As part of a global community connection, Blog Action Day (today, October 16) means that over 2000 bloggers from 126 countries are posting today about Human Rights. I am participating for the first time, and I encourage you to look at the Blog Action Day website and the Blog Action Day Facebook page: lots of fascinating, provocative, important posts.
Human rights–an enormous topic–resonates with me in terms of adoption for these reasons:
(1) Adoptees have the right to know who they are. Talk about a basic human right. All adoptees deserve access to their original birth certificates. Yet many, here in the United States, are denied that right. I’ve written about OBCs here, and I will continue to speak out about it.
(2) International adoptees brought to the United States for purposes of adoption should automatically be granted US citizenship. It is beyond shameful that this is not an automatic process, that our US government is still dithering over it, and that international adoptees have been deported. See my posts “Citizenship Isn’t Automatic for Internationally Adopted Children to the US?” and “All They Will Call You Will Be Deportees.”
(3) The United States should ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to UNICEF, “The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too.”
Disappointingly, while the United States helped draft the Convention and signed it in 1995, we have not ratified it. The other countries which have also not ratified are Somalia and South Sudan.
I call for the US to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
(4) All children have the right to be raised in a safe, loving family, preferably the one they were born into. Adoption is an option for children, and must always be done in a transparent, ethical way, with integrity and compassion. The voices of first parents must be heard, along with those of adopted persons: it is a human right that they should no longer be marginalized or victimized in the adoption process.