Adoption is legalized child trafficking
December 22, 2009
Translated from original Dutch article
Adoption is legalized child trafficking, say Roelie Post and Arun Dohle. Together they founded Against Child Trafficking. If it is up to them, inter-country adoption disappears in five years time.
On the wall of their office in Brussels is a large world map with green, red and blue dots. Green for the 'open' adoption countries, red for the countries that closed the doors. And blue ones representing the regions which Roelie Post (49) and Arun Dohle (36) have so far examined: Malawi, Ethiopia, China, Peru and India.
Their goal is a "red world": five years from now inter-country adoptions should have been stopped. According to them, it is "legalized trade of children”, where vulnerable children are exchanged for large sums of money. Their description of adoption has, John Le Carré-like features: stolen babies, unscrupulous traders, cheating orphanage directors and forged adoption procedures. This is, as they say, the rule.
To make this "commerce" visible and to frustrate it, Post and Dohle, together founded Against Child Trafficking (ACT). In their office, located in Post's basement, the two make long days: "And often the phone rings here at three at night”.
The researchers collected information about bad or dubious adoption cases, partially through the Internet. Their database is growing day by day: "We talk to adoptive parents, adoptees, lawyers and professors from around the world." When they stumble upon a case of kidnapped children or other doubtful cases, they inform the adoption agencies and ministries.
That hasn't made them popular in the inner circles of adoption. Bertie Treur, Director of Stichting Kind en Toekomst, heaves a sigh at the sound of the names 'Post' and 'Dohle'. "We are very committed to ethical adoptions, "she says. "These people are looking for evil. I think it troubling that they assume that adoption agencies act randomly."
In turn, Post and Dohle hold little regard of the agencies, which cooperate in a system they have experienced as sick and corrupt. They see most governments in a negative light too, because time and again, they succumb to the powerful lobby of (prospective) adoptive parents. Their desire to have children is leading, say the two, not the interests of the child.
Against those powerful forces, they conduct their guerrilla fight. Post devotes her time to policy and children's rights, while Dohle is the researcher in the field. With a suitcase full of dossiers, he regularly gets on a plain, for example to Ethiopia or India to check the background of adoptees. It is not like the "Spoorloos Method”, says Post. "That TV program brings biological and adoptive parents children back together and that's that. While we think justice must prevail."
Dohle was closely involved in some of the recent high-profile adoption incidents. He worked on the Netwerk broadcast on 'Rahul', the boy who was stolen from his Indian parents at eighteen month, and who is possibly adoption by a Dutch family. Dohle brought the biological parents in contact with a lawyer, whom has for years requested the Dutch adoptive parents for a DNA test, so far unsuccessfully.
Dohle and Post, in collaboration with a local human rights organization, also managed to thwart Madonna. The Court of Malawi first refused her adoption of Chifundo 'Mercy' James, because she is not a resident of Malawi, as the law demands. The Judge based his decision on knowledge provided by Dohle, he says. In second instance the U.S. megastar could eventually got the girl. Post laments: "That´s how adoption works. It's all about money, money, money."
Then there was the recent revelation of adoption agency Wereldkinderen that Ethiopian 'orphans', adopted by Dutch parents, appear to have Ethiopian parents that are very much alive. The agency based its conclusions upon a study done by ACT. As a result Wereldkinderen temporarily stopped adoptions from Ethiopia.
Dohle and Post's indignation is great, their position clear: Inter-country adoption is not a "last resort" for children in the need, but a lucrative market that serves involuntarily childless couples. Adoption has little to do with 'child protection', they say. Those really wanting to help, should invest in a local child protection, and provide care to poor parents, to prevent relinquishment of children.
Recent cases of child trafficking for adoption are not incidents, the two claim. But can they prove that?
Yes, say Post and Dohle: they have so far investigated over one hundred adoption cases and found irregularities in all of them, ranging form abduction of children to wrong files, based on which local judges approved an adoption. "It is a crime to dis-inform the court."
And sometimes the paper work is correct, but mothers didn't know what they signed for. Dohle: "They do not understand what it means to waive their parental rights. They think they can take their child back in their arms, when it reaches age 18"
But: over one hundred acts of wrong-doing, does not show that the approximately 36,000 inter-country adoptions per year are not done well. They do not provide evidence of large-scale corruption and crime. Post sighs deeply at this conclusion: "How much more evidence do you need?" She calls it turning the world upside down: "The adoption agencies should provide evidence that their adoptions are ethical. But that they can and will not do. These agencies stay inactive, they don't investigate anything. Their records are often so vague, you wouldn't buy a second hand car based upon them."
