Adopting an orphan is an enriching experience

Published: Sunday, January 2, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 1, 2005 at 11:50 p.m.
It's sad and even dangerous to describe orphan children as "exports," as if they are products to be bought and sold. I am still trying to figure out why The Sun ran a cynical Associated Press article on Christmas day in which Ethiopian orphan children were described in this way.
The news seems to be that Ethiopia is considering more applications for adoption of its estimated 5 million orphan children. This is not surprising, since, according to our State Department, over the last three years an average of only 150 children each year were adopted from Ethiopia by Americans. The Ethiopian government is now carefully reviewing applications for adoptions to determine that they are clearly in the best interest of each child.
American families are eligible to adopt internationally if they can offer loving homes, education and health care for their child, show respect for the child's native country and culture and are committed to improving conditions for all orphan children. The information regarding fees and time required for adoptions was inaccurate in the article.
As an adoptive mother of two Ethiopian children, I would encourage all who are interested in adoption from Ethiopia to take the next step and adopt! Your entire family will have strong connections to Africa, and your lives will be immeasurably enriched.
Donna Cohen, Gainesville

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