but will continue here: Romania for Export Only BLOG

President Basescu at the European Commission, 22 April 2010

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Monday, 23 March 2009

Ethiopians condemn the sale of children for adoption

Last week Canadian CBC gave a voice to Canadian adoptive parent's concern about their Ethiopian children. Contrary to what was mentioned on the adoption papers, CBC documented that the children were no orphans.

Full article HERE

The (French) videos can be watched HERE

The Solidarity Committee for Ethiopian Political Prisoners is coming to the rescue of Ethopia's children. Today the below statement was published online:

March 22/2009

The sale of Ethiopian children under the cover of adoption has now reached alarming proportions with more than 70 adoption agencies in action and the Ministry of women’s affairs and government backed middle men busy selling off children.

There are laws and regulations concerning adoption procedures in Ethiopia. These are not being observed at all. The official agencies engaged in the brazen sale of children are more or less all linked to the regime’s power holders (including Meles Zenawi) and documents are forged, evidence silenced and children given false identities and sold for the highest bidder. Ethiopian children are cheap to adopt (as compared to Russian and Cambodian ones) say many coming to adopt. The adoption racket involves not orphaned children only (of whom there are some 5 million) but children with parents who are sold off because the parents are poor. The child adopted by actress Angelina Jolie is not an orphan but with live parents who are Christian and not Moslem (and therefore the change of the child’s name to Zahra by her adoptive “mother” is improper). Many foreigners have adopted children who have parents after the authorities had informed them falsely that the children are orphans.

With thousands of Ethiopian children being sold off in their thousands at ten thousand dollars minimum per head the regime is reaping in millions. It is a profitable business that violates the rights of children and parents too. It is such a cruel undertaking that brothers and sisters have been separated and sold off for adoption to persons living in different countries. The waiting and investigation period prior to the adoption in accord with the law of Ethiopia is not observed at all. Thus, in Ethiopia now adoption is a racket, an illegal business and those who take part in it are abetting in the violation of the rights of children.


Friday, 20 March 2009

Children of the World for Sale

Twenty years ago, a Dutch Member of Parliament drafted a report on the sale of children. Not much changed since then...

Anyone out there having the full report?

With courtesy to PPL

Children of the World for Sale - Where end of the line is for some

December 16, 1987

Amsterdam - Along the seamy side streets of the Zeedijk, Amsterdam's notorious red-light district, money buys anything from a marijuana joint to a full-length pornographic video starring 10-year-old children.

"Everything is possible here," boasts a sex shop owner, explaining that the illegality of child porn does not deter its sale alongside adult movies. This, he says, is largely the result of police apathy and the roaring trade in sex tourism that it attracts.

"The presence of children of both sexes ready to satisfy the sexual appetites of organized tourist groups is very often an additional attraction," says Dutch Labor parliment member Piet Stoffelen. His recent report on the international trade in children links adoption, prostitution, pornography and slavery to the traffic in children from developing countries to the United States and Europe.

His report, based on the findings of Interpol, the Anti-Slavery Society, the International Labor Organization, various U.N.groups, adoption agencies and local newspaper reports, reveals that some governments in Latin America and Southeast Asia condone the illegal child trade.

"Their cash-strapped economies and the need for foreign currency often drive developing countries to become embroiled in international networks of intrigue surrounding child traffic abroad," Stoffelen says.

Adoptions for profit in Guatemala resulted in the export of 166 children between October 1981 and March 1986. Of these, 79 went to the United States, 27 to Belgium, 16 to Italy, 13 to Canada, 12 to Norway, eight to Sweden, six to West Germany and five to France. In February 1987, Guatemalan police discovered a nursery of 14 babies who had been sold before birth. Others were snatched by gangs of cut-throat dealers who got $50 each. The nursery owner, meanwhile, received $20,000 for each exported child.

The Horror Stories
Similar horror stories are reported from El Salvador, which exports hundreds of babies to the United States and Europe, especially Belgium, West Germany and France. Baby hunters are scavenging in villages, refugee camps and the slum quarters of towns. According to official Salvadoran information: "The economic demand for children for adoption causes not only illegal trade and fraud, but also the counterfeiting of documents and the abduction of children."

