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President Basescu at the European Commission, 22 April 2010

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Chinese children's homes pay money to finders who bring children to those homes

Tonight NETWERK reported again on Chinese adoptions on Dutch TV. Informal translation of Netwerk
Chinese children's homes pay money to finders who bring children to those homes

This is evident from an investigation of the Ministry of Justice in response to a Network documentary on adoptions from China. According to China it are "symbolic amounts." Network got their hands on the content of a draft letter on this subject from Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin to the Lower House [Second Chamber].

In this letter he addresses the fuss that arose in March about adoptions from China in response to a documentary from Netwerk. In that documentary it was shown that children's homes in the Hunan province pay for children who are being brought in. From this Province come many - also Dutch - adopted children. Subsequently, the ministry started its own investigation.

In the draft report the ministry calls the Chinese adoption system 'vulnerable'. "With a certain regularity possible new irregularities are reported," says the report. The Chinese adoption agency has acknowledged to the ministry that "symbolic sums" are paid to finders who deliver children to orphanages. The Network broadcast of last March showed that finders were paid half year salaries.

According to the Hague Adoption Convention that both the Netherlands and China have signed, it is forbidden to pay finders of children. 'Not a dollar, not a cent," said the Hague Permanent Bureau of the Adoption Convention to Network in March. From the letter to the Second Chamber it appears that Justice has doubts whether this prohibition is respected in the provinces. 'Many children's homes are located in poor regions where small amounts may be of great significance, "says the report. That could encourage trade in children.

Emeritus Professor Rene Hoksbergen speaks of a critical report. " He has his doubts on new adoptions from China. Hoksbergen: "It is extremely difficult for the Netherlands, after this report, to proceed in the same way. But it is up to the adoption agencies here to take a a decision about this. " In the broadcast of Network of this evening, also a Chinese couple reacts on the findings of the Ministry. In March the couple told Network that their child had been taken by the Chinese authorities because of the 1-child policy. In the draft report Justice writes that China denies the story of the parents. The ministry limits itself to the observation that "the reading of Network differs substantially from that of the Chinese authorities."

Hirsch Ballin sees on the basis of the report no reason to stop adoptions from China. He called all parties concerned for "continued vigilance and the critical monitoring of adoption"

I just watched tonight's programme. Apart from the above, there was also an interview with Brian Stuy who confirmed the payment of finders and estimated that some 50% of the Dutch adoptions were actually from children's homes involved in such payment schemes. The programme is not yet available online, and is in Dutch, but below some material from Netwerk from March this year.

William Duncan

Brian Stuy

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