Adoption Anecdotes

The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption Kathryn JoycePublic Affairs, 2013; 352 pages, $26.99 Four years ago, Kathryn Joyce published Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, a critical treatment of an evangelical Christian group wherein women married and obeyed their husbands, had lots of babies, and stayed home to take care of them. Joyce, a left-leaning religion reporter, was horrified by the movement, and that horror is evident even in a brief statement on the book’s jacket bemoaning the rise of “modest, feminine dress” and avoidance of sex before marriage in “the corners of fundamentalist Christendom across the country.” In 2013, Joyce turned her attention to the evangelical adoption movement. The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking and the New Gospel of Adoption is a largely anecdotal coverage of the Christian adoption movement—or, more specifically, international Christian adoption. In a gracious response to the book, Jedd Medefind, president of Christian Alliance for Orphans, writes that in several interviews with Joyce, he had expounded in detail on domestic Christian efforts to help children, “[y]et virtually none of this—the mentoring, family preservation, foster care, and adoption of American children that most everyone else has largely abandoned—made it into the book.” This absence should be noted. In its Adoption Factbook V, the National Council for Adoption (NCFA), one of the largest adoption advocacy groups, points out that in 2007, 133,737 domestic adoptions took place, and of these, 57,248 were “related”—the child was adopted by a relative. Comparatively, there were only 19,471 international adoptions in the same year, some 20% of all non-related adoptions. The numbers of international adoptions have fallen drastically since that time. According to the Department of State, in FY2012, there were only 8,668 international adoptions to the U.S. Of these, how many are the
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