Stoffelen says, "The adoptable child is, bluntly speaking, a commercial object commanding five-figure prices. In such circumstances, the interests of the children are not even of secondary consideration. The profit motive leads to many parents selling their kids for adoption. Pregnant mothers are persuaded to sign away their future babies in exchange for a few weeks' food and shelter in the immediate prenatal period."

The report paints a similarly dismal picture of the sexual exploitation of children. Studies by a French children's organization estimated that there are about 5,000 boys and 3,000 girls working as prostitutes in Paris. About 300,000 boys do so in the United States and - while officially classified as runaways - a proportion of the 15,000 juveniles reported missing in Britain each year become prostitutes. Part of the reason is that the prices for sex with children are up to five times higher than the adult rate.

Quoting a conference of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, the Stoffelen report notes that the prostitutes most in demand in Latin America are between the ages of 10 and 14: "Depending on her physique and the services which she is able to provide, a girl of 12 can earn as much as $500 a month, which is more than 10 times the amount an adult can earn by working all day long in a factory. Once a girl of 12 or 13 has earned so much money, there is little hope that she will give up prostitution . . . Over the years the prostitution of minors has become an industry, one from which many families make their entire living."

A similar scenario emerges for Hong Kong and Bangkok, where girl children are handed over for the equivalent of a few U.S. dollars to a pimp and soon find themselves locked into prostitution. Macao girls bought for $100 to $200 are worth 40 times as much on reaching the United States.

Despite the paucity of direct police evidence that children from developing countries, in particular, are sold in Europe and the United States for the explicit purpose of prostitution and pornography, Stoffelen says local newspaper reports suggest this is quite common. "Children are often bought from desperate, impoverished parents by false adopters who offer a better life abroad. They are also kidnapped and sold to middlemen who ship them abroad."

A typical report is that in which a Bolivian lawyer was accused of having paid kidnappers $40 for a boy whom he sold to a Belgian couple for $10,000. Such cases occur frequently, the report suggests; it claims many adoption rings and aid agencies operate as covers for the traffic. Occasionally this involves professionals - like the doctor who informed new mothers that their babies were stillborn while he was selling them to an adoption racket.

Disguised traffic involves the hiring of women or girls to work away from home in the entertainment industry as dancers, cabaret artists and bartenders. On comming into contact with prostitutes and pimps they often get involved themselves. Others are forced into prostitution to repay debts to the employment agency which paid their travel from developing countries and found them jobs in the United States and Europe. As strangers in a foreign land they seldom know their rights or to whom the y can turn.

Prostitution in West
Others are hired explicitly for prostitution in the West. According to Interpol sources, they are supplied along recognized routes - sometimes secretly, sometimes through established covers. "Few countries, with the possible exception of some with planned economies, are free of the international traffic," Stoffelen says.

"But it is not confined simply to a flow from the less developed to the more developed countries. It would be more accurate to say that the movement involves the traffic of poor women toward rich men, in all directions."

In any event, the flow is aided and abetted by the international "escort" agencies operating not merely in European cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Hamburg, Paris, Marseilles and New York, but also in Bombay, Macao, Singapore and Mexico City. Local contact bureaus arrange meetings in these countries, while inter-country contacts are made through international "marriage travel agencies."

Menger's Travels, an agency operating in West Germany, advertised the delights of "gentle, tender and faithful" girls from Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines, until it was exposed. It guaranteed marriage within a year for German clients.

Clients of another agency offering similar services, the German Interpart Company, chose women from a catalog of photographs and reputedly paid the bureau $5,000 for a return ticket to Bangkok plus accommodation in a hotel, in order to visit their chosen partners. If a marriage were arranged, a further sum had to be paid to the company.

The report says that the kind of organized child prostitution usually associated with some urban areas of Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, also exists in Latin America, especially in Brazil and Peru. African tourist resorts - such as Hammamet, Djerba, Abidjan and Dakar - exploit young African boys as shamelessly as their Thai counterparts treat young masseuses.

And a recent report by Terre des Hommes has highlighted the prostitution of small boys in Sri Lanka, where about 2,000 work in the capital, Colombo. "Pimps and procurers play the most important role in supplying young girls to the customers, by providing false identities for them," Stoffelen says. "For false identities to function, official bureaucracy and police authorities must collaborate at some stage with pimps."

