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Group seeks rights for illegally adopted

A GROUP CAMPAIGNING for the rights of those ‘informally’ or ‘illegally’ adopted have held a demonstration calling for their right to be recognised in new adoption legislation due for review at the end of this year.

About 20 supporters of campaign group Adopted Illegally congregated outside the Central Bank in Dublin on Saturday asking the Government to release records to help those illegally adopted to gain access to essential medical and historical information.

Theresa Tinggal and fellow campaigner Maria Dumbell travelled to Dublin from the UK earlier this week to hand a letter to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald asking her to make available records relating to informal adoptions in the 1950s.

“We want legislation changed in Ireland so we can gain access to case files, medical workers’ files that do exist,” said Ms Tinggal. She learned eight years ago that she had been adopted illegally when she was two days old.

“In view of the Adoption Information and Tracing Bill coming out at the end of the year, and the children’s referendum, we thought it was an appropriate time to come over,” she said.

The group met the HSE this week to put their case. “We were told by the HSE we can’t change anything unless legislation changes and that’s why we’re lobbying,” said Ms Tinggal.

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Dark side of inter-racial adoption surfaces with arrivals of grown-up adoptees

Washington State Senator Paull Shin, French digital economy minister Fleur Pellerin and French Senator Jean-Vincent Place. They all have something in common.

All three are Korean adoptees who have become successes in their adopted countries.

Behind the success stories of those people, however, are others who suffer emotional distress after being adopted by foreign parents.

Adoptees' rights activists say many of the children sent for inter-racial adoption suffer racial and other social discrimination, constantly longing for their biological parents and homeland.

In the United States, a country where adoptees must undergo a separate procedure to obtain citizenship, more than a few adoptees never become naturalized, partly due to indifference from their adoptive parents.

According to South Korea's health and welfare ministry and an activist group devoted to Korean adoptees' human rights, there are 23,000 Korean adoptees in the U.S. whose citizenship status the groups do not know.

The figure represents about 20 percent of some 110,000 adoptees sent to America over the past 60 years since the 1950-53 Korean War.

A majority of those 23,000, in fact, appear to have obtained U.S. nationality but the true figure remains unknown due to local adoption agencies' poor management of post-adoption information.

"Most of the unconfirmed cases may be caused by the agencies' failure to inform the government of information on adoptees' acquisition of U.S. nationality," said Rev. Kim Do-hyun of the activist group KoRoot. "But several thousand of them are still believed to be living without any nationality."

In recent years, a sizable number of adoptees have been deported to Korea after being convicted of criminal charges while living overseas without becoming citizens of the country in which they live.

For remaining article:

Profit-driven adoptions turn children into a commodity

A dramatic rise in foreign adoptions from Africa is ringing alarm bells among child advocates who worry that the soaring numbers are fuelled by financial incentives and a lack of basic safeguards.

The number of African children adopted by foreign families has nearly tripled in the past eight years. Nearly 6,350 children from Africa were adopted by foreigners in 2010, compared to less than 2,240 in 2003, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The rapid growth has been accompanied by a proliferation of adoption agencies and orphanages, even though the vast majority of “orphans” actually have at least one living parent.

Many orphanages in Africa are set up to generate profits for the owners, since they can receive up to $30,000 per adopted child, the report’s author says. “They were created for financial gain,” said David Mugawe, executive director of the African Child Policy Forum, which released the report Tuesday. “A lot is happening under the table.”

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Korean-Australian woman finds she was falsely adopted

An Australian woman has found she was the subject of a falsified adoption in South Korea, where her biological mother was told her baby was stillborn.

As Australians find it harder to adopt babies from overseas, one woman has discovered she was falsely adopted from South Korea, where her biological mother was told her baby was stillborn.

Emily Will* was pronounced dead at birth. Born in a small maternity home in the South Korean countryside, the midwife allegedly told her biological parents the baby was “stillborn”.

“I don’t know how this could have happened to me,” she says. “Why would someone (the midwife) do that? Why would someone make a choice for someone else?”

“Her decision changed my life.”

For 23 years, Ms Will believed she was put up for adoption after her biological parents decided to part ways. Her adoption papers said her parents were in a de facto relationship, a status considered shameful in traditional Korean society, with two daughters.

It was not until she became a mother herself, Ms Will became curious about her biological roots.

“After my daughter was born, something changed. Something changed in me,” she says.

“I didn’t know my medical history. I didn’t know what I could have passed on to my kid. I didn’t know if there were any genetic heart diseases. Nothing.”

After three years of searching and waiting, Ms Will thought she was prepared to meet her biological parents.

“It’s well known that you may possibly or most probably have a false story given to you so you brace yourself,” says Ms Will, 24, a mother of two in Sydney. “But when you finally get the real story, the story you thought you had prepared yourself for… it definitely throws you.”

“Adoption should not be treated as a retail industry. It’s not an exporting importing thing. We’re human beings. We’re not products. We’re not for sale. You can’t put a price on a human life,” Ms Will says.

* Names have been changed for privacy reasons
Source of article http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1693349/Korean-Australian-woman-finds-she-was-falsely-adop

Adoption Bonuses: The Money Behind the Madness

For the more about adoption in the U.S. visit:

DSS and affiliates rewarded for breaking up families
By Nev Moore
Massachusetts News

Child "protection" is one of the biggest businesses in the country. We spend $12 billion a year on it.

The money goes to tens of thousands of a) state employees, b) collateral professionals, such as lawyers, court personnel, court investigators, evaluators and guardians, judges, and c) DSS contracted vendors such as counselors, therapists, more "evaluators", junk psychologists, residential facilities, foster parents, adoptive parents, MSPCC, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, YMCA, etc. This newspaper is not big enough to list all of the people in this state who have a job, draw a paycheck, or make their profits off the kids in DSS custody.  

In this article I explain the financial infrastructure that provides the motivation for DSS to take people’s children – and not give them back.   In 1974 Walter Mondale promoted the Child Abuse and Prevention Act which began feeding massive amounts of federal funding to states to set up programs to combat child abuse and neglect. From that came Child "Protective" Services, as we know it today.

 After the bill passed, Mondale himself expressed concerns that it could be misused. He worried that it could lead states to create a "business" in dealing with children.   Then in 1997 President Clinton passed the "Adoption and Safe Families Act." The public relations campaign promoted it as a way to help abused and neglected children who languished in foster care for years, often being shuffled among dozens of foster homes, never having a real home and family. In a press release from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services dated November 24, 1999, it refers to "President Clinton’s initiative to double by 2002 the number of children in foster care who are adopted or otherwise permanently placed."  

It all sounded so heartwarming. We, the American public, are so easily led. We love to buy stereotypes; we just eat them up, no questions asked. But, my mother, bless her heart, taught me from the time I was young to "consider the source." In the stereotype that we’ve been sold about kids in foster care, we picture a forlorn, hollow-eyed child, thin and pale, looking up at us beseechingly through a dirt streaked face. Unconsciously, we pull up old pictures from Life magazine of children in Appalachia in the 1930s. We think of orphans and children abandoned by parents who look like Manson family members. We play a nostalgic movie in our heads of the little fellow shyly walking across an emerald green, manicured lawn to meet Ward and June Cleaver, his new adoptive parents, who lead him into their lovely suburban home. We imagine the little tyke’s eyes growing as big as saucers as the Cleavers show him his very own room, full of toys and sports gear. And we just feel so gosh darn good about ourselves.  

