The Adoption Process in Colombia

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University of Delaware
The flow of children throughout the world reflects how policies about international adoption, both domestic and international, remove power from one population and transfer it to another, even if they are on opposite sides of the world. The phenomenon of international adoption is the outcome of specific historical events, Euro-American ideals, globalization, neoliberal policies, and the great disparities between the upper echelons of the world and the poor of third world countries. While protecting or saving children who live in poverty is a noble cause, many outside parties have taken note of the many factors contributing to this circulation of children that may raise other ethical questions. These questions center on the theories of identity, structural violence, the pathologization of poverty and the use of children as a social and monetary commodity. There are many actors within the international adoption process: the adoptees, the adoptive parents, the birth parents, the governments of the countries they are being transferred to and from, and the international entities that regulate these transactions. The discourse of international adoption in relation to the specific role of the actors within the process reflect these various influences on adoption. They also demonstrate how international adoption is a quick remedy to a much deeper societal problem. There is no conclusive solution that would eliminate the need for international adoption, but a closer inspection of the underlying factors that contribute to this process may give insight into what changes need to be made in the future. I will discuss how websites of the various players in the international adoption system reflect the discourse of international adoption in relation to historical events and the aforementioned theories.