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

Sit-Down With A Molestation Survivor;

NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, a prime-time live exclusive. In all my years of criminal law, I`ve never seen anything like it.

She was raised with nothing in an obscure Russian orphanage, abandoned by her own mother. But then, suddenly, an adoptive father comes to the rescue.

Tonight, the story of a little girl adopted through a legitimate U.S. adoption agency to an American pedophile. From ages 5 to 10, she endured nightly molestation, and then being photographed by her adoptive father, making her one of the most popular child porn stars on the Internet. But this story doesn`t end in tragedy.

Tonight, the miracle girl who beat the odds. The little girl who survived is with us live.

Good evening, everybody. I`m Nancy Grace.

I want to thank you for being with us tonight.

Tonight, an unprecedented live exclusive with a child who has shown more courage in her short life than most of us show in a lifetime. Abandoned by her own mother, she escaped a Russian orphanage, where she kept all her worldly possessions under her pillow, to America.

Yes, she was adopted by an American -- an American pedophile. For five years, she lived through torture, starting at age 5. Horrible child porn of this little child plastered on the Internet.

For remaining story:

Saviours or kidnappers?

IT MUST have seemed like a good idea at the time. The New Life Children’s Refuge, a Christian group from Idaho, saw no need to bother with paperwork or official permission when they decided to take 33 Haitian children to the Dominican Republic where they apparently hoped to build an orphanage.

Furious officials arrested ten of the group’s members on charges of kidnapping (which they deny). Many of the children turned out to have families. A similar row erupted in 2007 when workers from Zoé’s Ark, a French charity, were accused of kidnapping 103 children in Chad. Ostensibly orphans from the Darfur region of Sudan, destined for adoption in France, many turned out to be local children, and not orphans. Six charity workers were jailed.

For remaining story:

Inside Ethiopia's Adoption Boom

Seated in plastic chairs in a grade-school cafeteria in Minnesota, Sandra and Alan Roth admired their 7-year-old daughter, Melesech, making her stage debut last month in "Peter Pan" as one of the "lost kids"—the children who find themselves spirited away to a magical place called Neverland. Four years earlier, to the day, the Roths had brought Mel home from Ethiopia, where they had adopted her.

"Oh, Wendy, we thought you were going to be our mother!" said Mel on stage, speaking her only line and wearing a rust-colored tunic and fuzzy Ugg-style boots.

"She is very special," said Mrs. Roth, 49 years old. For children like her in Ethiopia, she added, "There is no future."

Ethiopia has become one of the busiest adoption destinations in the world, thanks in part to loose controls that make it one of the fastest places to adopt a child. Nearly one out of five children adopted by Americans hailed from Ethiopia the past two years, second only to China.

Many youngsters, like Melesech, are thriving in loving homes. Still, the U.S. State Department has cautioned that Ethiopia's lax oversight, mixed with poverty and the perils of cross-cultural misunderstanding, leaves room for abuse.

For remaining article:

His Past Life: An old molestation allegation is renewed again

David Cousineau was a prominent community leader and children's advocate for more than a decade. But the past and future of the ex-director of Seattle Children's Home are in question over an allegation that, while a priest in Southern California more than a decade ago, he repeatedly molested an altar boy at his Los Angeles church. Cousineau is named in a list of alleged pedophile priests released last month by Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, to whom Cousineau once was a friend and confidant.

The church report names 211 priests accused of molesting 519 boys and 137 girls dating back to 1930. Despite those breathtaking numbers, critics say the list does not fully disclose the true extent of the pedophile history of the L.A. Archdiocese, America's largest.

The report was called a "media stunt" by Steven Sanchez, director of the Los Angeles chapter of Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, who urged Mahony to throw open the complete record to police agencies.

for remaining article:

Former Holt CEO accused of sex abuse

Cousineau resigned from the Holt position in April, two months after the adoption agency learned he had once been accused of molesting an 11-year-old boy in California. An independent law firm hired by Holt couldn't substantiate those allegations, but the agency decided the accusation had impaired Cousineau's ability to manage Holt.

The plaintiff in the new suit said in a telephone interview that she decided to file after learning Cousineau worked in a job involving children.

"I heard he worked with orphans, and I just thought that was a scary situation," she said. "I felt I had to come forward and that something needed to be done."

Holt learned the woman was considering litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.

When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation.
during its own review of Cousineau's past, said Kevin Sweeney Kevin Sweeney is a Piedmont, California, based business consultant, author, and former special assistant to US Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt during the Clinton administration. , the agency's interim director. He said he was unaware that a suit had been filed and couldn't comment without seeing it.

For remaining article:

Presbyterians to probe maternity homes in wake of Post forced adoption revelations

The Presbyterian Church in Canada has launched an internal review of its historic maternity home practices, becoming the third church to do so since the National Post last month began an investigation into coerced and forced adoptions targeting unmarried mothers between the 1940s and 1980s.