Now it’s time to wake up to the reality of the adoption business.   Very few children who are being used to supply the adoption market are hollow-eyed tykes from Appalachia. Very few are crack babies from the projects. [Oh… you thought those were the children they were saving? Think again]. When you are marketing a product you have to provide a desirable product that sells. In the adoption business that would be nice kids with reasonably good genetics who clean up good. An interesting point is that the Cape Cod & Islands office leads the state in terms of processing kids into the system and having them adopted out. More than the inner city areas, the projects, Mission Hill, Brockton, Lynn, etc. Interesting…   With the implementation of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, President Clinton tried to make himself look like a humanitarian who is responsible for saving the abused and neglected children. The drive of this initiative is to offer cash "bonuses" to states for every child they have adopted out of foster care, with the goal of doubling their adoptions by 2002, and sustaining that for each subsequent year. They actually call them "adoption incentive bonuses," to promote the adoption of children.

Where to Find the Children A whole new industry was put into motion. A sweet marketing scheme that even Bill Gates could envy. Now, if you have a basket of apples, and people start giving you $100 per apple, what are you going to do? Make sure that you have an unlimited supply of apples, right? The United States Department of Health & Human Services administers Child Protective Services. To accompany the ASF Act, the President requested, by executive memorandum, an initiative entitled Adoption 2002, to be implemented and managed by Health & Human Services. The initiative not only gives the cash adoption bonuses to the states, it also provides cash adoption subsidies to adoptive parents until the children turn eighteen.   Everybody makes money....

For remaining article, go to: http://www.massnews.com/past_issues/2000/5_May/mayds4.htm

Indian Adoption Scandal

This video demonstrates what goes on behind agency profiteering and trafficking for adoption not only in India but around the world.

Why it Costs More to Adopt a White Baby

March 12

When a couple seeking to adopt a white baby is charged $35,000 and a couple seeking a black baby is charged $4,000, the image that comes to the Rev. Ken Hutcherson's mind is of a practice that was outlawed in America nearly 150 years ago — the buying and selling of human beings.
The practice, which is widespread among private adoption facilitators, of charging prospective parents different fees depending on the race or ethnicity of the child they adopt is one that Hutcherson is fighting to change from his Redmond, Wash., church. The Antioch Bible Church has established its own adoption agency, and is lobbying state legislators to change Washington's laws.
"I've got championship Rottweilers. I sell them by supply and demand," Hutcherson said. "I raise thoroughbred racehorses. I sell them by supply and demand. I'm not going to let people sell children by supply and demand. What's the difference between that and slavery?"
The campaign to change the law is directed at Washington state legislators, but Hutcherson said he would prefer to see the federal government step in and create one set of regulations governing adoption, rather than leaving the issue to the states to decide.

Current Washington law bans payments to a birth mother for placing a child for adoption, but does not address payments for arranging an adoption or the fees that may be charged.

"I think it's an issue that Americans have not looked at closely enough, because if they had, things wouldn't be the way they are," he said.

He hopes to get attention around Washington with a billboard campaign as soon as he can raise the $70,000 to $80,000 he needs. The billboards will feature a white baby, a latino baby and a black baby and next to each, the fees some adoption facilitators might charge for them: $35,000, $10,000 and $4,000.

He said that besides putting a price on children, the practice discriminates against white babies and people who seek to adopt them — an issue he said has been overlooked because white people, particularly those who can afford the high adoption fees charged, are not used to considering themselves victims of discrimination.

"I know about discrimination," said Hutcherson, who is black. "I don't care who it's against, it's wrong. Tell me that if it was black babies that cost $50,000 and white babies that cost $4,000, people would be screaming their heads off."

Disparity in Fees
Some adoption professionals said the reason for the difference in cost for adopting white babies as opposed to babies of other races or ethnicities is that there are fewer white infants available and there is more demand for them.

"Often the justification may be that children of some ethnic groups are more difficult to place," said Gregory Franklin, an attorney who said that 90 percent of his business is providing legal representation for people involved in the adoption process.

"Obviously, any time that somebody brings up the word discrimination, everybody's going to take notice and draw attention to the issue, whether or not there's an issue there," said Sean Lance, the director of American Adoptions, which has a fee structure that results in prospective parents paying more to adopt white babies than to adopt black babies. "It's not set up as discriminatory. The difference is in the cost of the process — living expenses, medical expenses. Our agency fee for all adoptions are identical."

For remaining article:

A man’s search for his biological family

Connecting with his biological relatives opened up a new world for Sebastian Lander, who recently met his natural father.

Six years ago I wrote an article in The Times about the search for and reunion with my biological mother, Sally. It was a cathartic process without any of the betrayal, rejection and resentment that can haunt more fraught circumstances. For that reason, I wanted to share it.

My story was a happy one, free of regret, and not only about the close relationship that I forged with my birth mother, but her subsequent friendship with my adoptive mother too. Now I can add the experience of meeting my natural father and his family into this unusual equation.
Sally and James had agreed to give me up for adoption at birth — both were young and ill-equipped to take on the role of caregivers to a baby, particularly a premature child with health problems. There were few options available to them in late-1970s Britain and, in a nod to the general atmosphere, my typewritten adoption file notes the “status of child” as “illegitimate” — rather unacceptable for the time.
After a year of shuttling between hospital and a (caring) foster home, I was placed with my parents, who already had my three-year-old adopted sister. Growing up, we were aware of being adopted and our natural parents were an unseen but powerful presence. The word “adopt” comes from the Latin adoptare, to choose, and we were told often that we were special because we were exactly that — chosen. To a couple who had spent years trying for a family, we were a precious gift.
While their situation is not common, it is a growing one — last week it emerged that the number of adoptions grew by 12 per cent in the past year after reforms to the system.
It is difficult to capture what it feels like to be adopted — but I recently came across a poem written by my teenage self. “You took me when I wasn’t yours”, I wrote about my parents. “I belonged to no one/ No breast milk/ Only the milk of human kindness/ I don’t have your nose or your eyes/ Yet you reward me/ With kisses that take away my pain”. It makes me cringe now, but illustrates my feelings at the time.
My parents always made it clear that if my sister and I wanted to find these troubled teenage life-givers, they would be wholly supportive. Despite separating when I was 21, they have both stayed true to their word.
While I had a very happy childhood, there were unanswered questions about my identity, a curiosity about what parts of me — physically and characteristically — could be assigned to those who gave me life and those who gave me love. I worried that the search for my natural relations would open a Pandora’s box. Would my adoptive family feel threatened? Did it seem ungrateful or disloyal? Would my birth parents want to resume where they left off? And what if they didn’t want to know me?
And so I met Sally eight years ago, aged 26. I contacted the local authority where I had been born and I found that Sally had sent a letter when I turned 18, expressing a wish to know how I had fared. A letter I had written was forwarded and, after months of writing, e-mailing and telephoning, we met up over lunch in Central London. There was a frank conversation and many questions, all of which Sally answered with unwavering honesty. Did she consider terminating the pregnancy? Yes. Was I easy to give birth to? I “shot” out, apparently.
When I first saw her, there was a kind of instant recognition, and I remember thinking how similar our cheekbones and chin were. In those early days, we agreed that it was like being in love — comfortable, familiar, but a novelty. Sally never married or had any more children and her life situation made it easier for our friendship to blossom — there were no jealous half-siblings or a threatened husband to contend with. It helped that I was not looking for Sally to be a mother, I already had a good one; and Sally still maintains that giving me up was the right thing to do. In the years since then we have built an affectionate friendship that has something of a maternal glow. We have much in common. My adoptive mother and Sally have a caring and respectful attitude towards each other, and she has also met my adoptive father.
In mid-2009 the time felt right to explore the paternal side of my birth family. Once again I contacted the local authority where I had been born.
Searching for James meant jumping through bureaucratic hoops. Sally made a tempting offer. She and James had stayed in contact through exchanging Christmas cards and she thought he would be open to meeting.
While adoption experts recommend professional mediation as the safer route, in this instance I was lucky. Looking back at my initial e-mail to James, I am surprised how bold I was to have written in the subject line: “Hello, after 30 years . . .” The subject title of the e-mail I received two days later was equally encouraging. “Reunion”, it said.
He wrote: “After all these years how fantastic that you have taken the plunge and contacted us.
“I have been half expecting, half hoping that you would wish to find your true origins for some time,” he said. “There are hidden bonds in all of us that guide us into our actions.”

