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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.

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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.

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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

Samoan adoptions raise eyebrows

The Samoan government has launched an inquiry into an international agency that arranges adoptions of village children to Americans.

A One News investigation has found the children are not orphans or abandoned. Instead they come from big families.

Auckland has become a staging post for American parents picking up Samoan children. Last year the American consulate in Auckland issued visas for 61 Samoan children.

That figure is expected to grow and that has prompted a Samoan government investigation.

In addition some parents claim they did not know they were signing their children away forever. They say they had no idea that adoption meant permanent seperation from their children.

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Death prompts Samoan adoption change

Samoa has rushed through legislation to tighten up on foreign adoptions following the death of a child who had been in the care of an American agency.

Last year a One News investigation revealed Samoan parents had put their children up for adoption with the organisation Focus On Children, not realising they would never see them again. Parents thought the children would stay in America only for their education and that the adoption was not permanent.

Now the agency is once again in the spotlight - this time in the midst of a police investigation.

Avea Sioka was struggling to bring up six children when the family placed baby Heta and three of her siblings with Focus On Children.

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Arrests over Samoa adoption scam

The owners of an American adoption agency have been charged with running a baby-smuggling operation out of Samoa.

An investigation by ONE News Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver first highlighted the alleged scam which US officials have called "shocking and appalling".

Seven people involved with the Utah-based agency are accused of deceiving parents in Samoa into signing away their children.

US investigators allege that as well as being mistreated in a nanny or halfway house, Samoan birth parents were deceived into thinking they would get their children back when they were older.

US officials allege the agency targeted Samoan children for adoption by observing the market or other places where women gathered.

Local agent Dan Wakefield is one of those charged. He told ONE News it wasn't his fault if Samoan parents misunderstood.

Behind the tale of alleged fraud, selling children and money laundering are the families.The parents only intention was to give their children a good future that they could not afford to give themselves.

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African adoption should be discouraged 'at all costs,' group says

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Nyla was just two or three days old, no one really knows for sure, when she was found abandoned in the middle of a field in Rwanda. She was "black and blue," says her adoptive mother, Karen Brown. Her umbilical cord was still attached.

One year later, Nyla lives in a high-rise building in Hong Kong with American parents and a four-year-old sister who is Chinese. She just started walking and has "seven-and-a-half" teeth, though she's too shy to show them.

The bright-eyed baby is one of more than 35,000 children sent from Africa in a surge of adoptions in the last eight years, according to adoption expert Peter Selman from Newcastle University in the UK.
During that time, figures have risen three-fold at the same time as international adoptions from all countries have slumped to a 15-year low, Selman said.

A new report from The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) entitled "Africa: The New Frontier for Intercountry Adoption," says the trend indicates that receiving countries are turning "en masse" to Africa to meet demand for adoptive children as other options close. It's a trend, they say, that needs to stop.

"It must at all costs be discouraged. It should be a last resort and an exception rather than the normal recourse to solving the situation of children in difficult circumstances, as it seems to have now become," said David Mugawe, executive director of the ACPF in a press statement.

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Chinese police bust child trafficking ring

Press Trust of India / Beijing June 01, 2012, 15:25

In crackdown on a child trafficking ring, Chinese police have arrested 76 people and rescued 31 infants.

The ring abducted babies in Yunnan province and sold them in Hebei and Shandong in northern China, Police department of the Chinese Ministry of Railway said.

The police have arrested 76 suspects so far.

The ring purchased the infants at a price of about 10,000 yuan (USD 1,582) each in Yunnan and sold them in Hebei and Shandong for 20,000 to 50,000 yuan, it said.

The ring is connected by well-organised members who abduct, purchase, transport and sell the infants for adoption Wang Ansi, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted police officials as saying.

Chinese police have beefed up their efforts to crack down on human trafficking rings.

In 2011, police across the country rescued 8,660 abducted children and 15,458 women after breaking up 3,195 human trafficking groups.

A DNA database for missing children set up by the Ministry of Public Security has helped over 2,000 abducted kids return home as of February 2012

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Guilty Plea In Adoption Fraud Case

SEATTLE - A baby-selling scandal targeted local couples anxious to adopt.

The families thought they were adopting orphans from overseas, but in many cases the babies weren't orphans.

Wednesday, the woman who helped set up the adoptions pleaded guilty.

Lauryn Galindo has claimed all she wanted to do was give poor third world children a loving home. But, federal investigators say she preyed on poor Cambodian families to buy and sell their babies.