Welcome! Feel free to use this blog as a resource for researching international adoption. Courtesy of www.vancetwins.com

Photolistings: Are They Ethical and Beneficial?

David Kruchkow

The Internet is populated with photolistings of children allegedly available for adoption. Is this a way to unite waiting children with families or is it a way for unethical agencies and facilitators to play on the heartstrings of prospective adoptive parents, and roping them into a scam? In this article, I will attempt to answer this question and look at the good, the bad and the ugly side of photolistings.

Personally, I am categorically opposed to all photolistings. All one has to do is look at real estate listings or visit cars.com or autotrader.com to see how children are being marketed and merchandized like real estate and cars. There has to be a better way. Let me just add that I do respect and understand those who claim that they found 'their child' on a photolisting, and that I do respect and understand those who claim that photolistings help children, especially those who are older and/or with special needs, find homes and families. On my website, www.adoptionagencychecklist.com, I have a page entitled, Photolisitngs and Ethics. It contains the following:

"What bothers me is how some adoption professionals are using the photolisting capability of the Internet to market and merchandise children. These photolistings can easily become a tool of the unscrupulous and unethical to victimize children and adoptive families. A family that is desperate to parent and adopt easily bonds with the right photo and becomes hooked and blinded." ....

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Should 'Going Home Barbie' go to more homes?

By Maria DiDanieli

If a little girl is on your shopping list this holiday season, rest assured the popular Barbie line of dolls will be foremost in your mind. (And if not in yours, it certainly will be on hers) Although the basic Barbie, now with a smaller chest and finally wearing knickers, is always a good choice, there are many permutations of Barbie from which to choose. International Barbies, princess Barbies, single Barbies enjoying lives of frolic and more sedate, domesticated versions that represent the young beauty's wishes to settle down.

But there is one Barbie that cannot be found in any store or through any website. She is officially called 'Going Home Barbie' but her nick-name is 'White Swan Barbie' after the one location in the world, The White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, China, where she can be obtained. But, ask not 'where can she be found?' Rather, ask 'what do I have to do to get her?' The answer to this is quite specific. To become the proud owner of a 'Going Home Barbie', you must: a) adopt a child from China, and b) stay at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou while awaiting clearance for an exit visa, for your baby, from the U.S. government. There is no other way to come into possession of the 'Going Home Barbie'.....

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The Big Question: Is it exploitation to adopt children from the developing world?

By Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor
Friday, 6 October 2006

Why are we asking this question now?

Madonna, the American celebrity with a talent for re-inventing herself, was reported yesterday to have flown by private jet to Malawi, the southern African country ravaged by Aids, and adopted an orphan. Malawi government officials were quoted as saying that the 48-year-old singer had chosen a one-year-old boy from among 12 children specially picked out prior to her arrival.

The pop star, worth an estimated £248m, was in Malawi to visit the Raising Malawi centre in a village 30 miles outside the capital, Lilongwe, which she is supporting. The centre provides food and schooling for Aids orphans. The story was later denied by a spokeswoman for Madonna who described it as "completely inaccurate". That did not stop it making the front pages of yesterday's newspapers and reopening the debate on international adoption....

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Babies-for-sale trade faces a global crackdown

Attempts by Western families to adopt children from poor nations have fuelled a rogue market in young lives. But at last action is being taken. Carolyn Wheeler reports from Lviv, Ukraine.

The thick stack of photographs pulled from a manila envelope in Maria Chernyk's cupboard explains all she has to say about foreign adoptions. Each year, the director of Lviv's Orphanage No 1 sends a handful of children overseas: most to the United States, many to Italy, some to Germany, France and Canada, one to a Ukrainian couple in Manchester.

She tracks them with this collection of photos: a sweet blond boy with a crossed eye, a slender, solemn-faced girl who needed heart surgery, a little boy so traumatised by his past that he never spoke.

Each family paid dearly for the privilege of being parents, over £15,000 in many cases, to cover travel, agency fees and the demands of dozens of bureaucrats....

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New U.S. Procedures Intended To Help Intercountry Adoption

05 October 2006

Deadline announced for adoption service providers seeking accreditation

The 1993 Hague Convention sets minimum international standards and procedures for adoptions that occur between implementing countries. It seeks to ensure that such intercountry adoptions are made in the best interests of the child and aims to prevent abuses such as abductions, sale or trafficking in children, as well as the exploitation of birth parents and adoptive parents.

To date 68 countries have ratified the convention or acceded to it. The United States signed the pact in 1994 and hopes to ratify it by 2007.

In 2005 Americans adopted nearly 23,000 children from countries around the world, with more than half coming from countries that are parties to the Hague Convention, according to the State Department....

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Personal Thoughts on Ethics in International Adoption

By Ellen Fitzenrider

I am by no means an expert on ethical matters in anything (who can totally be?), let alone international adoption. The concept of ethics in itself is fraught with inherent 'gray-areas' that always seem to be open to interpretation, constant reflection and redefinition. It challenges us to be thoughtful, and to try to be our best selves by 'doing the right thing.' In the arena of international adoption there are issues small and large, but the challenge is of paramount importance and cannot wait until we have time in our busy lives to pay attention to them. There are lives at stake. Lives of children. Lives of families. Lives of those of us in the more fortunate areas of the world. Lives of those living in countries less fortunate. There are moral choices and decisions to be made that can so easily be swayed by emotion, desired outcomes and, especially, money.

Face it. There is a LOT of money flying around this world of international adoption....

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Baby Hotel: The Gateway to Guatemalan Adoption

Jacob Wheeler
October 9, 2006

The Marriott Hotel in Guatemala City's wealthy Zona 9 isn't really Central America. But it isn't the United States either. It's a kind of no man's land between countries, between cultures, sprawled out on the highway dividing rich and poor, where thousands of impoverished Guatemalan children make the final step in their journeys to become adopted by Americans. Most of them don't make a step at all, of course, because they're infants. Instead they are passed from a Guatemalan foster mother, or an attorney, into the trembling arms of a teary-eyed couple from El Norte who has been waiting for this moment, often not so patiently, for months or years.

In Guatemala City, in venues like the Marriott Hotel, or the Radisson, or the Camino Real right next to the American Embassy, this strange if not humorous baby handoff in a busy lobby is now an everyday occurrence. Guatemala holds the distinction of being the only Latin American country — the only country in the whole Western Hemisphere — that doesn't recognize the United Nations Hague treaty of 1989 that pushes for stringent state control over international adoptions. Adoptions here fall under the notary system, which means they are essentially privatized and run by lawyers and judges who have plenty to choose from when it comes to impoverished, malnourished, and sometimes abandoned or stolen babies....

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Adopting a pose

Lilian Saleh
October 17, 2006 12:00am

FORGET the Oscar. The latest Hollywood must-have is an adopted baby – preferably a black one plucked from an impoverished Third-World country and flown halfway around the world on a private jet.

The latest celebrity to join the "let's save the world by adopting a foreign baby" trend is Madonna – who is finalising plans to adopt 13-month-old David Banda from the poverty-stricken African nation of Malawi.

It is not only that the Material Girl apparently chose David from a list of 12 "contenders" emailed to her that has angered Australian parents who have adopted overseas children – it was the ease with which she was able to complete the process, having her application to adopt fast-tracked while others are put through years of scrutiny and financial pressure....

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Madonna and child

Friday October 6, 2006
The Guardian

Joan Crawford, Mia Farrow, Angelina Jolie. And now, it seems, Madonna. A long list of celebrities have chosen to adopt children from abroad. But why do they go so far -and can it be right, when there are thousands of children in this country in need of a loving home? Emine Saner reports

So Madonna has adopted a one-year-old boy from Malawi. Or has she? There have been denials from her people but it's not so unbelievable, is it? After all, she wouldn't be the first. She has been thinking about it for months, apparently, and in July, her father-in-law let slip that Madonna and her husband, Guy Ritchie, had started the process. The pop star is in the southern African country this week visiting orphanages. It had been reported that 12 children were "selected", from which she would choose a little brother for her children Lourdes, nine, and Rocco, six. "She asked us to identify boys only, which we have done after visiting four orphanages," a government spokeswoman, Adrina Michiela, is reported to have said (she also said that Madonna had originally wanted to choose a girl but changed her mind two weeks ago)....

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Madonna's adoption plans slammed by politicians

13/10/2006 - 09:48:50

Madonna has been slammed for her adoption plans by politicians, who fear her decision to take home a one-year-old boy from Malawi is a mere publicity stunt.

The pop queen and her director husband Guy Ritchie arrived in Malawi last Wednesday and met local orphans and government ministers during their time there.

However, members of a Scottish parliament group have hit out with concerns that the Material Girl star's motives are selfish....