James had married and was the father of a nine-year-old girl. My e-mail, he said, had elicited “a buzz of excitement mixed with happiness” within his family. As an only child, his daughter was happy to discover that she had a half-brother. We arranged to meet for lunch two weeks later.

No one could have guessed the relationships between the six people seated around the table that day. James and his family were present, Sally too, and my partner. My conversation with James was not as frank or well-oiled as the one I had had with Sally, perhaps because there were more relationships to manage that day.

My bond with James has grown. He told me recently: “I liked your face — it reminded me of when I was younger — and your easy manner, but mostly your bravery in meeting strangers.”

We don’t live in each other’s pockets, but whenever we do see each other I discover something new about him that strikes a chord. He is kind and oddly prescient about my life, given the amount of time we spend together. He once managed to aptly sum up my feelings during an uncertain time in my life despite me not having shared my concerns. He was able to read me.

James has four siblings, who all have children, and I am working at getting to know them all. I meet one of his sisters regularly for coffee in London. Another sister’s daughter, my cousin, lived in the same area as me and, after a hiccup in her living situation, I invited her to stay for two months. I even attended James’s brother’s wedding. In the bucolic surrounds of the Yorkshire Dales, I met the rest of my relatives.

When you have spent your life not resembling any of your family, in looks at least, being surrounded by people who reflect some or all of your features is quite unnerving. The sight of James still gives me a shock as I can see so much of myself in him.

While my “new” relatives started off as strangers, we have a biological connection, which is hard to define. Meeting them has made me feel more grounded and complete. Like Sally, her relatives and my adoptive family, they have been unquestionably open.

Meeting my natural family has not affected the way I feel about my adoptive family either. As James recently wrote to me: “When a lot of water has gone under the bridge and you don’t know what has happened to it, it’s nice to catch up with some of it.”

In his first e-mail, I remember him saying that he felt pride about the way I had turned out, and that is something Sally said too. Our parents gave us the same assurance when growing up.

I can see now that I am a group effort, nature and nurture interwoven, a complex dance of genetic and environmental factors. And that’s OK.

The source of story:

This country urgently needs strict guidelines to regulate adoption

In the recent weeks, the media has been awash with stories of children in need of alternative care. The common solution many people have pointed to has been adoption. Adoption is a very good initiative for children in need of alternative care, but this is possible only if the adopters have done it with good intentions.

A report by the Africa Child Policy Forum shows that adoption from Uganda to the United States rose from 62 children in 2010 to 207 children in 2011, with at least 95 per cent of these adoptions finalised in the United States. The same report adds that the issuance to foreign adopters of legal guardianship orders instead of final adoption papers could be used to circumvent proper adoption procedures in Uganda.

Most of the reasons given for adopting or gaining guardianship for children from Uganda are to improve the child’s welfare, while some parents see it as an avenue for having their children abroad, yet there is no mechanism of tracking their wellbeing once they leave the country.

Inter-country adoptions are partially attributed to poverty, child neglect and, of course, the financial gains that accrue from adoption procedures. According to the African Child Policy Forum, approximately $9,050 is charged as adoption fees, but often disguised as passport, humanitarian and administrative costs. It also appears that there are at least 28 adoption agencies in Uganda recruiting children to be adopted mostly by foreign families. There is no problem with this, of course, only that adequate government supervision of these adoption agencies is lacking.
The adoption industry in Uganda today is a multimillion-dollar industry. This is a huge incentive to many poverty- stricken families who see this as their passport to wealth. Adopting parents prefer Uganda because it is easier and faster to adopt a child here, but also because the adoptions are easily facilitated by profit oriented adoption agencies.

For remaining article:

Adoption not an option

For weeks, government officials and adoption agencies have been quietly telling kind-hearted Americans the same thing: The thousands of children orphaned by the December tsunami are not available for adoption — and most never will be. The same is true of children in Africa, even though 80 percent of the world’s AIDS orphans live there, and war, poverty and famine have ravaged many of its 54 countries.

International or foreign adoption just isn’t done in many countries, adoption experts say. The main reasons are religious restrictions and cultural norms that don’t allow adoption by non-relatives, and a lack of government rules on foreign adoption.

Still, this doesn’t prevent Americans from calling U.S. adoption agencies when tragedy strikes in distant lands.

They want “to reach out and do something, and adoption is a tangible thing,” said Susan Soon-keum Cox, an official with Holt International Children’s Services in Eugene, Oregon, which assists with adoptions in a dozen countries, including Thailand and India. For a week after the tsunami, she said, her agency received “about 100 inquiries a day” about adopting the orphans.

Media reports, including ones in The Washington Times, quickly revealed that while Americans often adopt children from Thailand and India, it is almost unheard of in Sri Lanka or Indonesia.
Many countries in Africa also don’t allow foreign adoptions.

“I think families need to understand why,” said Cheryl Carter-Shotts, who runs Indianapolis-based Americans for African Adoption Inc., and has adopted two children from Africa. “People are just hearing ‘no.’ And they’re not hearing why not.”

The first hurdle is typically a legal one. “Many countries don’t have a process in place to allow for foreign adoptions,” said State Department spokesman Bill Strassberger, who lived in Africa for several years and specializes in adoption issues.

More than 20,000 foreign-born children are adopted each year by Americans, he said, adding that the State Department tracks the “top 20” countries for which it issues immigrant visas for orphans. But foreign adoption is rare if there isn’t a stable government with adoption laws and sufficient oversight to prevent baby-trafficking, he said.

Cultural and religious norms also play major roles in whether foreign adoption is allowed, adoption experts said.

Islam, for instance, does not allow non-Muslims to adopt Muslim children. This means that for Christians, “the chances of adopting a Muslim child is nil,” said Roni Anderson, a former Southern Baptist missionary who worked for 12 years in Iraq.

Instead, in many countries, family members and communities are expected to care for orphaned children. “Hillary Clinton borrowed the old phrase, but it’s really an African tradition — it takes a village to raise a child,” said Mr. Strassberger.

“It’s rare that you have a child that nobody wants or nobody is willing to take care of,” he said, recalling his days in Cameroon. When a baby lost its mother, he said, it would be cared for in a local orphanage. “Once the child reached one or two years of age, the family would take the child back,” Mr. Strassberger said, adding that there wasn’t even a word for cousin in the local dialect because all the children in a family were considered brothers and sisters.

There is an important caveat to this experience, said Mrs. Carter-Shotts, whose adoption agency has worked exclusively in Africa since 1986.

“Many of these children become servants” in the homes of their aunts, uncles and relatives, she said. For instance, she knows of one Muslim African country that routinely sends all its orphaned boys to orphanages in another Muslim country, where they grow up to do menial labor. The orphaned girls are taken into relatives’ homes as servants. “When the girls become teenagers, they are sold for dowries into marriage,” said Mrs. Carter-Shotts.

Read more: Adoption not an option - Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2005/feb/1/20050201-113038-7019r/?page=1#ixzz28do13Gvo

State to pay $5.3M to abused children

SEATTLE -- (AP) - The state of Washington will pay $5.3 million to four people who were placed in an abusive foster home as children.

The court settlement was reached Monday and is intended to head off a trial scheduled for next year.

The four plaintiffs filed negligence and civil rights claims against the Department of Social and Health Services and one social worker.

The lawsuit was originally filed in Stevens County Superior Court, and moved to federal court in Spokane.

The plaintiffs allege they were placed in an abusive foster home with Sylvia and Michael Wenger, who later adopted the children.

The plaintiffs, who are now adults, say they were sexually assaulted, locked in closets and forced to eat their own vomit.

