Sunday, August 26, 2007

Perspective: Debunking Myths About the Third World

"I have shown that Sweden's top students know statistically less [about the developing world] than chimpanzees.

The problem is not ignorance, but preconceived ideas.

The world is still us and them. Us is the Western World. Them is the Third World."

--Hans Rosling in his presentation, "Debunking Third World Myths"

Even before we are born and certainly from the moment of birth onwards, each of us is charged with forming our understanding of the world and how it works.

Much of this understanding comes from our culture.

By definition culture is "a set of learned beliefs, values, understandings, and behaviors; the way of life shared by the members of a society."

The emphasis is on "learned"--we understand the world the way we are taught to see it.

One does not have to look back far into history in order to understand that incorrect or prejudiced or inhumane "understandings" of the world have been the foundation on which some of man's most grievous "inhumanities to man" have been built.

It is always easy to condemn the world view of another generation and the sins which resulted from it. It is harder to see the problematic beliefs and practices in your own time.

The truth is that we are blind to our own blind spots.

Therefore we must always be seeking to update and critically examine our own cultural beliefs, especially where they concern whole groups of people who are "other" than we are and from whom we may benefit in one way or another.

The following video is posted here as the first of many challenges meant to help us critically examine the foundational beliefs on which our understanding of international adoption is based.

Have some of your understandings about the third world--where many internationally adopted children currently come from--challenged by the watching the following video. As you watch it, think about several things:

1) How do our cultural understandings of the third world, whether accurate or inaccurate, play into our assumptions about international adoption?

2) How do these assumptions, right or wrong, inform and motivate our own actions and attitudes?

3) As the rest of the world's standard of living rises and its reproductive rate decreases, what will this mean for the availability of adoptable children internationally?

4) Do Third World myths allow us to more easily overlook adoption corruption and injustice by allowing us to fall back on out-moded cultural understandings that keep Third World citizens incomprehensible "others" with whom we can't identify (we psychologically push the adults in these cultures away while grabbing at the children and making them over in our own image)?

Certainly, we, like every generation must start with the culture and the understandings we receive from the previous generations, but we must go beyond those. We must test our beliefs against a changing reality. We must test our beliefs for lingering prejudice and for an inhumanity that is of benefit to us.

Hans Rosling: Debunking Third-World Myths with the Best Stats You've Ever Seen, February 2006


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Two Countries, One Plea: Follow Our Laws

Only a handful of U.S. immigrant orphan visas have been granted to children from Kenya and Zambia. Both countries have relatively stringent adoption requirements, including lengthy residence requirements (3 months minimum in Kenya, generally 3-12 months in Zambia).

Both countries are relatively untapped markets for U.S. adoption agencies. It’s almost instinctive to think that in countries where so few children are sent abroad for adoption and where child welfare needs presumably are great, only true orphans will be processed. But it is also a truism that where international adoption and high fees are at the ready, trafficking proliferates.

In Zambia, recent reports announce a scam in which children were flown out of Zambia without following proper adoption procedures. According to Community and Social Welfare Minister, Catherin Namugala, several children have been withdrawn from American nationals because their adoptions were not legally binding; over 17 children have already been adopted and taken out of the country without the consent of the government.

According to one report, Namugala

emphasized that her ministry was not against the adoption of children but the manner in which it was done and appealed to those wishing to adopt children to follow the right procedure. The minister said it was shocking that some orphanages were busy arranging the adoption of children at a fee disregarding the laws of the land.
Profit at the expense of the welfare of children and their families.

Reports are also coming out of Kenya of a child trafficking ring busted in Bomet. Approximately eleven children who were destined for “ready markets” were rescued from traffickers. The children were allegedly sold for between Sh20,000 (approximately $300 USD) and Sh30,000 (approximately $450 USD) depending on their age. At least seven have been arrested in connection with the investigation.

An administrator in the area is reported to have said,

“The law is clear on adoption. People should follow right channels of looking for children instead of fueling the illegal trade.”
Two different countries, two common themes: Despite clear adoption laws, the laws are not followed, resulting in a trade in children for profit.

