Adoption In The Context Of Natural Disaster

Authored by: Peter Selman

The Routledge Handbook Of Adoption

Print publication date:  March  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138362505
eBook ISBN: 9780429432040
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter concentrates on the use of international adoption in the face of natural disasters such as earthquake, flood, and famine, but also reflects on its history as a response to war and genocide. After a brief history of international adoption since the Second World War, focusing on the impact of that war and subsequent conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and China’s One Child Policy, it looks in detail at the response to genocide in Rwanda and Darfur, the Asian tsunami of 2004, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The chapter ends with reflections on the policy of expediting adoptions, the costs of a response that involves the movement of children from their birth country at a time of trauma and uncertainty, and the issue of orphans. There will also be a consideration of other problematic responses, such as a growth of orphanages funded by foreign charities and the risk of child trafficking in the chaotic aftermath of disasters. The need for more attention to the role played by the local community and the potential use of domestic fostering and adoption with support from the international community and charities such as Save the Children will be emphasized.

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