Richard Felsch is now 23-years old and spends his days working on cars with his biological father. He said the time he spent with the Wengers robbed him of something he can never get back: his childhood and knowing what "normal" is.

"There were times where closets were cleaned out for us to live in for a couple of months at a time - these are forms of punishment," Felsch said.

The state removed Felsch and his twin sisters from their biological mother's home in 1996 and placed the with the Wengers in eastern Washington. In court documents, attorney Allen Ressler said the state never should have given the Wengers a foster parent license.

A psychologist found that Sylvia Wenger was sexually abused as a child and had a history of theft and manipulation, according to court documents.

Felsch said he and his sisters repeatedly told social workers they were being abused.

"You get laughed at, you get outright laughed at as a child who is crying wolf, exaggerating, making a mountain out of a molehill," he said.

After five years, the Felsch children and a fourth foster child were removed from the home after the twins ran away and reported being raped by Michael Wenger. He was convicted of child molestation and sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Felsch said he wants the state to wake up and start listening to foster kids.

"I feel 150 percent that the state simply didn't do enough. When they do know something's wrong, they don't do anything about it," he said.

In a statement released Monday, the state's Children's Administration said, "It is truly unfortunate that these children suffered at the hands of adults they had trusted." The statement went on to say, "although nothing can change what happened in that home, the agreement fairly compensates these individuals.

State officials also say they used this and other cases to change the way foster homes are licensed, including a more detailed evaluation of families looking to become licensed.

Link to source:

Colombian state 'kidnaps' children for overseas adoption: Reports

Colombia's Family Welfare Institute "kidnaps" Colombian children by giving them up for adoption to foreign families against the will of their biological parents, several reports said.

In a program aired Sunday, television station Caracol told the story of a young boy named Steven who was born in Colombia but adopted by a Dutch family.

Steven's biological parents said he was taken from them against their will by the ICBF. The agency said Steven's original parents were unfit to care for him and that the state put the child up for adoption for his own safety. Colombia is one of the few countries where children can be placed with foreign families without the consent of their biological parents.

This is not the first time the ICBF has been accused of unjustifiably taking children from parents and sending them abroad. Colombian channel RCN TV and Colombian newspaper El Tiempo have run similar stories in the past.

Responding to the accusations ICBF Director Diego Molano told the El Colombiano newspaper the claims were based on errors made in old cases and the ICBF is changing its policies to correct them.
"It's eight or nine problem cases and we're looking into them now," said Molano.

In cases of children being forcibly taken from parents Molano said, "There are reasons the [ICBF] has taken these decisions," citing children in at-risk situations.

According to the U.S. State Department Colombia allowed the adoption of 216 children by U.S. families last year. In comparison, Colombia's neighbor Ecuador allowed six children to be sent to the US in 2011.


Colombia's adoption agency monitored after 'kidnapping' allegations

Colombia's Inspector General's Office said it will monitor the country's Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) amid accusations that the ICBF is "kidnapping" children for adoption abroad

In a press release the Inspector General's Office said it would monitor five adoption offices in Bogota, "in order to verify compliance with the legal and technical guidelines."

Colombian television station Caracol aired a program Sunday which accused the institute of sending Colombian children abroad for adoption, without the consent of their biological parents.

Since then social networks and news media have been filled with criticism and calls for an investigation of the ICBF.

This is not the first time the ICBF has been accused of unjustifiably taking children from parents and sending them abroad. Colombian channel RCN TV and Colombian newspaper El Tiempo have made similar accusations in the past.

While most Latin American countries allow between 1 and 11 children to be adopted by U.S. parents, the State department registered 212 adoptions from Colombia.


Fear over Mali's missing children

Ms Camara said she would give the BBC the date the child arrived at her orphanage and the name of the person who handed her over.

She now refuses to do this or to answer any more questions.

The German organisation that assisted in organising the adoption, Help A Child, refused to make a statement about the case.

In general, Help A Child says they simply went by the documentation they were given by the orphanage and that it is impossible for them to do their own investigation into where a child comes from.

The German Ambassador to Mali, Karl Flittner, says he thinks something went wrong either at the orphanage or at the Malian government department that deals with adoption.

"Our impression is that there was some degree of negligence on the part of the orphanage or of the Direction National de l'Enfance because the investigation into whether this child was really an orphan was apparently not carried out in the proper manner."

Mr Flittner says Germany will be reviewing adoption by Germans in Mali.

"From the German side, the co-operation with this Direction National de l'Enfance will be re-examined and we'll be particularly cautious before they give their agreement now to another adoption from Mali."

Adjaratou is not the only child to have disappeared from Bamako's streets.
Lack of confidence
There is no evidence linking these cases to international adoption, but given the publicity around the Coulibaly case, other families are worried.

Hawa Camera says her five-year-old daughter, Fatoumata Keita, was taken from in front of her house.

Sometimes you have some children who are declared abandoned and the natural parents can be found somewhere in the country”

End Quote Lamissa Coulibaly Lawyer

No-one can explain how Adjaratou almost ended up on a plane to Germany
Adama Coulibaly has got his daughter back now, but he is still determined to find out what happened to her and how she went missing from the streets of Mali's capital, Bamako.
The investigation into whether this child was really an orphan was apparently not carried out in the proper manner”

End Quote Karl Flittner German Ambassador
According to Mr Coulibaly, his four-year-old daughter Adjaratou was abducted from in front of his house in September last year.
Four months later, in January this year, Adjaratou was spotted by a friend. She was with a German couple in central Bamako.
The Germans had legally adopted Adjaratou and were due to fly with her to Germany in a couple of days.
Mr Coulibaly says he was sick with worry when his daughter went missing and he says he reported the disappearance to the police. There were also appeals in the local press. He says he did not stop there though.
"I went around looking for her, there were times if I saw a bag in a gutter, I would jump into the gutter and untie the bag," he recalls.
"Sometimes when I opened the bags I would find dead dogs, and once I opened a bag and it was full of chicken parts. The family was very, very scared. We thought she was dead."
'Some negligence'
The head of the orphanage Adjaratou was adopted from, Pona Hawa Camara, says the child was brought to her by a woman one evening and she reported the arrival to the police.
"The woman said that she'd had the girl for a week and that she'd taken the child from door to door and even to the head of the neighbourhood, and that no-one recognised her."
The head of the police department in Mali which deals with such cases, Ami Kane, says, however, that Adjaratou's arrival was never reported to them.

"I think that my child might not even be in the country any more. Because if you look at what happened to the Coulibaly child, the aim was to take the child away."

Many of the families accuse the police of not taking the cases of missing children seriously. The police deny this and say they investigate fully every case reported to them.

Senior Malian lawyer Lamissa Coulibaly, however, says, he does not have much confidence in the police investigations to try to find a child's family. He says the police lack the means to carry out these investigations thoroughly.

Mr Coulibaly also says there are also serious flaws in the adoption procedures in Mali.

"The children are declared as abandoned, but in fact they are not really abandoned. Sometimes you have some children who are declared abandoned and the natural parents can be found somewhere in the country."

Mr Coulibaly says the parties involved in organising an adoption in Mali are often more keen to get all the papers finalised than to check whether the real parents can actually be found.

The Malian government department that deals with international adoption says that Adjaratou's Coulibaly's case was a one-off and that they are looking into what happened. Mr Coulibaly and others in Bamako will be very interested to hear the results of this review.

For the moment no-one can explain how Adjaratou Coulibaly almost ended up on a plane to Germany.


For Adoptive Parents, Questions Without Answers

IN almost any adoption, the new parents accept that their good fortune arises out of the hardship of the child’s first parents. The equation is usually tempered by the thought that the birth parents either are no longer alive or chose to give the child a better life than they could provide.

On Aug. 5, this newspaper published a front-page article from China that contained chilling news for many adoptive parents: government officials in Hunan Province, in southern China, had seized babies from their parents and sold them into what the article called “a lucrative black market in children.”

