Provincial MP / Front of All
Based on the project presented in the National Congress that seeks to end illegal adoption, it is important to share some reflections on the adoption system in the province of Buenos Aires, with the aim of prioritizing our children in the problem. .
Slow adoption and system problems seem to be a well-known reality. But the problem, I think, doesn’t start here, it’s the part of this story that the public doesn’t know or doesn’t see.
A boy or girl in the state of adoption has suffered such a profound violation of rights that their birth family cannot continue their upbringing. Most of these children are not orphans as they were in the middle of the 20th century, but sons and daughters in situations of violence, sexual abuse, abuse, abandonment. In other cases, with mothers and fathers completely lacking the economic or symbolic resources to continue parenting.
Adoption is the last of all options to be taken in the face of vulnerability, within a system that hardly listens to the voices of boys and girls and that in many cases re-victimizes them. Of course, it is necessary to discuss adoption, but this means starting from the end and understanding that the gaze is directed at the adults, not the children.
Adoption is not meant to satisfy a parent’s desire—even when meeting that desire with a child in an adoption situation is a virtuous cycle—adoption is a child’s right.
When it is established that a minor is experiencing serious vulnerability, local services dependent on municipalities must act by defining a strategy to accompany the case. There will be situations where they stay with their family of origin, but with professional attention and an escort from the state.
There will be others where the parents are not the best option for the boy or girl and it is decided to take a ‘shelter action’ where a family or community response is activated where they stay with a family member or close friend , in a place that knows, but where you have protection. In other, even more serious cases, it will be defined as living in a social housing of the state or non-governmental organizations.
For this system to work, the local offices, which are made up of interdisciplinary teams, need to function well, have full, experienced and trained teams. A debt to the leadership of Julio Garo in La Plata, where the services are fragmented and there is not even a night guard.
The possibility of adoption must be declared when there is no longer any hope of being fostered in your family or community. Once adopted, he will have a last name change, maybe move to another city, start another school, join new family and friends.
Everything in the life of an adopted child changes radically. And of course, this is not necessarily a bad thing, but the current adult-oriented view has built a series of very controversial practices around an institution that needs to be rethought, but not isolated from the overall system.
Among these practices is the issuance of pamphlets, which, although well-intentioned, many courts end up objectifying children. Example for April 2022:
“Candidates for guardians are solicited for the purposes of adoption and/or people who wish to offer themselves as emotional referents, mentors or similar care figures. For Javier born on May 10, 2007; for Lucas born January 13, 2011; for Laura, born July 10, 2014. We are looking for a couple/marriage to take care of Javier, Lucas and Laura healthy and lovingly; Javier likes to draw, write poetry, watch movies, sing, is observant and thoughtful, attends high school; Lucas, likes to play football, watch movies, play cards, is sociable, attends elementary school; Laura, likes to draw, play ball, watch movies, is sociable and affectionate, attends primary school. If you SHARE this message, the possibility of a FAMILY REUNION increases”.
It is possible to compare the description with the old solo programs, where a person tries to show only the good in order to get a partner. But adoption is nothing like getting close to someone you can later abandon, because it involves a permanent relationship between a family and a child.
Another extremely controversial practice and beyond any legal principle arises from this reflection: the return of adopted children. In the 1990s, the movie “Fascinating Creature” was shown on television, where an adopted child who had “bad behavior” was returned. I was a girl and I remember wondering if the children could be brought back? How can you adopt a child and return it? Isn’t an adopted child a child of the law? Imagine if you decided to return your biological child due to health issues, attention deficit or bad behavior? Although it seems impossible, in adoption it happens and without any sanction. This should also be classed in our penal system, in addition to that already introduced in Congress on the sale of boys and girls.
Finally, as of 2021, today we have 2,098 couples waiting to adopt children under 1 and only 210 for children under 9. There is no doubt that the system needs to start looking through the eyes of those who need us the most.
Adoption is often a successful institute. But there is an urgent need to cover up the reality of a problem that involves the lives of boys and girls who have suffered a lot and who deserve to be happy. Because at the end of the day, prioritizing our boys and girls is the only path that will lead us to a better future.