Market for Pornography
The market for video pornography with children is also thought to function with at least the knowledge of many government officials. Even in the Netherlands, where controls on the abuse of Dutch children may be expected to be tighter, a recent scandal involving children used for pornography in the staunchly Calvinist village of Oude Pekala suggested local knowledge. The problem is also growing in Third World oil-producing countries, which have taken a leaf out of Amsterdam's homosexual guides, which contain addresses, hotels, rates, local agents and the allowable legal limits.

Other forms of child trade mentioned in the report include the purchase of children aged 10-15 from gypsy families in the South Serbia, Macedonia and Kosova areas of South Yugoslavia for about $30, for sale to gangs in Italy for about $7,500. After being taught the skills of theft and prostitution, the children earn many times their price. Those refusing to work are beaten, or chained for days without food or drink.

"There are so many varieties of child trade that a simple solution does not exist," Stoffelen says. "If one really wants to solve the problems involved there must be better and more development aid, improvement of education, and policies to eradicate social and economic misery in specific areas and towns. Poverty is no doubt the most important cause of the problem."

His report suggests the trade can be curbed, however, through new laws and tighter policing of existing legislation. These recommendations are under consideration by the 21-nation Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

"It's a long road ahead, but we must take it," Stoffelen says. "In a free market economy, where price determines virtually everything, it is inevitable that trade of this sort flourishes. But that should not deter our efforts to legislate against one of the most undesirable forms of trade known to man."

Monday, 9 March 2009

Meet the Parents

Another Indian family desperately looking for their child. This time Mother Jones traced the child in the United States:

Meet the Parents: The Dark Side of Overseas Adoption

A Midwestern kid's family believes his birth parents put him up for adoption. An Indian couple claim he was kidnapped from them and sold. Who's right?
—By Scott Carney

—Photo: Scott Carney

March/April 2009
After hours hunched behind the wheel of a rented Kia, flying past cornfields and small-town churches, I'm parked on a Midwestern street, trying not to look conspicuous. Across the way, a preteen boy dressed in silver athletic shorts and a football T-shirt plays with a stick in his front yard. My heart thumps painfully. I wonder if I'm ready to change his life forever.

For the full article CLICK HERE


Sunday, 8 March 2009


Informal translation from Spanish: EL PAIS

NGOs denounce irregularities in the delivery of children with local families
ANA ROJAS GABRIELA - New Delhi - 03/03/2009

On the death of her husband, Nirmala Thapa, Nepalese of 35 years, was forced to surrender her three youngest children to a juvenile center. Offering them care and educate them while she recovered from her economic strangulation. But, when she wanted to retrieve them, she discovered they had been given up for adoption to a Spanish family. It is one of the cases recorded by CWIN, a Nepalese NGO for the protection of children.

The parents say they were deceived in signing the papers

The adoptive parents argue that children lived in extreme poverty

"The woman is since three years trying to have her children returned, but it is very difficult: she signed a letter in which he gave the power, but she was deceived as she can not read," said Madhav Pradhan, director of CWIN. Pradhan says that her NGO Thapa helped to report the case to the District government in Kathmandu. Her organization has supported five other families to reclaim seven Nepalese children who have been adopted by Spaniards. In her view, "most of Nepalese international adoptions have been made illegally."

A study last year by UNICEF and the Swiss NGO Terre des Hommes (TDH) said that poor regulation resulted in the sale, abduction and trafficking of children, and that an industry was flourishing in which "the economic benefit counted more than the welfare of the child." Adoptive parents pay up to $ 25,000 (20,000 euros) per child. The director of a center recognizes that often there is deception "the poor in rural areas say they take their children to a boarding school in Kathmandu, instead they are given up for adoption by foreigners." Seven out of nine parents signed the letter in which they relinguished their children without understanding, the report says.

UNICEF and TDH are not sure what percentage of children taken to Spain was in this situation, but say that the irregularities are not unusual. " Up to 80% of the children could have stayed in Nepal "and reunited with relatives," said the delegate from TDH, Joseph L. Aguettant.