The news, the latest in a slow trickle of reports describing child abduction and trafficking in China, swept through the tight communities of families — many of them in the New York area — who have adopted children from China. For some, it raised a nightmarish question: What if my child had been taken forcibly from her parents?

And from that question, inevitably, tumble others: What can or should adoptive parents do? Try to find the birth parents? And if they could, what then?
Scott Mayer, who with his wife adopted a girl from southern China in 2007, said the article’s implications hit him head on. “I couldn’t really think straight,” Mr. Mayer said. His daughter, Keshi, is 5 years old — “I have to tell you, she’s brilliant,” he said proudly — and is a mainstay of his life as a husband and a father.
“What I felt,” he said, “was a wave of heat rush over me.”
Like many adoptive parents, Mr. Mayer can recount the emotionally exhausting process he and his wife went through to get their daughter, and can describe the warm home they have strived to provide. They had been assured that she, like thousands of other Chinese girls, was abandoned in secret by her birth parents, left in a public place with a note stating her date of birth.
But as he started to read about the Hunan cases, he said, doubts flooded in. How much did he — or any adoptive parent — really know about what happened on the other side of the world? Could Keshi have been taken by force, or bought by the orphanage in order to reap the thousands of dollars that American parents like him donate when they get their children?
In his home in Montclair, N.J., Mr. Mayer rushed upstairs to re-examine the adoption documents.
According to the news reports, the children were removed from their families when they were several months old, then taken to the orphanages. “The first thing I did was look in my files,” he said, speaking in deliberative, unsparing sentences. According to his paperwork, his daughter had been found on a specific date, as a newborn.
He paused to weigh the next thought.
“Now, could that have been faked?” he said. “Perhaps. I don’t know. But at least it didn’t say she was 3 months old when she was left at the orphanage.”
According to the State Department, 64,043 Chinese children were adopted in the United States between 1999 and 2010, far more than from any other country. Child abduction and trafficking have plagued other international adoption programs, notably in Vietnam and Romania, and some have shut down to stop the black market trade.
But many parents saw China as the cleanest of international adoption choices. Its population-control policy, which limited many families to one child, drove couples to abandon subsequent children or to give up daughters in hopes of bearing sons to inherit their property and take care of them in old age. China had what adoptive parents in America wanted: a supply of healthy children in need of families.
As Mr. Mayer reasoned, “If anything, the number of children needing an adoptive home was so huge that it outstripped the number of people who could ever come.”
This narrative was first challenged in 2005, when Chinese and foreign news media reported that government officials and employees of an orphanage in Hunan had sold at least 100 children to other orphanages, which provided them to foreign adoptive parents.
Mr. Mayer was not aware of this report or the few others that followed. Though he knew many other adoptive families, and was active in a group called Families With Children From China — Greater New York, no one had ever talked about abduction or baby-selling.
“I didn’t even think that existed in China,” he said.
Again he paused.
“This comes up and you say, holy cow, it’s even more complicated than you thought.”
“ADOPTION is bittersweet,” said Susan Soon-Keum Cox, vice president for public policy and external affairs at Holt International, a Christian adoption agency based in Eugene, Ore., with an extensive program in China. The process connects birth parents, child and adoptive parents in an unequal relationship in which each party has different needs and different leverage. It begins in loss.
Adoptive parents and adoption agencies have powerful incentives not to talk about trafficking or to question whether a child was given up voluntarily, especially given how difficult it is to know for certain. Such talk can unsettle the children or anger the Chinese government, which might limit the families’ future access to the country or add restrictions to future adoptions. And the possible answer is one that no parent wants to hear.
Most parents contacted for this article declined to comment or agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity. Several said they never discussed trafficking, even with other adoptive parents. To a query from The New York Times posted on a Web forum for adoptive parents, one parent urged silence, writing, “The more we put China child trafficking out there, the more chances your child has to encounter a schoolmate saying, ‘Oh, were you stolen from your bio family?’ ”
Such reticence infuriates people like Karen Moline, a New York writer and a board member of the nonprofit advocacy group Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform, who adopted a boy from Vietnam 10 years ago. “If the government is utterly corrupt, and you have to take an orphanage a donation in hundred-dollar bills, why would you think the program was ethical?” she said. “Ask a typical Chinese adoptive parent that question, and they’ll say, my agency said so. My agency is ethical. People say, the paperwork says X; the paperwork is legitimate. But you have no idea where your money goes.
“Now you have to give $5,000 as an orphanage fee in China. Multiply that by how many thousand adoptions. Tens of millions of dollars have flowed out of this country to get kids, and you have no accounting for it.”
Agencies say that cases of child abduction are few compared with the number of abandoned Chinese babies who found good homes in America. The abductions reported in August were of 16 or more children taken from their parents between 1999 and 2006. According to the investigation, population-control officials threatened towering fines for couples who violated the one-child policy because they were too young to be married or already had a child, or because they had themselves adopted the child without proper paperwork. When the parents could not pay, the officials seized the children and sent them into the lucrative foreign adoption system.
“The incident when it happened was resolved quickly by the Chinese in a way that was drastic and made very clear that the Chinese would not tolerate trafficking,” said Ms. Cox, of Holt International. “I’m not saying there are not any other incidents, but people can be assured that the process in China is a good one.”
A 2010 State Department report said there were “no reliable estimates” of the number of children kidnapped for adoption in China, but cited Chinese news media reports that said the figure might be as high as 20,000 children a year, most of whom are adopted illegally within the country, especially boys.
But it is hard to know, said David Smolin, a professor at the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., who has written extensively about international adoption and trafficking. Changes in China in the early 2000s — a rising standard of living, an easing of restrictions on adoption within the country, more sex-selective abortion — meant that fewer families abandoned healthy babies, Professor Smolin said.
“Orphanages had gotten used to getting money for international adoption,” he said, “and all of the sudden they didn’t have healthy baby girls unless they competed with traffickers for them.”
PROFESSOR SMOLIN has two daughters, whom he and his wife adopted from India as teenagers. Within six weeks the girls disclosed that they had been kidnapped from their birth parents. But when Professor Smolin and his wife tried to find the girls’ biological parents, he said, no one wanted to help.
When he started to speak publicly about his experience, he met other parents in the same situation — hundreds of them, he said. “They all said they felt abandoned by adoption agencies and by various governments,” he said. “There’s a sense that other people in the adoption community did not want to hear about these circumstances. People were told that it was not a good thing to talk about. So you’re left alone with these practical and moral dilemmas, and that is overwhelming.” In the end, it took more than six years for the couple to find their daughters’ birth parents, by which time the girls were young adults.
Susan Merkel, 48, who with her husband adopted their daughter, Maia, at 9 months old in August 2007, said that even within their own home, her husband did not like to talk about the possibility.
“My husband really feels like it’s something that we don’t know whether that’s the case and would rather not think about it,” she said at her home in Chesterfield, N.J.
But for Ms. Merkel, who is studying social work at Rutgers University, the uncertainty is haunting. Her daughter’s orphanage, in Hubei Province, which is immediately north of Hunan, is near an area known for strict enforcement of the one-child policy, and Ms. Merkel said she could not shake the possibility that a population-control official had seized her and turned her over to the orphanage.
Ms. Merkel was adopted as a child, and said that meeting her birth mother had helped her understand her past and herself. What, then, was her responsibility as a parent — to find Maia’s birth parents, who might make a valid claim for her return? How could Ms. Merkel, who got so much out of meeting her own birth mother, not want that for her child? “What I do know is that she’s my daughter and I love her,” she said. “We’re giving her the best family and life that we can. And if she has questions someday, we’ll do all we can to help her find the answers.”
Ms. Merkel said that she would support Maia’s meeting her birth parents if it was possible, but that she would not willingly return her to them, even if there was evidence that she had been taken.
“I would feel great empathy for that person,” she said. “I would completely understand the anger and the pain. But I would fight to keep my daughter. Not because she’s mine, but because for all purposes we’re the only family she’s ever known. How terrifying that would be for a child to be taken away from the only family she knows and the life that she knows. That’s not about doing what’s right for the child. That’s doing what’s right for the birth mother.”
BRIAN STUY, an adoptive father of three in Salt Lake City, runs a service called Research-China.org to help adoptive families learn about their children’s origins. When he has managed to contact birth parents, he said, most were content to learn that their children were alive, that they were healthy and in good homes. “Unfortunately, the reaction of most adoptive parents is to go into hiding,” Mr. Stuy said. “When they have suspicions, they don’t want to come forward.”
Many parents simply never have suspicions. Tony X. Tan, an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of South Florida whose research specialty is adoption, surveyed 342 adoptive parents of Chinese children last month. Two-thirds said they “never” suspected that their children might have been abducted, and one in nine said they thought about it “sometimes.” Several said the paperwork from the orphanages was inconsistent or suspicious.
One mother, who adopted two girls from different provinces, wrote, “My Guangxi daughter was adopted with a group of 11 other infants, all roughly the same age, and came home with an extremely detailed description of her first 11 months of life in her orphanage. Yet ‘her’ information was word-for-word the same as the info given the families of the other 11 children adopted at the same time — making it all too specific to be believable.”
Judy Larch, a Macy’s executive who lives in Pelham, N.Y., said she adopted two girls from China, in 2001 and 2007, because she had heard good things about the program, and because she could adopt as a single woman. Though she has read about trafficking, she said, “I’ve never had any doubts or concerns about their adoptions.” She said she had faith in the adoption agency, Holt International.
Such faith is small comfort to a woman named Ms. Chen, who said population-control officials in her hometown, Changle, in Fujian Province, took her daughter in 1999. Ms. Chen, who is in the United States illegally, applied for asylum as a dissident this year, but was denied. She declined to speak to The Times, but gave permission for a reporter to watch a videotaped interview conducted by a Christian group in Flushing, Queens, called All Girls Allowed, which works with women’s rights groups in China and maintains a database of photographs of missing children. Her story could not be corroborated.
In the interview, Ms. Chen said that her first child, born in 1997, was a girl, and that she was under great pressure from her in-laws to produce a son. She became pregnant soon afterward, but this child, too, was a girl. Ms. Chen was in violation of the one-child law, which in her area allowed parents to have a second child after six years. Officials came to her with a choice: give up the second child — then 5 months old — or undergo tubal ligation.
“I was holding my daughter and crying,” she said on the video. The official told her that if she gave up the child, in six years she could try again to have a son, she said. “I was afraid for my marriage,” she said. “Of course I didn’t want to give up the child. But I was afraid that without a boy my marriage wouldn’t last.”
She said, “I handed her over meekly.”
MR. MAYER, in Montclair, who also has an adopted son from Ethiopia, has accepted that he may never know the full truth about his daughter’s beginnings.
After absorbing the revelations about trafficking, he said, he took a step back. “O.K., what does this mean to my life today? And how does it change my life today?” he said he asked himself. “And today it changes absolutely nothing about my life with Keshi. If I want Keshi to be able to question and to come to terms with the issues of why she would have been put up for adoption in the way she was, she’s going to ask these questions. This is just another one of those questions to which I don’t have a concrete answer. That’s my role as a dad.”
In the future, families like his may have better answers. Parents or children may be able to search online databases of children whose birth parents say they were taken. For now, though, is it the parents’ duty to ask those questions? Or is it for children to decide, in time, how much they want to know?
“I can’t change the past or change whatever anybody has done in China,” Mr. Mayer said. “What’s most important to me is there are real significant issues for my daughter coming of age and understanding her birth story. And I’m committed to supporting her in that and making sure that it’s as honest and truthful and supportive as possible. And that’s a scary thing.”       