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Adoption 'a Hollywood fad'

13/10/2006 08:07 - (SA)

London - British politicians and Malawi child care advocates on Thursday questioned the reported adoption of a motherless Malawi boy by Madonna, saying the move smacked of a celebrity fad and that the child would have been better off with relatives in the country.

The condemnations followed a statement on Wednesday by the boy's father that Madonna had adopted one-year-old David Banda, who had been cared for at the Home of Hope Orphan Care Centre near Zambia since his mother Marita died from childbirth complications last year.

The reported move followed other high profile adoptions by movie star Angelina Jolie, who adopted children from Cambodia and Ethiopia, and Meg Ryan, whose adopted child hails from China....

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Malawi child rights group to challenge adoption

Updated Fri. Oct. 13 2006 2:11 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff

A leading child rights group in Malawi will seek a court injunction to block Madonna's efforts to adopt a toddler from the impoverished African nation if the government allows the process to take place.

Eye of the Child issued a statement on Friday, one day after Malawi's High Court issued an interim order allowing Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie to adopt the one-year-old motherless boy.

"It is about safeguarding the future of a human being who, because of age, cannot express an opinion." ....

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Madonna adoption bid challenged

Friday, 13 October 2006, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK

A Malawian child rights group has said it wants to stop Madonna adopting a child from the African country.

The organisation, Eye of the Child, said it would seek a court injunction if the government did not halt its interim order approving the adoption.

"It's not like selling property," the group said in a statement....

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Too heavy to adopt?

A quarter of the UK's population is obese, according to the measurements of the body mass index (BMI). But it's not just about health and looks - it can also affect whether a family can adopt, writes a reader in our Readers' Column who wishes to remain anonymous.

As an overweight nation, it's pretty obvious that we're leaving a deadly legacy to future generations. Something has to be done about it, and as someone who tries to follow a healthy diet, I'm glad that the government has provided a guide to assessing what's an acceptable weight.

The danger of the BMI however, is that not only is the scientific reasoning behind it questionable but once the bureaucrats get their hands on it, it goes from being a sensible guideline to a commandment; set in stone, non-negotiable. And it might well prevent me and my husband from having what we so desperately want: a family.

We have been trying for a baby for six years now and we were devastated when I had a miscarriage three years ago....

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'Baby snatcher' sends CNN-IBN notice

Published on Mon, Jun 26, 2006 at 20:20,
Updated on Tue, Jun 27, 2006 at 11:02 in Nation section


New Delhi: One week after CNN-IBN exposed a Pune-based adoption agency - Preet Mandir - of violating all adoption laws and selling babies to foreigners, its Managing Director, J S Bhasin, finally surfaced.

Bhasin has sent a notice to CNN-IBN under Section 500 of the Criminal Procedure Code to withdraw their reports and refused to answer any questions regarding the investigation.

At a press conference he also said that the public must not get carried away by the CNN-IBN expose on adoption....

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Baby snatchers prowl Konkan

Ruksh Chatterji / CNN-IBN
Published on Sun, Jul 02, 2006 at 15:21,
Updated on Mon, Jul 03, 2006 at 13:05 in Nation section

Konkan (Maharashtra): Misty hills, swollen rivers and incessant rain are common in Maharashtra's Konkan belt.

This sparsely populated region along the west coast doesn't have a single adoption home, making it the perfect hunting ground for baby snatchers....

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Potential pitfalls of adopting abroad

By Laura Smith-Spark BBC News

The row over pop star Madonna's intended adoption of 13-month-old David Banda from Malawi shows no sign of dying down.

Acres of column space have been devoted to discussion of the legality and the ethics of her decision to bring the boy to her London mansion.

Among critics' concerns was that the singer appeared to be following a recent trend among celebrities to look abroad for children, with Angelina Jolie adopting in Ethiopia last year.

But while the spotlight has fallen on orphans in Africa, in reality the continent is not often the first stop for Western adopters....

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If people of the affluent West wish to tackle child poverty, the solution is to sponsor a village and not just adopt a child: charity

A charity last week criticised the growing trend towards transnational adoptions by celebrities, warning that it takes more than single adoption of children from developing countries to end childpoverty.

“We recognise that international adoptions help but they should only be a last resort. We think it would be great if celebrities used their power to campaign,” said Jane Moyo of Action AID, a charity which works in developing countries, including Malawi....

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The Problematic Pop-Culture Movement to 'Save' Africa

By G. Pascal Zachary, AlterNet.
Posted October 24, 2006.

Madonna's adoption debacle is about more than one Malawian baby. Celebrity stunts and corporate campaigns reveal that well-meaning Americans often have no idea how to help Africans.

Madonna, famous for going to extremes to gain attention, is reminding the world in a fresh way that Americans abroad are dangerous. A widening controversy surrounds her adoption of a one-year-old African baby from the impoverished country of Malawi. And the debacle illustrates how ham-handed, clumsy and ineffective American aid efforts can be. Stunts like Madonna's perversely tend to reinforce Americans' sense of moral superiority -- without doing much for the aid recipients themselves.

The former Material Girl's misadventures in adopting the boy, David Banda, have made her the newest Ugly American -- big-footing her way through a foreign country, violating local laws and sensibilities in the name of a private agenda she calls "doing good." Now even the father of the boy says Madonna's adoption is a mistake, joining a growing number of human-rights critics is saying the entertainer should return the child....

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Top celeb 'gave back' African orphan

Sunday, October 22 2006, 11:08 BST
By Daniel Kilkelly, Entertainment Reporter

A celebrity adopted a child from the same African orphanage as Madonna - but gave the youngster back two months later.

Home of Hope director Rev Thomson Chipeta, who refused to name the star, is now concerned that the children he cares for will suffer because of the backlash following Madonna's decision to adopt Malawi orphan David Banda....

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Foreign adoptions – answer for AIDS-stricken Africa?

22 October 2006

JOHANNESBURG - Madonna’s bid to adopt a Malawian baby may have raised some hackles about foreign adoptions but the increasing number of African orphans underscores a pressing need to find suitable new parents.

The scourge of AIDS and the civil wars that continue to bedevil the world’s poorest continent means that the number of orphans, which currently stands at 43 million, is bound to mushroom.

United Nations estimates forecast that 18 million African children will have lost at least one parent by the end of the decade. And while orphans have traditionally been absorbed by their relatives, the AIDS pandemic means many uncles and aunts are not in a position to take over as before....

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Personal Column: Adoption abroad

By Danielle Demetriou
Sunday, 22 October 2006

I was found abandoned in a tenement block in Hong Kong on Christmas Day in 1962. A stranger took me to a police station and I spent the first few months of my life in St Christopher's children's home.

The following year, I flew to the UK with four other Chinese babies to be adopted by British parents. Our arrival was so unusual it was written about in the Daily Mirror.

My adopted parents had been unable to adopt in the UK because my mother is Catholic and my father Church of England. Couples of mixed religions were not deemed fit to adopt....

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Malawi charity seeks Madonna child's return

Friday, October 20 2006, 11:35 BST
By Dave West, Media Correspondent

A Malawi charity is going to court in an attempt to get Madonna's adopted child returned to the country.

The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation in Malawi is taking its case to the high court in capital Lilongwe on Friday, according to the Daily Mail, to try to force the pop star to bring David Banda back to the country.

The campaign group will ask for an injunction ordering her to return and go through more full checks and procedures. Undule Mwakasungule, from the charity, has claimed he has evidence that David's father Yohame was not fully aware of the situation....

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Malawi groups go to court on Madonna adoption

Posted on Friday, October 20, 2006 (EST)
Malawi human rights groups on Friday went to court to stop Madonna from adopting a one-year-old Malawian boy, saying the adoption was illegal and could amount to officially sanctioned child trafficking.

LILONGWE (Reuters Life!) - Malawi human rights groups on Friday went to court to stop Madonna from adopting a one-year-old Malawian boy, saying the adoption was illegal and could amount to officially sanctioned child trafficking.

Malawi's High Court will hear the application by the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) next Friday, officials said.

Madonna, 48, has angered rights groups with her plans to adopt young David Banda, who left his native country on Tuesday for the pop diva's home in London after she was granted temporary adoption rights by Malawi authorities....

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Bought in villages, sold in cities

Aditya Mehta / CNN-IBN
Fri, Jun 23, 2006 at 17:40,
Updated on Sat, Jun 24, 2006 at 19:20

Maharashtra: Touts of adoption agencies love to tour villages in Maharashtra. Here babies from poor families and from unwed mothers can be bought cheap and then sold at adoption homes as orphans.

"In rural areas in particular, the chances of this happening is quite high. Babies can be found in certain villages in the eight districts of Marathwada and Jalgaon," says Chairman Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Aurangabad, Dr Wankhede.

