Saturday, January 30, 2010

No place for politics

Something very odd went down with unicef yesterday. We were instructed in writing to pick up patients from the Comfort ship. When our driver got there to get the people there were unicef vehicles taking them to some camp. The unicef folks were not talking, they were just large and in charge. I'd love to believe somebody just got their wires crossed, but I'm not so sure. Something smelled wrong about it. The Comfort ship went to the work of getting us patient names, details, lists and a time to come get them. Clearly they were unaware of what was about to happen.

The problem is, giant worldwide organizations have power, and they have policies. Giant organizations are so giant that they cannot see the forest for the trees and they cannot see the individual person with the individual situation. We all know power corrupts. The unicef we're seeing is not as interested in putting people/children first as it is in setting policy, precedent, and moving forward its own political agenda. I've watched people get up in arms and say that it is wrong to not support this long-standing and "worthy" organization. I recognize that will likely happen again here. We can easily agree to disagree if need be.

We're simply stating that the policies and procedures are a long way off from meeting real people where they are. (And things are not what they appear to be. Not at all.) The anti-adoption rhetoric is maddening. Kids abandoned to an orphanage by their birth parent PRE earthquake are now being held in Haiti thanks to pressure placed on the Haitian government by the giant and powerful unicef. It is asinine and lacks all logic.

We are all for legal, careful, smart adoption. None of us want to see children taken from a birthparent that wants to raise them. That would be a terrible thing. The fact is, unicef is openly anti-international-adoption and what is happening now is nothing more than political grand-staning and a massive power trip. And all at the expense of children with waiting and approved families abroad.

For more thoughts and a specific story, read this.

Large powerful organizations with money can "encourage" and "convince" and put the pressure on ... and a government in crisis will bend to the will of a single powerful organization.

Meanwhile, children and people in crisis are not being served, cared for, or respected.