There were a few tense moments this past week for American families awaiting the adoption of Russian children, as conflicting messages were coming out of Moscow regarding the possible halting of all adoptions. The decision was supposedly the Moscow's response to the American woman from Tennessee who sent her unwanted adopted child back to Russia after she became "fed up" with him.
This case brought up the issue of international relations and adoption. On the face of things, adoption is about matching unwanted children with loving families. However, the process involve governmental procedures and mechanisms, as such they are dependant on larger national, and in this case international, circumstances.
The most interesting aspect I find in this story is the degree to which trust is associated with adoption. Without trust between nations, for example, international adoptions cannot take place. Parents have to trust that they can overcome the difficulties in raising a child that comes with baggage. Children have to put trust into their new parents. The entire process is sort of an "exercise" in trust.
Another important point that this story, as opposed to others, clearly made to me was just how many children in the world are out there waiting to be adopted, and similarly how many families out their are waiting to adopt a child to call their own. In this sense adoption, and especially international adoption, resembles other examples of globalization. It is as if a global market has been opened for children.