Sunday, March 11, 2007

Nepal: Adoption Looks Like Trafficking

On the eve of an international adoption conference beginning today, Sunday March 11, aimed at "promoting Nepal as a destination for adoption and [at making] the [intercountry adoption] process [from Nepal] easier," The Nepali Times has published a very hard-hitting article about international adoption from Nepal.

I strongly recommend that all who are interested in adoption corruption read it in its entirety:

Adoption from Nepal is beginning to look like trafficking, Nepali Times, 03/09/07

Unlike many on-line newspaper sources that remove their articles to publicly-inaccessible, fee-generating archives, the Nepali Times makes its articles free and publicly accessible for several years. This link should therefore work for some time to come.

In view of the long-lived nature of this link, I will not attempt to summarize the entire article here, but rather give you a flavor of what it alleges about Nepali adoption by quoting a few of its lines and summarizing a few of its ideas. I hope by doing so to convince you to take the time to read the whole article.

On the sourcing of children, the Nepali Times says:

"Children are often put up for adoption without their parents' knowledge or consent"

" increasing number of children are being falsely declared orphans or taken away from their parents on false pretexts to be handed over to adoptive parents for a hefty fee. Employees of top hotels say confrontations between new adoptive parents and birth parents in parking lots and lobbies are increasingly common."

Children are sometimes taken from parents on the pretext that they will be given a free education, but then those children disappear and end up in the adoption industry stream.

Once they are in this stream, children are allegedly moved from home to home and even across the border into India as they are processed through the system.

Though adoptive parents pay hefty "orphanage donations" that ought to more than ensure that children in these orphanages are well cared for, the orphanages caring for these Nepali children allegedly often provide poor care--"the standards of health, nutrition, and cleanliness are abysmal, and few orphanages provide the stimulation that children need for healthy development."

Children thus come from these orphanages into adoptive care suffering from malnutrition, suffering with skin diseases, and adjusting from a life where "toddlers [are] confined to tiny, dark spaces [where they] sit all day, clutching at the bars of their cribs, rocking back and forth."

Meanwhile, according to the Nepali Times Article, the administrators of such places "display signs of increasing wealth."

On the reason that no action is taken against traffickers:

A senior Nepalese child welfare official says, "We have to be careful about taking action because powerful people are involved."

"'The system is completely rotten,' says an outraged child welfare official, 'and it goes all the way to the top.' The bribery starts from small local police stations and district administration offices, which are encouraged to certify children as orphans or produce perfectly legal, and perfectly false, documents claiming parents' consent to giving up their child for adoption."

Not all children end up in the adoption stream against the will of their parents.

Some Nepali children--like the child offered the British couple posing as prospective adoptive parents at the beginning of the Nepali Times article--end up in the adoption stream for other reasons. That child--who was still in the care of his parents when offered for adoption and whose first parents met with the prospective adoptive parents to discuss arrangements--was being offered for adoption in a bid to give him (and presumably themselves, since they requested that they be allowed to stay in touch with him as a condition of placing him) a "brighter future" than his apparently relatively well-educated, middle class parents could offer.

In these situations, parents gamble a child away in a bid to give him immigration into a land of opportunity. What better way to buy immigration into a prosperous country than with an attentive, invested, caring adoptive family to look after your child's interests, ensure he has the best opportunities, ensure that he is not alone, and is given an excellent education?

This sacrificing in "adoption" of a child or two in a larger family--with the hope that a family's calculated "casting [of] the bread upon the waters" will eventually come back to them with big rewards, not just for the child but for the entire family, has been going on in various countries, like Vietnam, for some time now--incidentally, to the extreme consternation (and emotional and relational pain)of the sacrificial child.

Other articles about the same subject:

This is the online arm of the newspaper that sent the British couple undercover in Nepal to pose as prospective adoptive parents. In large part, it summarizes the same information as in the Nepali Times article:Orphanages in 'children for sale' racket,, 03/10/07


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