The CWC in Aurangabad gets approximately 40 abandoned children annually.

CWC member from Solapur Devayani Tumma often gets calls from adoption agencies making a sales pitch for abandoned children. “Adoption agencies call us and tell us to send the babies to their institutions,” she says....

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CBI confirms CNN-IBN’s report on illegal adoption

Wed, Dec 19, 2007

New Delhi: CNN-IBN’s Special Investigation into illegal foreign adoptions at Preet Mandir, an adoption agency in Pune has now been confirmed by the CBI.

It has filed a supplementary report to the Bombay High Court confirming the facts reported by CNN-IBN earlier.

The CBI report confirms that there were cases of adoption at Preet Mandir where money to the extent of $3,500 to $10,000 were extracted from couples wanting to adopt a child....

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Impact: CBI to probe adoption racket

Fri, Oct 20, 2006

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed the CBI to investigate activities of Pune-based adoption Centre, Preet Mandir after a CNN-IBN Special Investigation blew the lid off the agency, whose owner J S Bhasin has broken every adoption rule in the land to sell babies illegally to foreign parents.

The High Court has asked the CBI to take tapes from CNN-IBN and file a case against the accused.

The investigation by CNN-IBN revealed a serious and a shocking adoption racket at Preet Mandir....

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Madonna overseas adoption follows trend

By Jocelyn Noveck
AP National Writer
October 19, 2006

NEW YORK --Angelina Jolie adopted from Cambodia and Ethiopia. Madonna, as most of the planet knows, is adopting from Malawi. And ordinary Americans adopt foreign-born children by the thousands each year -- a rate that has tripled in the last decade.

But with close to 120,000 children waiting in the U.S. foster care system, what's driving the push in overseas adoptions? It's an emotional issue that goes to the heart of what people are seeking when they adopt a child -- and the obstacles they can face in this country....

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Madonna: Buying Her Way In Malawi?

NEW YORK, Oct. 18, 2006

Pop Star Has Given An African Boy A Home, But Did She Do It The Right Way?

(CBS) In 2002, the world smiled with approval when Angelina Jolie brought back an orphan boy from Cambodia. No one mentioned the fact that in 2001, the United States government suspended adoptions from the country due to concerns about child trafficking.

Now Madonna is the poster girl for what critics say is an unfair advantage enjoyed by celebrities who want to adopt children from foreign countries. Some experts say that in taking custody of 1-year-old David Banda from Malawi, Madonna circumvented the African nation's strict adoption laws, which require the prospective parents to live in the country for 18 months....

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Americans adopting overseas kids by the thousands

06:09 PM CDT
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Associated Press

NEW YORK – Angelina Jolie adopted from Cambodia and Ethiopia. Madonna, as most of the planet knows, is adopting from Malawi. And ordinary Americans adopt foreign-born children by the thousands each year – a rate that has tripled in the last decade.

But with close to 120,000 children waiting in the U.S. foster care system, what's driving the push in overseas adoptions? It's an emotional issue that goes to the heart of what people are seeking when they adopt a child – and the obstacles they can face in this country....

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Stolen Children

By Rory Callinan/Chennai
Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008

YEARS OF HEARTBREAK: Zabeen's birth mother Fatima at a local tea shop; her daughter was taken as she played outside.

Fatima thinks it was her daughter Zabeen's beautiful smile that attracted the child stealer. Playing outside the tea shop near their home in the north Chennai suburb of Washermanpet, with only her four-year-old brother watching, the bright two-year-old was an easy target. While Fatima popped around the corner to the market, Zabeen was bundled into a motorized rickshaw and vanished into the mass of humanity that swirls through the city's squalid alleyways and slums.

"I thought someone had taken her for her kidney," says the weeping mother, clutching a photocopy of her daughter's picture that she keeps in a special place in her tiny two-room flat. "Many, many places I looked. My husband traveled everywhere looking. I was all the time crying for my daughter." Her husband says: "My wife was half mad with grief." ....

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South Brunswick author hopes book raises awareness on adoption issues

By MARY ANN BOURBEAU • STAFF WRITER • September 14, 2008

SOUTH BRUNSWICK —Mirah Riben has been researching, writing and speaking about adoption issues for nearly 40 years. She hopes her latest book, "The Stork Market: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry," will help bring awareness to the multitude of problems within the process.

"International and domestic adoption has become a multi-billion dollar industry which allows for abuses by unscrupulous baby brokers and child traffickers far too easily," said the South Brunswick resident. "It is ripe with exploitation and corruption,."

Riben, 63, is appalled when she reads of children in foreign countries being kidnapped or stolen off the streets and sold to orphanages....

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Nepal urged to tighten adoptions

The government in Nepal is being urged to tighten regulations surrounding the international adoption of its children.

A study suggests the current suspension of international adoptions from Nepal should continue until proper safeguards are in place.

The research was carried out by the UN Children's Fund, Unicef, and the child rights charity Terre des Hommes.

They say numerous infringements take place, including the abuse and, effectively, the sale of children....

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Kidnapped children adopted by Australians

Tim Dick
August 23, 2008

AT LEAST 13 young children from India were kidnapped, given new identities and adopted by unsuspecting Australian families, according to Indian police.

The allegations, detailed in Time magazine, centre on a dubious Chennai orphanage-cum-adoption agency called Malaysian Social Services.

The agency was able to arrange adoptions for Australians, even after an Indian court cancelled one family's proposed adoption in 1995 because MSS had lied when it claimed a five-year-old girl was abandoned....

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'Maybe now, we will get justice'

Scott Carney
August 30, 2008

NOVEMBER 11, 1998, was like any other day in Chennai: hot and humid. Fatima, a young housewife with three children left her house for a grocery run across the street while two of her children, Zabeen, 2, and Sadaam Hussein, 4, played in an alley.

A three-wheeled auto rickshaw pulled up at the alley entrance and the children peeped inside. A woman reached down and grabbed Zabeen and Sadaam and dragged them into the rickshaw. The driver, a man, sped away but Sadaam managed to break free. He ran home to an empty house and cowered under a small wooden bed....

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In search of the stolen children

August 30, 2008

Despite a wave of scandals, child-trafficking remains a huge problem for India, reports Matt Wade in Chennai.

Charities are normally keen to get some publicity to raise their profile and help with fund-raising. But that's not the case for orphanages and adoption agencies in Chennai, India's fourth biggest city.

They have closed ranks after years of negative stories about an adoption "scam" at a local orphanage called Malaysian Social Services.

Police say MSS received children who had been taken from poor families, fabricated new identities for them and then offered them for adoption in Western countries including Australia. The investigation has dragged on since 2000 and is now in the hands of India's premier police agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation.

But the scandal flared again this week when it was revealed a child called Zabeen had been taken from her family in Chennai and adopted by a Queensland couple in 2000....

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Adoptions from India and child trafficking

Indian authorities are investigating the abduction and sale of children who have subsequently been legally adopted internationally.

They estimate that 30 Indian children, adopted by Australians, could have been kidnapped and sold to adoption agencies....

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'Stolen' kids traced to Dutch orphanage

8/28/2008 6:47:40 PM

The case of stolen children sold to foster parents abroad by a child adoption agency Malaysian Social Services is getting murkier. The parents of two children allegedly 'sold' to foster parents in Holland have revealed to TIMES NOW that they had received a letter after 12 years from their children that were abandoned at an orphanage in Netherlands.

The revelation has come as a sharp contrast to the assurances given to them by the adoption agency -- the Malaysian Social Services that their children were safe and with affluent families abroad.

Many adoptions by foreigners through this agency between 1991 and 2002 have come under the scanner after allegations that children were 'stolen' from their parents and handed over adoptions 'illegally'....

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Australia to return 'abducted' children?

8/25/2008 1:50:20 PM

Three years after an illegal adoption racket was busted in Tamil Nadu, in which some of the missing children were traced to foster homes in Australia, the authorities in Australia are debated whether the children should be given back to their parents in India.

Reaction to the case, the Australian High Commission told TIMES NOW that they will look into the matter.

"This is a very serious issue. We are aware of the allegations relating to the company involved. It is for the Australian Attorney General and his department," top diplomats int eh Australian High Commission said.

At least 30 children adopted from India by Australian families may have been kidnapped and sold by child traffickers. A TIME magazine investigation now says 13 of these children are in Australia. The investigation, published this weekend, claims kidnappers stole children from poor neighbourhoods in southern India and sold them to an adoption agency in Malaysia called the Malaysian Social Services for Australian dollar 265 each....

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Indian babies 'bought and sold' for foreign adoption

Updated Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:35am AEST

The number of international adoptions has boomed in recent years as the amount of children available to adopt in Western countries has fallen but international adoption has seen its reputation spiral into a mire of bad news, especially through its association with baby traffickers.

