Adoptions have recently become difficult or impossible in China, Guatemala, Kazakhstan and Vietnam the main countries that send ‘orphans’ to the United States.
Corruption is widespread in intercountry adoptions and as in the latest case involving Chinese children, exposed by the Dutch press again, we see that the Hague convention has not protected the child’s best interest. It however has become clear that the Hague convention has had the opposite effect as it has become a vector for the Intercountry adoption agencies that hides under its mask to make the huge profits almost daily out of farming out children to foreign countries on the thinnest of pretexts. These agencies have only one interest and that is to make financial gain in an industry backed by big players who themselves hide behind masks.
The US is now waking up to the simple facts that there are some over 100.000 children in the US itself waiting for national adoption and here again one of the main reason they are not adopted is because the international adoption system is far easier, far more lax, less questions asked and so here one can see that the Hague convention neither protects the foreign child or the child waiting for national adoption either.
The simple fact that some say that foreign-born children, relinquished most often because of poverty, are less likely than U.S. orphans to come from mothers with substance abuse problems shows that these US adopters are not interested in their own people in reality, not interested in pressing for laws to combat drugs within the family that affect the child unborn and born and not interested in the hundreds of thousands of their own countries flesh and blood that are living daily in absolute poverty. Far easier to cry out about poverty in other countries than to face it head on at home!
The U.S. government has recently become so concerned about the selling and stealing of babies in Vietnam, and investigators are poring over each case to ensure each child is actually an orphan but for all these children even if they are found to have been stolen the damage to the child has been inflicted upon it by a system that cannot guarantee that the best interests of the child are put before any other interest. The Hague convention does not protect children yet is so often quoted as a standard that should be adhered to – and that’s what people hope Vietnam will do.
Across the ocean from the US, even in the European a highly organized pressure group right within the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well as the Council of Europe, at the highest level, is pressuring for Romania to re-open its intercountry adoptions. And they are still quoting the Hague convention in this attempt, led by MEPs Jean-Marie Cavada, Claire Gibault and European Commission’s Vice President Franco Frattini, as well as Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe Maud de Boer- Buquicchio. They are backed by Francois de Combret one of Europe’s advocates for the transportation of children from one country to another, with a special focus on Romania. Their latest scheme is to avoid the word intercountry adoption and use the word European adoption claiming that in a united Europe, children should have to right to be transported freely, just like agricultural products, financial services, workers and students.
Clearly Romania which has gained international praise for its childcare reforms does not and will not open the trade of children abroad again, plus has no need to as the country has a very good child protection system in place, that does put the child’s best interest first. Clearly here new Europe is showing the way to old Europe!
And child protection is not all about adoptions. That’s why in the old Europe there are hardly children who can be adopted. Family ties are cut only in extreme cases and not as a general measure.
The World is waking up to the fact that Governments need to close old-style orphanages, develop social care systems that support children going home, supports families, develop foster care, small family-type homes, all of which is the right way to go.
But de-institutionalisation, as this process is called, should not be a cover under which intercountry adoption agencies get children. When de-institutionalisation is underway, intercountry adoptions must be stopped in these countries, as they hamper any reform by creating a financial interest to keep children in institutions and to free them for adoption.
New Europe, via Romania, is clearly showing the world the way forward in childcare reforms.
But will the world be courageous enough to stimulate other countries to follow Romania’s example? Or, is the demand for children that strong, and money playing such a big role, that politicians and policy makers will look the other way.
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