Simply relying on agencies alone to be familiar with a country’s laws AND TO FOLLOW THEM is not enough. Regardless of shelling out thousands of dollars for "full service," prospective adopters must independently research a country’s adoption laws and be wary of being offered shortcuts. Blind trust risks breaking many hearts.


U.S. Statement Department Intercountry Adoption Summary for Zambia, U.S. Department of State website, last visited August 23, 2007

U.S. State Department Intercountry Adoption Summary for Kenya, U.S. Department of State website, last visited August 23, 2007

Namibia: Zambia Smashes Adoption Scam, The Namibian (reported on, August 13, 2007

Zambia smashes scam illegally adopting children, People's Daily Online, August 12, 2007

Kenya: Police Rescue 11 Minors From Traffickers in Bomet, East African Standard (reported on, August 17, 2007

Kenya: Child Trade Ring Couple Held, The Nation (reported on, August 2, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Haiti: Numerous Mobs Attack Two Foreigners Believed to be Kidnapping Children for Adoption

Parts of the developing world are apparently increasingly aware of the fact that their children are valuable and coveted commodities to the rest of the world, not just for exploitation for labor and sex, but also for adoption.

Jim Luce, the founder of Orphans International Worldwide (OI), an NGO associated with the United Nations, says fear of an illegal trade in children can change an atmosphere very quickly, as he found out on a trip to Haiti in July.

--from an article, "Child Kidnap Fears Spark Mob Chase" in the BBC news online
Jim Luce, a white aid worker, was on his 16th trip to Haiti and traveling with white American psychologist Dr. Doris Chernik, the Haitian director of Orphans International Jacques Africot, and three young Haitian children from an orphanage in Gonvaives, Haiti, when some of the village women started a dangerous rumor accusing the "two whites"... ... "of trying to kidnap one of their sons as he was swimming the day before."

The accusation apparently spread like quickly for when the party stopped to buy fuel for their car and the local residents saw the whites with what they presumed was their Haitian driver and three beautiful young Haitian children, they jumped to the conclusion that these children were being kidnapped for sale on the adoption black market. The local residents refusing to believe all explanations to the contrary offered by both the adults and chidlren in the car, resolved to stop the kidnapping, rescue the children, and mete out their own justice.

Consequently, the situation quickly turned dangerous and violent.

"Ti melet!" Child-theives!

The angry mob was screaming at us in Creole.

Even though I didn't know at the time what the words meant, I knew we were all in grave danger.

--Jim Luce, from the BBC article
The article details an increasingly dangerous situation as the car is surrounded by a quickly growing, increasingly angry mob of at least 50 people, chanting ever and ever louder--"child-thieves."

The mob attempts to pull the Haitian children out of the car (presumably to rescue them from the "kidnappers"). The mob bangs on the car. A policeman jumps into the backseat in an attempt to find out what is going on.

The car must drive off as two cement blocks are about to be thrown through the windows.

A mile down the road the driver stops the car so that the policeman can sort out exactly what the facts of the case are, but the car is again quickly surrounded by another angry mob.

"We now understood for the first time the angry crowd thought we were kidnapping their chidlren for the international black market.

Suddenly, people in the crowd lifted up cinder blocks ready to throw them through our windows.

The policeman pulled out his gun and aimed it squarely at the lead block-thrower's chest and with his booming voice scream something--perhaps 'back off or you die.'"

--from the same BBC article
By cell phone they seek police reinforcements to protect themselves--but the local police have a broken down car and can't come help. By cell phone they seek help from the Haitian National Police and the UN police but both are an hour away in the city of Gonviaves. They seek help from the American Ambassador and the UN peacekeepers, but these are six hours away. The mobs, on the other hand, are here, there, and everywhere around them.

"With our car, we can out-race mobs, but with cellular technology, the villagers could dial their freinds and family all the way up the mountain.

Many groups were lying in wait to attack us.

At the first market, dozens of angry Haitians stood ready to block the road and burn our car.