An expose by TIME Magazine has discovered babies in India are being stolen from parents who are very much alive and keen to keep their children.

Presenter: Corinne Podger
Speaker: Rory Callinan, TIME journalist

CALLINAN: Yes India was quite interesting because what had happened in India was that there appeared to be quite a lot of checks in place that created very appropriate looking paperwork, but there was a couple of loopholes that were sort of extremely well exploited. But when the Australian authorities saw the paperwork they were quite happy to accept these children, which suggests that the paperwork was sort of the convincing factor. And this is part of the problem, I mean you can have really sort of good looking paperwork but at the end of the day if you sort of don't do the checks behind who's generating the paperwork you can end up in this situation.

PODGER: You've been following one particular child, a girl called Zabeen who was apparently taken from her parents in a Chennai slum, and it seems adopted by Australian parents who believed she was an orphan. And it seems extensive steps were taken by traffickers to disguise the identity of children like her? ....

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Adoptee sifts through a stolen past

At the age of 3, Lily Schur was kidnapped from her parents and adopted away to the United States.

Now 22, Lily is a brightly smiling young woman with a positive outlook on aspects of her past that are just beyond the reach of her memory.

Having been adopted by a white American family, she first returned to the Korean Peninsula at age 13 as part of an adoptee program. “There was that feeling that I’d been here before,” said Lily, whose Korean name is Kim Jang-mee. “Even to this day, I’m not sure if it’s a real memory.” ....

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PI Firm Uncovers Adoption Corruption in India

posted by PInow.com Staff August 27th, 2008

A Canberra family who adopted two children from India is still waiting for an investigation into their case more than a year after notifying Indian authorities.

Julia Rollings and her husband Barry adopted brother and sister Akil and Sabila from Madras Social Service Guild orphanage in Chennai, in August 1998.

They understood the children, then aged about two and three, arrived at the orphanage in October 1996 after being relinquished for adoption by their mother.

The Rollings family mounted a private investigation in India after reading reports that one of the orphanage’s staff was arrested on charges of kidnapping....

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Racist trouble for Miss Viking

Controversy simmered in Poulsbo, Washington, a US town founded by Norwegian immigrants in the late 1800s, after this year's Miss Viking turned out to be untraditional.

Jasmine Campbell, 17, won the honor on the strength of a combination of talent and a successful audition, but her blend of African and Latin American blood caused some temperatures to rise.

The pageant organizers decided to go public after receiving a series of offensive, racist e-mails in reaction to Campbell's appointment, including sentiments like 'How dare you put an African American in there?'. The incident attracted attention after it was publicized by the Seattle Times....

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Adopt villages, not pet children

By Bashir Goth- posted Tuesday, 14 November 2006

The current celebrity craze for child adoption took me down memory lane. I happened to be in hospital in Hargeisa, today’s Somaliland, at a very young age for injuries I sustained after an air raid on our border village.

Being very young, about seven-years-old, and due to the lack of a vacant bed in the male wards, I was admitted to the female ward. One day, an American woman, a Peace Corps teacher, visited me. She was walking outside and she saw me from the window. She stopped and looked at me for a while. Then she entered the ward and asked permission from the staff nurse to talk to me. She sat next to me on the bed, held my right hand in both her hands and looked at me with eyes full of kindness, motherhood and inquisitiveness....


United States Implementing Intercountry Adoption Standards

14 November 2006
Thousands of children in need of families will benefit, U.S. officials say
By Jane MorseWashington File Staff Writer

Washington -- The United States is in the final stages of implementing new, federal-level standards and protections that greatly will benefit thousands of children from around the world in need of permanent families.

The implementation of these standards and the anticipated U.S. ratification of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoptions was discussed at a November 14 hearing before the House International Relations Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations.

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Man Convicted Of Molesting His 3 Ukraine Adoptees

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) ― A Bakersfield motel owner is facing the possibility of life in prison after being convicted of molesting three boys he had adopted from Ukraine.

John Krueger was convicted yesterday on five counts of lewd or lascivious acts on children who ranged from the ages of seven to eleven....

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Foreign adoptions by Americans decline sharply

China tightens rules, other factors cited for change
Saturday, January 6, 2007 7:46 PM CST
By David CraryAP National Writer

NEW YORK - After tripling over the past 15 years, the number of foreign children adopted by Americans dropped sharply in 2006, the result of multiple factors which have jolted adoption advocates and prompted many would-be adoptive parents to reconsider their options.

The consequences could be profound for the ever-growing numbers of Americans interested in adopting abroad. Already, some have had their hopes quashed by tightened eligibility rules in China; adoptions from Africa, where millions of children have been orphaned by AIDS and wars, could increase if those from China and Eastern Europe continue to decrease....

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Duckett Investigators Talk To Experts In Korean Adoptions

Case Once Again Makes National Headlines
POSTED: 7:28 pm EST January 30, 2007

OCALA, Fla. -- WESH 2's interview with the lead investigator in the case of a missing Lake County toddler is sparking new information.

WESH 2 anchor Wendy Chioji interviewed Maj. Chris Blair of the Marion County Sheriff's Office on Monday, and detectives said they are still following up on phone calls and tips that continue to come in.

The case of Trenton Duckett, who was reported missing from his mother's Leesburg apartment on Aug. 27, has once again gained national attention....


Previous Stories:
January 29, 2007: Lead Investigator: 'We Think Trenton Is Alive'
January 25, 2007: Duckett's Former Co-Worker Provides Clues About Korea
January 24, 2007: Trenton Duckett's Father Gives New Items To Detectives
January 24, 2007: Duckett Search Takes Investigators to Death Row
January 16, 2007: Team Trenton Receives Gift From Website Bloggers
January 14, 2007: Duckett's Autopsy Reports Confirm Suicide
November 30, 2006: Police: Trenton Duckett's Mom May Have Handed Him Off
November 21, 2006: Missing Boy's Family Sues CNN, Nancy Grace, Boy's Father
November 17, 2006: Police Consider Second Wendy's Witness In Duckett Case
November 16, 2006: New Tip Helps Police Fill In Timeline In Duckett Case
November 15, 2006: Police Think Trenton Duckett Is Alive

Adoption rules shouldn’t be enacted early

by Gabbie Wade
Thursday, January 18, 2007

As more and more Americans are looking abroad to adopt, it is getting increasingly difficult to find a child. In 2005 alone, Americans adopted 7,906 children from China. Today, China’s adoption agencies receive more applications from foreigners than they have children up for adoption. Due to this recent jump in application numbers, Chinese officials decided to create new rules barring certain individuals from adopting.

Although the new regulations have not been formally announced yet, it is reported that they will prohibit people who are single, obese, older than 50, or fail to meet certain standards in financial, physical or psychological health from adopting. These new rules may change before taking effect on May 1, 2007....

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Transracial Adoption of Black Children: An Economic Analysis

“The anti-discrimination law governing placement of children in foster care and adoption was intended to speed the adoption of Black children who could not be reunited with their families of origin. Only recently have two states been fined for violating this decade-old law. Based on our analysis of administrative data collected by the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we conclude that more vigorous enforcement of the anti-discrimination law in adoption could result in significant gains to Black children. We find that Black children spend more time as legal orphans than children of other races and that transracial placement speeds their adoptions.”....

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Albania's Roma call for end to child trafficking

20. 11. 2006

Roma in Albania called on the authorities in Tirana and the international institutions to take all necessary measures to put an end to trafficking in children in Albania. Albania's Roma Organization head Istref Pelumbi said trafficking in human beings, especially in children, is the bitter aftermath of transition in Albania.

Reports say more than 5.000 children, mostly Roma children, are victims of child trafficking ring in Albania....

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Baby Trafficking Is Thriving in Greece

18. 12. 2006
Athens - An increasing number of people unable to adopt children through official channels are resorting to other methods in Greece, where private adoptions are unregulated and a traffic in babies is thriving, according to legal experts and the police.

Most of the babies for sale in Greece are brought here by impoverished women from Bulgaria and other Balkan countries, these experts say.

In the most recent case to come to light, a 16-year-old Roma girl from Romania is under arrest after complaining to the police that she had been cheated out of €14,000, or ,000, promised to her by a British woman who allegedly abducted the infant in Athens during negotiations over the price last week.

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56 on Trial over Baby Trafficking Network

23. 1. 2007

France - Almost 60 people went on trial today accused of being part of a network that brought pregnant women from Bulgaria to France - and sold their babies to childless couples. The trial in Bobigny, north of Paris, centres on 22 babies who were sold between 2003 and 2005, mostly to couples within France's Roma, or Gypsy, communities, for between £2000 and £3500....

