My husband David's latest adoption-related law review
article is out!
Child Laundering As Exploitation: Applying Anti-Trafficking Norms to
Intercountry Adoption Under the Coming Hague Regime
The abstract follows:
Child laundering occurs when children are illicitly obtained by
fraud, force, or funds, and then processed through false paperwork
into "orphans" and then adoptees. Child laundering thus involves
illegally obtaining children by abduction or purchase for purposes of
adoption. My prior work has documented and analyzed the widespread
existence of child laundering in the intercountry adoption system.
This article argues that child laundering is a form of exploitation,
and hence qualifies as a form of human trafficking. Once child
laundering is understood as an exploitative form of child
trafficking, legal and ethical norms currently applied to human
trafficking become applicable. Thus, the Hague Convention on
Intercountry Adoption should be implemented according to its intent
as an anti-trafficking Convention.
This latest article is a follow-up to another article from last year
Child Laundering: How the Intercountry Adoption System Legitimizes
and Incentivizes the Practices of Buying, Trafficking, Kidnapping,
and Stealing Children
After this article, which established the reality and the common methods of child laundering for international adoption, was published, as he engaged in conversations about the topic, the consistent and irksome questions that my husband was asked again and again, were these:
Is child laundering--obtaining children for intercountry adoption by
abduction or purchase--really exploitative or harmful to anyone?
Aren't the children better off anyway?
My husband's current article represents the answer to these questions. It uses analysis and narrative explore the impact of child laundering on first families and children and to establish that trafficking for adoption IS harmful to and exploitative of these families and their children.
This doubt about whether any real harm is caused by stealing children from parents in the developing world is reflected in the law's ambivalence and frequent failure to categorize child laundering--purchasing or stealing children for adoption--as a form of human trafficking. My husband's article argues that human trafficking for the purposes of adoption--child laundering--should be recognized as a form of human trafficking.