but will continue here: Romania for Export Only BLOG

President Basescu at the European Commission, 22 April 2010

Friday, 29 August 2008

'Stolen' kids traced to Dutch orphanage

'Stolen' kids traced to Dutch orphanage
8/28/2008 6:47:40 PM

Dekla - mother of Lisa (18) and Kapil (17)
The case of stolen children sold to foster parents abroad by a child adoption agency Malaysian Social Services is getting murkier. The parents of two children allegedly 'sold' to foster parents in Holland have revealed to TIMES NOW that they had received a letter after 12 years from their children that were abandoned at an orphanage in Netherlands.

The revelation has come as a sharp contrast to the assurances given to them by the adoption agency -- the Malaysian Social Services that their children were safe and with affluent families abroad.

Many adoptions by foreigners through this agency between 1991 and 2002 have come under the scanner after allegations that children were 'stolen' from their parents and handed over adoptions 'illegally'.

Though there are still no records as to how many children were kidnapped, the Central Bureau of Investigation and Tamil Nadu police had re-assured that biological parents - mostly slum - dwellers - that their children were safe with affluent families abroad.

TIMES NOW tracked down two kids who were victim of the illegal adoption racket. These kids were given away in 1996 to a family in the Netherlands. But shockingly, the two children were forsaken by their foster family and put in Netherlands state orphanages.

TIMES NOW is in possession of a letter written by 18-year-old Lisa on April 24, 2008, who was taken away from her mother when she was 6-years-old.

The letter read: "Dear mother, I'm so touched to hear that you have been waiting for me all these years. I'm desperately waiting to see you again. We are no longer with our foster parents. Please send a photograph of yours. I love you very much and I'm sending you kisses. - From me and Kapil."

Both Lisa (18) and Kapil (17), children of an impoverished couple in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu had been sent to foster parents in Netherlands. Their mother - Dekla was promised that they were leading comfortable lives there, till the children contacted their mother through a letter.

Reacting to the letter, mother Dekla said, “It has been twelve years since they have been separated from us. We are waiting to see them. With the government's help we want to see them at least once."

Another case of 'illegal' adoption has been tracked down tot he United States of America, of an 11-year-old Subhash. He was allegedly stolen when he was a baby in 1999; and sold to a couple in the US by the Malaysian Social Service agency.

Subhash's father - Nageshwar Rao is now fighting a legal battle to get his son back.

Earlier, TIMES NOW had reported about 14-year-old Zabeena, who was stolen when she was three -years-old and sent to Queensland in 1998, where she was adopted. Fatima - the mother of Zabeena had appealed to be re-united with her child, who was later traced to have been stolen for adoption by the Malaysian Social Service.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Cambodia - Madame Adoption

Translated from Le Figaro


Facilitated Adoption

Clemence Fournier, 25, is the first Madame Adoption in Cambodia in view of the simplification of procedures for foreign adoption. From the first quarter of 2009 other young volunteers will join the "Peace Corps" of the French and will be placed in the French embassies in some twenty countries. Their missions? Supporting adoptive families in their search on the spot and to avoid irregular situations.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Intercountry adoption: France prepares to beat its competitors

ADOPTION: France wants to address its lagging behind

Unofficial translation from Le Figaro

Thanks to the funding of humanitarian projects, the USA, but also Italy and Spain, host many more children from abroad

Paris prepares itself to copy their more efficient methods.

Everyone starts doing it. In respect of Intercountry Adoption, competition is rife among the receiving countries in recent years. With some delay, France is preparing to change its methods after a decline of 20.5% last year, with only 3 162 foreign children adopted by French couples.

Nadine Morano and Rama Yade, respectively secretaries of State for Family and Foreign Affairs, today present their plan to revive adoption (see below). Other countries, thanks to a very proactive policy, succeeded in reversing the declining numbers of international adoptions. France, despite all being in the top three of receiving countries, is thus far behind the USA and has been overtaken by Spain where the number of adoptions has quadrupled in less than ten years. While there are several possible reasons for this decline: growth of domestic adoption in countries like China, slowing adoption procedures to adapt to the Hague Convention, which regulates the practices… But in this context, Italy has still seen its international adoptions jump by 9%.

Competition can be played within orphanages. In its bilateral agreements, Vietnam, for example, requires funding for a humanitarian project. "For a project, the French agencies approved for adoption (OAA) can give about 15 000 euros. The Americans will have an envelope at least twice as large. Their adoption agencies operate like private businesses, "says someone from Doctors of the World. "The orphanages say that children are not assigned based on money received, but there is a principle of reality that we can not ignore," he yet deplores.

The financial weight of the USA, which generates more than half of international adoptions, can not be ignored. "France, can invest in major works such as construction of a hospital but did not provide money for projects to link more directly with children and adoption," another OAA regrets.

