Got this from Jane Jeong Trenka’s “Adopt a North Korean” blog entry:

An American human rights group is pushing forward with the adoption of three stateless North Korean orphan refugees who are in China. The orphans arrived safely in a third country and received support. It will be the first case of Americans in the U.S. adopting stateless North Korean orphans… Senator Sam Brownback proposed a bill on March 23 to speed up the adoptions of North Korean stateless refugee orphans in the future and said that prospects are high that there will be growing interest in adopting them.

First, if their parents are still alive (living in North Korea) they are not “orphans.” Stateless, yes. Refugee, yes. Orphan, no.

Second, as the article says, I’m afraid we’re going to see a mad rush to adopt these children, as we saw in Haiti and in other poverty-stricken, devastated places. Will people feel they are doing a “greater good” by adopting from North Korea versus adopting “real” orphans (children without living parents) here in the United States? According to research conducted by Trenka, there are more children living in non-family care here in the United States than in many other countries (such as the Republic of Korea, which has about 1/5 the number of children living in non-family care compared with the numbers in the United States, yet has sent the largest number of children to the United States over the longest period of time – almost 60 years), yet the demand for children adopted internationally is pretty high. No doubt children without parents need safe and loving homes. How do we figure out who and where to help first?

That said, third, there’s also the ideological issue: the North Korean president is a little crazy, but is that reason enough to break up families?

I don’t know the answers to some of these questions; I’m just throwing them out there…

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