Are orphanages really so bad?

I also did a lot of thinking about where is the best place for these children? The orphanage I stayed at was amazing. The couple that runs it are two of the most amazing people you will ever meet. They do their best to love all of these children and create a family atmosphere for them to grow up in. They will tell you themselves that their goal is to get the children out of their orphanage and either back with their families or into other homes. They believe children need to be raised by families. But they also have so many stories of children that end up with families that don’t take the time to understand where they come from, or simply adopt a child because they think it will make their life “more complete.”

There was one child that walked four hours back to the orphanage because he hated his adopted family so much. Every night as he fell asleep he heard his “mom” and “dad” arguing about whether they should keep him or not. They were a couple with no children thinking this was the logical next step – get a child – it would make them feel like a more complete family.

I don’t know how you can take a child away from that – they aren’t harming him in any way physically – or in any way you can really prove. But how is being raised in a family like that better than the love that child would get in the community orphanage home?

And how can we stop situations like this from happening? How can we come up with better screening methods so we are sure that this child’s life will actually be BETTER rather than worse once they get placed into a home?

There were two kids that were adopted while I was staying at the orphanage. They went to go live with a family in Michigan. When the couple came to pick them up it was evident they didn’t speak any Spanish. While this isn’t a prerequisite for adoption, you’d think it’d be something they’d work on when in the process of adopting five Mexican children. I understand the children will be learning English – especially since they are moving to the United States – but since they are already being ripped from everything they know and are comfortable with, isn’t it just an added stress that they won’t be able to communicate with anyone, especially their parents? I guess if I was going to adopt a kid from another country I’d try to learn the language – if I expected him or her to be bilingual I’d expect the same of myself…

We think all the time that orphanages are like "holding cells" for children until we get them to better places. But are we really giving them a better future than an orphanage would? What's the best way to care for children who have been abandoned or abused?

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