But a messy file does not yet indicate child trafficking or unethical adoption? Post: "The biggest problem is that parents who consider relinquishing their child, for example because they have no money for food, usually don't receive any alternative help. No coaching, no loan, no other recourse but relinquishment and adoption. Adoption Agencies have all sorts of aid projects, but those are intended for other families, not for parents that potentially relinquish. "
Doesn't the evil Dohle and Post are convinced of, not color their perception? "If only that were true," says Post. "We are not against adoption, but against child trafficking. Unfortunately those two can not be distinguished from one another."
Who are the adoption fighters?
Roelie Post acquired her knowledge about adoption in Romania, where she worked on behalf of the European Commission, for many years. She saw crowded orphanages and aggressive foreign adoption agencies running their "Legalized child trafficking". "The supply was made to match the high demand," Post says. In her book "Romania. For export only. The untold story of the Romanian orphans' (2007) she reports about her experiences.
Together with the Romanian authorities, the European Commission, closed the major children's homes and established a system of child protection, that takes care of Romanian children in their own country. But an active lobby kept pressing for the 'export' of Romanian children, which Post strongly opposes.
That lobby made her work for the European Commission impossible Post said. She was finally seconded to Against Child Trafficking (ACT), an organization she founded herself. "I've seen children get sucked into the system, instead of helping them," she says. "I must share my knowledge about adoption, that is my social responsibility. Nobody else comes up for these children."
Post found a supporter: Arun Dohle, an Indian who was adopted by German parents. Dohle has been doing research into his own roots from India, for years. He suspects that he is an illegitimate child of a member of the famous Pawar family. Before the court of Bombay, Dohle demanded the identity of his mother to be revealed, but the case so far is hindered by "the power of the family". His quest became a true Indian media hype. "Son of Pawar wants to know who his mother is," the newspapers headlined.
"I discovered my adoption is complete shit, the paperwork is nothing but a bunch of lies," says Dohle. "Nowhere in my file is a waiver of parental rights, signed by my mother. I think they took me away from her under duress." Dohle also examined some hundred adoption files from other adoptees, which according to him, all contain irregularities.
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Excellent article and work! I will always support your ideas and fight in spirit, even if from a distance.
Looking into the dark, Intercountry Adoptions
Here is an example of 2 people that know intercountry adoption is close to organized crime. The human trafficking business involved with Intercountry Adoptions makes the Mafia look like saints. As more agencies close down and groups like JCICS become less powerful, there may be a chance in putting the Intercountry Adoption business on it's head. These people involved with intercountry adoptions will try any trick in the book.
As I sit here thinking about the Billions $$$ spent on intercountry adoptions in the last 10 years and how Americans could have built training centers or medical clinics in these countries to stop the cycle of social orphans being vulnerable to intercountry adoptions aka human trafficking.
I then realize this is not a perfect world and adoption agencies don't want to promote humanitarian aid that will strengthen the population in these poverty stricken countries---God no!-they would lose their inventory of future kids for sale!
I somehow believe this couple has seen the very deep dark part of intercountry adoptions and knows more than they are saying. It is ugly very ugly!
The assumption that Romania and Ethiopia have issues with their adoption programs, and therefore all international adoptions are evil --- that is a really shaky place to start. If you start with examining cases where there are complaints, of course you will find irregularities. Any government program will have irregularities - guaranteed. Choose 100 random adoption cases and look for meaningful anomolies and see what objective evidence you find.
The problem with this sort of reporting - and this sort of crusade - is that you do not present any real evidence, just allegations and anecdotes. If international adoption is a crime, then there should be plenty of evidence that you can publish. Countries that follow the Hague Convention submit to an international court to adjudicate these cases, so it should be relatively simple to bring legal action to stop the problem you believe that you see. Since there is such a comprehensive legal solution in place, why do these people not pursue the justice that they claim to seek?
Post and Dohle are angry at a perceived injustice, but rather than seeking constructive changes in the system, they just want to shut it all down. If these two were serious about helping children then they would be campaigning for doubling or tripling adoption fees to be set aside to help the poor care for children rather than giving them up for adoption. If they were interested in seeing that all children are cared for, they would be campaigning for the repeal of limits on child bearing so that biological parents could keep their children. Instead, it seems they are simply dedicated to punishing prospective adoptive parents.
It's a shame that so much energy is aimed at stopping international adoption, rather than fixing the problem that causes international adoption in the first place.
"Instead, it seems they are simply dedicated to punishing prospective adoptive parents."
