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President Basescu at the European Commission, 22 April 2010

Saturday, 8 May 2010

France: Over 80 adopted children abandoned each year

Unofficial translation - via Fabriquée en Corée

France: Over 80 adopted children abandoned each year

Published in France-Soir, Nicole Korchia, May 3, 2010.

The figures are secret and taboo in France: officially 2% of adoptions are doomed to fail in France. But unofficially, the specialists speak bluntly of one out of ten ... Our investigation.

A terrible fact ...
The failures of the adoption, is not much spoken about. Yet even in France, heart-rending stories of adopted children handed to institutions, then returned to their countries are frequent and real. Taboo, controversial, no official statistics are given. The issue of adoption is too sensitive and the finding of failure are buried under the hundreds of pending requests. If figures of 2 and 3% failure are circulating, that is already huge, because it means that from about 4,000 children adopted each year, more than 80 are abandoned each year, returned as a simple device that does not work! What happens with these little ones, dismissed again and again, by their biological families and then the adoptive families? How will they rebuild? And why is that after so many stages and waiting, adoptive parents are unable to keep this child so much dreamed of?

Why these failures?
"In the context of adoption, explains us at the AFA (French Adoption Agency), there is very often the child dreamed of and the real child. And the two do not always converge. Adoption is truly a graft which takes or does not. Indeed parents often go far beyond their original plan, thinking they can take an older child with a past emotional or physical problem or pathological ... But over the months, things get complicated ... Dr. Geneviève André-Trevennec, director of Médecins du Monde, said: "We must make parents aware of the responsibility they had in their adoption process. They committed themselves, it's like when you have a biological child who was born with difficulties, we assume and we love him until the end, whatever happens."

What happens to these rejected children? When full adoption is recognized, the child remains legally forever bound to his parents. He is placed by the social services, but he will never be adoptable in full. When he is foreign and his country has made a legal decision, his country no longer wants him. And if not yet registered with the French registry, he finds himself a bit stateless. This happens especially when individual adoptions.

To avoid this, the psychological preparation for parenthood and monitoring of adoptive families are gradually established by adoption agencies. "With the current trend of international adoption that offers more and more older children from complex situations, it becomes vital. Otherwise the failures will multiply! A supported and warned family reacts so not to come to extreme situations," confirms André Genevieve Trevennec. But it is still insufficient and many signs of alarms go unnoticed. However, a failure to adopt never happens overnight. So many lives shattered in the first years of existence can not leave us indifferent ...

"More than 30% of approvals granted should be denied"
Dr. Pierre Levy-Soussan is a child psychiatrist, medical director Consulting affiliations in Paris. France-Soir. What is a real failure of the adoption?
Pierre Levy-Soussan. The most serious are those that result in abuse, neglect and with delivery of the child to the ASE (Child Welfare). They go well beyond the announced 2%. Then there are the equivalent of stalemate where the situation has degenerated to such an extent that parents or children have nothing together except indifference or hatred. The professionals assess globally these stalemates at 10 or 15%. And that’s huge ...

F.-S. What should be done to prevent such tragedies?
P. L.-S. Being more selective about the licensing and stop the amateurism institutionalized in adoption. A case dismissed by the commission can be saved by a president of the general council or a judge. Amateurism! Anybody can get a license. The refusal rate nationwide is 10%, with 70% of departments between 0 and 10%! More than 30% should be rejected because the areas that work best have a refusal rate between 30 and 40%. No politician wants to challenge the law and children are paying the price!

F.-S. How to do this concretely?
P. L.-S. Under the assumption of an efficient selection of candidates, by doing the work of matching of families: that child for that parent, as any child can not go with any parent. We must stop relying on the random arrival of files as does the AFA.

F.-S. Do we paint a too rosy image of adopiton compared to its reality?

P. L.-S. Of course, and peopolisation contributes to that, adoption has a picture of a fairy tale. The realities and difficulties are put aside and it that does not help prospective adoptive parents who are often overwhelmed by the obstacles they encounter.

F.-S. A story like the little Russian boy could have happened here?
P. L.-S. Not only it could have, but it happens in France. Children who are returned with their bags to the ASE that is unfortunately not an exception ...

A serious act that justice sanctions
On March 29, 2010, the Criminal Court of Nantes sentenced adoptive parents to nine months suspended sentence for abandoning in 2004 their two Ethiopian children. Adopted four years before, they were delivered to ESA some time after the birth biological child of the couple in question. They were "violent and difficult," explained the adoptive parents who paid 400 euros per month social services for custody, but no longer exercised their visiting rights.

Second story: that of a couple who had adopted a Chinese child first and then a second, who around 3 years had shown a medical condition. When the parents heard the diagnosis, they left the child to the hospital and went to report the abandonment to the ESA. Obviously, this has destabilized the elder child, who thought that if she fell ill, her parents would abandon her. The second child was immediately placed in a remarkable family, who accompanied her on her treatment and was then adopted. It is an unfortunate story that did not end too badly ....

Third case: that of a child born in Eastern Europe. It was well adapted, but the family made him their property, totally isolated from the world. Outside school, he saw no one other than his two parents. One educator charged with his follow up, reported these facts to the judiciary, because the parents refused to get help. Result, the child was placed in provisional detention. Finally, more recently, a mother went to pick up a child in Haiti after the earthquake of January 12, but she could not assume that adoption and gave it back to social services last month. The little girl is now at the DDASS (Child Protection) in the Reunion, abandoned after less than three months in a new family...

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