Monday, December 7, 2009

Project 7 Addresses International Adoption

I found out about the Project 7 line while perusing Caribou Coffee for gift ideas and I like some the items available on the P7 site. Particularly, the T-shirts made out of recycled plastic bottles and organic cotton and the breath mints packaged in unique vials with cork stoppers (made from recycled materials, as well).

Amazingly, there is some progressive copy on the site about orphans and international adoption(!):

"Internationally, human rights organizations have brought to light serious neglect and cruelty in foreign orphanages— most notorious of which are orphanages in China and Russia. The Human Rights Watch investigation of one Russian orphanage revealed that children who were considered “too active” or “too difficult” were confined to dark or barren rooms. The report also uncovered that staff would tether orphans by a limb if they believed they might try to escape, and restrained others in makeshift straitjackets. This sad reality is a clear indication of the necessity for human right organizations to monitor these institutions, and to take prompt action and intervene when necessary.

Surprisingly, adoption is still a fairly unregulated $6.3 billion industry. Americans have, since 1971, adopted nearly 300,000 children internationally. However, the condition of orphanages and the welfare of abandoned children is not a top priority in the current system of adoption.

Within the U.S. the number of orphans pales in comparison to third world and other international countries. Many argue that domestic processes are lengthy and costs of U.S. adoption are significant in comparison to international options. Therefore, while there are 114,000 children in the U.S. waiting to be adopted from foster care, many couples are seeking to find and adopt infants from abroad. Of course, it doesn’t help that celebrities and the media have made it appear popular to adopt international children."

Kudos to the people at Project 7 for having the balls to refer to adoption as an "unregulated industry."

And while the scope of Project 7 itself seems quite ambitious, their store is definitely worth a look as we head into the holidays.