Philadelphia Inquirer Examines Adoption of African Children by U.S. Families
"Perhaps nowhere in the world" are children more in need of homes and care than in Africa, where more than 11 million children have been orphaned by AIDS alone, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. However, only 343 African children were adopted by U.S. families in 2001, compared with 8,642 from Asia, 7,637 from Europe and 1,646 from Central America, according to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. The number of children being adopted from African nations is "so small in realtion to the need," Nigel Cantwell, an inter-country adoptions specialist for UNICEF, said. Cheryl Carter-Shotts, who heads Indianapolis-based Americans for African Adoptions, said that many foreign adoption programs only accept children who test HIV-negative, and many prospective parents worry that the children will test HIV-positive later. "In 16 years, I've never had that happen," Carter-Shotts said. The Inquirer article also includes a profile of a family whose adopted son -- who had hemophilia and contracted HIV from a blood transfusion -- had urged them to adopt children from Africa before he died of AIDS-related complications in 1994 at age 15. The family has so far adopted three girls from Sierra Leone (Boccella, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.