Saturday, February 6, 2010
HERE IS AN ARTICLE BY JACKIE SEMAR OF INTERNATIONAL CHILD FOUNDATION-I wanted to write about this situation, but this article is perfect!
Dear Families & Friends,
Much has happened over the past week, and most importantly, orphans are yet again at risk due to very poor judgement on the part of advocates, in this case, a group of missionaries in Haiti. You have all no doubt read the news -- 10 US citizens were arrested and remain in custody in Haiti for allegedly attempting to take 33 Haitian children into the Dominican Republic, without Haitian permission. There are back stories and side stories and front stories surrounding this event. Safe to sum it up by saying that it was poor judgement to try to circumvent authorities. 10 adults were involved, they each share the responsibility. But that is where it ends. I say this because I am sure all of you as well as adoption advocates are very sick and tired of being lumping into "child traffickers" by the media or UNICEF. There are some people who have little sense or respond to a state of chaos by deciding all rules are suspended. Or they envision themselves as saviors and above the law. They are few and far between. Just as having a registered child molester living in your neighborhood does NOT mean you are a child molester, too, neither does having a small band of missionaries or adoption facilitators taking a group of children into the DR without proper authority mean that all missionaries or adoption workers or adoptive parents are child traffickers. The US is the place where everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Please do not fall into the abyss of jumping to conclusions based on, God forbid, the media. Unless, of course, you want your actions to be defined by the presumptions of strangers.
Innocent until proven guilty. Say that aloud a few times. This is part of what it is to be an American, a very important part. An inestimably important part -- because failure to honor this creed and value has closed too many adoption programs. Children in need of families have found the door shut in their face, because the many have been punished for the crimes of the few. Let's not let this happen again.
What we focus on expands.