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83-year-old Man Tells of Buying Infant

24. 1. 2007

Paris - An 83-year-old man described buying a baby girl named Cinderella for his granddaughter in testimony on Wednesday in an infant trafficking trial in France. The grandfather is one of 56 people on trial in the case, which centers on 22 babies who were sold between 2003 and 2005, mostly to couples within France's Roma, or Gypsy, communities, for between ,900 and ,100, prosecutors say. Most of those on trial are Bulgarians.

The grandfather -- referred to only by his first name, Jean -- said he bought the baby in October, 2002, from a foreign Roma couple that passed by his house with the infant in their arms. He said he paid them ,850 for the baby girl, called Cendrillon, French for Cinderella.

Jean, a French Roma, said he bought the infant for his granddaughter -- who could not have children because she and her husband are related. The couple registered the baby as their own, saying she had been born in their caravan....

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Adoptive Parents in France Defend System of Buying Babies

22. 1. 2007

Bobigny, France - The first adoptive parents caught in a Bulgarian baby - trafficking network sought Monday to defend a clandestine system in which they had haggled over the price of newborns and paid for them in cash. More than 50 Bulgarians and French adoptive parents went on trial in a suburban court northeast of Paris for suspected roles in a secret network dating from 2002.

The system operated by word of mouth to reach desperate couples in France's Roma, or Gypsy, communities, who negotiated prices from €3,000 to €7,000, or about ,900 to ,100, for 22 babies, with boys commanding top prices. "You will tell your child one day about the birth?" the presiding judge asked the first couple who appeared before the tribunal in the 10-day trial. "And you will explain to the child that he was purchased?" ....

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Charges Filed against parents after son received burns

Feb 3, 2007 09:49 PM
By Anthony Ponce
News 8 @ 6:00

INDIANAPOLIS - A seven-year-old boy is in the Riley Hospital burn unitafter allegedly being abused by his adoptive parents. Court documentssay the boy's adoptive mother put him in scalding hot bathwater aspunishment for wetting his bed. For two weeks the burns went untreated,until authorities found out about it earlier this week.

Police arrested 61-year-old Bessie Saffold and her husband, 59-year-oldMechelle after child protective services called Bessie in for aninterview.

"Child protective services workers became concerned when four of thechildren were taken out of the home previously," said Helen Marchal ofthe Marion County Prosecutor's Office....

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Guatemala: U.S. Adoptions to Go Through

Published: December 12, 2007
Lawmakers endorsed an overhaul of the country’s adoption system, ending what critics called a largely unregulated business in which poor mothers were paid to turn over their children to American couples. The new law, pushed by the United States government, allows thousands of pending adoptions, most to Americans, to proceed. Guatemala sends more adopted children to the United States than any other country except China; this year it has sent 4,700. The new law also creates a government authority to handle future adoptions, bringing Guatemala in line with the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption and wresting the system away from lawyers who charge as much as $30,000 per child.

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DNA tests confirm first stolen baby in troubled Guatemalan adoption system

DNA tests for the first time have confirmed that a baby was stolen from her mother and adopted for profit in Guatemala.

The baby, Esther Zulamita, was taken by armed men in 2007 at her family's shoe shop. Her mother, Ana Escobar, has spent the last year searching for the child.

The apparent confirmation of an actual case of "baby theft" raises doubts about a law passed in December by Guatemalan legislators to overhaul the nation's poorly regulated adoption system, "in which poor mothers were paid to turn over their children to American couples," as the New York Times reported last year....

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Babies are a steal in steel city

Jajati Karan / CNN-IBN
Published on Tue, Jun 20, 2006 at 20:10

Rourkela (Orissa): The adoption racket is now a nationwide phenomenon — from cities to remote villages there is big money to be made.

CNN-IBN's Special Investigation Team travelled to Rourkela, Orissa's steel city, to find out how the steel city has become a den for child trafficking.

Tribal children brought from in and around Sundergarh district are sold in the name of adoption at illegal adoption centres which have mushroomed in the city over the past few years....

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Chennai lady waits for kidnapped son

Rohini Mohan
Posted Friday , June 30, 2006 at 19:48

Chennai: Nagarani is a resident of Chennai. Her two-year-old son Sathish was kidnapped seven years ago.

Last year, the police told Nagarani that Sathish had been adopted by a couple from the Netherlands and is now called Anbu.

Nagarani has gone to court, demanding that her son be brought back to her. "The police told me that the court has to take a decision. I don't care what the court decides, I've waited for seven years and I want to see my son," she says....

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Broken Roots

BROKEN ROOTS is the story of a Korean adoptee lost between two cultures and desperately struggling to belong. David is no ordinary adoptee. Raised by Caucasian parents and burdened with severe medical problems, he embarks onan unforgettable journey to Korea -- an exotic land he had long forgotten.

It is a compelling and emotional story of hope, family and self-discovery as David uncovers his mysterious past and finds his Korean roots. Two-year old Jong Hoon left Korea to join his new Canadian family in Ottawaas David Ricketts. Teresa and Ray had such high hopes for their beautiful and bright adopted Korean son. When he turned 8, David was diagnosed with Tourettes. A few years later, the doctors said he also had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Bi-Polar Disorder.

David's parents watched in horror as their happy, energetic child became depressed, angry, and self-destructive. Struggling with her third bout of cancer, Teresa had to send David away to a group home. There he got into even more trouble - getting kicked out of several homes, ending up on the streets and in trouble with the law. Desperate for answers, Ray and Teresa tracked down David's birth father in the hope that reconnecting with his Korean roots might take away some of David's anger....

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Adopted child recounts story of abuse

POKHARA, March 12 -

As an international conference on adoption is underway in the capital, an 11-year old girl has come forward to tell the world a story of sexual exploitation and torture at the home of her adoptive parents.

The story of the girl came to light as the girl declined to return to the home of her adopter Ganga Acharya and began to stay at the school even after school. The Acharya family had adopted the minor, who hails from Ashrang-3, Gorkha district, two years ago.

Taken by surprise, her teachers and friends had asked what was troubling her. She then recounted her story of sexual abuse by members of her adoptive family, before the teachers....

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Orphanages in 'children for sale' racket

By Thomas Bell in KathmanduLast Updated: 1:49AM GMT 10 Mar 2007

Dishonest agents and orphanages in Nepal are running a multi-million-pound international adoption racket, frequently sending children abroad without their birth parents' consent.

An investigation by The Daily Telegraph has uncovered the extent of the malpractice as Kathmandu prepares to host an international adoption conference this weekend, aimed at attracting foreign adoptive parents and lobbying for deregulation.

Posing as a British couple seeking to adopt, reporters found one agent who demanded cash advances in an attempt to, in effect, sell us a Nepali baby....
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Half of Nepal's 500 orphanages are involved in the illegal "sale" of children to foreign couples

Half of Nepal's 500 orphanages are involved in the illegal "sale" of children to foreign couples.

While there are many legitimate adoptions of Nepalese children each year, a Daily Telegraph investigation revealed on Saturday that corrupt middle-men and well-connected officials have been exploiting foreign couples, orphanages and the local parents who give up their children because they cannot afford to raise them.

In one case, a father handed his son to an orphanage to find six months later that the boy was living in Spain with an adoptive family without his consent. Urmila Aryal, the minister for social welfare, acknowledged the scale of the scandal she called the "children trade". She said there is "a big nexus of people involved in the sale of children" and that children who have parents are frequently "sold for adoption as orphans"....

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U.S. Pressuring Guatemala for Babies

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 09:29 Mecca time, 06:29 GMT

By Mariana Sanchez in Guatemala City

With Guatemala the second biggest provider of children adopted in the US, most of the children are born to poor women who are either paid to be pregnant or pressured into giving up their baby.

The US has now threatened to bar such adoptions, unless the Guatemalan government complies with an international agreement designed to protect potential adoptees.

Alejandra has just given up her daughter for adoption. She is 16 years old.

"My mother found a woman who asked me if I was sure I wanted to do that. She said I would not get into trouble and the baby would be fine," she said....

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Samoa police probe adoption terms

Radio New Zealand International
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Samoa police probe adoption terms
Posted at 04:42 on 23 March, 2007 UTC

Police in Samoa are interviewing families of babies adopted by the US-based adoption agency, Focus on Children, to determine if the birth parents were misled by its representatives.

The Assistant Police Commissioner, Papali’i Lio Ta’eu Masepa’u, has told Le Samoa Newspaper that the adoption process is legal and is not part of their investigation.

Their probe is to determine if the birth parents were led to believe that they will be able to see their children again when they turn eighteen....

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Mamma Mia! Twins are reunited 12,000 miles from home

From Jacqui Goddard in Miami

August 22, 2006

WHEN Holly and Douglas Funk decided to adopt a baby two years ago they bought two of everything in the hope that they might find twins. There were two pushchairs, two cots, even two toy lambs that sang lullabies.