Behind the Discovery of Hunan's Family Tragedy

It started four years ago when a close buddy who uses the pseudonym Yang Guang tipped me off.
"Bro, I got a sensation," he wrote in an online message. "A family planning agency somewhere has been taking away babies and selling them to an orphanage."

I laughed at what I thought was my friend's sheer paranoia. How could that be true? A parent will fight to the death if someone tries to take away his or her child.

Yang approached me again a few days later, reassuring me that his hunch was valid. It had happened in Hunan Province. Families had paid a heavy price.

At that point, I turned appalled by the limits of my own imagination. Things can indeed be absurd in this country. I should have known better than to question my friend.

In fact, though, a part of me never doubted Yang's words from the start. I wondered how on earth such anyone could behave so atrociously, yet I adjusted myself to believing that this in fact could and did happen in China.

Yang then gave me a smoking gun: He showed me a hand-written complaint against officials at a family planning agency in Hunan Province's Longhui County. It said the officials had allegedly confiscated babies, held them to coerce families into paying steep fees, and sent some to an orphanage in exchange for money.

For remaining article:

Report on Players Involved in the Illegal Adoption Process in Guatemala since the Entry into Force of the Adoption Law


Calls to release Irish adoption records

Two women who were “illegally” adopted at birth have called on the Minister for Children to release State records which would enable them to find their biological mothers.
Theresa Tinggal and Maria Dumbell travelled to Dublin from the United Kingdom to hand a letter to Frances Fitzgerald asking her to make available records relating to informal adoptions in the 1950s.

Ms Tinggal and Ms Dumbell estimate housands of children were taken from women deemed unfit for parenthood and put up for adoption during the 20th century.

“[I was] not adopted in the normal sense, but informally or illegally,” Ms Tinggal said. “I was handed over to my adoptive parents at two-days-old and then registered as their legal child.”

She discovered she was adopted a decade ago when, aged 48, she was told by a family relative. “Since then I have been searching relentlessly,” she said at a press conference in Dublin. “I still haven’t discovered my birth mother or discovered the circumstances surrounding my birth.”

Ms Dumbell found out she was adopted when she applied for a passport aged 20. When she requested a copy of her birth certificate for the application, she was told by Custom House that no such certificate existed under her name.

For remaining article:

Homeless Twin Sisters Live in Limbo

The tragic story of homeless twin sisters in Washington, D.C. has been met with anguished reactions from the Korean American community.

Korean broadcasting station SBS recently aired a one-hour documentary about the Korean American twin sisters living on the streets of our nation’s capital.

Mi-kyung and Mi-young, both 32, were only 6 years old in 1987 when their father Soon-hong Min sent them to an orphanage in South Korea. The twins’ mother passed away only three years after giving birth. Min, who struggled to make ends meet, decided to drop off his daughters at a local orphanage, where they were later adopted by American parents.

On their way to the orphanage, Min told his daughters that they will be staying with their aunt until he comes back to take them back home.

The twins were soon taken to the United States to meet their new family. However, they were often harassed by their adoptive parents, who they described in an interview last year with the Korea Daily as being heavily abusive. They said at the time that the abuse was severe, so much so that both were convinced a mysterious stranger kidnapped them to separate their biological family.

After being evicted from their home in Nevada due to non-payment in 2001, the twins moved to Washington, D.C., and began living in homeless shelters. They subsisted on food provided by local Korean American business owners who sympathized with seeing them on the streets of D.C. during the city’s harsh winters.

The twins were often seen at the Korean embassy begging officials to help take them back to Korea. Witnesses say that they were even planning on enrolling in the rehabilitation program for the homeless in hopes of one day reuniting with their family.

However, everything changed when the twins received a letter from Min last year. Min, after learning that his daughters had become homeless 26 years after he had taken them to an orphanage, wrote a letter to them asking for their forgiveness.

For remaining story:


Government Audit Raises Suspicions of Wrongful Adoptions

The recently publicised cases of Slovak families losing their children to the United Kingdom social services has led the government Human rights committee to audit the Centre for International Legal Protection of Children (CILPC) and hopefully unravel the full scale of the problem, with some curious findings.

