronghold for adoption parents.

They want to defend the rights of adoptees based on international human rights focused on care for children and their parents; especially where organizations operate to locate children - 'to be Freed’ for adoption by agencies, and governmental bodies and NGO’s etc.

The UAI believes that any decision about an individual child, for whom adoption is considered as an option, it at least the procedure should be tested to the principle of subsidiarity as formulated in the Hague convention.

The interests and rights of Adoptees are not mentioned in any international human rights treaties nor seen as important, while by adoption assumed to be part of the western world and due that fact automatically seen as non relevant towards essential human right issues.

If Adoptees claim certain wrongdoings by organizations (agencies and other relevant adoption institutes) they are often referred by authorities to general human rights articles but experience has shown that for many adoptees this does not offer any solution if social or/and legal problems and disputes occur and they need legal and/or social support and structural (post) adoption care. More than once, the adoptee is thrown back on his/her own ability to survive in a world that essentially is resistant and hostile to hear the painful truth behind the world of adoption.

The UAI strives adoptees to be seen and recognized as a special group within several (inter) national human treaties so rights can be enforced such as right to obtain background information about the family (ies) of origin, right to inspect and issue (adoption) records and a proportional representation and legal assistance where necessary.

Subsidiarity

A child can only proposed for (intercountry) adoption and are eligible for transnational adoption, when it is shown that inclusion (adoption) of the child within the family of origin or other ways of care in the country of origin is not absolutely not possible and available. We talk in this respect about the principle of subsidiarity.

The UAI believes that subsidiarity should be expanded; local and national precautions and solutions for real orphans (many children have been identified as orphans by NGO’s and researchers who are often have at least still one parent or family members) should be sought before adoption as option is considered.

Also the moral and social environment of the own culture like "extended families structures" and inclusion of children in families without formal adoption or foster care, should be considered as a possible option. In many countries and cultures formal foster care or even adoption does not exist, even though such a system is effectually present, often children are still processed for international adoption. This based on a Western legal scrutiny instead of own cultural, social habits and customs of the country of origin of the child in case.