What is the Best Interest of the Child?

In class last week, we were privileged to have speakers come from  the Center for Family Representation.  This non-profit organization works to ensure that families remain together and are not put through the harsh foster care system.  Our speakers offered many insightful thoughts and feelings about the system and how CFR works to establish family unity.  One message stood out to me: in general, “every kid just wants to go home”.  This makes perfect sense. What child would not want to go home to their parents? I continued my week without thinking much about what our speakers had said.  It was not until Friday, March 4 when New York Law School held an adoption conference, that the comment came back to me.  At the conference various speakers expressed the ways in which their organization or governmental body worked to ensure that the children were taken care of and laws complied with the Hague Convention.  Alison Dilworth, from the Department of State, stated that 200 children from 120 countries have been adopted by American families.  The standard of care used by the Hague Convention countries when putting together international adoptions is what is know as the best interest of the child.  So I ask, if every kid wants to go home than is it really in the best interest of the child for them to be internationally adopted??

Is taking a child from a foreign nation and bringing them to the United States really in their best interest? Even if the children involved in international adoption do not have families in their home countries for a number of reasons it still seems unlikely that their best interest is served when they are torn from their culture, environment, and social atmosphere.  Each case is understandably different and I am sure that in some cases, the best interest of the child is served through taking them out of the conditions they are living in, but I do wonder how many full into this category.  Take Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.  They have adopted children from all over the world, and yes I am sure they are living a great life.  But is an economically good life all we are striving for when we talk about the best interest of a child?