The policeman, like Bruce Willis in an action movie, hung out of the car window, pointing his weapon at the angry crowds who then back away as we raced by...

For more than an hour, all I could feel was the sense of impending death."

----again, from the same BBC article
Things get worse as the road ahead is blocked on their account by construction debris and tables turned on their sides in order to stop the car. They miraculously escape the gathering mob to escape to a police station where eight policemen have gathered to protect them. But a new mob gathers around them.

But finally the facts of the case begin to get sorted out. The policemen believe their story about who they are and who the children are. The women accusers have arrived and are questioned by the policemen.

The police quickly determined that one of the women had only heard that 'two whites,' whom she had never seen, had tried to kidnap her child. Nor had she reported the alleged kidnapping to the police.

Luckily, we had a receipt showing that we had hosted a party for our children at Doris's hotel, 60 miles away.

The police scoffed at the women's story and then scolded them in Creole, apparently ridiculing them for coming very close to getting international development workers killed.

Some six hours later, another police car arrived and --with the police riding shotgun in case of ambush--we drove down the mountain.

Police from Gonaives and the UN met us at the bottom, and they took us back to safety.

--yet again from the same BBC artcile
It should be noted that it is currently recognized that mob violence and mob lynchings have recently been occuring at an alarming rate in Haiti. According to an article, AP Interview: UN envoy raises concern over rise in lynchings in Haiti, International Herald Tribune, 27, July 2007:

"At least six people were killed by mobs in a single week in different attacks this month, according to the U.N. mission's human rights section. At least 105 people have been reportedly lynched in Haiti since 2005.

"There has been a very large number of lynchings in the past months and weeks. We do hope this will not become a trend," Edmond Mulet, the special U.N. envoy to Haiti, told The Associated Press Friday in an interview.

He blamed the rise in part on a lack of confidence in Haiti's notoriously corrupt judicial system, which keeps hundreds of people imprisoned without trial while others who can afford a bribe walk free.

"You have cases of gang leaders being released after paying judges," Mulet said. "The population knows, so they're fed up ... and they take justice into their hands."

Child kidnap fears spark mob chase, BBC News Online, 15 August 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Europe: French Courts Prosecute and Sentence Child Traffickers and Child Purchasers

For the four years from 2001 to 2005, in a scheme similar to one that I wrote about in Bulgarian Mothers Tricked Into Selling Babies, pregnant Bulgarian women were recruited under false pretense, taken abroad, and then ultimately made to give up their babies for adoption.

Once again, the women (many of whom, in this case, were believed to be prostitutes) were promised money and then taken out of Bulgaria in order to give birth. In this case, however, the country of destination--the country where their children would be sold and illegally "adopted"--was France instead of Greece.

In these cases, unlike those involving Greece, it does appear that the women, prior to being taken abroad, had been told that they would be giving up their babies for adoption.

In order to avoid paperwork snafus, when giving birth in France the Bulgarian mothers routinely did so under the alias of the adoptive mothers. (Incidentally adoptive mothers are routinely called "buyers" throughout the European press reports). In this way adoptive parents were listed birth parents. No adoption proceedings or adoption papers were necessary.

Promised large amounts of money for their babies, the women instead received "only a fraction of the money promised them." According to press reports, individual babies sold for sums between 5000 and 7500 euros ($6700 US to $10,000 US). Bulgarian mothers were given a couple of hundred of these euros while the traffickers took the rest.

Additionally, adding yet another twist to the human trafficking and exploitation tale, after giving birth, many of the Bulgarian women were allegedly forced (by the trafficking network) to work in France as prostitutes or beggars.

France has aggressively investigated and prosecuted this case, presumably as a deterrent to those who would replicate the practices of this child trafficking ring or seek to buy children from involved in such schemes

Most of the purchasers of the babies were infertile couples. Many were Roma or gypsies who under French law, because of their nomadic life style, are not allowed to adopt through normal French adoption channels.

A defense lawyer, David-Olivier Kaminski, said the couples had been forced into a corner because France did not allow couples with roaming lifestyles to adopt children.

