Anger grows over adoption scam

AN Australian parent who unwittingly adopted stolen children from India has accused the federal government of failing to launch a proper investigation into the case and other related child-trafficking issues.

By Rory Callinan and Sean Parnell

November 4, 2009 / The Australian

The parent's trauma and frustration is detailed in internal government documents which also reveal a group of children from another Indian orphanage are barred from being adopted by Australians amid concerns about procedural irregularities.

Late last year the federal government began a review of the adoption program after it was revealed a child-stealing gang had sold kidnapped children to suspect orphanages. Those children were later adopted by parents in Australia.

The review was supposed to examine the inter-country adoption programs and why official processes did not detect the stolen children before they were allowed into Australia.

But one of the adoptive parents, whose name was suppressed, expressed serious concerns in an email to the Attorney-General's office earlier this year. "While I appreciate the opportunity to have input into the whole review of the Indian program, I am feeling that what is really needed is a thorough investigation into the whole Indian adoption program -- rather than a review," the parent wrote in the email.

"I had understood that allegations of child-trafficking were going to lead to just such an investigation. I feel that child-trafficking in India has caused such devastation in Australia and several other receiving countries, as well as India, that a proper and thorough investigation is warranted. If not, I fear our case will be repeated again and again."

Inter-country adoption branch assistant secretary Vicki Parker wrote back, saying the review would "look in as much detail" as an investigation and there had been significant changes to India's Central Adoption Resources Agency. The child-stealing operation in Chennai, on India's east coast, was detected in 2005, but it took years to unravel the files of the orphanage that received most of the children.

The Attorney-General's Department this week said the review was expected to be completed by the end of the year. A spokeswoman confirmed Australian adoptions of children from the Preet Mandir orphanage in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, which was not linked to the other child-trafficking cases but has been under investigation, would remain suspended.

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Interest given to children

Late last year the federal government began a review of the adoption program after it was revealed a child-stealing gang had sold kidnapped children to suspect orphanages. Those children were later adopted by parents in Australia.

The review was supposed to examine the inter-country adoption programs and why official processes did not detect the stolen children before they were allowed into Australia.

Of course, if a sending country is going to sell stolen children to one country, I bet that sending country is going to sell stolen children to any country that shows an interest in adopting away the many children waiting for care in very poor orphanages.  [Need I remind readers the care given and the money received in orphanages run by the now deceased Mother Teresa?  For those interested, by all means, please read Playing both sides of the fence, and find the link between so-called poor orphanages and up and coming adoption agencies that specialize in international adoption.]

So... if it's known children have been stolen and then sold through adoption agencies and orphanages, why is India still selling infants and children through surrogacy and adoption?  Why have their adoption doors not closed to the international adoption audience?

Could it be because foreign PAP's really don't care how a child is made available for international adoption?  As long as the paying customer is satisfied, all is fine?  Because in India, it's in a child's best interest to be sold and sent away to another country?

You know, eventually, the elderly in India are going to need responsible adults caring for them.  By all means, keep selling the children... I'm sure in a few decades many will be very happy to learn there are very few available and interested in honoring the needs of the old and dying.

poor orphanages

You raise an interesting question with the statement about "poor orphanages", since this is one of the big selling points in intercountry adoption.

I am going stray a little bit off topic, not addressing the Indian situation, but instead move to the pacific island of Samoa.

Samoa, doesn't have orphans, at least not in any sensible definition of the word. Of course parents die there, just like they do in any part of the world, but when parents die or are for some reason incapable of caring for their children, extended family takes up that responsibility. As a result there really are no orphans on the island, but there are plenty of children that don't have opportunities common to children in Europe and the US.

Some Samoan parents, believing they did the best for their children by giving them an opportunity to go to the United States, relinquished their children for adoption to Focus on Children. In order to be able to call these children orphans, a requirement for inter-country adoption in the US, the relinquished children were placed in a so-called nanny-house and waited there so they could officially be labelled abandoned.