Figures cited by SME daily talk about over 300 Slovak children who have been put up for adoption abroad in the past ten years, but not just in the UK. These cases of cross-border adoptions had to be given the green light by CILPC. The government human rights committee has therefore been auditing the work of CILPC, which has had to face criticism over its inactivity or slow reaction in the UK cases, as it could have requested the return of the children to Slovakia.
In all, it seems that about 100 children were sent to their new fates without the cases firstly being examined by a committee, while there were 357 cases of cross-border adoption (106 being questioned). Older cases from before 2002 remain a mystery as the records have been lost or deliberately destroyed.

Read more: 

State prosecutor and wife 'abused adopted Ethiopian children found near death with skull fractures and bruises'

  • Deputy Attorney General Douglas Barbour, 33, and his wife, Kristen, 30, face charges of aggravated assault
  • Couple's 6-year-old son found malnourished with skin lesions and claiming father hit him
  • Doctors said 18-month-old girl had multiple skull fractures and may be permanently blind
  • Children were adopted in March through a church organization

  • A deputy Pennsylvania attorney and his wife have been arrested after their two adopted Ethiopian children were found starved and beaten to near death according to police.
    Deputy Attorney General Douglas Barbour and his wife, Kristen were arraigned today after their 6-year-old boy was found malnourished with skin lesions and the 18-month-old girl having multiple skull fractures and being possibly permanently blind.
    A doctor has recommended that the children have no contact with their parents, particularly the girl who was said could be injured again or die if she remains with the Barbours, according to court documents.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2213665/Douglas-Barbour-Prosecutor-wife-Kristen-abused-adopted-Ethiopian-children-starved-beaten.html#ixzz28ddPX5C6

    The Lost Souls

    A trailer to the Movie: The Lost Souls.


    Netherlands maintains suspension adoptions Uganda

    Informal translation of the letter of Secretary of State Fred Teeven to the Dutch Parliament – 27 September 2012

    Adoptions from Uganda

    On 11 June 2011 I have decided, on the basis of the conclusions of a visit of a Ministerial delegation to Uganda, to suspend adoptions from Uganda. In my letter of that same date (Parliament documents II, 2011/12. 31 265 nfr. 43) I have informed you about that.

    For already started adoption procedures, whereby 22 Ugandan children were involved for in total 13 adoptive parents, I have subsequently have had done closer investigations into cases in Uganda. A delegation of the Ministry of Security and Justice has had talks with the biological parents and if necessary other family members of the adoptive children concerned.

    Also, DNA was taken to establish the parent-child relation. Also the delegation spoke with the Uganda Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and with the Commissioner of Youth and Children Affairs of the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development. The investigation took place from 24 June till 1 July.

    From the investigation it appeared in general that in many cases the biological parents and other family members were insufficiently aware about the consequences of intercountry adoption. Also, it appeared that with these parents there was hardly any communication about alternatives to relinquishment. And it came about that several issues were presented differently by the children’s home than the real situation. Hereby one can think about the mental situation of the biological parents, and the way in which the biological parents were informed and accompanied.
    The delegation informed the biological parents during the meetings about the consequences of adoption. For 14 children the adoption procedure can be continued. That means that the court sessions in Uganda can be scheduled with as goal to let these children be adopted by the available prospective adoptive parents.

    For four children, after the interviews and the DNA testing, a revocation period was decided because it appeared that the parents needed some more time to think about the consequences of the adoption and the possibilities of support in the country itself.

    During this revocation period the biological parents have received counseling and alternative possibilities for support in the country itself have been discussed. On the basis of this, the biological parents have still agreed with the adoption of their child(ren) and the adoption procedures can continue.

    Two children were withdrawn just before the visit of the delegation, because their biological parents were not aware of the consequences of adoption and/or had not signed for the relinquishment of their child.

    For one child the procedure is for the moment on hold, awaiting a decision of the biological father.
    The adoptive parents concerned and the adoption agency that mediates the adoption of children from Uganda, Foundation Child and Future (Kind en Toekomst), have in the meantime been informed about the outcome of the investigation and the decisions that I took on the basis of that. Also the prospective adoptive parents whose adoptions were earlier stalled, but which now can continue, were informed about my decision that these adoptions may still be finalized.

    I realize that there are prospective adoptive parents that are touched by my decision to suspend adoptions from Uganda and that this decision has a large impact on their personal lives. I would, however, like to emphasize that I took my decision wholeheartedly, inspired by the interest of the interest of the child and the interest of careful adoption procedures.

    I deliberated if there should be an investigation into adoption cases that took place from Uganda in the past, but I decided not to do that. The children are already quite a while with their Dutch adoptive families, whereby there is family-life, and in any cases the adoption according to Dutch law already was done. I do ask Foundation Child and Future, in cooperation with the children’s home, to inform the biological parents carefully about the wellbeing of the children they relinquished.

    An investigation into the 22 children and the general findings of the ministerial delegation’s visit to Uganda in March, confirms what I announced in my letter of 11 June. The suspension that I announced in my 11 June letter will be maintained. This does not change the fact that I will continue to follow developments in adoptions in Uganda very closely.

    Source of translation:

    Stepfather admits handcuffing Howes, denies abuse

    UNION leader Paul Howes' former stepfather revealed he handcuffed the Labor figure to a chair when he was eight years old but denied he was abusive.

    Gary Howes, a former NSW police officer, has told The Sunday Telegraph he is suing his former stepson and Women's Weekly for defamation over an article titled "My gut-wrenching adoption secret".

    The profile detailed Paul Howes' troubled childhood that led to him becoming homeless at the age of 14.

    His estranged stepfather confirmed he was carrying a gun when he handcuffed Mr Howes as a child.

    "I did handcuff him," Gary Howes said. "He was going to run so I handcuffed him to a chair. I didn't trust my own anger. I had a gun in my hand. I was a policeman and I was on duty and I had a gun."

    For remaining story: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/stepfather-admits-handcuffing-howes-denies-abuse/story-e6freuy9-1226489830026

    State prosecutor and wife ‘abused adopted Ethiopian children found near death with skull fractures and bruises”

    Both children, whose names were not released, went to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on Sept. 14 after the boy was taken to an urgent care center for hypothermia, rapid breathing and skin lesions, which a doctor later determined were caused by lengthy exposure to urine, court documents say. The boy was admitted to the hospital.

    The boy weighed 47 pounds when he came to the U.S. from Ethiopia in March but 37.5 pounds when he was admitted to the hospital, police said. He gained nearly seven pounds during a six-day hospital stay, Berger told police.

    The girl was having difficulty breathing and her eyes were rolling back in her head; Dr. Rachel Berger found the toddler had multiple head fractures in various stages of healing, the documents say.
    When Douglas Barbour was told his son’s body temperature was 93.6 degrees, he reportedly asked: ‘Would that be from being in the bathroom, cold, wet and naked for an hour?

    Here for remaining story:


    Texas AG sues local adoption agency

    SAN ANTONIO - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is suing a San Antonio adoption agency. The state says the company took people's money, but never found those families a child.

    After months of investigating the Texas Attorney General filed two lawsuits yesterday. One was against Adoption Services Associates, Inc. (ASA) and the other is against ASA's owners. Both suits claim the adoption agency and its owners engaged in "…false, deceptive and misleading acts". They also state ASA took thousands of dollars from families across the country even though they knew they were shutting their doors in April.


    Couples Outraged With Adoption Agency

    Connecticut couples looking to adopt are out of thousands of dollars after the agency filed for bankruptcy.
    A Farmington family is out more than $35,000 and, for now, lost hope for adopting a baby girl.
    A Texas adoption agency closed its doors in early April, sending a ripple effect to families across the country and Europe in the midst of the adoption process. On April 24, Adoption Services Associates of San Antonio filed for bankruptcy, listing nearly 900 couples and individuals as potential creditors. Seventy one of them are from Connecticut.