Italian families less demanding

Projects that sometimes flirt with the limits of the framework imposed by the Hague Convention. "When agencies are working on programs to prevent abandonment and are also doing adoptions, how do you know if everything is done for a mother to keep her child? Especially if there is a financial issue behind "asks Stephanie Romanens-Pythoud, a lawyer at the International Social Service.

In terms of humanitarian projects, Italy, for its part is illustrated by an effective policy, with funding from the central authority. Actions which are also valued by diplomatic channels. "The State finances the full cost of Italian OAA – offices, local correspondents - which leaves them the money to build search teams," says Gilbert Bayon, president of Les Enfants de reine de miséricorde, which operates Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. "These research teams criss-cross the country to find small orphanages not identified by authorities hosting adoptable children." Even if it is then the Government of Burkina Faso that "assigns" the children in hosting families, "this aid for the census weighs heavy, "points out Gilbert Bayon.

But "good" results of Italy have another cause: the host families have understood that they had to be less demanding. In France, only 23% of adopted children are more than five years. In Italy, this figure exceeds 50%. However, this practice has been directly encouraged by the Italian authorities. In Peru, the "Angel che guardan" programme was created to boost the adoption of already big children. Finally, the good implantation of Italian nuns in orphanages in countries of origin would also favours assigning children to their compatriots. The Spanish enjoy the same advantage.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

The future of Cambodian adoptions

I am still somewhat puzzled by the French Peace Corps, young volunteers who will have as mission to find adoptable children for French families. The first targetted country is Cambodia.

Rereading the Colombani report of March this year, I noticed the following:

[translated from French]

In Cambodia, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has explained the
[French] mission early January 2008, that now several years after the war and, in a certain way, thanks to the massive aid from international NGOs, but also because of an economic development in the order of + 10% per year, the number of truly orphaned and adoptable children decreased, and the time would come quickly where Cambodia "will keep its children as future members of a community that will have developed and where they all have their place.

Original text:

Au Cambodge, le secrétaire d’État aux Affaires étrangères a expliqué à la
mission, début janvier 2008, que plusieurs années désormais après la guerre et,
d’une certaine manière, grâce à l’aide massive des ONG internationales, mais aussi
du fait d’un développement économique de l’ordre de + 10 % par an, le nombre
d’enfants réellement orphelins et adoptables diminuait ; et le temps viendrait
rapidement où le Cambodge « gardera ses enfants comme membres futurs d’une
collectivité qui se sera développée et où ils auront toute leur place.

ABC News: children allegedly stolen for adoption

With courtesy to Zench, who linked to this video in his comment

Stolen for Adoption - Australia

Friday, 22 August 2008

Stolen Children - shipped to Australia

Since beginning of last year there is much debate about intercountry adoption in The Netherlands. It started with the news of a stolen, kidnapped Indian child who allegedly had been adopted by Dutch citizens.

Today, Australia was hit by similar news. It is worthwhile reading the full article that explains how this child trafficking took place:


Stolen Children

Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008 By RORY CALLINAN/CHENNAI

YEARS OF HEARTBREAK: Zabeen's birth mother Fatima at a local tea shop; her daughter was taken as she played outside

BuzzFatima thinks it was her daughter Zabeen's beautiful smile that attracted the child stealer. Playing outside the tea shop near their home in the north Chennai suburb of Washermanpet, with only her four-year-old brother watching, the bright two-year-old was an easy target. While Fatima popped around the corner to the market, Zabeen was bundled into a motorized rickshaw and vanished into the mass of humanity that swirls through the city's squalid alleyways and slums. Full text

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

French Adoption Squad soon to arrive in Cambodia

The below translated article explains the French initiative to get a bigger share of the international adoption market. As stated, this policy goal was set by the previous French government, in 2004, the same year it became clear that Romania´s door would formally remain closed, and Bulgaria informally slowed down.

Informal translation from :
Le Point
Published on 31/07/2008 No. 1872 Le Point

Adoption - The Rama Yade Plan
Alexander Holroyd

In a fortnight, Clémence Fournier, 25, will fly to Cambodia with a specific mission: to facilitate adoption of foreign orphans by French parents. Based on her experience in India, Madagascar and Cambodia, where she met Rama Yade, the French state secretary in charge of Human Rights, the young humanitarian´s profile fits the "job." She will be the first "international adoption volunteer." A squad of young "ambassadors", recruited on the model of the U.S. Peace Corps, will be present in twenty countries starting next year in order to make the link between adoptive families and local authorities and avoid excesses like Arche de Zoé ... Accompanied by Gérard Depardieu, the father of this program, Rama Yade announced the dispatch of these volunteers during a press conference at the Quai d'Orsay.

