but will continue here: Romania for Export Only BLOG

President Basescu at the European Commission, 22 April 2010

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Adoption Merchant - babies for sale

The American Way? Not only, Europeans adopt just as many children, and are promissed children in exchange for money (expenses).

But then thanks to the Hague Convention adoptions are now well regulated, no?

That's unfortunately one of the lies we love. The Hague Convention has replaced the traditional baby merchants by accredited adoption agencies. And anyway, most of the children still get adopted from countries that did not ratify The Hague Convention.

As I saw in Romania, the Hague Convention creates a full blown market. With adoption agencies making pink promisses, cashing the money long before any adoptable child would be even in sight. And indeed, when in such cases adoptions are closed down, the pressure for 'pipeline cases starts. And not only in Romania, the same could be seen in Guatemala, Nepal, Vietnam...

Thanks to Marley Greiner for putting this on her Blog The Daily Bastardette

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Baby J placed in Dutch care system

The Dutch court ruled today. Baby J. will be placed in the Dutch care system until further investigation.

Bought by a Dutch couple, I would say the right place for this child would be in the Belgian care system. And it should be up to the Belgian Court to decide on her future. TO be continued...

Dutch court says Internet baby to be taken into care

Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:19am IST

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Belgian baby bought over the Internet for adoption by a Dutch couple must be placed in the temporary care of the Dutch authorities, a court ruled on Thursday.

According to media reports, the couple bought the boy in July from a Belgian couple in Ghent. One TV report said between 5,000 and 10,000 euros ($6,450 to $12,900) was paid.

The Dutch couple denies buying the baby, saying on Dutch TV that they only paid the pregnancy costs incurred by the parents.

The court in the Dutch city of Zwolle said the couple had broken the laws for adopting foreign children, and had to hand the baby over to child welfare authorities.

The Council for the Protection of Children, part of the Netherlands' Justice Ministry, had asked the court to place the baby boy into temporary custody until a decision was made by the Belgian authorities on what to do with him.

"Clarity over your family history is of fundamental importance for a child growing up. Obscuring your true identity is harmful," the council said in a statement.

The public prosecution office in the Netherlands has started an investigation into the case, while Belgian authorities are also making inquiries, Dutch news agency ANP reported.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Baby Donna & Baby J

The Netherlands are caught by another case of 'illegal adoption' where a Dutch couple procured a Belgian child. Baby J. was offered for sale on the Internet and bought by a Dutch couple. Yesterday night Netwerk broadcasted a documentary in which the Dutch couple was interviewed. According to them both the Belgian Hospital and the Dutch Youth Care Department were informed about the case. However, when asked about it by Netwerk, they denied any involvement.

Dutch MP Marleen de Pater called to include baby selling for adoption into criminal law, because like in many countries the buying of children for adoption in not a crime, as there is no intention of exploitation.

The proof of that came today, when the Dutch High Court put their final ruling in the Baby Donna case.

In 2005, a Dutch couple bought Baby Donna from a Belgian woman who had 'produced' the child as part of a deal with a Belgian couple.
For more of the harrowing details read The Sad Tale of Baby Donna

Today in its wisdom the Dutch High Court decided that Baby Donna can stay with the Dutch couple who bought her, for reason of established family life (article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights). The biological father will get, in due time, visiting rights.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Adoptions Down Under

Australia's first National Adoption Awareness Week has led to some interesting debates.

Orphan Angels are lobbying to increase the number of intercountry adoptions for Australian families. Not an easy task in current times, where intercountry adoptions are worldwide in a downward spiral.

Today's AP article shows how deep the adoption industry in in trouble
Foreign adoptions by Americans drop sharply

I'd like to complement Ian Robinson for the countering of the Orphan Angel's spreading of the orphan myth.

These Angels Aren't Telling the Whole Story

By Ian Robinson
18 Nov 2008

Deborra-Lee Furness wants us to import a lot more children from other countries for the Australian adoption market — but it's an ignorant and selfish approach to the problem of child poverty, writes Ian Robinson

In a recent Weekend Australian Magazine, Deborra-Lee Furness breathlessly told her interviewer that there were "103 million orphaned children in the world". "How can we have two-year-olds walking the streets," she asked, "fending for themselves, looking through rubbish for food?"
Indeed, how can such a distressing situation be permitted to exist?

Well, you'll be glad to know it doesn't. Furness is just manipulating the numbers to persuade you to support her campaign to import more third-world children to Australia for childless couples here. By preying on public sympathy for these "103 million" poor alleged orphans she is trying to garner support for her pro-child-procurement lobby, charmingly entitled "Orphan Angels", in their attempts to convince the authorities to make inter-country adoptions much easier and supply the local demand.

