How does adopting a child become associated with “buying” a child? It happens like this: an agency will go into a poor country and give money to orphanages with the expectation that they will be given the opportunity to place those orphans into adoptive families. When all of the children are placed, the orphanage director may feel the need to “find” more children to continue to receive funds. This is unethical and very sad, and one of the many reasons I am grateful for the work of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services.
Led by president and CEO, Tom DiFilipo, the Joint Council is a nonprofit organization devoted entirely to helping orphaned and vulnerable children live in safe and permanent families. They work in 52 countries, including the United States, partnering with agencies like the one I lead, Bethany Christian Services. While Tom’s organization provides aid directly to children and families, their greatest contribution is advocating with governments on behalf of children, so that adoption and other services aimed to help children are conducted ethically.
Interestingly, one of the Joint Council’s newest initiatives is aimed at the U.S. government, trying to make our foreign aid represent the value Americans place on family. I spoke with Tom recently about this as well as other crucial issues facing vulnerable children and families at home and abroad and I think you’ll agree with me that he’s a real ally for those of us who believe every child deserves a loving, caring family. To hear our conversation and learn more, click here.