"These are French citizens, Gypsies, desperate to have children, who had no hope of meeting these strict adoption criteria," he said.

--from a Feb 2007 article in the BBC "Baby-smugglers jailed in France"
In Bobigny, a suburb of Paris, in late January 2007, France began prosecuting the cases; in February 2007, convictions and sentences were handed down.

The French authorities sought 11 members of the child trafficking ring. Three were not apprehended because they had fled, but were nevertheless tried "in absentia." All were convicted of "trading in human beings" and sentenced to prison terms ranging from two to six years. Five "ringleaders" received sentences of five or six years in prison. The remaining six "organizers" received sentences of two to five years.

Forty-one adoptive parents were also tried, convicted, and sentenced for their part in the scheme--for illegally "purchasing" the babies. Thirty-four adoptive parents received jail sentences ranging from six months to one year which were then suspended. Four adoptive parents received non-suspended jail terms of up to one year. One parent received a fine. Only two parents escaped sentencing altogether. Forty of the parents on trial were reportedly Roma (gypsy).

According to at least one press report, Bulgarian birthmothers were also prosecuted in the cases. However, press reports detailing convictions and sentences do not mention them. Without additional press reports in English, it is impossible to know whether any of them were convicted and whether they too received punishment for their part in these cases.

Babies originally taken into governmental protective custody when the case was uncovered, have been returned to their adoptive parents who will be allowed to keep them. Many have been allowed to begin legal proceedings to adopt the children.

Press reports include the following description of how one baby was sold and her existence reported to the legal authorities:

An 83-year-old man described buying a baby girl named Cinderella for his granddaughter in testimony on Wednesday in an infant trafficking trial in France.

The grandfather — referred to only by his first name, Jean — said he bought the baby in October, 2002, from a foreign Roma couple that passed by his house with the infant in their arms. He said he paid them €4,500 (US$5,850) for the baby girl, called Cendrillon, French for Cinderella.

Jean, a French Roma, said he bought the infant for his granddaughter — who could not have children because she and her husband are related. The couple registered the baby as their own, saying she had been born in their caravan.

--from a Jan 24, 2007 article in the International Herald Tribune, "83-year-old man tells of buying infant in France baby trafficking trial"
One wonders just how much of a deterrent such prosecutions will be when adoptive parents are ultimately allowed to keep the children they purchased....

In the future the cost and difficulty of court prosecution may well simply be factored into the cost of purchasing and procuring a child.

Perhaps France (as well as the rest of us) will have also learned a lesson about the lengths to which couples will go to procure a child.

Perhaps France will also consider dispensing with prejudices and opening up legal adoption to Roma citizens.

For myself, I am left wondering about whether the infertile and others have the "right" to adopt, the "right" to a child. Afterall, this is the lawyer's defense argument as quoted in the newspapers. It is the justification for the adoptive parents' willingness to illegally purchase children and lie about their true origins.

Where there is such intense demand for human babies can human trafficking for adoption really be stopped? Where such intense demand exists, is adoption really, as the rhetoric goes, for the children?

How do the rights of the child as set forth in the International Treaty on the Rights of the Child interplay with any of this?


Child Trafficking Trial Involving Bulgarian Network Starts in France, January 22, 2007

French baby-smuggling case begins, BBC News, January 22, 2007

83-year-old man tells of buying infant in France baby trafficking trial, International Herald Tribune, January 24, 2007

Dozens go on trial in Paris for baby trafficking, International Herald Tribune, January 22, 2007

Alleged baby traffickers on trial in France, January 22, 2007

Baby-smugglers jailed in France, BBC News, 2 Feb 2007

Adoptive Parents in France Defend System of Buying Babies, International Herald Tribune, July 27, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

Movies: Australia: Rabbit Proof Fence

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much more can a movie speak volumes to help us understand worlds we don't know....stories that are not our own...and injustices that we have not suffered.