The truth is quite different and there is no need to panic.

What Furness didn't mention in her PR spiel is that while it is true that UNICEF does cite a large total of "orphans" in the world, the UNICEF definition, for complex historical reasons, includes children who have lost just one of their parents as well as those who have lost both, thus most of them are not orphans by our Australian definition. The UNICEF estimate for true "orphans", those who have lost both parents, is closer to 13 million.

This is still a lot of kids, but the image of this many toddlers scratching around alone for mouldy crusts in the rubbish dumps of the world is also totally misleading. According to UNICEF, "Evidence clearly shows that the vast majority of orphans are living with a surviving parent, grandparent, or other family member". Nor are they typically helpless two-year-olds: "95 per cent of all orphans are over the age of 5" says UNICEF — still pretty young, but already at the point where they're not really attractive on the Western adoption market.

In fact, UNICEF itself is rightly concerned about people misusing the orphan figures in this way because it "may then lead to responses that focus on providing care for individual children rather than supporting the families and communities that care for orphans and are in need of support."

For anyone genuinely concerned about the plight of children in developing countries there is an enormous variety of programs available that do help the families and communities to support and nurture their children in need and keep them with their own relatives in their own culture. Invitations to contribute to such programs appear in your letterbox often.

Although Furness concedes that "Adoption will only ever be a partial solution for the homeless and abandoned children of the world", and her group mentions some of these other initiatives on their website, it is clear that their main focus is not helping children where they are, but bringing them here to live with relatively well-to-do Australians.

The danger is, as UNICEF warns, that the focus on bringing an infinitesimal proportion of needy children to Australia (one thousandth of one per cent), tends to take attention away from the needs of the majority. The cost to an Australian parent of one inter-country adoption would ensure literally hundreds of children thrived in their own countries.

Moreover, there are significant problems with inter-country adoption that Furness and her group have not addressed in their publicity. The first is that it encourages child kidnapping. This practice is rife anyway in many of the countries the children come from and the presence of rich foreigners looking for "orphans" is an open invitation to unscrupulous criminals to supply their needs. The governments of the countries involved are too poor and often too corrupt to set up adequate protective mechanisms to guard against this.

For example, US professor and inter-country adoption expert David Smolin was horrified to eventually discover, after having taken all possible precautions and working through a seemingly authorised agency, that both the children he and his wife had adopted from India had been stolen from their parents.

He subsequently studied the inter-country adoption system in depth, and concluded "there are systemic vulnerabilities in the current inter-country adoption system that make [such] adoption scandals ... predictable. Further ... there are no actors in the inter-country adoption system with the requisite information, authority, and motivation to prevent abusive or corrupt adoption practices. Under these circumstances, 'reform' of the inter-country adoption system remains elusive and illusory."

It would appear that what is needed is more regulation and monitoring rather than less, but what Furness and her group are lobbying for is easier access and less "red tape", which can only exacerbate these problems.

The second thing Deborra-Lee Furness and her "angels" neglect to mention is that frequently adoption — in particular inter-country adoption — does not have a fairytale ending, but on the contrary can be quite problematic.

The most extensive research has been carried out in Sweden, where the practice has been going on longer, and where it was found that inter-country adoptees had significantly higher rates of suicide than national adoptees and both were higher than their non-adopted peers. Additionally, inter-country adoptees had higher levels of drug and alcohol problems; males had significant rates of ADD, while females had significant rates of depression, anxiety, and schizoid and delinquent behaviour.

The same negative outcomes are also becoming evident in other countries, such as the United States, but not as much hard research has yet been carried out there. One of the few Australian studies, on a group of 102 Vietnamese children adopted in NSW during the 1970s, reported that the majority of children placed between the ages of 4 and 6 had difficulties bonding or establishing family relationships, as did 40 per cent of the children placed at 18 months and above.

The truth is that no adoption, inter-country or local, can ever be an ideal or even an admirable solution to any problem. It is always a last resort and is always the unfortunate consequence and cause of more than one person's loss and pain.

All of this has been known for many years and has been studied in detail by plenty of people who have the best interests of the child at heart. But don't advance "pro-child" views in front of Furness or she'll label you part of the evil "anti-adoption culture" which is trying to prevent her group, and the well-to-do Australians they are lobbying for, from getting their hands on more lovely, cute third-world children.

Furness's heart may be in the right place but her polarising attitude and her refusal to come to grips with the limitations of inter-country adoption and its misuse by wealthy westerners has led her not just to see the world through rose-coloured glasses but even to be selective with her facts in order to convince us her campaign is a good thing.

There is a myth in wealthy countries that just as everyone is entitled to vote, have health care and so on, everyone is entitled to a child. The truth is that no-one has the right to a child and in particular no-one has the right to someone else's child. Children are not commodities to be bartered nor possessions with which to complete the perfect home. Other people's children are real people, not just "cures" for infertility.