As far as I know, adoption is a priviledge not a right, furthermore it is defined as a child welfare measure, so I fail to see how ending inter-country adoption would punish prospective adopters. If what you say is true, you confirm the fact that inter-country adoption exists to provide children for adopters, not families for children.
The problem being, most Adoption Agencies work for their clients the PAPS, the ones that are forking over a lot of dough. The Adoption Agency is trying to find them a child or baby based on their preference. The client is paying a fee for a service and the AA is deliverying on their contractual obligation.
I have never heard of an Adoption Agency that works for the child in some poor country, finding the suitable match for the child== rather the suitable child for the client/PAP.
In some cases if the parent is ultra rich like Madonna, the whole poor country of Malawai becomes your shopping store. Rich client says "I want" country stalls to make it look legit. Country accepts $1 million and declares child adopted by rich white woman.
No official adoption laws, or hague in many obscure countries. Lets hope that Malawai uses the money to set up schools for their children.
Evidence is overwhelming! But you have a pt about fees.
I assure you that there have been obvious red flags for years 1) abnormal amount of children having abandonment status -(healthy newborns that barely hit the orphanage and are adopted out) Guatemala, Vietnam, et al 2) Shoddy relinquishment papers-forged signatures 3) In country participants that can accomplish rounding up children, fixing paperwork where the child is "adoption ready" purchasing referrals of new borns, etc., for a very small fee 4) DNA that has come back that children are adopted as "twins are not really twins" (Twinning) or the other spectrum where the twins, triplets are seperated and adopted out to 2-3 different families. 5) Accepting relinquishment from a family member who states the bio mom/dad is deceased 6) Lying that the baby has a slight medical necessity to push the adoption through faster under "Special Needs" 7) Witnessing the increase of adoptions from piss-ant size countries that make no sense. At one time Guatemalan adoptions were the highest GDP for the country. Abnormal increases in Ghana, Kryzgstan, Latvia, Japan, Guatemala, Ethiopia, etc., At one time 1 out of 4 guatemalan children were adopted out of their country. 8) Guatemalan Military was selling babies to pay for military expenses
We don't need to go on. There is so many different scams and schemes out there it is obvious.
Some take years to catch on and some are red flagged right away. When there is money or profit to be made many people in the country turn their cheek. None of us can debate these things have happened and still happen-Hague Regulations or not! Money buys anything!
On your suggestion of tripling the fees to pay for in country services, I agree with you. Rather than the extra money going into some officials hands/pockets lets work at fixing the problem and building a better future for the children.
Next time you are in a poor country and speak with an Adoption Facilitator, note they don't live like most of the people in the country. I have seen their homes, clothes some even drive Mercedes (in the Russian former states) it is very obvious they live very well and make quite a living off of the buying and selling of children.
How many agencies does it take?
I ask this legitimately. I ask this because I have seen way too many adoptive parents get screwed over in this process. I know a huge amount of adoptive parents. One agency is currently dealing with a lawsuit because of a records issue mix up. We can't keep turning a blind eye to this. I would not want someone to take my kids because they could get a good price on them. They would be taking advantage of my being poor.
There is something about adoption that makes people turn a blind eye. Adoptees are having to fight daily to get access to the documents that pertain to their birth. Expectant parents are fighting coercion because they consider adoption. These agencies do not back down. Adoptive parents are being rooked every day over financial issues
When does it end? How much corruption does there have to be in order for you to believe it? Guatemala shut down because of corruption. So did Vietnam. Russia even closed its doors for a while. Ethiopia is heading quickly in that direction as well. Liberia has issues with an adoption agency that is not licensed in Minnesota or Tennessee. They have not filed a tax return in years. Liberia children are being placed in homes as slaves in Oklahoma. When does it end? Adoption is a privilege. It is not a right. We can't keep pushing it as a right. We are not as a country entitled to other people's children. We as Americans need to get over that attitude with the quickness. We can't even take care of our children in foster care.
Honestly until every child in foster care is adopted, I don't think Americans should be going overseas to adopt. We must learn to take care of our own.
I agree with this post, adopt US kids! PRIORITY!
This is a very embarassing predicament, as an American we have about 70 people from the Netherlands that have adopted out of the US Foster Care. This says volumes about Americans and our priorities or how we can get roped into an Adoption Agency's marketing frenzy.
I guess "buying American" doesn't apply to cars, clothing or our children anymore!
Personally, I would like to see the Adoption Tax credits lowered for people who adopt abroad. The Americans who choose to adopt from the US health and human services are taking a lot of stress and future economical expenses off of the tax payer. Give the domestic adoptions more tax benefits!