But after travelling 12,000 miles to an orphanage in China, they brought home one baby after falling in love with a lone little girl whom they named Mia. She had been found on the pavement outside a textile factory in Yangzhou, eastern Jiangsu province, in June 2003, abandoned by her parents amid the bustle of cars and street vendors within hours of being born....

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Spanish twins separated at birth by mistake are united by chance

Thomas Catan in Madrid
May 28, 2008

They were unaware of each other's existence for nearly 30 years, until their uncanny likeness caused a misunderstanding at a clothes shop that led to their reunion.

Now one of the identical twins - separated at birth 35 years ago after a mix-up at the hospital where they were born - is suing the Spanish health authority for a mistake that led to her growing up in the wrong family.

The woman is seeking €3 million (£2.4 million) in damages for the error, which came to light after she was spotted in a shopping centre by a friend of her twin sister. “In just one day, my world fell apart,” she said of the chance reunion. “I wish it had never happened.” ....

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Web making the world smaller for adoptees

Archive for Sunday, September 03, 2006

By Russell Working

The Funk family went to China two years ago to adopt a baby girl who had been abandoned on a sidewalk near a textile factory. They named her Mia.

Last year, the Ramirezes went to China to adopt a girl who had been abandoned on the same spot a week later. As it happened, they also named her Mia.

The Funks live in Lyons, a suburb of Chicago. The Ramirezes live near Miami.
In May, Diana Ramirez wrote about her daughter’s upcoming birthday on an Internet site for parents who had adopted from the orphanage in Yangzhou.

Holly Funk saw it and wrote back, “Diana, I have a Mia as well and she is almost 3.”

A flurry of e-mails followed. Then DNA testing provided evidence of what the families had come to suspect: The girls were fraternal twins, separated hours after their birth....

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Long trial looms likely in alleged adoption scheme

Long trial looms likely in alleged adoption scheme

The Salt Lake Tribune

Article Launched: 04/03/2007 01:26:25 AM MDT

Federal prosecutors say it will take two months to try a private Utah agency for alleged adoption and immigration fraud. The agency, Focus on Children, is accused of duping birth parents in Samoa into placing their children for adoption.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Pead said Monday that the government spent about eight months investigating Focus on Children and gathering evidence. The case involves approximately 80 children from Samoa, 40 to 45 birth families and 60 adoptive families, he told Magistrate David Nuffer....

http://www.sltrib. com/ci_5581424


Stolen children adopted in Australia

Stolen children adopted in Australia: report
23 August 2008 06:23 FOCUS News Agency

The Australian government is investigating a media report that 13 Indian children may have been stolen from their parents as part of a child-trafficking network and brought to Australia for adoption.

Time magazine reported on Saturday that an Indian-based adoption agency renamed children and fabricated their histories, complete with photographs of fake mothers offering them for adoption.It said it had seen adoption agency documents for 13 such children...

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Navsari adoption racket still out of police probe range

Soumik Dey

Surat, April 3: While both Navsari police and the Social Defence Department agree that Ayappa Bal Asha Trust gave away newborns to various agencies, including adoption centres, in an ‘unauthorised manner’, they do not see eye to eye when it comes to the focus of investigation.

The Social Defence Department says police is not investigating the centre even though the department had registered a complaint and specifically asked for such a probe.

Police officials say their priority right now is to trace the 63 children whose names figure in the register seized from the centre. The SDD is now independently probing the possibility of an adoption racket being run from the centre. “We are investigating on our own and will forward any details we come across to the police,’’ says Deputy Director of Social Defence, Aruna Dave. So far, the SDD has traced 26 newborns, five boys and 21 girls, of the 63 mentioned in the seized register.

According to the SDD, the newborns were sent out for adoption to various organisations in an ‘unauthorised manner’....

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Man charged with molesting adopted children

April 05, 2007 12:17 am -
by D. E. Smoot, Phoenix Staff Writer

A Porter man who allegedly admitted he sexually molested four adopted daughters faces charges in Wagoner County District Court for raping two of them.

Eugene Richard Putnam, 54, also faces four counts of child abuse, one count of child neglect and one count of committing a lewd act with a child. Putnam was in court Wednesday when Associate District Judge Darrell G. Shepherd set an April 18 preliminary hearing date.

Putnam’s charges were filed in March following a multijurisdictional investigation of the girls’ allegations of molestation and abuse. According to court documents, the alleged rapes reportedly occurred in 2000 and 2001, when the girls would have been 9 and 12 years old....

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Molester sentenced to 75 years

Local hotel owner abused adopted sons, another boy
BY SHELLIE BRANCO, Californian staff writer
Wednesday, Apr 4 2007 10:20 PM
Last Updated: Wednesday, Apr 4 2007 10:23 PM

A local hotel owner found guilty of child molestation was sentenced Wednesday to 75 years to life in prison.

The case of John Krueger, who was convicted of molesting children adopted from Ukraine, led to that government's recent ban on unmarried foreigners adopting Ukrainian children, said Deputy District Attorney John Lua.

Attempts to reach the Ukrainian consulate in San Francisco were unsuccessful.

Krueger, who ran Quality Inn at 1011 Oak St.,must serve 85 percent of his 75-year sentence before he will be eligible for parole. He was denied probation on all counts, Lua said....

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John Krueger is accused of molesting four adopted boys from Ukraine

18 April 2006 10:23
Police have found another alleged victim of a man charged with molesting several boys he adopted from an orphanage in the Ukraine, officers said, Mercury News reported.

John Krueger, 53, is charged with molesting four boys, ages 7 to 11. He adopted three and another was adopted by an acquaintance, Bakersfield police said....

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The siblings they left behind

By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY
Ruslan Pettyjohn lives in a home with a pool, plays on a soccer team, goes bike-riding with friends and has two doting parents. He seems to have everything a 13-year-old American boy would want. Except he doesn't have his big sister, Olga.

When Ruslan was adopted from Russia nearly four years ago, she was left behind in their village, sweeping floors and living in a condemned building with broken windows and no running water. She looked after him for years in the orphanage after their birth mother died. To give him a better life, she signed off on his adoption.

As international adoptions have soared, American parents are dealing with an unintended consequence: siblings torn apart. More parents are searching for their children's biological relatives, hoping to help them reconnect with their roots. Some want to adopt the kin; others just want to visit....

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Russia halts work of foreign adoption agencies

Russia halts work of foreign adoption agencies
Authorities cite technical reasons, say suspension will last a few months
updated 6:21 p.m. PT, Thurs., April. 12, 2007

MOSCOW - Authorities said Thursday they have halted the work of all foreign adoption agencies in Russia for several months, virtually shutting down the placement of children from one of the most important countries for U.S. families seeking to adopt.

The move follows new restrictive rules imposed by China on Americans trying to adopt and U.S. warnings against adopting from Guatemala. The two countries account for the highest number of children coming to the United States.

The licensing delay in Russia is due to a law that took effect last year that imposed strict new rules on non-governmental organizations, including more complicated registration procedures. The rules were imposed after Russian officials complained that Western-funded groups were meddling in politics across the former Soviet Union....
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Pair admit causing adopted son's 2000 death

Hunterdon couple plead guilty to reckless manslaughter to avoid a retrial
Friday, April 13, 2007

A Hunterdon County couple admitted for the first time yesterday that they caused the hypothermia death of their 7-year-old adopted Russian son more than six years ago.
Robert and Brenda Matthey stood before Superior Court Judge Roger Mahon in Flemington and pleaded guilty to one count each of second-degree reckless manslaughter in the death of Viktor Alexander Matthey.

The Mattheys are both serving 10-year prison terms after being convicted in May 2004 of child abuse for mistreating Viktor before his death....

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July 12, 2005» Mattheys seek change of venue Robert and Brenda Matthey have asked that their retrial on manslaughter charges be moved out of Hunterdon County.

The VerdictMay 20, 2004» Mattheys convicted Robert and Brenda Matthey were convicted yesterday of abusing their 7-year-old adopted Russian son.

An emotional week leaves jury drained They started with a prayer; they ended with a split verdict.

Russians express sadness, satisfactionFrom half a world away, Russians react to the couple's conviction.

Quotes from the courtroom

Big Business In Babies: Adoption,The Child Commodities Market

Big Business In Babies: Adoption,The Child Commodities Market
By Mirah Riben
25 April, 2007

Adoption was once a process by which the community took responsibility for orphans. Increased access to birth control pills and legal abortion, and a lessening of the stigma of single parenting, coupled with an increase in infertility resulted in a demand for babies that outstrips the “supply.” And where there is demand – be it for diamonds, drugs, sex, or babies – corruption follows.

