Many of you reading here have read about the stories from all over the world. The horrible facilities where the "useless eaters" waste away to nothing. These same facilities exist all over the world, and Serbia is no exception.
My heart lies in Serbia. It aches for the children left behind. Unfortunately pictures of the orphans of Serbia cannot be posted on websites or blogs. As much as I want to get their story out, I also must respect the laws of Serbia regarding child privacy. And so, I need to ask you to use your imagination a bit, to picture Pleven to remember the investigation done by MDRI in 2007. (we have reason to believe Axel is one of the children pictured in the Serbia video).
According to the MDRI report: "Children with disabilities come directly from the hospital to the orphanage. Doctors encourage this. There is no interest in adopting children even with the mildest disability. Children without disabilities will go to foster families or will be adopted. Children with disabilities are left behind." – doctor, Subotica Institution for babies
Because the pictures cannot be posted, people forget these children exist. Adoption agencies don't make money on a child who's face can't be shown. Nobody is knocking down the doors of Serbia to find homes for these children. Families seem to hardly think twice about spending $20, $30, even $40,000 to adopt children from Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, China, Haiti. But Serbia, the least expensive country in the world to adopt from, free of all corruption - my adoption of Asher totaled $7100! - and yet nobody is saving the children. All because of one measly picture.
I must tell you, there are plenty of Ashers, Axels, Ivans, Marys, and Nicks in Serbia. There are laying down rooms, there are rooms no outsider will ever get into. There are institutions in Subotica, Kolevka, Kulina, Veliki Popovac, Veternik, Stamnica, Kovin, Curug...and more. *note not all of these facilities have children residing in them.* According to the report done by MDRI in 2007, in a country not much bigger than the state of Minnesota there are 78 institutions. Among them are 5 residential facilities for children.
I've posted before how Serbian adoptions work. No, you won't find pictures of Serbian orphans here or on any other website, but if you choose to pursue a Serbian adoption you will not travel without knowing information - and having had the opportunity to ask questions - about the child you'll be bringing home. It is like getting a prenatal diagnosis in a pregnancy; you know the child's diagnosis, age, height and weight, (and depending upon the child's social worker you might even get a picture of them before you travel) Just in case you need a reminder of the face of Serbian adoption, here are our two Serbian princes!
Axel at 4 months home
Asher home 5 months