Each year, hundreds of thousands of children languish in foster or institutional care worldwide, while at the same time, thousands of adults, married and unmarried alike, are denied children because of “shortages.” How did this tragedy occur, and why does it continue to be repeated daily in countries around the world? The unfortunate truth is that many of the legal and societal norms now in place effectively prohibit needy children from finding suitable homes. While potential parents in Western countries cry out for babies of their own, millions of children live in physical and psychological poverty in underfunded orphanages around the world and governments refuse to recognize the problems inherent in the current methods of intercountry adoption.The problems with the present system are rooted in its traditional and highly paternalistic approach to children's rights. For years, courts and children's advocates have claimed to be working in the best interest of the child.
S. I. Strong, Children's Rights in Intercountry Adoption: Towards A New Goal, 13 B.U. Int'l L.J. 163 (1995)