Stephen Kendall, the clerk of the Presbyterian assembly, said the review was sparked by a “concern” for mothers who have recently alleged they were coerced or forced by social workers, medical professionals, and maternity-home staff into surrendering their children because they were not married.

“[We’re concerned] about any mothers whose children went for adoption that might have concerns today,” he said. “Our archivist is compiling a list of documents and doing a review of them.”

For remaining story:

Mother and daughter testify in child-snatching inquiry

Marisa Torres and her 29-year-old daughter, Pilar, with whom she was reunited last year, left a Madrid courtroom in tears on Tuesday. They had just told a judge how a Catholic nun, Sister María Gómez Valbuena, now 80, allegedly stole Pilar soon after birth and sold her on to another family.

"She has done a lot of harm to a lot of families. If she isn't put in jail or punished, then she will be punished in another life," Pilar said.

The case filed against Sister María is the first inquiry to be officially opened by a Spanish judge over the alleged existence of a baby-snatching conspiracy, which may have lasted from as early as the 1940s up until the 1990s at public hospitals around the country. Dozens of complaints have been filed by parents, who claim that they were told their newborns died at birth, when in fact they were adopted by childless families.

For remaining story:

More nuns put under investigation in children-snatching scandal

More nuns from the Daughters of Charity order are under investigation for allegedly taking part in a stolen babies scheme at Madrid hospitals.

Sister María Gómez Valbuena, now 80, was called before a judge on April 13 to answer charges that she stole an infant girl from a mother and gave her to another family in the early 1980s. She is the only person who has been officially charged in the ongoing case, which has now grown to more than 1,500 complaints.

Among the suspects is Sister Juana Alonso, now 97, who served as mother superior of the order at the Daughters of Charity convent in Tenerife from 1951 to 1970.

For rest of story:

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.

Read more:

Spain's Stolen-Babies Scandal: Empty Graves and a Silent Nun

The elderly woman who left Madrid's courthouse on Thursday morning looked stooped and ghostly, but neither her obvious frailty nor the plain blue habit she wore kept the small crowd of onlookers from screaming at her. "Shameless!" one woman shouted. "How could you cause so much suffering?"

Thursday was supposed to be the day that began to bring resolution to those who believe themselves victims of decades of baby robbing in Spain. The nun called to testify, Sister María Gómez Valbuena, is the first person indicted for her alleged involvement in a scheme that supposedly saw thousands of newborns taken from their mothers and sold to adoptive parents. But once in front of the judge, Gómez Valbuena exercised her right to remain silent. And later that day at a meeting with representatives of victims' associations, Spanish government officials admitted that, although they would dedicate administrative resources to attempting to reunite mothers and children, the chances of bringing to justice those who had separated the families were slim.

Some 1,500 accusations of baby stealing, dating from the late 1950s until the mid-'80s, have been filed in Spain in the past year or two.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2112003,00.html#ixzz1sLYmlN5t

80-year-old Spanish nun faces charges in massive baby-stealing ring

Catholic nun charged with stealing baby in 1980s; angry families say church-sponsored cartel stole babies from poor mothers, sold them into adoption.

An 80-year-old Spanish nun appeared in court Thursday to face charges that she kidnapped an infant girl as part of a vast baby-trafficking ring that stole newborns from poor mothers and sold them into adoption.

Sister Maria Gomez Valbuena appeared before the judge and refused to testify, invoking her right to remain silent, Reuters reported.

The aging Sisters of Charity nun was charged with kidnapping a newborn girl from a Madrid hospital in the 1980s.

A group of more than 1,000 families said she was part of a nationwide baby-snatching ring dating back four decades.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/80-year-old-spanish-nun-faces-charges-massive-baby-stealing-ring-article-1.1060651#ixzz1rw7XVUVE

With families in limbo, adoption agency turns in its license

SAN ANTONIO --The small staff at Adoption Alliance of San Antonio has seen its “families waiting” file grow a little bigger this week, after the adoption agency started fielding phone calls from worried parents across the country.

Executive Director Justin Johnson said, “They were so shaken up, tearful, crying, you really couldn’t even understand what they were trying to explain to you.”

Johnson is talking about clients who felt abandoned, after another, unrelated agency, Adoption Services Associates, sent out a mass e-mail declaring it was out of money and out of business.

To read more:

Ethiopia: U.S. Adoption Agency Involved in Child Trafficking

A Minnesota-based adoption agency had its license to work in Ethiopia revoked by the government there, according to a letter posted this week on the U.S. State Department's website here.
The letter, dated December 8, 2010, says the agency Better Futures Adoption Services (BFAS), "has been involved in child trafficking." The letter is signed by the director general of the Charities and Society Agency. That agency and the Ministry of Women's Affairs, which both oversee international adoptions of Ethiopian children, had been "researching" allegations into BFAS activities...

