Intercountry adoption bribes unlawful for US citizens

Today James Marsh wrote an interesting article on his blog called Corrupting International Adoption, related to the use of bribes in intercountry adoption and its relation to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act [FCPA].

The article explains how the FCPA prohibits bribery committed by Americans outside of the USA. The law applies as well to companies as to individuals and prohibits making payments -- or offering or promising to pay money or anything of value -- to any foreign official with the purpose of inducing the recipient to misuse his official position by directing business to or maintaining business with the payor.

We all know many PAP's travel to far away countries with crisp dollar bills to pay in cash for "services rendered". While of course many know bribery is illegal in the country they are visiting, many will not be aware that it is also illegal under US law. Many are willing to take the risk, knowing they will be out of the country before anyone will find out, but according to the FCPA, such acts can be prosecuted under American law.

The only thing I still wonder is whether lying in a foreign court is illegal by American law. It is a well known phenomenon that umbrella'ing (adopting through an unaccredited adoption agency that uses an accredited agency to receive children) often leads to adoptive parents lying in foreign court. When asked which adoption agency they are using, they name the accredited agency. I wonder if there is some FCPA-like law that prohibits such activities.


20 years ago and today...

It's no different today than it was 20 years ago when I sat in the Guatemalan Counsulate with my 3 month old adopted son; waiting for the missionary to stand in line for the Visa.  He put $50.00 in the Passport so we could get the Visa...  I wonder how much it is today?  I remember his words when I told him, that was wrong:  "You want your baby, don't you?"  It's no different today.  Everyone knows it happens; everyone accepts it as part of life in a poor country.

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

Any more people wanting to confess?

Thank you Teddy,

I wonder if there are more adoptive parents willing to confess to these deeds. Please know, as I said in the original post, this is illegal under American law.

A lot more than that...

It certainly is illegal!  I was younger and in too deep to just walk away.  I wonder how many people get half way through an adoption and suddenly realize "somethings not right?"  If you adopt from Guatemala, Vietnam, just know, there are illegal things going on every step of the way.  I saw it first hand while sitting in Vietnam waiting for the last day before the country shut down in December, 2002. 
I, too, wonder if there are others who would admit that something illegal happened and they were aware of it but too far into the adoption to back out?  Once that child is in your arms, it's almost impossible to walk away.  I just couldn't do it

What did I ever do to deserve this... Teddy

Nothing to confess

Nothing to confess in our international adoptions, we weren't involved in any bribes personally. I am not saying it didn't happen. Just we were never was involved or observed any.
I think that it pretty common these days - illicit payments are done behind the scenes.

Pound Pup Legacy