She is not the first to tackle this thorny issue. Three years ago, Jean-Pierre Raffarin pledged to double the number of foreign children adopted in France. To be followed by a vast reform and the opening with much fanfare of the French Agency for adoption (AFA). In 2007, the disastrous results of AFA broke out in broad daylight: -20% of international adoptions over the previous year, while Italy, that also mobilized on the subject, showed an increase of 9%. In this context, Jean-Marie Colombani, the former director of Le Monde, last March presented the government with a highly critical report on the state of the adoption in France.

Funded for more than 55% by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the establishment of this network of intercountry adoption volunteers in any case demonstrates the renewed interest of the Quai d'Orsay for a subject hitherto considered not a priority.

So Cambodia is the first of twenty countries this adoption squad will enter. Interesting choice, as most receiving countries stopped adoptions from Cambodia in 2003 following reporting of corruption, child trafficking and visa fraud.

But in 2005 a scandal broke out in France when the French government allowed private adoptions of French couples, despite the closure. The French organisation of adoptive parents rang the alarmbell titled ´When France forgets ethics in adoption´
In February this year, the French adoptive parent organisation wrote again a burning letter to Kouchner, cc Rama Yade, with the same message: again adoptions had been allowed from Cambodia in conflict with laws and procedures, that allow no French private adoptions, but only through adoption agencies or the French Adoption Agency (AFA).

So, are these adoption volunteers going to work for AFA, or for the adoption agencies?

Apart from the French, also the Italians are adopting from Cambodia. The US and most European receiving countries still do not allow adoptions from Cambodia. The UK reviewed the situation in Cambodia in April this year and came to the conclusion that (full text here):

adoption legislation, practice and procedure in Cambodia remain insufficient to ensure the proper protection of children and their families; lifting the suspension at the current time would expose Cambodian children and their families to an increased risk of improper practices that are contrary to the principles of the Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Convention) and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This is the environment the young French will need to find adoptable children...

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Dr. Boas stands up for Korean unwed mothers

A number of adult adoptees, adopted from South Korea, has organised themselves in order to call for Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea (TRACK). Their website is worth visiting and a participation form can be downloaded; the below video can be seen there too:

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The Gallic Peace Corps in the footsteps of Zoe's Ark?

Thanks to Abandon & Adoption it is easy to follow what is happening on the French adoption front.

Going through the many comments on the French initiative to send in the troops of young volunteers to find adoptable children for French couples, Zoe's Ark re-appeared.

Who doesn't remember the French humanitarians who tried to save 100 'orphans'who appeared not to be orphans after all. This link is interesting reading to refresh the memory: Untangling The Zoe's Ark Affair

At the time politiciens and adoption experts alike were clear that this kind of rescue missions were not done.

But now, six months later, the French government has formalised this practice: a Gallic Peace Corps will invade poverty stricken nations with one goal: to find adoptable children for French families. French families who adopt independently, so without the involvement of an adoption agency. But with the assistance of the French Adoption Agency (AFA), a governmental body that accompanies such adoptions. It is not totally clear to me AFA works exactly. It is not an agency, it is not the French Central Authority. It is what the French call The Third Way (besides agency and private adoptions).

Mr. Colombani, in his report for the French President Sarkozy, had noted that the French adoption agencies were in a difficult position, as they were needed to compete with other countries who dressed up their adoption requests with humanitarian aid.

Therefore, the Gallic Peace Corps will need money for humanitarian projects. The first private funder is a French industrialist, Zannier, who founded the Holy Lola orphanage. And actor Gerard Depardieu will do the fundraising, so that not only the rich and famous have easy access to adoptable children.

Did I already mention that since June this year France is having a real Ambassador for intercountry adoption: Jean-Paul Monchau.

To me the Gallic Peace Corps looks like another Ark, and not only to me. A French reader of Le Monde proposed to call the "Peace Corps à la française" : « Yadé's Ark ». Yadé is the French Secretary of State who initiated the Frenc Peace Corps. Her boss, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner remains silent.

However, let's not forget this:

France’s new foreign minister, Dr Bernard Kouchner, personifies the ‘right to intervene’ that was invoked in the ‘humanitarian military interventions’ of the 1990s and in post-9/11 arguments for ‘regime change’. It is a prescription for mayhem, and now that he has taken on a powerful role in a powerful state, we should keep a close eye on him.

Now that France has the EU Presidency for the next six months, let's keep a close eye on the French.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The European Adoption Battlefield

I know I announced updates on the French/Italian call for European Adoptions... and it is still to come.

In the mean time it is worth reading the excellent blogposting of someone who well understood what I described in my book, and, more importantly, he even better understood the European Adoptions agenda.

The Romanian battlefield for children
By Niels
In many of the discussions I follow on the internet, the Romanian situation keeps returning when talking about banning inter-country adoption. Not so much by those that oppose inter-country adoption as an example of a successful ban, ...
Pound Pup Legacy blogs

To better appreciate the French hunger for children, it's worth reading about the new French initiative to send in the troops of the 'adoption army'

Gap-year mission to find baby orphans for France Options

Peace Corps or adoption army

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