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This essay focuses on how cultural diversity affects adoption practices in the United States. The authors of this article examine these effects over the course of three important historical eras using the racial, religious, and ethnic dimensions. (DellaCava, Engel & Philips, 2010). The extent to which the definitions of children's rights set by the United Nations, the United States, and The Hague are reflected in national and international law has received a lot of attention. The adoption policy, including the real practice, has been significantly impacted by national and international definitions. (DellaCava et al., 2010). It is for this reason that the author sought to inquire how the unresponsiveness towards cultural differences is a contributory factor towards social injustice and diminished children’s rights. This argument carries important weight in countries such as Ukraine, Sweden, China, Korea as well as Australia despite placing much focus on the United States (DellaCava et al., 2010).
Theories Discussed in the Article
Childhood is normally regarded to be a social phenomenon or social construct that happens due to the collective interactions of adults with children as well as with each other. Based on Corsaro’s theory, childhood can also be seen as the construction of childhood, which varies over different periods of time including through subcultures that exist in a given society (DellaCava et al., 2010). These subcultures may include; class, social- economic, age, race, religion, gender as well as region. Therefore, while in the periods existing between the 180s and 190s defined childhood through a different light, today, the definition differs significantly in the United States. In most cases, subcultures such as social-economic, racial and regions have significant impact towards a child’s experiences while growing up (DellaCava et al., 2010).
The importance of the Article
This article emphasizes international statements that have been made regarding the importance of protecting and safeguarding the rights of children. Most international statements have been directed towards governments as their decisions have lifelong impacts towards the lives of children and their welfare or care depends on the government. This sentiment was aired during the General Assembly held by the United States in 1959 (DellaCava et al., 2010). Thus, based on the rights of children’s lens, this article emphasizes the need of protecting children from societal vices such as abduction, sexual exploitation, sale, slavery as well as intra or international children trafficking. In addition, it aims to convey the importance of protecting children from discrimination and highlights the need of identifying children with their fundamental rights as spelled out legally, especially in an economic setting that is characterized by illegal trade and economic crisis.
Impact of this Article
The article highlights historical social injustices experienced by orphans during adoption practices or programs. For instance, the article cites Orphan Trains, which in light of today’s social development, violated children’s rights and did not place their interests into account during such processes (DellaCava et al., 2010). Many of the children who were adopted during that period were regarded as orphans although they were not. They were forcibly removed from their original homes and placed in an alien and culturally different society, going for years without any efforts of monitoring signs of trafficking or abuse.
Implications of the Article
In light of different negative issues raised before the current adoption policy, the article investigates the effectiveness and practicability of today’s policy based on different subcultures. The only subculture that is considered in the current adoption policy is race leaving out social-economic, ethnicity, region, religion as well as age. Thus, the article stresses the need of integrating such factors when developing an effective adoption policy (DellaCava et al., 2010).
The article points out transracial adoption strategy in existing adoption policy as a major challenge experienced by children. In this regard, children who have been adopted using such strategies are more likely to experience adjustment problems and thus, would become acculturated to the world and culture of another race (DellaCava et al., 2010).
In light of the discussions held in this article, I strongly agree on the importance of considering other subcultures during the process of policy development. Today, children have different experiences based on prevailing economic, social and political climate and their needs may differ significantly as in the past.
DellaCava F., Engel M. & Philips M. (2010). Cultural Difference and Adoption Policy in the United States: The Quest for Social Justice for Children. International Journal of Children’s Rights 18 (2010) 291–308. DOI 10.1163/092755609X1248851498899
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