IMO, if we are to cut through the thick myths surrounding adoption and third world cultures enough to understand that the injustices committed against third world, racially-different, and culturally-different people cut just as humanly deep as the injustices committed against white, middle class Westerners, then we must try to "walk in those shoes" for a mile or two.

This walking in "someone else's shoes" or figuratively "living in their skin" is sometimes most effectively done by watching a good movie about what life is like in those shoes or skin.

Rabbit Proof Fence is a movie that allows us to live in the shoes and skin of two young Aborigine girls who were part of the "stolen generations" of Australia.

The Stolen Generation (or Stolen Generations) is a term used to describe the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, usually of mixed descent, who were taken from their families by Australian government agencies and church missions, under various state acts of parliament, denying the rights of parents and making all Aboriginal children wards of the state, between approximately 1869 and (officially) 1969. The policy typically involved the removal of children into internment camps, orphanages and other institutions.

"...between one in three and one in ten Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families and communities in the period from approximately 1910 until 1970...

...Most families have been affected, in one or more generations, by the forcible removal of one or more children."

--Wikipedia article: Stolen Generations
Rabbit Proof Fence is an excellent award-winning movie about two young mixed race Aboriginal girls who are torn from their Aboriginal mother's arms and placed into an orphanage where they can unlearn their aboriginal ways and be brought up according to the dictates of white Australian culture.

The girls suffer exactly what you'd expect any children torn from their family, their culture, their way of life, their home, and their identities to suffer. They are homesick. They miss their mother, their family, their friends, and their community. They miss their life. They do not want lose their culture, and they don't want to be made into different people.

Upset and homesick, the two girls determinedly and illegally set out to return to their mother and their home, following the "rabbit proof fence" for 1,500 miles. They are trailed by those who want to catch them and return them to the orphanage and their unwanted new life.

The movie brought back to me the emotions and attitudes that we saw in my daughters as they struggled as older international adoptees to adjust emotionally and culturally to the injustices of being torn away from their first family and the difficulty of enduring involuntary placement in a new culture, country, and a family.

Adoption myths notwithstanding, it should be a no-brainer, but older children can not be torn from their families, their cultures, and their countries without having opinions about what is happening to them.

The parallels between the situation of these Aborigine children of the Stolen Generations who were orphanized by white Australians against the will of their original families, and many international adoptees, many of whom, due to lack of concern about adoption corruption are sometimes obtained by force or fraud for intercountry adoption, are striking.

Do the ends of what is judged a "better life" and better ways of life justify the means?

Do the same kinds of racial, cultural, and ethnic prejudices allow us to similarly maintain a lack of concern for human rights violations?

Do we not feel the pain of people with whom we have trouble identifying?

Does same zealous "white way" rescue mode allow us to perpetrate horrors on others in the name of "good"?

It is easy to recognize and condemn the injustices of another time and place. It is always hard to perceive and have the courage to stand against the injustices taking place in our own time.


Wikipedia Article: The Rabbit Proof Fence

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sins of the Past

In a movement between the mid-1800s and the late 1960s, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were taken from their families and placed in institutions or with white families. Unlike the profit-driven motives of international adoptions that go bad, the goal of this child removal policy was driven by eugenics and the notion of racial purity. The idea was to culturally assimilate these children into white society. It is estimated that at least 100,000 children were taken from their families under this policy.

Last week, Bruce Trevorrow became the first person of Australia’s Stolen Generation to be awarded compensation by the Australian government for his removal. Mr. Trevorrow was awarded $447,000 (USD) in compensation on the basis that he had been falsely imprisoned when he was removed as an infant from his family in 1957.

Though his award is significant, Mr. Treverrow notes, “[Y]ou can’t put a value on what happened. You can’t put a dollar sign on that. Most of my life has been lost to me.”

Though this story does not involve international adoption, it does involve corruption. I was struck by the similarities between Mr. Trevorrow experience and some common denominators of unethical international adoptions:

  • His parents sought temporary care for their child who needed medical attention.

  • His admission papers painted a completely different story: that he was “neglected and malnourished.”