Spain is the country that adopted most Nepalese since 2000 (681 of the 2314 delivered). Of these, about 170 happened last year. Sources from the Spanish Embassy in New Delhi claim that their role has been to provide the passport for the child if the documents were in order.
Spaniards questioned by this newspaper say they knew that their adoptive children had parents, but that in Nepal families are so poor that they believe their children will be better off abroad. "My daughter is big enough to express her wishes and wants to be adopted: their recently widowed mother could not keep all her children," said José Luis (assumed name). Mary (another nickname) has learned about the parents of her daughter when at the Ministry of Justice to declare for the second time they wanted to give the child up for adoption. "It was a poor family that was relatively calm and happy that their child could be raised in better conditions. Everything has been transparent," he says. Spaniards consulted agree on the propriety of the process. Also that the ideal is that the parents could stay with their children, but that it is "utopian" in such a poor country.

But child rights advocates say the opposite: "It's very arrogant to think that just because we are rich we will provide a better future. Children are always better with their family and if not, in their country. We are not opposed to international adoption, but it must be the last resort, "said the representative of TdH. This coincides with opinion of the Unicef representative in Nepal, Joanne Doucet. "We must promote domestic adoption," she says. However, only 4% of the children are placed with local families. The Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children does not understand the position of UNICEF and TDH: "Many children will be better off," she says.

Meanwhile, children in schools and orphanages in Nepal there are about 15,000 children, many of whom have parents, and arrived there by fraud or coercion. Irregularities increased since 2000, when orphanages lost their monopoly and workers created their own juvenile business, "says the manager of TDH. In these places the children live in appalling conditions.

As concerning the young Nepalese who are in Spain and "who are not orphans in the strict sense of the word," experts believe that there is very little chance of them returning to their country. "Now it's too late. After the adoption has been declared they are Spanish citizens," laments the delegate from TDH.


To give children in adoption to foreigners is a good business for the orphanages in Nepal. According to conservative figures from Unicef and the Swiss NGO TdH, these practices bring the centers about two million dollars (1.5 million euros) in 2006 alone. And it could be much more, as the centers pressure adoptive parents to give more money after they grew fond of the children.

Spaniards interviewed denied having been extorted. "I did not see anything shady in Nepal, but, as elsewhere, there could be bad people that enrich themselves with this situation. The fault lies with the families who will take forward their checkbook," says one adoptive mother.

Since January this year, the Government of Nepal has introduced new regulations for the process as a result of pressure from workers for children's rights. Now children can only be given up for adoption through registered centres, and the Ministry of Women and Children assigns children to families. Still, advocates for the rights of children are pessimistic. "The situation is uncertain: the centers that were trafficking are still operating to cater for children and are accredited," said the delegate of Nepal TDH, Joseph L. Aguettant.

Another serious concern is that "the directors of the centers are the ones who decide which children are adoptable and are the recipients of the money: so it is convenient for them to consider many children as orphans and to give them for international adoption," says Joanne Doucet, Unicef.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Spain looking into adoption crimes

Spain, one of the main importers of foreign children nowadays, is now confronted with its past when children were unjustifiedly taken from their parents.

It took 60 years...

How long will it take China, India, Guatamala, Vietnam and many other countries, like Romania, until they will investigate why children were sold for adoption. Often the children concerned were from (disliked) minorities.

Spain looks back at dark chapter of adoptions
By DANIEL WOOLLS – 7 hours ago

SARRIA DE TER, Spain (AP) — As Antonia Radas left school one day in 1945, a cheerful third-grader growing up as a beloved only child, a stranger greeted her with shocking news. The little girl was not who she thought she was.

"I am your brother, and I have come to take you back to mother," Radas, now 70, recalls the man saying. He looked to be 19 or 20, and wore khaki military garb with a white cape; she was in the crisp gray uniform of her parochial school in Spain's Canary Islands.

Radas did not believe him, insisting she had no siblings, and stayed put. But that man was in fact her elder brother Jose.

It would take decades for Radas to learn the truth about her past: that she was one of perhaps thousands of child victims separated from their parents toward the end of the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War and its immediate aftermath.

The ordeal of Radas and others is now putting Spain under pressure to take a closer look at a dark chapter of its past. Historians say government archives show that the right-wing regime of Gen. Francisco Franco waged a campaign to take away children of their enemies, Republican prisoners, and sometimes stripped women of newborn babies. The goal was to educate the children to shy from leftist thought, embrace Roman Catholicism and support the regime.

As part of an unprecedented ruling last year that accused Franco's forces of crimes against humanity, Spain's best-known judge, Baltasar Garzon, called for an investigation into the cases of people known as "the lost children of the Franco regime." He complained that "in 60 years they have not been the subject of any investigation whatsoever."

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