Want to Adopt a Japanese Orphan? You May Be Out of Luck

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You may mean well, but Japan doesn’t need your adoption help. Haiti, however, still does. And that’s a major difference between developed and undeveloped countries.

Tazuru Ogaway, director of the Japanese adoption agency Across Japan, tells FoxNews.com that people from the United States suddenly looking to Japan for adoptions doesn’t sit well there. Japan says it can take care of its own just fine, a sharp contrast to the response—and needs—experienced after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. A State Department report says the U.S. fast-tracked over 1,000 adoptions in Haiti after the earthquake. We won’t see the same trend from Japan.

(More on TIME.com: See how you can help the quake victims, other than adopting them)

Not only do the Japanese feel Americans just want to take what they want from the disaster—the kids—but also their cultural makeup generally provides for displaced children. “I don’t believe there’s going to be a true orphan situation in Japan in the wake of this disaster,” says Martha Osborne, spokeswoman for the adoption advocacy website RainbowKids.com. “That extended family system is going to consider that child their child.”

Even outside of crisis situations, adoptions in Japan are rare in a country where bloodlines have great significance. Only about 30 international adoptions took place from Japan last year. “Japan is very capable, unlike many undeveloped nations, of caring for its own,” Osborne says.

And even if Japan was open to adoption, as rescue workers still sort out the missing from the found, the hope to reconnect children with their families remains. Maybe the best idea for those interested in helping is to instead donate to organizations providing emergency relief. (via Fox News)

(More on TIME.com: See why you should be careful how you give)