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February 5th, 2010

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01:40 am - Disturbing Information
I’ve never thought much about international adoptions. It was plainly obvious that from the fees I’ve heard mentioned in the few occasions that I’d heard of it, that it almost certainly involved buying children and paying bribes. However, I assumed that what was happening was the (to me) morally neutral situation of impoverished people selling children they cannot afford to raise. The reality is a whole lot nastier.

The recent case in Haiti (which thankfully resulted in the scumbags involved being charged with child abduction ). So, teaotter looked into this, and the results are a whole lot scarier than I’d imagined. Here’s the single best article I’ve found on this topic. It’s filled with disturbing statistics like: Incredibly, in 2006, American parents adopted one of every 110 Guatemalan children born., and then descriptions of how these children are acquired
So, where had some of these adopted babies come from? Consider the case of Ana Escobar, a young Guatemalan woman who in March 2007 reported to police that armed men had locked her in a closet in her family’s shoe store and stolen her infant. After a 14-month search, Escobar found her daughter in pre-adoption foster care, just weeks before the girl was to be adopted by a couple from Indiana. DNA testing showed the toddler to be Escobar's child. In a similar case from 2006, Raquel Par, another Guatemalan woman, reported being drugged while waiting for a bus in Guatemala City, waking to find her year-old baby missing. Three months later, Par learned her daughter had been adopted by an American couple.
From what I’ve read, around 95% of all international adoptions are of children who are not orphans, but instead have parents and relatives, who in almost all cases have had their children stolen or extorted from them by a variety of means. The case in Haiti is but one of many similar cases. So, what you have is an industry where the people acquiring the children are ruthless criminals, the adoption agencies are either criminals or people who are willfully blind to criminal activity, and the clients are willing to overlook the fact that they are dealing with criminals who steal children. Wow.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2010 12:18 pm (UTC)
Meanwhile, of course, there are thousands, if not millions, of orphans in Africa whose parents died of AIDS. Why aren't people adopting those children instead of buying children?

I assume that not all of those orphans have HIV. I also understand that most people don't have the resources to care for a child with HIV.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
The people in the US who want to adopt children want healthy babies under the age on 1, and most of the orphans available *anywhere* are over the age of 5, have some kind of medical condition that is expensive to treat in their home country, or have emotional problems from abuse, starvation, and neglect (from being orphans for years).

Even in Africa, healthy babies are most often taken in by extended family or adopted by people in their own country.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, about my sentiments.

We did consider international adoption at one point, but somehow the whole business felt pretty complex *and* something seemed to stink.

I think the Finnish people doing it are just naïve and blind to the criminal activity, at least the grass roots people.

Also, I think China did make its international adoption much, much stricter some years ago.

[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2010 10:41 pm (UTC)


...and, at least with Asian international adoptions, even if the parents are (or, more often, the single mother is) alive and willing to meet the adopting couple through a more hands-on less sketchy agency and signing off on the whole thing to give their sickly internationally-adopted child a better chance, it's because their extended family has threatened them into it. As is most likely what happened with my Korean cousin (in college now) even though her mom really went out of her way to avoid the worst of it.
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
I knew it was bad enough that I've been mostly against international adoption for quite a while now, but wow, it's even worse than I thought.

Also, the domestic adoption industry isn't hugely better, in a lot of cases:
[User Picture]
Date:February 5th, 2010 11:01 pm (UTC)
To be fair, I think a lot of the clients want a baby so badly that they don't tend to investigate these agencies and just jump at the first chance they get to be parents. I wonder how many clients end up getting ripped off by these people promising them children.

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