The author would like to thank Christine Cole for helping with the research for this article.
Discuss this article

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Swedish Adoptees Speak Out Against Child Trafficking

Informal translation of yesterday's article in Aftonbladet.

Adoption may be child trafficking

12 foreign adoptees: Western needs should not allow human trafficking.

We support the Social Ministry's decision not to extend adoption agreement with Vietnam.

We want to protest against the Western-centric perspective that dominates the international adoption business, and defend our and all other adoptees right not to have to live with the suspicion that irregularities were committed in terms of our own adoptions, such as excessive commonly forged documents, false identities and invented stories, are writing 12 foreign adoptees.

The international adoption business since the turn of the millennium not only exploded in scale with the now nearly 40 000 adoptions per year, but was also shaken by a variety of reports on irregularities. Never before were so many children from the Third World adopted to the West, but at the same time, the business has never before involved so many corruption scandals than just in the 2000s.

Due to the falling birth rate in the West and growing prosperity in many countries in the Third Worldm international adoption is today facing an unprecedented situation: There are now more childless adults in the West who want to adopt, than there are adoptable children in the Third World. Then increasing sums of money in circulation have tagged this delicate situation for activities that increasingly are spiraling out in pure human trafficking.

Therefore, the adoption scandals were repeatedly documented over the recent years in leading countries such as China, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Ethiopia, Brazil, Paraguay and Guatemala. This has led many beneficiary countries such as Germany, England, Canada, Holland and Australia to terminate its adoption agreement with the most
corruption-stricken countries of origin.

In Sweden, which is the country in the world that proportionately adopted far the largest number of foreign-born children, have adoption organisations, however, chosen to ignore the destructive developments by expanding its operations into new countries that are notorious for child trafficking, and by continuing to adopt from such countries with the argument that the Swedes have a higher morale than other
Westerners. In 2002, for example Adoptionscenter got authorisation of the State Agency for International Adoption Affairs to adopt from Cambodia, despite reporting
about trafficking and the U.S. that stopped adoptions from the country.
The authorization was later lifted after the Swedish Embassy in Cambodia protested against this with reference to the extensive trafficking in the country.

Now this pattern was recently repeated by Social Affairs that decided not to extend the adoption agreement with Vietnam with reference to the presence of child trafficking, and that the country is not to enter the Hague Convention on Protection of Children in International adoptions. This convention back in 1993 meant to curb an increasingly uncontrollable adoption industry, but still Sweden has a number of
Swedish adoption agencies engaged in activities in countries of origin, including Korea, Thailand and Colombia, that not signed the Convention.

We wish to express our support for the Social Ministry's decision not to extend the adoption agreement with Vietnam. Western needs to receive adopted children should not steer the international adoption industry, thus risking that trade in human beings gets legitimized and legalized.

As foreign adoptees, we want to protest against the Western-centric perspective that today dominates the international adoption affairs, and assert our and all other adopted children's right not to have to live with the suspicion that irregularities occurred in terms of our own adoptions, as they are unfortunately too common,
with forged documents, false identities and fake histories, which is a consequence of the adult needs and profit-making governing the international adoption business.

Today's debaters
Daniel Cidrelius, socialantropolog and adopted from Sri Lanka
Gitte Enander, jur. Lawyer. and adopted from Korea
Charlotta Göthlin, Information and adopted from Korea
Daniel Hansson, jur. Stud. and adopted from the Dominican Republic
Linda Place, PhD, and adopted from Korea
Mikael Jarnlo, social and adopted from Ethiopia
Fatima Jonsson, PhD, and adopted from Korea
Patrik Lundberg, a journalist and adopted from Korea
Danjel Nam, a journalist and adopted from Korea
Helena Nilsson, behaviorist and adopted from Korea
Matilda Sjödell, teachers and adopted from Korea
Malena Swanson, jur. Lawyer. and adopted from Korea

Friday, 7 November 2008

Adoption under Fire

Justitiele Verkenning (Judicial Explorations) is published eight times per year by the Research and Documentation Centre of the Dutch Ministry of Justice. The central theme of this month's issue is: ADOPTION UNDER FIRE.

Adoption and prosperity; an analysis of the demand and supply of adoptive
children, B.M.J. Slot

The perverse effects of the Hague Adoption Convention, R. Post

The development of intercountry adoptees; a research survey, F. Juffer

Alternatives for (intercountry) adoption, P. Vlaardingerbroek

The adoption practice: is it in the obvious best interest of the child? A.P. van der Linden

The full Dutch text, as well as an English summary can be found by clicking HERE

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