...There were 2277 adoptions of Ethiopian children to the US in 2009, up from just 731 three years earlier. As CBS News reported last April, that dramatic spike in the number of foreign adoptions from that country has opened the country up to cases of adoption fraud and trafficking in children.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20031384-10391695.html

300,000 babies stolen from their parents - and sold for adoption: Haunting BBC documentary exposes 50-year scandal of baby trafficking by the Catholic church in Spain

Up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of five decades, a new investigation reveals.
The children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses, priests and nuns in a widespread practice that began during General Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early Nineties.
Hundreds of families who had babies taken from Spanish hospitals are now battling for an official government investigation into the scandal.
Several mothers say they were told their first-born children had died during or soon after they gave birth.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049647/BBC-documentary-exposes-50-year-scandal-baby-trafficking-Catholic-church-Spain.html

The Untold Story of the Romanian Orphans blog

Romania re-opens the export of children?
According to the Romanian newspaper Jurnalul National Romania is ready to re-open the export of its children.

On Wednesday the Romanian Parliament voted for changing the adoption law. I have not yet been able to finish reading all the amendments, but it is clear that this would be a start in opening the doors.

It is now up to President Basescu to sign this amendment.

Will he keep his word?

About the book:

Family Support condemns baby selling

THE Family Support Center here in Honiara has condemned the recent reports of young girls selling, giving away or putting up their newly born babies for adoption, a new illegal practice that is common at the Honiara Central Market nowadays.
A statement from the FSC condemning this stated that such practices are not only illegal but also violates the rights of the newly born baby to be mothered by his or her biological mother.

“The Family Support Center strongly condemns such practices and sees it as unacceptable, inexcusable and inhumane.
“How can an innocent newly born baby be sold, given away or up for adoption as any other product or Barbie doll that one can purchase from the shops in town or at the market?
“This is a serious violation under the rights of the child, especially the rights of the newly born babies to be cared for by their own mother, the mother that gave birth to them and not another,” a spokesperson from the Center said....
For maining article:

Majority of Bulgarian 'Orphans' have Parents

Almost all children accommodated in orphanages in Bulgaria have parents, according to data of the National Statistics Institute, NSI, released Friday.

At the end of 2011, 2 278 children, or 98.2% of the children accommodated at the so-called the Homes for Medical and Social Care had one or two parents. Only 41 children were complete orphans, which is 1.8% of the total number of accommodated children at the end of the year.

for remaining article:

Adopting accountability

WHERE DO BABIES COME FROM? For people who adopt from overseas, the operating assumption is that children who need a home were abandoned by their birth mothers and somehow delivered to an orphanage. Yet the circumstances of each baby's background often remain elusive.
China is the biggest source of American adoptions from overseas, not because of its large population but because of the reliability and predictability of its system. In 2005, nearly 8,000 children from China -- 95% of them girls -- were adopted into American families, far more than from any other country.

Adoption facilitators who work regularly with Chinese orphanages report that they are generally run by dedicated and conscientious staff...

For remaining article:

The Dark Side of China's "Aging Out Orphan" Program

In the Fall of 2008, WACAP adoption agency began to send e-mails out to many adoption groups pleading for a new group of older orphans who needed families. "They are all listed as healthy," the broadcast e-mail read, "They are in danger of turning 14 and 'ageing (sic) out.' This means they may have no support or resources and have to live on their own in China - if they are not adopted before they turn 14." This particular group would become known as the first "Journey of Hope" program through WACAP, one of the largest China adoption programs in the U.S. Emails went out and word spread through the Yahoo groups discussing WACAPs new program, which included the Luoyang orphanage adoption group, where adoptive families were advocating for children "soon to be aging out" of that orphanage, which comprised the majority of the children on WACAP's list. One Luoyang adoptive parent wrote of "a program that was to get older kids adopted. Perhaps there is a new effort to get the older kids paperwork ready and have files in at CCAA. Maybe, they are being added to CCAA's new 'shared' list. Thirty or so agencies are now being 'tested' with the new 'shared' list of older or sn kids." --Research-China.Org
for remaining article:

Imagine Adoption case held off again

KITCHENER — The former couple at the helm of an international adoption agency which collapsed in 2009 appears prepared to deal with fraud charges.

Rick Hayhow, who was chief financial officer of the Cambridge-based agency, Imagine Adoption, may plead guilty to the charges, his lawyer said Monday outside Kitchener’s Ontario Court.

Susan Hayhow, the agency’s former executive director, wants a preliminary hearing on her charges. Such a hearing is held to determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial.

The Hayhows were jointly charged with breach of trust, six counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of fraud under $5,000. Each also faces an individual charge of fraud under $5,000.

More than 400 clients hoping to adopt children from a variety of countries, mostly Ethiopia, were left in limbo after their adoption agency went bankrupt in July 2009.

Waterloo Regional Police began investigating allegations that more than $300,000 was charged to agency credit cards for personal purchases, including trips to Disney World, New York City and the Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka, spa visits, home renovations and a horse and saddle.

The couple drove leased luxury vehicles and paid themselves a combined income of $320,000 a year.

For remaining article: