but will continue here: Romania for Export Only BLOG

President Basescu at the European Commission, 22 April 2010

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Chinese adoptions - donations

Today Brian Stuy explains 'What the "Donation" Really Is' .

I agree with his conclusion that to increase the fee/donation with 2,000 dollars will only add fuel to the baby-buying problem. Because, think of it, where would directors of orphanages otherwise find the 350 dollars to pay for the purchasing children, as was recently uncovered by the Dutch TV programme Netwerk.

What is interesting is that it are the orphanage directors who seem to decide the amount of the donation. Not the Chinese Central authority.
And it are the adoptive parents who, mostly, directly pay this donation CASH to the orphanage director, not the adoption agency.

And the Central authorities of China and the receiving country look the other way.

Both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Hague Convention state no unreasonable financial gain can be made on adoptions. Remains to be explained what is reasonable. On one of the Dutch discussion groups I read that in case of a private adoption, the Dutch Ministry of Justice only allows for a 100 dollars donation to the orphanage, otherwise it would be considered corruption. But that rule is obviously not applied in case of Chinese adoptions.

Later more on the donations China receives for medical care for 'orphans'.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Adoption des enfants chinois - un trafic exposé

Courtesy to

Résumé Trouw - 11 mars 2008
Les Pays-Bas obtiennent des enfants adoptés d'un foyer chinois par des enfants qui sont pris à leurs parents. Les enfants sont retirés à leurs parents suite à la politique chinoise de l'enfant unique. Selon le journaliste d'investigation Deng Fei, ces enfants sont tombés dans les chaînes de l'adoption. Netwerk a effectué une enquête concernant les adoptions de la province chinoise d'Hunan.ChristenUnie veut un débat urgent avec le ministre Hirsch Ballin de la Justice au sujet de cette affaire et estime que les adoptions venant de la Chine doivent être suspendues.
Ina Hut, directrice de l'organisme d'adoption Wereldkinderen, dit qu'il n'est pas exclu que des enfants enlevés soient aussi arrivés aux Pays-Bas. Les organisations d'adoptions aux Pays-Bas sont préoccupées depuis plusieurs années au sujet de la Chine. Mais elles n'obtiennent pas d'informations du CCAA, l'organe d'adoption central de la Chine.

En mai 2006, le ministère de Justice avait déjà demandé à la Chine des clarifications lorsque que le grand scandale des traffics d'enfants d'Hunan fut découvert. Le gouvernement chinois répondi qu'il n'est seulement question d'erreurs de procédures et qu'aucun enfants n' a été envoyé vers les Pays-Bas. Ceci ressort du rapport de la visite de la délégation de Justice que Netwerk dispose. Mais selon le journaliste Deng Fei et l'avocat des commerçants soupçonnés de traffic d' enfants, les propos rassurants du gouvernement chinois ne sont pas exacts : il s'agirait de centaines et voir jusqu'à des milliers d'enfants qui sont enlevés, négociés, commercialisés.

"Il est permis de s'interrogé sur la valeur de ces déclarations chinoises", affirme René Hoksbergen expert en adoption internationale."La Chine ne veut pas perdre la face, surtout pas alors que les Jeux Olympiques sont en vue. Les témoignages des trois couples chinois à Netwerk sont choquants et j'estime que les Pays-Bas devraient suspendre les adoptions d'enfants chinois. Il ya un doute raisonnable quant à la fiabilité des autorités chinoises. C'est pourquoi la justice doit avoir le courage de dire: nous allons d'abord enquêter pleinement sur cette affaire ", selon Hoksbergen.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Chinese Adoption - the Dutch Documentary

This is an extract of the programme, in Dutch. First see the parents and the girl whose twinsister was taken away by Chinese authorites because of the one-child-policy, and adopted abroad. Then the Director of Wereldkinderen (Children of the World) who considers it not impossible these children ended up in the Netherlands; she asks for international investigations. Professor Hoksbergen is of the opinion Dutch adoptions from China need to be (temporarily) halted, as these practices are against The Hague Convention.

Chinese adoptions - a look in the kitchen

The below videos are from the website of Netwerk

Brian Stuy - researcher:

And William Duncan - Hague Convention

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Adoptions from China - Dutch TV

The Dutch TV programme Netwerk broadcasted tonight their shocking documentary on Chinese adoptions. It showed the families of children taken by the authorities, it unveiled that children were taken by the authorities and sent abroad. And that orphanages pay for children delivered to the orphanages.

Some of the children are said to have ended up in the Netherlands.
But this scandal effects other countries too.

The Dutch documentary is not yet available online, but some extra material is:
- interview with Professor Hoksbergen (Dutch)
- interview with Brian Stuy, researcher (English)
- interview with William Duncan of the Hague Conference (English)

To watch the extra material clich HERE

China - Breaking News on Intercountry Adoptions

This morning I read the Testimony of Acting Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs
Catherine M. Barry
, which she gave on June 8, 2006 during a Hearing in the US Senate on Asian adoptions. Here a quote:

'In another important and extremely positive development, the People’s Republic of China – not only the world’s most populous nation but also the largest country of origin of children adopted by Americans internationally – ratified the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention on September 16, 2005. The Department of State and the American adoption community have long viewed China as a country of origin with clear, uniform procedures that are transparent to adoptive parents and their representatives. We also know that the Chinese government has strict measures to verify the identity and status of children available for adoption. In February 2006, the Chinese government realized that some measures had been compromised by rural officials in Hunan province. A number of these officials were sent to jail pursuant to criminal convictions. The Chinese government subsequently assured U.S. officials that none of the children erroneously put forward for adoption had been adopted by American families. The Chinese government also assured us that they have reinvigorated their internal controls. China’s Hague Convention ratification bolsters even further our level of confidence in China’s commitment to equitable, legal, and transparent adoption procedures that meet the best interests of children, nearly 8,000 of whom came to the United States last year.'

Today's Dutch Breaking News might counter this positivity. Newspaper Trouw announces that tonight the Dutch TV programme Netwerk will broadcast a documentary that will uncover how chinese children are taken away from their families by the Chinese authorities - and then are sent abroad for intercountry adoption.

So, where are these children. In the Netherlands, in the US, in Spain, the UK or perhaps in France?

Below an unoffical translation of the Trouw article:

Chinese adoptions again in the news
Authorities are said to take children away from their parents
Trouw, 11 March 2008
Iris Pronk

The 7-year old Zeng Hong from the Chines province Hunan has a twinsister. But she and her parents have no idea where the girls is. In fact, in April 2002, Zeng’s little sister was taken away by a civil servant, because her parents could not pay the fine. That fine is part of the one child policy, that limits the number of children Chinese couples may have.

The parents of Zeng Hong. | Foto: Netwerk, EO

The parents of the girl tell their story tonight in the TV programme ‘Netwerk’.
When father and mother later had saved the necessary amount of money to pay the fine, they claimed their daughter back. But the local authorities said the child had been adopted abroad and would and untraceable.

’Netwerk’ got two other Chinese couples in front of the camera, with a similar history: their (grand) child was also taken by someone of the office for family planning. He brought the childen to the Shaoyang Social Welfare Institute in Hunan, from where it probably got adopted by a foreign couple. Without consent or knowledge of the parents.

Two Dutch adoption agencies did in 2003 business with the Shaoyang children’s home. Through Wereldkinderen [Children of the World] seven children came from this home to the Netherlands, through Meiling ten. It is not sure of proven that these cases concern children that were taken away.

Last year Trouw reported on another adoption scandal in the province Hunan: child traders earned for many years big money with the sale of possibly hundreds of children. China has always assured that none of these trafficked children ended up in the Netherlands.

It is, however, to be questioned how much value these Chinese statements have, says adoption expert René Hoksbergen: „China does not want to loose its face, especially not with the Olympics in sight.” He calls the witnessing statements of the three Chinese couples in ’Netwerk’ shocking and considers that the Netherlands should suspend adoptions of Chinese children. „There is reasonable doubt about the trustworthiness of the Chinese authorities. That’s why Justice must have the courage to say: we will first investigate this fully”, according to Hoksbergen.

Stay tuned - more after I watched the programme...

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

My comment on James Marsh' Blog - ChildLaw

Yesterday I left the below comment on James Marsh' Blog. As I received many supporting e-mails as reaction, I'd decided to publishe this comment here too:

'Quite a story.

I had my own bad experience with Deb Schneumann and Lynn Wetterberg when they were so fiercefully lobbying to keep Romania open. And then to try and reopen it. Nothing was too much. Romania was not allowed to move on, to develop. No, the children in FTIA's children home needed to go home - to the US - their tickets had already been paid. The methods used and the powers these people have on politicians is incredible. Deb and Lynn, I hope you've read my book... you are all in, UNCENSORED as are so many others (Bush, Powel, Prodi, Berlusconi, Frattini, Raffarin, US Senators, Members of the European Parliament, a Prince - the sky was the limit when pushing for adoptions...

But there were also some standing at the right side, like Sweden's Queen Silvia; here a quote from my book:

  • 'Queen Silvia opened the conference by reminding the audience of Sweden’s history. Sweden had in 100 years moved from a relatively poor country to one of the richest countries of Europe. A hundred years before, Sweden had had 400 children’s homes and many children were placed for adoption, including intercountry adoption to…? Latvia. It was when women were given equal rights and support for single mothers became available, that children’s homes could be closed. Hardly any Swedish children were adopted nowadays. Instead Sweden had become the European country with the highest number of children adopted from abroad. Turning to the rest of the world, the Queen said there were too many children in residential care and she especially mentioned Guatemala, Romania and Russia. Some were orphans (Africa), some had parents, but were abandoned because of drugs, alcohol or poverty.

  • The Queen advocated for social support and training. Instead of institutions, foster care and family-type homes were the solutions.'

She did not say those children should be derooted, taken out of their country.

Helping children has nothing to do with the current competitive adoption market that has, at the very least, some very nasty side effects. Not only it attracts nasty people... it incites abandonment, sometimes children are literally stolen. And there is no follow up whatsoever. Masha can testify on that, and how many other Masha's are there - who were not found (yet).

BUT: this adoption business also fully hampers the development of a just social system and that is in my opinion just as big a crime. '

Monday, 3 March 2008

Intercountry adoption & the trade in organs?

Mid February the UN held their first Conference on the trafficking of human beings. Trafficking for sexual or labour exploitation, and for adoption, false marriage and human organ donation is believed to be the third largest illegal trade in the world after drugs and arms smuggling.

It was longtime denied that trafficking for organs happened for real, and especially a possible link with intercountry adoption was fiercefully denied by the adoption lobby.

But it may well be the sad reality:

There is also considerable evidence that infants and young children are kidnapped for the adoption market. At the same time, older girls and boys are sold or kidnapped (again, the relative percentages are unknown) for the sex trade. If children are abducted for adoption or for sexual exploitation, it is argued, it seems logical that they are abducted also for their organs. Although this charge has not been proven, it does contribute to a more general suspicion of organ donation and transplantation.

When writing the book I hesitated to address this issue, but I did. Read page 156:

  • Monday, 25 May 2003
    According to the Italian press trade in babies is taking place in Italy. Young women and girls from Eastern Europe, not so far by sea, were persuaded to come to Italy under the promises of jobs, but often ended up being illegal and sold into prostitution. According to the Italian priest Father Cesare Lo Deserto, their babies, mistakes of their profession, were prey to the criminal gangs. When for adoption, children would go to Western couples with the money and contacts to bypass official waiting lists. In the case or organs, such as livers and corneas, the destination would often be privately run clinics in Israel and Turkey.

  • Were abandoned children trafficked for their body parts?
  • I have long-time not really wanted to hear about it. But the more I read, the more I worry.
  • The ‘baby parts’ rumour probably arose spontaneously as an ‘urban legend,’ a false but widely believed form of modern folklore. That is according to the US government’s info website.
  • But a fresh report of the Rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee says differently: worldwide, the issue of organ trafficking is not so new. In the 1980s experts began to notice what was to become known as ‘transplant tourism’ when prosperous Asians began travelling to India and other parts of Southeast Asia to receive organs from poor donors. Since then other routes have opened up, such as to Brazil and the Philippines. Allegations are made against China of commercial use of organs from executed prisoners. Organ sale continues in India despite new laws, which make the practice illegal in most regions. Organ trafficking, like most criminal activities, is difficult to prove. But it should not be left to the media alone to investigate. According to this Rapporteur, the Member States of the Council of Europe have a common responsibility to deal openly with this problem nationally, but also through multilateral co-operation at the European level.

  • It is most likely not without reason that Europol’s definition of child abuse refers not only to sexual abuse, prostitution, forced labour, kidnapping, parental abduction, ritual killing and illegal adoption, but also to the trade in abandoned children and the trade in organs. That probably means such abuses exist. So why would Romania’s abandoned children not have been victims of such crimes?

And now read this:
  • Saturday, 31 March 2001
  • In private many people admitted it was not easy for Romanians to adopt and the healthy children were ‘saved’ for abroad. The selection of children by foreigners was sometimes very thorough. The Israeli, for example, were nicknamed ‘the vampires’ as they took blood samples of adoptable children, which were analysed in Israel before they were accepted.

And this

Romania probes Israeli adoption agency link in organ trafficking

A rumour... that probably arose spontaneously as an ‘urban legend’, a false but widely believed form of modern folklore, according to the US State Department.

I truly hope so.

The Silence of the Advocates for Intercountry Adoption

The Adoption Policy Center, the Joint Council on International Social Services and Focus on Adoption have no news to bring.

The silence is noteworthy.

Every day I visit heir website, in order to keep up to date.

But PPL has taken over their role - and they are a true watchdog:

The list is out - the Hague accreditations of the US State Department

Sun, 2008-03-02 17:45 — Niels

Friday 29 February 2008 the US state department published the agencies accredited or approved for the Hague.
Some of the agencies that didn't make the list are:
Adoptions International (Hannah Wallace)
Children of the World, Inc. (Rudy Rivera)
ChildPromise Inc. (Jeannene Smith/Debbie Spivack/Cynthia Peck)
Small Miracles International, Inc. (Margaret Orr)
Rainbow House (Donna Clauss)
World Child International (Carl Jenkin)

In short, the rogues gallery of Focus on Adoption (FOA) didn't make it!!!

And I can add that Uniting Families from Lynn Wetterberg, member of the Board of the Joint Council is also not on the list.

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