I have mixed feelings about the organization UNICEF. I think they do a lot of good and honestly I do understand where they are coming from with their anti-adoption stance. I don't think that children should be relinquished for adoption in third world countries just because the birth family cannot afford to take care of the child. Then when we as Americans (or any other industrialized country) come in and adopt the children, it certainly does look like the wealthy taking advantage of the poor. But here is the thing, international adoption is WAY more complicated then that. The vast majority of children are not relinquished for just one reason, but multiple reasons. That is why everyone needs to work with reputable adoption agencies and there needs to be strict government oversight of the orphanages and adoption facilitators in the child's birth country. Adoptions from Ethiopia did get out of control very quickly, however the government has done a decent job of pulling in the reins and really examining the system.
And so it is my opinion that it should be up to the birth family to decide whether or not they can truly provide for the needs of the child over the LONG Term. Here in the US, it is not unusual for a child who is placed in foster care to go to a extended family member (aunt or grandparents) only to have those same family members come forward and tell DSS that they simply are to overwhelmed to care for the child. Then the child ends up in the US Foster Care System and if they are lucky they are able to be adopted by their foster parents. The countries with the most orphans don't have this social service safety net. In a perfect world every birth family in every place on this earth would have the resources to get the help they need to raise a healthy, educated, and functional child despite their adverse circumstances. BUT we do not live in a perfect world. So when the birth family can no longer care for the child, if they cannot go to a orphanage, they simply give the child to another family to take care of him or her with the agreement that the child will assist the new household in some way. It is truly a form of socially accepted child slave labor, and it has been happening forever. With no education, no access to healthcare, or proper nutrition or social services the child becomes one more victim of the greed within their own country. And what happens when the girls become teenagers? Well they continue the cycle of the orphan crisis just as the boys end up living on the streets.
UNICEF apparently thinks they can keep birth families intact by paying extended family members to take back children who have already been relinquished to a orphanage. The problem with this is that as soon as money is involved no one can be sure that the family is taking the child back for the right reasons. And what happens when the pay off from UNICEF stops? Are they going to pay for that child's school fees, medical care, and work training program or college education? Where would my children be today if UNICEF had stepped in and stopped me from becoming their mother, when neither one had a mother any longer. This exact scenario just happened to this family: