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Adoption profiteers face govt curbs

Adoption profiteers face govt curbs
Masaki Takakura Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer

With a view to preventing human trafficking masquerading under the guise
of child adoption, the government has established a new set of
regulations for adoption agencies. However, many questions remain

Under current laws, privately run adoption agencies are allowed to
receive money from adoptive families in the form of expenses to cover
the costs entailed in arranging both domestic and overseas adoptions.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry drafted a set of guidelines in
August--the first of their kind--detailing a concrete list and
definition of "expenses."

The list of expenses comprises 10 items, such as travel costs and
telephone bills, as well as counseling and related services offered by
the agencies to adoptive parents.

On Aug. 28, the ministry urged all 47 prefectural governments, and 15
major cities with adoption-related authorities, to tighten measures to
eliminate adoption agency profiteers.

The guidelines prohibit agencies from receiving any money prior to the
completion of the adoption process. However, "donations" are often
difficult to distinguish from legitimate costs for adoption services,
officials said....

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