Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Street Children & Adoption

Whenever I stopped my car at the traffic light on many streets in Jakarta, little children at the ages between 4 and 10 years old, would approach my car to beg for money.

It breaks my heart to see those children who are supposed to be studying at school and/or play many kinds of games afterwards. At that time I would wonder who are their parents, why are they allowed to be in the streets. If the parents cannot raise their children properly, why didn't the Department of Social take care of them. If the department can't, they can always arrange individuals to do it under supervision, for example through adoption. However, adoption process in Indonesia is not an easy thing.

I remmember accompanying an American couple to Sayap Ibu Orphanage in South Jakarta, ten years ago. The couple, Mike and Annie Jones, married for 8 years but childless and had lived in Indonesia for 4 years, wanted to adopt a 2 years old baby girl from the orphanage. Although they have fulfilled most of the conditions (Media Anggara Blawg) e.g married min. 5 years, lived in Indonesia for min. 3 years, but considering that Mike was 47 years old and Anne 42 years old, while according to regulation the husband should be 45 max. and the wife 40 max. their adoption request was rejected by the orphanage.
Beside Mike and Anne, I also knew several Indonesian couples whose adoption requests were rejected due to same reason.

I can understand the reason for limitation of age of the persons who want to adopt children, but in my opinion it should not be implemented very strictly. For example even if the couple are older but if they can secure the children's future, for example by insurance policy, then they are eligible to adopt the children.

In conclusion, I felt that adoption is one of the way that can reduce the number of street children. For which purpose, the adoption regulation should not be so strict on only one aspect for example age of parents, but should consider other aspects as well.

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