Adoption is racist. The scarcity of “white American-born babies” has led to an increase in international adoptions, fracturing family ties and heritage in what some are calling cultural genocide. Madonna was criticized. Angelina confounds. Westerners, however, continue to believe that adoption “rescues” orphans; though saving children from poverty, one at a time, does nothing to ameliorate the conditions that continue to produce them. And, many so-called orphans are in fact stolen, kidnapped, or their parents were coerced to relinquish them under false pretenses to be sold on the black and gray adoption markets with prices set by age, alleged health, skin color, gender and nationality....

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The Case for Joon Hyun Kim

International Examiner: The Journal of the Northwest Asian Pacific American Communities

The Case for Joon Hyun Kim
Category/Issue: News, Volume 34 No. 09
BY KEVIN MINH ALLEN Examiner Contributor
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 took effect in early 2001 with much fanfare coming from the adoption community because it automatically confers U.S. citizenship on adopted children once their adoptions are legally finalized. In spite of this, transnational adoptees who were adopted before this law took effect, and had not become naturalized citizens, represent some of the most vulnerable immigrants in the United States. Unbeknownst to them, and most likely their adoptive parents, their immigration status is tenuous, even though they grew up believing they were fully recognized members of American society. Kevin Minh Allen reports on the story of Joon Hyun Kim.

He is not the first adult adoptee with a criminal record that the government wants to deport back to his birth country. But, Kim’s case once again illustrates the fateful convergence of decisions made and not made by adoptive parents and adoptees, who are eventually left to confront the issues of ethnicity and nationality by themselves and without much guidance.

As soon as I saw Kim, his body language spoke volumes. It told a story of stoic resignation in the face of bureaucratic machinations and acceptance of the fact that his freedom lies in other people’s hands. He’s also had a lot of time to think about how his life could have turned out if childhood circumstances had been different, but that also he has to atone for the mistakes he has made as a young adult.

However, the biggest mistake that he will have to live down for the rest of his life was not of his own doing: his adoptive parents forgot their responsibility to have Kim made a naturalized U.S. citizen. This process should have been second nature to his adoptive parents, seeing that his mother worked for Holt International, a well-known and respected Northwest adoption agency....

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6 of caged children adopted from other countries

Article published Thursday, September 15, 2005
6 of caged children adopted from other counties

At least six of the 11 adopted special-needs children removed last week from a Huron County home where they were kept in wooden cages were placed there by children services agencies from other Ohio counties, officials said yesterday.

The adoptions by Michael and Sharen Gravelle of Clarksfield Township included three children from Stark County Children Services in December, 2000; two from the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services in April, 1999, and a boy from a private agency through the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services in late 2001.

Officials from all three agencies said the Gravelles, in each instance, went through a rigorous adoption process that included background checks, inspections of their home on St. John Road, and visits by county staff members or private agency employees to observe how the couple interacted with the children they wanted to adopt....

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Woman convicted of killing adopted daughter returned to U.S.

Associated Press

An El Paso woman who fled to Mexico during the 2000 murder trial but was still convicted in the death of her adopted 21-month-old daughter has been returned to the United States, authorities said.

Mexican authorities returned Martha Yannette Melendez, 29, late Tuesday. She had been held in Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, on a "provisional arrest warrant" since U.S. authorities found her in November....

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Correction: Profiting from adoption could be punishable by law

20/ 07/ 2005

Peggy Sue Hilt has been charged with manslaughter in the death of her adopted Russian daughter. Hilt’s court hearing is scheduled for August

MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office intends to press criminal charges against intermediaries profiting from adoption, according to Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky.

Numerous law infractions have been discovered involving the adoption of Russian children after the prosecutor general’s investigation. According to Fridinsky, since the early nineties, the number of children adopted by Russians fell from 14,000 to 7,000 per year, while the number adopted by foreign nationals rose nearly seven times, from 1,400 to 9,000.

In the last five years in Russia, more than 1000 children have been killed, of which only one was killed by an adoptive parent.....

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Law beefs up adoption rules

Measure spurred by the contested adoption of a
Chicago girl gives state more oversight, lessens profit

By Jamie Francisco
Tribune staff reporter
August 15, 2005

Seated beside Baby Tamia, the 11-month-old girl who was returned to her family from Utah after a bitterly contested adoption, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation Sunday that strengthens state authority over private adoption agencies and prevents them from profiteering from placing babies with families.

Blagojevich signed the Adoption Reform Act before the congregation at Sweet Holy Spirit Full Gospel Baptist Church, 8621 S. South Chicago Ave., where Tamia was baptized on Easter. She was returned to her mother, Carmen McDonald, and grandmother Maria McDonald in March after they filed suit alleging that the Utah-based agency A Cherished Child pressured Carmen to relinquish her daughter when she was dealing with as she suffered from postpartum depression....

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Convicted rapist was foster parent

WATERTOWN, N.Y. - Authorities are investigating how a convicted rapist was allowed to serve as a foster parent to as many as 50 children before his past was discovered....

...But Nicholas Chaney told WWNY-TV in Watertown Tuesday that he may have cared for as many as 50 foster children since late 2001 and even adopted a child while living in upstate New York. Chaney said he listed his felony sex crime conviction on his foster parent application form when he signed up in November 2001.

According to authorities in Oregon and Washington state, Chaney was convicted in 1989 of two counts of third-degree rape. Chaney told the television station he had been convicted of having sex with a 16-year-old girl.... click here for article

Adoption conference triggers strong emotions

Adoption conference triggers strong emotions
Monday, 29 August 2005, 7:57 am
Press Release: Word of Mouth Media

August 28, 2005

National adoption conference triggers strong emotions

Emotions spilled over at the national adoption conference in Christchurch today.

Hundreds of people who have been affected by the trauma of adoption heard world expert Nancy Verrier of California describing emotions they had experienced.

Organiser Julia Cantrell said the conference had reduced many people to tears but the weekend had produced a great deal of benefit to almost everyone.

"Adoption is a traumatic experience for a baby when it is separated from a mother....

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Born in USA; Adopted in Canada

Born In USA; Adopted In Canada
Lesley Stahl Reports On Controversial New Trend In Adoptions
July 24, 2005

(CBS) The conventional wisdom is that if you are looking to adopt that perfect baby, a healthy infant, you will wait years and pay tens of thousands of dollars. You may have to go to Eastern Europe, Latin America or China.

But what if you were told there are hundreds of healthy newborns that private adoption agencies are struggling to find homes for, right here in the United States, who are available within a few weeks of being born.

They’re black or mixed-race infants. With an estimated 2 million American families looking to adopt, it may surprise you where these babies are ending up....

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Russian-born adopted son starved to death

Russian-born adopted son starved to death. Fathers face charges

Two American Sunday school teachers are facing abuse and negligence
charges. Boy's older brother and two older sisters were also adopted by
the couple.

Two American Sunday school teachers are facing abuse and negligence
charges, after an autopsy revealed their Russian-born adopted son was
starved to death.

Officials say eight-year-old Dennis Merryman weighed only 37 pounds when
he died on January 22 (2005)....

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Parents Sentenced in Starvation Death of Boy

Release Date: April 17, 2008


The parents of Dennis Merryman, who was systematically abused and starved to death over four years, were sentenced for Child Abuse Resulting in a Death.

Samuel Merryman 40 and his wife Donna Merryman 45 were each sentenced by Judge Emory Plitt in Harford County to twenty-two years in the Diviion of Correction for causing the death of their adopted son. The Merrymans had plead guilty during the trial of the case.

The case was investiged by the Harford County Sheriff and prosecuted by Assistant State's Attorneys Diane Tobin and Lisa Marts. The judge in passing sentence said the message that should come out of this case is that courts will not tolerate the abuse of the most trusting, vulverable members of our society. The sentence exceeded the maximum suggested by the sentencing guidelines....

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Father of 18 Charged with Sex Abuse

Father of 18 Charged With Sex Abuse

Holly Maynard (Henrietta, NY) 08/03/05 - William Every, a father of 18
from Henrietta, faces charges of sexual abuse.

Every was arrested Tuesday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to criminal
sexual act charges.

Neighbors say Bill Every is always around kids. He's adopted 14 of his
children from all around the world. Many of them have mental or physical
disabilities. Neighbors have known him as a true family man.

Neighbors said his big house seems like a place of happiness for the
kids, but police say it's also a house of abuse....

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Parliament committee proposes banning foreign adoptions

Parliament committee proposes banning foreign adoptions
17/ 08/ 2005

MOSCOW, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - The social policy committee of the Federation Council, parliament's upper chamber, has proposed prohibiting foreigners from adopting Russian children, committee chairperson Valentina Petrenko said Wednesday.

The committee has already asked the Prosecutor General's Office to ban foreign adoptions, she said.

