Americans are Adopting Fewer Orphans Overseas Except From Ethiopia

New America Media

Shane Bauer

Aug 26, 2008

Editor’s note: Americans are adopting fewer orphans overseas except in one country: Ethiopia. But social workers are saying adoption is not the best solution to Ethiopia’s problems, reports NAM contributing writer, Shane Bauer. Bauer is a freelance journalist and photographer based in the Middle East and Africa.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – On the outskirts of Addis Ababa a newly built orphanage called Rohobet is hidden among tin-roofed shacks on top of a eucalyptus and pine-covered hill. All around it, dirt roads are turned into muddy rivulets in the midday drizzle.

The inside of the largely empty house has features that are distinctly un-Ethiopian. A large kitchen table and chairs — the eight children are to eat at a table rather than on the floor. Babies are fed by bottles and sleep in cribs, rather than the large pieces of cloths shaped into tiny hammocks that are the norm in most Ethiopian homes. When they travel, the smallest children sit in car seats. After leaving their home state of Oromo and coming to the orphanage, the children are being prepared for life in the United States.

In the four months that the Rohobet orphanage has existed, it has had five children adopted through the Minnesota-based agency, Better Future Adoption. The director of Rohobet is a man I’ll call Tewodros since he asked not to be named for fear of reprisal from the government or the American adoption agency that funds his orphanage.

He had the personality of a non-profit entrepreneur, with a big heart and a mind for expanding his business. His mission was clear: raise more money and have more children adopted. “We have enough orphans, just not enough money,” he said. Read More.

14 Responses to “Americans are Adopting Fewer Orphans Overseas Except From Ethiopia”

  1. 1 britefuture Aug 27th, 2008 at 3:49 am

    if that is true, there must be a reason. The reason being Habeshas are amongst the most beautiful in the World. Despite our poverty or inspite of it we have World renouned athlethes and models. I won’t be surprised if some running to the Land of 13 mos of sunshine are looking for their future kids who might do the cat walk or break records in track and fields. Eitherway, I am all for adoption by those who have the means and lead a respectable way of life. The GoE has to scrutinize prospective adopting families so that none are shady or abusive. The burden of proof should be on them

  2. 2 Des Aug 27th, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    That post by bfitefuture gave a racist and idiotic reason why this is happening. Ethiopians are more than modeling and running. Please research a bit and post something meaningful. As for me I don’t know but not certainly as put above.

  3. 3 Solomon Aug 27th, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Love and devotion for the poor unfortunate children of the third world countries have to be the driving heartiness for all adoption agencies.

    Whereas when we see most of these western agencies actuality is the other way round. They are up to the money and enticement they are getting from people and their governments. I really ask the western government and the media to check the care center of most of the adoption agencies in Ethiopia. Many kids die before going to their adopting families and with out the knowledge of the biological families and adopting families.

    To the unsuspecting adopting families, whose only knowledge of their future child is only through a photo, they would not really know if the adoption agency has replaced the child with another that resembles the expired one. The death of the child never gets reported to the biological families or the government, because this may cause them to lose their license to function in the country.

    There are so many heart breaking stories around these inhuman child traffickers..

  4. 4 Guest 1 Aug 28th, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Leave them kids in Africa. America don’t need anymore immigrants. I’m not hating or anything because some of my ancestors came from Ethiopia. But I’m American and I’m tired of no English speaking people. Leave them there adopt kids from the United states. Adopting the kids is not going to help there country out. SO LEAVE THEM. THEY’LL BE HAPPY EITHER WAY THERE JUST KIDS.

  5. 5 kristy Aug 29th, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Guest 1,

    You are stupid…..there are children everywhere who need a good home and if they cant talk english so what if you are willing to love them you should be willing to teach them.

  6. 6 Bebe Aug 29th, 2008 at 5:50 am

    Guest 1,

    For your info America is the land of immigrants. The original Americans i mean native americans were sent out of there land. No one now can claim this land. Check your self, just because you found yourself here does not mean that you belong here. This place was also built by slaves and we know that.Therefore, anyone is entitled to join the USA. What is so funny is that Americans were born here, grew up here and forget to realize how this place came into existence. If anything it is foreigners who help run the country.

    Sometimes it is hard to believe how people fail to accept the truth.

    How do you claim a land that was snatched from it’s owners and built by slaves ????

  7. 7 Empress Aug 29th, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    They are doing it because Ethiopians are believed to be the chosen people of the Most High. Plus, these are beautiful brown children. Americans receive a large monetary kick-back from adopting minority children, so they chose the Ethiopians.

  8. 8 reeal Aug 31st, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Guest 1 your comments are ignorant if your ancestors are Ethiopian then you should be welcoming immigrants. Black Americans need African immigrants take it from the Latinos they welcome any Hispanic into the country thats why Hispanics population so passing blacks

  9. 9 Ceelo Brown Aug 31st, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    I think it’s because the american’s are trying to make more true israelites confused about their heritage and sending them from their motherland. to a place where they” have not their true identity. but rather become money hungry american scumbags. like the rest of you.

  10. 10 Gemtuzumab ozogamycin Sep 10th, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    I am all for adoption but the ethiopian government should not charge in the up wards of 25K per child to prospective adoptive parent. In fact adoptive parent should get some kind of compensation or financial help in the form of tax credit. Stop selling children

  11. 11 christieQ Dec 26th, 2008 at 12:38 am

    OK, here is the real deal. For anyone to judge someone who choses to adopt a child in a country with somewhere between 4.8 and 6 million orphans you absolutely blow me away!!! The reason people adopt is because there is a need that is not being supplied by the country in question. Several people are following God’s message to take care of the orphans and provide them with a loving home. Many countries refuse to allow foreigners adopt their children because they can take care of them. However, some countries are poor, very poor, like Ethiopia and are in desperate need for someone to step up and act, rather than sitting back judging those who do. Why not take the attitude that “I am willing to ACTUALLY do something to help.” These children are dying of disease and starvation daily. Many of them don’t even live to see their first birthday…….if you are going to have an opinion, then at least get the facts. If you are against adoption by Americans or any other country then maybe you would be willing to send money to feed and care for the millions of orphans who have been abandoned. I know that the adoption fees seem very high, and myself and my husband have had that conversation more than once. A large part of the money is for travel( approximately $6000-7,000), there are legal fees, fees to those who handle court for you, fees to those who do your home study and make sure you are not going to harm the children who have already been through so much loss, and money to those who travel to the different orphanages to match you. I believe the number of children adopted this year was around 5000 of the 5 million, by Americans, so you can see how there is a huge need for money to keep the orphanages open for the all the ones left behind..hope this helps

  12. 12 Fikerte Dec 30th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Guest 1 is an idiot.

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