I have struggled with this post. It is on a topic that is emotional and controversial.
I'm posting about an old newspaper article concerning hosting. So, if you're familiar with it and don't want to rehash it, you may want to skip this post.
A while back I came across this article in the NY Times, called A Taste Of U.S. Family Life, But Adoption In Limbo (NYT might require a login, try alternate sites here and here). It talks about the pro's and cons of hosting orphans in the United States, without the stated intention of adopting them. I know there are many people (a majority?) that really don't have the intention to adopt the kids, and I believe the kids are told up front that this is just a visit. But really, who could blame the child for getting his hopes up that maybe someone would adopt him?
On the other hand, others are specifically looking at hosting as an opportunity to find a specific child to adopt. But even so, there are no guarantees. The SDA will have the final say. The adoptive parents will have to be very persuasive that they should be allowed to adopt that specific child (without their facilitator with them). The article alludes to favors or donations that might be required to get a favorable referral. And since you can't "reserve" a specific child, there is competition. I have wondered about how much info to post on this blog about Sergei and Valya. Is someone else going to see the information here about them and beat us to the SDA? You cannot blame an orphan for agreeing to go with the first family willing to adopt them. The second chance may never come. There are 1,000 things that can disrupt an adoption, no matter how hard you try. Some time ago I went back to my posts on Sergei and Valya and edited out some information. I have personally corresponded with someone by email who forbade me to say anything about the child they want to adopt.
But what if you go to your SDA appointment with absolutely no idea of a child ahead of time, other than perhaps a desired age range? This is also risky. Recently, the SDA has been telling adoptive parents that there are NO healthy children available for adoption. This is an outright lie and it angers me. I absolutely do not fault any family that decides not to adopt a child with severe medical problems. The family needs to talk about this ahead of time and be in agreement that they are called for these children. Some families are only getting one chance at the SDA, which severely limits the opportunity for a successful adoption.
Overall, I guess, I would have to say I'm neutral toward hosting. I know some of you reading this had a great experience. Others have not. I agree with this post about Dr. Rosini, the director of Frontier Horizon: it is a gamble.
4 weeks ago