Women’s Rights: Programs and Initiatives

THINK FRESH – Seek Alliances – Build Solidarity


This page aims to promote gender- focused human rights issues and relevant groups. Trans-national adoption cannot be viewed in isolation from a range of problematic economic, social and cultural dynamics that are profoundly responsible for its sustainability.

The ability of trans-national adoption to offer one small solution to child poverty and homelessness is not in dispute. But the fact remains that it offers no means of prevention. Such adoptions are ultimately made possible by the severe neglect and lack of political will in governments and other bodies of power to put a range of support and protection mechanisms in place so that marginalised and economically disadvantaged families can remain bonded.

In particular, new alliances in the existing adoption community need to be formed in order to support the efforts of marginalized mothers around the world who are fighting to keep their children within their families and communities. More attention also needs to be given to existing alternative care for homeless children and single mothers within and outside the state run systems and in the form of non-profit projects.

Sadly, many vulnerable women also lack awareness of what alternatives to child relinquishment might exist. This lack can be observed in an interview conducted by journalist V. Altman (1995) with P. Stephen, a Sri Lankan social worker who runs a project in Kandy, Sri Lanka for single women who want to keep their babies. According to Stephens, the women she’s met ‘feel they shouldn’t have given up their child, they feel that women should know about support services so that those who want to keep their babies can come to such places’ (in Altman 1995: 18) .

Combatting coercive family separations and community displacement is clearly a human rights agenda, but with women very often right there on the frontline.

Further analysis on transnational adoption and feminist issues see below and also the AVI Books list:

“Birth Searches As Public Pedagogy”: Unedited: Voices of Adoption, Featuring Jennifer Kwon Dobbs video and written piece with additional list on unwed mothers and similar support. Read here

Women’s & Related Group Links

Association for Women International Development (AWID) – www.awid.org

Community Health Education Society (CHES) and Indian NGOS – www.allforyouth.org

ILO/IPEC- Mekong Project to Combat Trafficking in Children and Women – www.ilo.org

The International Coordination Office

Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) – www.gaatw.org

Human Trafficking – A Resource for combatting trafficking! – www.humantrafficking.org

International Organisation for Migration – www.iom.int

UNIFEM – East and South East Asia Branch – www.unifem-eseasia.org

Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea (TRACK) – justicespeaking.wordpress.com





Altman, V. (1995). ‘Baby Trafficking or Inter-Country Adoption’. Signposts to Asia and the Pacific: Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ).

Serril, M. S. (1991, 21 October). ‘Going abroad to find a baby’. Time, 138, 16, pp. 86 – 89.

WorldBank (2001). ‘Spotlight on India’s AIDS control efforts: Grassroots projects the key to success’, Media Release of The World Bank Group.