  • His mother’s appeals for his return were met with lies – although Mr. Treverrow had been taken to be raised in a white foster family, authorities told his mother that he needed to remain hospitalized.

  • Mr. Treverrow grew up racially isolated and was racially taunted. He felt he lost his cultural identity.

  • Reunion did not prove to be easy or a panacea.
Sins of the past cannot be erased, but I think acknowledgment goes a long way.


Stolen Generation Payout, The Age, August 2, 2007

The Agony of Australia’s Stolen Generation, BBC News, August 9, 2007

Historic Win for Member of the Stolen Generation, ABC Radio National, August 7, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Petition for Adoptee Rights

As follow-up to the earlier post on adoptee rights in India, here is a message from Arun Dohle, adult Indian adoptee:

Please sign the comments and circulate the link widely. We need a lot of signatures, so that CARA really considers our comments.

Basically CARA acknowledges that many of us Adoptees do want to search for Roots and specifically open the records.

But sadly they explicitly close the records in case of children born to unwed mothers.

Practically that means many of us- if not most- are effectively stonewalled from any search and prevented from knowing our original identity.

However since there is a chance of our voices being considered, before that comes into effect, let´s all try our best to achieve positive change.

Since the comments have become a bit long, here the three main points summarised.

a) Birthrecords: that Adoptees, do also get an original BirthCertificate, with the names of their biological parents

b) Right to access to our files and records, even in case of childrenborn to unwed mothers

c) Support and Setting up of independent Post Adoption Services

Thanks for your support!

Warm regards
Arun Dohle

Monday, August 06, 2007

On Dandelions and Thorns by a Flea

Several hundred Korean adoptees met for the fourth International Korean Adoptee Association Gathering was recently held in Korea. Coinciding with the Gathering is a petition drive to collection 1 million signatures calling for an end to international adoption in favor of better solutions for single mothers.

What’s unusual about this petition drive is that it was launched by a group of mothers whose children were adopted abroad.

The mothers call their group Mindeuelae – Dandelions – as in dandelions whose seeds may have been blown far away, but who won’t be done away with.

Their children who return as grown adults, “a thorn piercing Korea’s conscience,” says this editorial.

I appreciated this quote by Jae Ran Kim who joined the Dandelions in protest:

It is not a matter of whether you had a good experience or bad experience as an adoptee. The adoption system goes way beyond that. It works within a political, institutional structure of society.
This sentiment is very similar to differentiating between individual acts of racism and the deeply entrenched, yet more difficult to identify aspects of institutional racism. It’s the need to recognize that problems in adoption do not rest in how “successful” an individual’s adoption is, but that the problems are part of a larger system that trades children for dollars, favors the wealthy over the poor and preys upon the vulnerable.

Jane Jeong Trenka was a leading organizer of the protest and has a moving video about the Dandelion group on her blog.

May this event of the Dandelion mothers signal the door opening to the voices of mothers the world over.


Adoptee seeks end to overseas adoption, JoongAng Daily, August 4, 2007

Jane’s Blog, Korean birthparents against intl adoption, August 6, 2007

[Editorial] Stop intercountry adoption, The Hankyoreh, August 4, 2007

Korean adoptees from abroad and birth mothers protest overseas adoption, Yonhap News Agency, August 5, 2007

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Adoptee Rights Considered by India

The governing administrative authority for India adoption is the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA). CARA is considering guidelines that for the first time would contain an open records provision.

On this point, the draft guidelines provide:

5.9 Rights of the Child

The child has a right to his/her identified information such as background information. Except in cases of unwed mother, the details of biological parent/s may be made available to a child when he/she becomes adult or is old enough to understand such intricacies. SAAs are required to offer psychosocial services to all parties concerned when a search for origins is undertaken. Every child with a court order from an Indian court shall enjoy all rights and privilege of a biological child when he/she joins the adoptive parents in their countries.
Note the significant exception for adoptees of unwed mothers. “SAAs” are defined as specialized adoption agencies that are recognized by the state government for the purpose of domestic adoption.

