but will continue here: Romania for Export Only BLOG

President Basescu at the European Commission, 22 April 2010

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Help Nagarani and other parents of missing children

Today the Sunday Times reported on the work of ACT (Against Child Trafficking), being to assist parents of missing children. Children missing because they were adopted by foreigners, in exchange for money.

Some of these children were kidnapped directly from their parents. Nagarani's son, for example, was kidnapped during the night - just as Madeleine McCann.

Madeleine McCann fund raised £2 million in first 10 months.

ACT is in need of urgent funding. To bring Nagarani and her husband to The Netherlands. But also to assist many more parents in similar situations.

I hope we can show that the world cares about all children and all parents!


In 1999, the 18 month old son of Nagarani and her husband Kathirvel was kidnapped in India and sold by to the orphanage Malaysian Social Services.

In 2007, through the work of ACT, Nagarani’s child was located in the Netherlands. The Dutch adoptive family refuses any contact, or DNA testing. The adoption agency and the Dutch Ministry of Justice take no responsibility.

ACT helped Nagarani and Kathirvel to get a lawyer in the Netherlands, so that they could request visiting rights in the Dutch Court of Justice.
See also: A Chennai slum dweller's fight for her Dutch son



Via Paypal - see button on top of this posting, or

Against Child Trafficking,
The Netherlands, Nijmegen

Bank account: 67 26 82 060

IBAN: NL41 INGB 0672 6820 60

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Ethiopia: Export Commodity Child

Informal translation of summary: Sonntaz Exportgut Kind

FULL ARTICLE (not yet online)

HOPE This Ethiopian Family has given a son to Germany. The father hoped that it would be better off there. That’s why he lied. Adoption agencies and orphanages claim such lies – at the intercountry adoption market.


Export commodity child
A family in Ethiopia has many children and no money to feed them. A German family has money and wants a child. Human rights activists criticize the business of hope.

Human rights activists warn that the placement of orphans turned into a business.

Photo: jenzig71/photocase

AUGSBURG / SHINSHIZO taz | The number of children who are adopted abroad from Ethiopia has risen significantly in recent years. At least 3,000 children have been mediated in 2008 to countries like the USA, France or Spain. This is shown by an internal document from the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, which Sonntaz has. While German families in 2007 took 29 boys and girls from there, in 2008, according to the Federal Statistical Office it were already 47. From no other African country, more children come up for adoption to Germany.

Human rights activists warn that the placement of orphans becomes a business. They also criticize the role of adoption agencies that act as an intermediaries. "The high prices charged by the agencies for adoption are often not justified by actual costs. Foreign adoptions have thus become a market, "Brigitte Siebert of the central authority for international adoptions in the Hamburg told Sonntaz. In 2008 alone, worldwide around 37 million € circulated with adoptions from Ethiopia.

"Whenever the placement of children money flows and the players earn from it, it is sale of children," says the Dutch Roelie Post. She has for the EU Commission fought for years against the corruption and fraud in the adoption of children from Romania. Since the adoptions from there have completely stopped, she fears, countries such as Ethiopia could take the role of Romania. With her organisation Against Child Trafficking she tries to stop this.

In Ethiopia, acted in 2008, according to the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, 69 state-licensed adoption agencies. They bring children from orphanages first to transitional homes, to prepare them for their new life in the West, and finally to the countries of their new families. Potential parents want most healthy, most young sons or daughters. In Ethiopia, according to Unicef, live about 5 million orphans, but often these are ill, disabled or older. Due to the mismatch of supply and demand, it always comes back to fraud.

Also Abadi Kebede (name changed) from a south Ethiopian village made false statements, when he gave his son to Germany. The Sonntaz tells tells the whole story as Edo (name changed), aged three years, came to Germany. "The Lost Son," describes this road via an Ethiopian orphanage to a southern German family and paints how in the market for adoptions in the meantime also a librarian hoped Edo could become her child. The Sonntaz describes how an adoption agency through Kebede’s lie got into distress. And how to German authorities react to that.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

France: Over 80 adopted children abandoned each year

Unofficial translation - via Fabriquée en Corée

France: Over 80 adopted children abandoned each year

Published in France-Soir, Nicole Korchia, May 3, 2010.

The figures are secret and taboo in France: officially 2% of adoptions are doomed to fail in France. But unofficially, the specialists speak bluntly of one out of ten ... Our investigation.

