Disaster Raises Adoption Interest

Disaster raises interest in adoption from tsunami-stricken countries

Americans who want to open their homes to children orphaned in the south Asian tsunami are being advised to give money instead. The head of the Sunshine International Adoption agency says it will probably be a year before any orphans become available for adoption. She says people are being urged instead to focus on disaster relief. Many of the records that would be needed for adoption were lost in the disaster, things like birth certificates and proof that a child is an orphan. And the State Department points out that international custom in disasters is to keep children close to relatives who survived. Indonesia, for now, is banning taking any children out of the shattered Aceh region. But one expert on child psychology, Seth Pollak of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says permanent family care is important for a child, even if that means a foreign family.