Drucilla Cornell: The ‘Enabling Violation’ of International Adoption
On April 24, 1993, I legally adopted my daughter in Asuncion, Paraguay. I will never forget that day. I was a complete nervous wreck. Our adoption was being expedited because the first free elections in decades were to be held that spring, following the 35-year rule of the dictator Alfredo Stroessner, who was ousted in a military coup in 1989. There was much uncertainty as to whether the election would even take place, and concern that another military coup might prevent it. Tanks were in the street, and there was a sense that the country might well fall in to a civil war.
Against this background, adopting a baby might have seemed like a small issue. But in fact, all the opposition parties agreed on one thing: they would quickly stop all adoption to the United States, and indeed, in 1995, a law was passed to suspend adoptions from Paraguay until there had been a complete overhaul of adoption procedures.