A terrible fact ...
The failures of the adoption, is not much spoken about. Yet even in France, heart-rending stories of adopted children handed to institutions, then returned to their countries are frequent and real. Taboo, controversial, no official statistics are given. The issue of adoption is too sensitive and the finding of failure are buried under the hundreds of pending requests. If figures of 2 and 3% failure are circulating, that is already huge, because it means that from about 4,000 children adopted each year, more than 80 are abandoned each year, returned as a simple device that does not work! What happens with these little ones, dismissed again and again, by their biological families and then the adoptive families? How will they rebuild? And why is that after so many stages and waiting, adoptive parents are unable to keep this child so much dreamed of?

Why these failures?
"In the context of adoption, explains us at the AFA (French Adoption Agency), there is very often the child dreamed of and the real child. And the two do not always converge. Adoption is truly a graft which takes or does not. Indeed parents often go far beyond their original plan, thinking they can take an older child with a past emotional or physical problem or pathological ... But over the months, things get complicated ... Dr. Geneviève André-Trevennec, director of Médecins du Monde, said: "We must make parents aware of the responsibility they had in their adoption process. They committed themselves, it's like when you have a biological child who was born with difficulties, we assume and we love him until the end, whatever happens."

What happens to these rejected children? When full adoption is recognized, the child remains legally forever bound to his parents. He is placed by the social services, but he will never be adoptable in full. When he is foreign and his country has made a legal decision, his country no longer wants him. And if not yet registered with the French registry, he finds himself a bit stateless. This happens especially when individual adoptions.

To avoid this, the psychological preparation for parenthood and monitoring of adoptive families are gradually established by adoption agencies. "With the current trend of international adoption that offers more and more older children from complex situations, it becomes vital. Otherwise the failures will multiply! A supported and warned family reacts so not to come to extreme situations," confirms André Genevieve Trevennec. But it is still insufficient and many signs of alarms go unnoticed. However, a failure to adopt never happens overnight. So many lives shattered in the first years of existence can not leave us indifferent ...

"More than 30% of approvals granted should be denied"
Dr. Pierre Levy-Soussan is a child psychiatrist, medical director Consulting affiliations in Paris. France-Soir. What is a real failure of the adoption?
Pierre Levy-Soussan. The most serious are those that result in abuse, neglect and with delivery of the child to the ASE (Child Welfare). They go well beyond the announced 2%. Then there are the equivalent of stalemate where the situation has degenerated to such an extent that parents or children have nothing together except indifference or hatred. The professionals assess globally these stalemates at 10 or 15%. And that’s huge ...

F.-S. What should be done to prevent such tragedies?
P. L.-S. Being more selective about the licensing and stop the amateurism institutionalized in adoption. A case dismissed by the commission can be saved by a president of the general council or a judge. Amateurism! Anybody can get a license. The refusal rate nationwide is 10%, with 70% of departments between 0 and 10%! More than 30% should be rejected because the areas that work best have a refusal rate between 30 and 40%. No politician wants to challenge the law and children are paying the price!

F.-S. How to do this concretely?
P. L.-S. Under the assumption of an efficient selection of candidates, by doing the work of matching of families: that child for that parent, as any child can not go with any parent. We must stop relying on the random arrival of files as does the AFA.

F.-S. Do we paint a too rosy image of adopiton compared to its reality?

P. L.-S. Of course, and peopolisation contributes to that, adoption has a picture of a fairy tale. The realities and difficulties are put aside and it that does not help prospective adoptive parents who are often overwhelmed by the obstacles they encounter.

F.-S. A story like the little Russian boy could have happened here?
P. L.-S. Not only it could have, but it happens in France. Children who are returned with their bags to the ASE that is unfortunately not an exception ...

A serious act that justice sanctions
On March 29, 2010, the Criminal Court of Nantes sentenced adoptive parents to nine months suspended sentence for abandoning in 2004 their two Ethiopian children. Adopted four years before, they were delivered to ESA some time after the birth biological child of the couple in question. They were "violent and difficult," explained the adoptive parents who paid 400 euros per month social services for custody, but no longer exercised their visiting rights.

Second story: that of a couple who had adopted a Chinese child first and then a second, who around 3 years had shown a medical condition. When the parents heard the diagnosis, they left the child to the hospital and went to report the abandonment to the ESA. Obviously, this has destabilized the elder child, who thought that if she fell ill, her parents would abandon her. The second child was immediately placed in a remarkable family, who accompanied her on her treatment and was then adopted. It is an unfortunate story that did not end too badly ....

Third case: that of a child born in Eastern Europe. It was well adapted, but the family made him their property, totally isolated from the world. Outside school, he saw no one other than his two parents. One educator charged with his follow up, reported these facts to the judiciary, because the parents refused to get help. Result, the child was placed in provisional detention. Finally, more recently, a mother went to pick up a child in Haiti after the earthquake of January 12, but she could not assume that adoption and gave it back to social services last month. The little girl is now at the DDASS (Child Protection) in the Reunion, abandoned after less than three months in a new family...

