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President Basescu at the European Commission, 22 April 2010

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.

2 comments:

Brian Douglas said...

The Gallic peace corps are indeed in the footsteps of Zoe's Arc. Gap year students have no qualifications in childcare and no comprehension of the foreign countries they visit, let alone any understanding of the countries culture.
If we take the Romanian case for instance we see here every year many gap year students who can only speak their native language and are in the main unable to commnicate in effective terms with locals let alone even think of addressing problems that may arise without an interpreter to help them.
This too will be the case with most gap year students all over the World and though they do good work the fact remains that they do not understand intercountry adoptions, not the host countries childcare systems, let alone any form of child protection and I would suggest that like Zoe's Arc this scheme to use these students to find Orphan children is a very dangerous move and shows no respects for the Rights of the child.
Again we see the needs of wanting adults being placed by a nation- France before that of the child.

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