    Tom and Kerry Craft of Farmington are among the dozens of families wondering what to do next.
    “It’s been a roller coaster,” said Tom Craft. “I can’t even say it’s been a roller coaster. It’s been a downhill spiral.”

    The Crafts used an agency in Texas instead of Connecticut to take advantage of more favorable adoption laws for the adoptive parents. They were approved by the agency in July 2011, and by February 2012, they were matched up with a birth mother.

    For remaining article:


    Against Child Trafficking

    ACT promotes the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) that first and foremost gives children the right to be cared for by their parents. It is the responsibility of the State to support families and communities in the upbringing of their children. Intercountry adoption may only be considered if there is no way at all to bring up a child in-country.

    The last fifty years an adoption industry has been developping that serves the growing demand for children in the Western world. An industry in which huge sums of money are involved.
    Children are obtained for adoption through coercion, fraud and kidnapping, but also through too permissive laws on child relinquishment and/or too rapid termination of parental rights. In many cases unscrupulous go-betweens have found that large profits can be made by arranging the transfer of children from poverty-stricken homes to people with means.
    Many such children are sold for money (disguised as adoption fees) either through independent adoptions or through licensed and accredited adoption agencies and regulated by adoption laws.
    ACT considers this a demand-driven market in children, which should be labeled as child trafficking and stopped.


    17 yo American girl found biological parents in China

    She was adopted by an American woman when she was 7 months old in Anhui, China. Now she is trying to learn Chinese language.

    Google translate

    "I think that the blood relationship between the birth parents and I can not let go, my heart would like to see them." Said this is American Chinese girl Laney Allison, she was very young American mother being from Ma On Shanhospital adoption (Xinan Evening News, May 21 has been reported).
     Yesterday, Laney the end of the month-long study of Chinese in Beijing, with his own mother came to Ma On Shan, and began tracing the journey.

    The reporter saw the mother and child at a hotel in Ma On Shan.Talking about his wish, Laney full of feeling, "I was a bright child, childhood with her mother there are huge differences in the appearance of my mother is a single mother, she was very open-minded, when I just sensible , she told me how I came here from China in these years, I and my American mother live very happy 15 years old, I suddenly want to know another version of his life - my biological parents and I know no one wants to discard her own children, that is part of their lives, they must feel they are powerless to take care of me, was forced to send me away, the moment their hearts certainly very sad and I know they love me very much, because the choice to let go a kind of love.Many of my friends would ask me, why should return to China to tracing? I am eager to understand the lived seven months, eager to know that I have no brothers or sisters, parents these days. The miss and love all the waves in my mind. "Laney's mother is a kind person, she is proud for his own daughter in China. Help the daughter of tracing the process, she plays the role of a "good partner" ready to share or solve unexpected surprise or disappointment.
    For remaining story:


    Son lost to human traffickers reunited with dad after 20 years

    A man, who lost his son to human traffickers more than 20 years ago, was reunited with him last month. Father and son tell Xu Wei their stories in Chongqing.
    For Hu Shangming, a major part of the last 21 years of his life was spent searching and waiting for his son, who was abducted by human traffickers. The 50-year-old resident of Chongqing municipality spent two years desperately looking for his son, who was abducted in January 1991.

    After using up his savings in the quest, he decided to wait at the exact spot where his son was abducted in the hope that his son would find him there. "Over the years, I've turned from being a fruit vendor to running a teahouse, but I've not moved from the same location," Hu says.

    In 2011, local police who were investigating human traffickers, reopened Hu's case. They took Hu's DNA sample to match those at the national DNA bank for abducted children. And that, ended Hu's wait.

    Hu was reunited with his son in Xiamen, Fujian province, on June 2 this year.
    "I knew I would find him one day," he says.

    Even though it has been two decades, the memory of the day when his son was abducted remains fresh in Hu's mind.

    For remaining story:


    China's Stolen Children

    Chinese authorities have hailed the success of an operation last week in which they arrested 800 human traffickers and rescued nearly two hundred children.
    But the high-profile raids revealed the extent of child trafficking across the country.
    The BBC's Beijing correspondent, Martin Patience, has been speaking to parents who are still searching for their missing sons and daughters.

    For video:

    Fraud charges dropped for adoption facilitator

    The British press called them the "Internet twins." Five years ago, two premature babies were put up for adoption on various Web sites through an El Cajon adoption firm.
    What followed was a tug of war over the girls between an adoptive British couple and relatives of a California couple who also had adopted them. The spat ignited worldwide debate over the legality and morality of using the Internet for adoptions.
    International investigations ensued. Fleet Street called the would-be parents from Wales "the most hated couple in Britain." Eventually, the FBI raided the El Cajon home from which the adoption business, A Caring Heart, operated.
    Tina Johnson, the woman behind A Caring Heart, was charged with wire fraud and mail fraud in San Diego federal court in 2002.

    For remaining article:

    Uganda: Father Duped Into Selling Own Children

    When Saturday Vision ran a story of a lost child, Marvin Jakisa, who was stranded at Old Kampala Police Station, little did anyone know it would open a Pandora's box. Gladys Kalibbala followed up the child tracking saga of four children uprooted from Masaka and sold to a family in Nebbi district.

    It started in October 2008 when Kenneth Mpiima, a builder residing in Katooke village, Nansana, shared his financial problems with colleagues at a church for Bornagain Christians in Nsambya, Nabisalu zone.

    His soft drinks business in a small shop at the New Taxi Park was collapsing and he could no longer afford to take care of his children.

    His colleagues introduced him to Pauline Rachiwu, who offered to take his children to an organisation based in Nebbi. "She said she had people who had helped educate children to higher levels," Mpiima recalls.

    He handed over his three children, Moses Kisakye, 6, David Mukisa, 3 and Janet Ruth Natukunda, 2.

     He also advised a friend, Edith Nassiwa, who was also struggling with her son, Marvin Jakisa, 5, to do the same. The four children were given to Pauline.

    For remaining article:

    Struggle to adopt girl suddenly eases

    BY WAYNE GREENE - June 3, 2012                                  
    TULSA — In Christian theology, Grace is the unearned assistance of God — the divine reaching into the human world to set things right.
    In Nancy Baney’s house, Grace is the skinny little brown-eyed toddler — fast approaching her third birthday, eating cereal with her big plastic spoon and drinking milk from a sippy cup.
    But she’s also an outward sign of God’s help.
    “It’s a miracle. It’s nothing short of a miracle,” said Baney.
    “It just doesn’t happen this way most of the time.”
    After more than two years of struggles with the U.S. government that left the Baney family stretched across the globe, Grace was granted a humanitarian parole by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service in April.
    The parole allows the girl to travel to the United States for medical treatments for up to two years — long enough for Baney to adopt Grace and set her on a path toward citizenship.
    For the first time in a long time, Grace’s story seems likely to have a happy ending.
    The story that led Grace to Tulsa is complex.
    She was born June 7, 2009, in Gorja, Pakistan.
    When she was 3 months old, an international adoption agency put her in Baney’s arms for the first time. The child’s Christian birth mother was dead and the birth father was unable to care for a newborn.
    The child faced a dreadful fate in Pakistani institutions, Baney was told.
    Baney’s efforts to adopt the girl went smoothly until Oct. 14, 2009, when U.S. officials discovered that the child’s birth story was falsified.
    The birth certificate and identity documents had been forged by the adoption agency, which hired a Pakistani couple to pose as the child’s birth parents. Four Pakistanis were arrested, but Baney was cleared — she was the victim of the fraud, not its perpetrator.

    Read more: http://newsok.com/struggle-to-adopt-girl-suddenly-eases/article/3680934#ixzz1wl4uNd00