This nanny-house was a squalor, with a leaking roof and pigs running around in the house. The mothers of the children were not told where this nanny-house was, because any contact would make the time period, required to call the child abandoned, longer. At least one child died at the nanny-house due to malnutricion.

Adoption agencies and their promotional legs, often claim children are languishing in orphanages, but the story of Focus on Children demonstrates that some agencies create this phenomenon in the best interest of their business. No child in Samoa would have gone without parental care had it not been for the business of Focus on Children, no child would have languished in an orphanage, or nanny-house, if it had not been for the greed of Scott and Karen Banks.

This example and the story of Christian World Adoption and the mixing up of babies, are in indictment that adoption agencies deliberately keep children in orphanages because it is in their own business interest, all the while claiming children languish in orphanages and therefore need saving.

The same is true in the

The same is true in the Marshall Islands. There are no orphans there, but boy was there a thriving IA program a few years ago.

Proper housing for children -- where can it be found?

Adoption agencies and their promotional legs, often claim children are languishing in orphanages, but the story of Focus on Children demonstrates that some agencies create this phenomenon in the best interest of their business.

My mind is a-buzzing because just yesterday I posted a response, addressing the concerns shared by a lawyer representing an adoption agency facing unwanted media coverage.  In Scott D. Hillstom's commentary, Foreign adoptions -- Agency unfairly demonized,   he writes:

Even greater stakes are in play where foreign adoptions are concerned, for many of the children who don't make it here [American adoptive homes] will remain exposed to squalor and pain most of the days of their short lives.

My response to his belief that children left in squalor (poor orphanages) was this:

living conditions found in an orphanage is a very important point because often times, the appearance of an environment provides the visual cue that gets people motivated to save a child through adoption.  After all, how many would feel compelled to save a poor orphan child from an orphanage if the housing and care was good and the environment was actually pleasant?  How many would still believe removing a child from friends and the country of origin is best, if that child is happy and well-cared for in a relatively small group-home?  How many really believe adoption is the only way in which a child without parents/family can receive good care?  [PPL's abuse cases, prove the care given by some who chose to adopt is not even remotely decent!]

[From:  Orphanages and adoption agencies ]

The image being sent is this:  poor orphanages mean children will suffer and die.... so damn it to hell, adopt, adopt, ADOPT!!!

Meanwhile, in most poor countries, these poor orphanages are in essence, local county care centers -- low budget hospitals (for lack of a better word) -- where trauma/poverty-stricken parents can bring their children so they may receive care that cannot be given at home.  Think about this -- orphanages are poorly funded children's hospitals for the poor and desperate.  In many cases, struggling parents send their children to these institutions because they need help and can't get that help from extended family.  In many cases, struggling parents send their children to these institutions with every intention of coming back, and with luck/God's help, one day, bring their child(ren) back, home.  Hope and faith in orphanage care and provision is what gets many parents through some very difficult times... so imagine going to retrieve your child, only to learn the papers you signed (to receive care) were "legal" relinquishment papers!  That child you wanted to bring back home, was sent far far away... to another family, a world away.  [See:  Search a Child, Pay Cash - The Adoption Lobby ]

It is very much in an orphanage director's best interest to keep all appearances desperate and horrible.... that's what helps sell unwanted (poor) children.  Just like the mentality in UK's work houses, the worst thing a charity for the poor can do is provide comfortable quality care because if life is too comfy and nice in-charity-care, no one will want to leave and go to work.  [See:  Hard times, vagrants, and the poor law unions, Irish Workhouse, and The horrors of the workhouse ]

Meanwhile, with each adoption, a forced donation fee is expected to be given to the orphanage in which the soon-to-be-adopted child has been placed. 

Gee... where does one suppose that forced donation fee keeps going?

If proper housing for children can't be found at a poverty-stricken orphanage, why it must only come from one other place -- adoptive parents!

This is the theory the adoption industry wants all to embrace and believe.

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