Friday, 30 April 2010

Why Russia should stop exporting its children

Amidst the pressure to re-open Romanian adoption, I of course followed the situation of Artyom Savelyev, the Russian adoptee who was ‘returned to sender’ by his US adoptive mother. This case has brought the controversial issue of intercountry adoption from Russia back into the international news. The possibility that Russia might stop exporting children has spread panic in the adoption industry.

Intercountry adoption is in crisis. Over the last five years the number of children adopted from one country to another has halved. Many countries have closed their doors to this unaccountable industry. So, the adoption industry, driven by private adoption agencies, is facing difficult times. They have taken large sums of money from people who want to adopt, but they can no longer supply the children to satisfy the outstanding demand.

Russia is now the third largest “sending” country from where the US adopts children, after China and Ethiopia. These three countries are all confronted by a growing number of legal scandals which show that international adoption agencies routinely trample local laws in their search for adoptable children (a typical legal scam involves the falsely declaring of the child as an orphan or abandoned, thus clearing the way for international adoption). And yet these countries continue to export their children.

Having been involved in the Romanian child protection reform, on behalf of the European Commission, I have had the privilege of an insider’s look into the adoption “kitchen”, where the most common ingredients are political pressure and emotional blackmail. A nexus of adoption agencies, adoptive parents and politicians are using their powers to ensure that intercountry adoptions continue. Often they are successful. However, in Romania they were not. Successive Romanian governments, with support of the European Union, stood firm and took the decision to stop the export of their children -- a decision the adoption industry has continued to aggressively challenge for the last 5 years.

A main player in the adoption industry is the Joint Council on International Children’s Service, a US umbrella organisation of private adoption agencies. They are at the heart of a vicious lobby to make intercountry adoption a worldwide accepted practice. A recent leaked document showed that this organisation is suffering from a negative image, seen as a trade organisation, and is in financial difficulties. If things are not turned around somehow, they may have to close down this year. The closure of Russia could well be the last nail in their coffin.

It is therefore no surprise that the Joint Council has started an aggressive campaign to “keep Russia open” - titled WE ARE THE TRUTH. On the internet they are mobilising adoptive parents to sign a letter to President Medvedev and President Obama, to involve their Senators and to swamp the internet with positive adoption stories.

In these hot waters, the US State Department is now lobbying in Moscow, to push for Russia to “better regulate” adoptions, and to sign the Hague Convention. This Convention has been proven to be about consumer protection, not about protecting the rights of the child. It creates a legal trade in children and protects the interests of the adoptive parents – and even more the adoption agencies, not the children. It further has the perverse effect of making local child protection become dependent of the donations of foreign adoption agencies. This dependency results in a continuous flow of adoptable children. Children are taken out of the children’s homes for intercountry adoption, but new children are taken in. Children who could with little support, often remain with their families. Again, it is the demand that creates the supply.

Once children are adopted abroad, Russia can follow up on their well being only by requesting post adoption reports. Just some week ago the Russian Ministry of Education posted a long list of foreign adoption agencies that had not send in these post adoption reports. However, one has to understand that the post adoption reports are being provided by those involved in the adoption industry. There is sufficient evidence that such post adoption reports may paint a much rosier situation than the reality. After all, for Artyom Savelyev Russia received a positive post adoption report, just weeks before this boy was brutally send back. Also for Masha Allen, adopted at the age of five to the US for sexual slavery and internet pornography. To think a bilateral agreement will solve this is just wishful thinking.

Intercountry adoption is an industry in crisis. An industry that functions by the economic rules of supply and demand, which is now suffering due to a lack of supply. Not many countries still export their children.

It is up to Russia to decide the fate of its children.

"A country which is unable to care for her children is a country with no future and therefore I believe there should be no additional pressures to liberalise procedures for international adoption in Romania, meaning adoption of Romanian children by people of other nationalities with domicile abroad"
Sabin Cutas, Member of the European Parliament (Romania)


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Romanian President: Country’s Adoption Law Will Not Change During My Term

Romanian President Traian Basescu said Thursday in Brussels that the country’s law on adoptions will not change, “at least” not during his term, regardless of the lobby in favor of change made “in Brussels and elsewhere.”

A petition for the reopening of international adoptions in Romania was dismissed on March 23 on the request of Romanian MEP Victor Bostinaru, unanimously backed by the European Parliament's Petition Committee.

Bostinaru argued at the time that, before accession, the European Union itself requested that Romania ban international adoptions and the move was welcomed by the European Parliament and European Commission. He added that any attempt to put this topic back on the agenda of EU institutions, or to pressure Romania must be speedily and firmly rebutted.


See also the previous posting:

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