”I enabled my daughter’s life by adopting her, but in another sense it was a violation for my daughter, who was uprooted from her home, her language and her country of birth. I may have violated the people of Paraguay by participating in an adoption process that the vast majority of Paraguayans deeply disapproved of and ultimately sought to end. I have of course tried to make sure that my daughter always knew the story, not only of her adoption, but of what I could gather of her birth mother’s decision. But I will never feel at ease until my daughter and I visit her birth mother and hear it directly from her.
There is no easy way in which the adopted child’s imaginary domain can be facilitated, although dual citizenship seems to be a minimum guarantee to adopted children, so that they can return to their country of birth if they so desire. Ultimately, international adoption is profoundly implicated in relations of inequality that cannot be addressed on the basis of one family alone. Perhaps, then, if we at least recognize international adoption as an enabling violation, we can avoid the worst kinds of self-righteous humanitarianism, and find ourselves pointed towards a struggle for a more just world."