Slum tourism and adoption.

In a separate post we discussed the “slumming it” [link to post] of adoptive parents. Along these lines, I came across today a CHIFF supporter blog which reads: “After all, the poor will always be with us”. Rather Calvinist, as I’m fond of saying. There was also this, from an article about Kenya entitled: “Treated like ‘animals’: inside Kenya’s slum tourism” [link to article].

“They come here and what interests them is the poverty side of it,” he told me. “So they rather have pictures of a boy next to a garbage spot, stranded dog or something like that. That suits them because that’s what they’re looking for.

“They’re not here to say ‘take me to my favourite pub’ and I show them: this is how our favourite pub looks like.”

Most locals say they don’t benefit from them. Instead, they feel they are just here to be looked at and pitied.

How much of adoption is wrapped up in “slum tourism”? How different (if so) is the mediation of adopter blogs from this kind of exploitation of the impoverished?

4 thoughts on “Slum tourism and adoption.

  1. There is a sickness in people who wish to make themselves feel better at the cost of children they wish to adopt/abduct. Adoption and trafficking in slum kids is nothing more than that – human trafficking. The drugged feeling when they adopt kids is highly addictive and sanctioned by churches to add more church members. Vicious cycle.

  2. Not only sanctioned by churches Trace but actively encouraged. The setting up of adoption ministries is a popular pursuit and saving souls for god is presumably congruent with saving your own soul. How much more Christian it would be to try to keep families and communities together through some useful projects if they must intervene. I am reminded once again of Desmond Tutu saying that when the white man arrived with bibles the black man was asked to close his eyes and pray. When he opened his eyes the black man had the bibles and the white man had the land. Some of us would say he also had the children.
    Orphan tourism is offensive and damaging, particularly when it is in orphanages to ‘socialise’ children. The blood runs cold at some of the things being done to children in the name of ‘doing good’.

  3. I had no idea slum tourism was even a thing people did! I have heard of “orphan” tourism, and find it appalling for many, many reasons; but slum tourism…a brand new low.

  4. One need not be ‘religious’ to blindly use a stacked deck of cards when playing the “lookit-’em/let’s-save-’em” game. While those who have directly experienced deleterious effects of efforts to save poor POC waifs see who is behind the curtain in the land of Oz, indigenous Ozians are entirely unaware their lives are based on a narcissistic culture that is entirely dependent upon the existence of down-and-outers for its existence.

    It is a matter of power projecting violence upon others so as to extract the energy and resources of the downtrodden, thereby enabling those who hold power retain it and assuring that the exhausted and resource-depleted down-and-outers remain that way.

    Call it slumming. Call it cultural appropriation. Call it colonialism. Call it theft.

    No matter what you call it, I’ll bet that “they” will not hear what you are saying — they’re too busy looking at all those babies for sale. If they stopped to think for but a moment, they would realize that all the money they will spend for one child might have saved one or more entire families…

Adoptees, what do you think? We welcome your replies!

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