"Many murders of children in adoptive families, mainly in the United States, caused our decision," Petrenko said.

Thirteen Russian children recently suffered from violence in foreign adoptive families, she said....

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State Duma to amend foreign adoption rules to protect Russian children

State Duma to amend foreign adoption rules to protect Russian children

06/ 09/ 2005

MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti) - The State Duma, Russia's lower chamber of parliament, intends to discuss a draft parliamentary inquiry at a session on September 9 urging Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov to take necessary measures to protect Russian children adopted by foreigners.

Vladimir Katrenko, vice speaker of the State Duma heading up this issue, said the instances of violence against children had become more frequent lately and parliamentarians were concerned over the fate of children adopted by foreigners and living outside Russia.....

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Russia's Orphans Sold to the Highest Bidders

Russia’s Orphans Sold to the Highest Bidders
Created: 18.04.2005 19:03 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 15:05 MSK

Legal proceedings against Irma Pavlis, who a Chicago jury found guilty
of involuntary manslaughter of her adopted son Alexei, was in the
Russian headlines last week. In the United States, the case did not get
as much publicity, with only the Chicago Tribune and the local media
paying attention.

But in Russia, logically enough — after all, a six-year-old boy was
killed nowhere else, but in the U.S. — the case received at least 50
publications a day. Most of them referred the reader to Chicago Tribune
articles and to AP materials. News editors cynically call the Pavlis
news “the anti-American sensation” and spent little time working on
them: anti-Americanism sells well both in Russia and out of it.

But what’s tragic is that behind the “Americans killing our children”
speculations few people can see the real problems....

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Adopted Russian Girl Sees Father Convicted in Child Porn Case

Created: 24.08.2005 12:19
MSK (GMT +3),
Updated: 12:19

Pennsylvania State Court has found a father guilty on 11 charges including incest and the rape of his 12-year-old daughter adopted from Russia, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Matthew Alan Mancuso did not contest the charges that he had sexually abused the light-haired girl he adopted from a Russian orphanage when she was five or that he had posted hundreds of explicit photos on the Internet.

After police digitally erased the girl from the pictures and asked thepublic to help identify the locations last February, she became known asthe “Disney World Girl,” because one of the sites was a hotel at Disney World....

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Claims adopted children were stolen

The Queensland government will cooperate with Indian investigators into claims children adopted from India may have been stolen.

At least 30 children adopted in Australia may have been stolen from their parents as part of a child trafficking network in India from 1998 to 1999, The Weekend Australian reported today.

Some children were stolen by gangs who sold them for 10,000 rupees or $280 each to the unscrupulous adoption agency Malaysian Social Services, which sent them to families in wealthy countries such as Australia.

In one case, a woman named Fatima claims her daughter Zabeen was snatched as a two-year-old as she played outside her family home in Chennai. Fatima said she recognised her daughter in an agency's brochure....

August 23, 2008 01:55pm

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Russian government to better protect children adopted by foreigners

Russian government to better protect children adopted by foreigners

16:47 2005-09-09
Russia's lower house of parliament on Friday called on the government to
better protect children adopted by foreigners, in part by concluding
bilateral agreements with other countries that would help Moscow monitor
the children's treatment.

The State Duma said it was concerned over the fate of 64,000 Russian
children who have been adopted and are living abroad, and alleges the
foreign adoption process is accompanied by "a high level of
commercialization and criminalization at all stages of the process." ...

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U.S. official apologizes for the death of Russian-born adopted children killed in the U.S.

U.S. official apologizes for the death of Russian-born adopted children killed in the U.S

Representatives of U.S. nongovernmental organizations share the concern of the Russian authorities regarding the death of Russian adoptees Representatives of U.S. nongovernmental organizations share the concern of the Russian authorities regarding the death of Russian adoptees in the U.S. However, they believe that international adoption should be continued.

“We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Russian government and Russian people with regard to the death of several Russian adopted children in the U.S. Meanwhile, international adoption should not be shut down due to those facts,” said President and CEO of the National Council for Adoption Thomas Atwood at the end of a Moscow meeting with Russia's General Prosecutor Deputy Sergei Fridinsky....

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Exposing Hidden Truths in Adoption


Exposing hidden truths in adoption….

This blog has everything about adoption! Be sure to check it out and then bookmark it for future reference!

World expert lifts lid on adoption fallacies

World expert lifts lid on adoption fallacies
Wednesday, 24 August 2005,
10:45 am
Press Release: Word of Mouth Media
Media release – August 24, 2005

World renowned expert Nancy Verrier today lifted the lid on adoption fallacies and perceptions on the eve of the national adoption conference in Christchurch.

There were many misconceptions in society about adoption, Verrier said today.

One is that adopted people should feel grateful for having been adopted. A little baby would never choose to be separated from his own mother.....

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Couple gives adopted child back to orphanage

Couple gives adopted child back to orphanage
12:00AM Monday August 08, 2005

Two years after proudly telling friends they'd adopted a newborn baby in Indonesia, an Irishman and his Azerbaijani wife decided things weren't working out.

The adoptive father, Joseph Dowse, drove to an orphanage on the outskirts of Jakarta with his son and left him there with a box of clothes and toys....

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Inside China: Chinese Takeaways

From Anton Antonowicz In Guangzhou,
China 9/08/2005

Day 1 .. the American child adoption factory

BREAKFAST ends at the White Swan Hotel and it is time for a group photograph. There are 21 adults, all beaming. And 11 baby girls, all Chinese.

Instant families courtesy of the White Swan Express.

From the outside this place looks like any other swanky, five-star, business stopover. Yet inside, you hear babies cry. Scores of babies. Nearly all girls.

And the voices of their new parents, all American.

More than 4,000 orphans are adopted here each year. Since this astonishing trade in human Chinese takeaways began 10 years ago, more than 50,000 kids have left here for a new life in the United States. Instant Americans.

There is no disguising Matt and Shari Neiberg's unadulterated joy. The couple, both physiotherapists from Peoria, Arizona, have just picked up their new daughter.

She is 10 months old and her name is Yang Mei Jai. At least it was.

"She's Kiana now," says Shari, 36. "We've paid the money and she's part of our 'forever family'."

As she tends the baby, Matt, 35, dandles their three-year-old on his knee. "She was Mao Huan Xia. Now she's Jaida," he says. "And she's suddenly got a little sister.

"We were trying for kids of our own, but the doctors said that Shari may have needed surgery to conceive. So, it's a no-brainer.

"We heard about the White Swan's revolving door and came right over. First for Jaida when she was 10 months and now this little kitten. Cute, ain't she?"

Indeed she is. Like all kids. Except she comes with a price tag - $21,025 (£11,800), the cost of taking a baby back to the States.

"It's a little cheaper and easier to adopt if the baby is a special- needs child," Matt adds. "But we decided to go for regular ones." ....

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Gravelles Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

Gravelles Sentenced To 2 Years In Prison

POSTED: 4:35 pm EST February 15, 2007
UPDATED: 7:30 pm EST February 15, 2007

NORWALK, Ohio -- A Huron County couple accused of keeping some of their special needs children in cage-like enclosures were sentenced on Thursday.

Michael and Sharen Gravelle were each sentenced to two years in prison for their conviction on child abuse and endangering charges.

Caged Kids Parents Sentenced To Prison....
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Jail Time Suspended for Social Worker in Caged Kids Case

Jail Time Suspended For Social Worker In Caged Kids Case
POSTED: 7:49 am EDT April 10, 2007
UPDATED: 12:58 pm EDT April 10, 2007

ELYRIA, Ohio -- A social worker was sentenced in connection with her role in the caged kids case.

Elaine Thompson, 64, who was supposed to oversee the care of the children, pleaded guilty to failing to report a crime.

Thompson was sentenced to 90 days in jail, but that time was suspended. She also received a $2,200 fine and 500 hours of community service. She will be on probation for five years and during this time she is not allowed to work as a social worker....
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Gravelles Trying to Raise $50,000 to Get Kids Back

Gravelles Trying To Raise $50,000 To Get Kids Back
Convicted Couple To Hold Benefit Auction To Help Pay For Appeal
POSTED: 4:46 pm EDT July 11, 2007
UPDATED: 4:59 pm EDT July 11, 2007

NORWALK, Ohio -- A Huron County couple convicted of keeping their adopted special-needs kids in cages is back in the news.

Michael and Sharen Gravelle held a news conference Wednesday in which they said they won't stop trying to get their children back until they have exhausted every option, but it's going to cost $50,000....

...."There's people out there that have walked up to us, complete strangers, and handed us money for this cause," said Michael Gravelle. "Here, $600. A man turned me on to $700 worth of aluminum. Yes, they will. There's people out there that want to help this cause. I really believe there is." .... click here for article