Parents Don't Need to Apologize for Adopting an Orphan

I will repeat this as often as you or I need to hear it. There is no need to apologize for adopting an orphan child in need. In fact, this creation of a new family should be celebrated as a success. Every child deserves a family.

Far too often, the media and anti-adoption crowd frame the discussion of adoption in such a way that we find ourselves back on our heels, feeling defensive or apologetic. All one need do is utter the word child-trafficking and suddenly adoption advocates and adoptive parents fall silent, or worse yet, stumble over their words to defend and excuse the way their family was formed. Let's cut it out, ok? Let's take control of the conversation and proudly own the genesis of our families and the integrity of the adoption system overall.

Don't get me wrong – there are bad actors that do bad things. This is sadly true in every human endeavor. Child trafficking is a serious and deplorable crime. Sometimes, international adoption is used for financial gain and children are exploited. We must demand that these crimes be investigated and prosecuted. We must demand that complicit agencies and lawyers be closed for business. We must require transparency and due diligence at every level and every stage to ensure that every child adopted is truly in need of a family and that every family is a suitable placement for that child.

Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of adoptions are done ethically and serve to protect orphan children. Indeed, adoption is a tool that protects children from being trafficked and exploited. A family is the single best resource we have to provide children with what they need, and when a child's birth family cannot or will not fill the role, adoption is the appropriate solution.

I am proud to be an adoptive mom and an adoption advocate. I am proud of my children, and I will not apologize or defend my actions. I am proud to help families and children overcome obstacles that stand in the way of providing a family to a child in need. I will not apologize, and I hope you won't either; because no apology is needed.