CARA will undoubtedly hear from agencies. It’s not always in the interest of agencies for adoptees to obtain their background information or to search. The truth can be pieced together that way. It's important that CARA hear from those whose rights are at stake and others who are also knowledgeable about open records.

CARA is inviting comments reportedly until August 15. Please consider sending a comment.

CARA’s Draft Guidelines are here.

Comments may be directed to:

Central Adoption Resource Authority
Ministry of Women & Child Development
West Block 8, Wing 2, 2nd Floor
R.K. Puram
New Delhi 110066 INDIA



Dutch Couple Suspected of Attempted Baby Smuggling in Sri Lanka

International adoptions from Sri Lanka are not quick or easy. In recent years, children have been adopted from Sri Lanka to the U.S., for example, only in rare cases.

The strict requirements for internationally adopting appear to have been completely sidestepped by a Dutch couple. They were arrested two weeks ago on suspicions of illegally adopting a two-week old baby. The couple allegedly procured a fake birth certificate, were contemplating paying a large sum of money to unnamed recipients and were then planning to smuggle the infant to the Netherlands.

The couple has not been formally charged. But they remain detained in Sri Lanka for another two weeks while the investigation continues.

How can adoptive “parents” who directly steal a child face themselves in the mirror? How can they look at “their” child in the eye?


Couple on illegal adoption rap, 24 News, July 27, 2007

Dutch duo remanded for trying to smuggle baby, Daily News, July 28, 2007

Dutch couple remanded Sri Lanka over baby smuggling, Lanka Business Online, August 3, 2007

Dutch couple suspected of illegal adoption remains in custody,, August 3, 2007

Dutch couple accused of baby smuggling in Sri Lanka further remanded, Colombo Page, August 3, 2007

Dutch couple held in Sri Lanka over baby smuggling, Yahoo! Asia News, August 3, 2007

Thursday, August 02, 2007

US DOS: U.S. Embassy in Guatemala Uses DNA Testing to Protect it's Adopted Children

As long as there is a literal fortune to be made supplying the developed world's growing demand for adoptable children, all the safeguards in the world will not stop the criminals.

The more hurdles in place to prevent corruption, the more hurdles jumped....


Time to take away the money incentive...

And time to consider trimming down the demand for adoptable children by making the myth--that there are an almost endless supply of young healthy infants out there needing to be adopted--reflect the reality--that there isn't.

But anyway, that is my thought this day....and below is the US DOS document.

Some of you may remember my recent post about the kidnapped Guatemalan baby. I wondered how those who kidnapped him were going to get around the DNA requirement. The answer must lie in switching one child for another part way through the process. At least, the following announcement from the US DOS would lead one to believe so...


U.S. Embassy in Guatemala Uses DNA Testing to Protect it's Adopted Children
August 2, 2007

Effective August 6, 2007, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala will require a second DNA test, to verify that the adopted child for whom an immigrant visa is being requested is the same child matched at the beginning of the adoption process with the birth parent. The Embassy is taking this step in response to concerns about the unregulated adoption process in that country. The Embassy already requires one DNA match between a relinquishing parent and prospective adoptive child as part of the immigrant visa process for Guatemalan children adopted by American citizens. This new procedure will apply to adoption cases finalized by Guatemalan authorities and submitted to the Embassy on or after August 6th.

The United States supports the highest standards of practice in international adoption. Due to concerns about the Guatemalan adoption process, the U.S. government must apply an extraordinary level of scrutiny to adoption cases there. This second DNA test will confirm that the child applying for the visa is the same child originally matched with the birth mother who voluntarily consented to the adoption. The first DNA matching test typically occurs a number of months before the adoption process is completed and the visa is issued.

We support the efforts of the Government of Guatemala to reform its adoption process to meet its obligations as a member of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention. The Hague Permanent Bureau’s international advisory group of experts, including U.S. representatives, are providing technical assistance to the Government of Guatemala as it works toward implementation of a Hague Convention-compliant adoption process.

U.S. Embassy in Guatemala Uses DNA Testing to Protect it's Adopted Children, August 2, 2007