I have posted this so many times but here it is again, a website hooked to all 50 states US Health and Human Services with a photo listing of some children available in foster care for adoption.
When considering domestic vs. foreign adoptions, there are several advantages to adopting older children from domestic foster care.
1) Adopting from foster care is relatively inexpensive. It's been approx 15 years since our first adoption from foster care and I realize things are different from one state (or agency) to another. But all we had to pay for was an adoption attorney to review our paperwork and represent us at finalization ($450). There was no charge or up front costs for our homestudy, background check, 10 week parenting classes, agency fees, or travel expenses. We found both of our kids within 100 miles of our home.
2) No language barriers or cultural differences to overcome. Our children's medical records and social histories needed no translation and were (for the most part) reliable and accurate. Of course this is a big advantage for parents, but it's an even bigger plus for the kids who have been through enough trauma already without losing their family and the only culture they've ever known.
3) The luxury of time to explore, verify, and carefully consider all your options on your own home turf. This is incredibly important. We had months (not days or hours) to visit with our son and slowly integrate him into our family. We had six overnight weekend visits before he was placed in our home, plus another nine months before finalization. I can't tell you how many times I've read about adoptive parents who travel abroad only to discover the child they were hoping to adopt was no longer available, was misrepresented, had undisclosed medical or social histories, and/or was part of a package (sibling group). It's a life changing and highly emotional decision - one that should not be entered into under duress with limited time constraints and in an unfamiliar setting.
4) Perhaps the last thing many adoptive parents consider when choosing which method of adoption is the ability to help restore those biological connections. Adopting domestic children from foster care gives you and your child a better shot at making this happen when the time is right.
There's much more but I have to *start* my Christmas shopping now and time's running out.
"DAD" brings up good points to domestic adoptions.
One of the other important points is in my state, while you foster the child (fost to adopt) there is a monthly expense check sent to you by the state/county that offsets much of the expenses of raising a child. Many people put a college account together for the child with this check.
Also the state's medical insurance (MediCaid) pays for their dental and health care.
I would like to mention that when I first looked into fost to adopt, the agency I used discouraged me from domestic by instilling "fear" into me.
a) the domestic kids are screwed up, mothers are drug addicts, they have mental issues (like international adoptive children or your own bio don't?)
b) that the birth mother will come back and take the child. (while this could happen, majoritiy of the children are paper ready and the bio parent has been relinquished by the courts) you can choose to have an open adoption if the bio parent agrees.
I guess this justifies removing a child from overseas and the birth family has slim chance of ever reappearing?
c) the American courts and counties lie and stall around. They favor the birth family even if the birth family is in jail, addicts, etc.,
I since have discovered that all adoptions can have issues surrounding it. But more so International because you have no control or say over the process (unless you have wads of cash)
I say look domestically first, I have seen many beautiful families unit through domestic adoptions.
I have also seen some Russian disrupted adoptions kids end up in the local foster care.
payments for adopting
I think the monthly payments given through foster care adoption is bullsh*t. Any one read what some people do with monthly payments aka adoption subsidies? That money is not going towards future college education. That government money is going towards personal expenses, like plasma TV's or trips while the foster kid is at summer camp for the parent's reprieve. Plain and simple, if you can't afford the expenses to raise a child, don't adopt.
Payments for adopting
While I agree that if a family are using the payments for trinkets, gadgets and garbage for the family it is wrong. I do agree that the state should pay a small fee that is to be monitoried with reciepts where or how the money is spent or saved.
As a tax payer, it is certainly cheaper to pay this monthly payment (which I heard has shrunk) than have a child in full-blown foster care till 18. In CA. I understand the payments stop once the child is adopted (fost to adopt)
It also cheaper than having a bunch of unwanted children turning into misfits, then the state has to pay for incarceration or rehabilitation. If these are American children born on US soil....it is our future generation. No child has asked to be born or put into some of these terrible situation that leads them to be legally taken from their troubled parent. We can stop the cycle and give the child a chance.
What I do have a problem with is the 100 or so foreign adoptions that have ended up "disrupted" and dumped on to the county foster care system. For a system that is already strapped this is garbage.
Not all parents spend the monthly stipend on unnecessary crap, many do set it aside or pay for tutoring, counseling (mental health hard to find for children)
Plasma TVs and Trips
Plasma TVs, trips, and summer camp. That's a good one. It kind of reminds me of the mythical welfare mother living like Trump off the state for having more kids than she can afford. Makes for good drama, I guess - but it's clearly not rooted in reality.
We just replaced our 18 year old television (yes, it finally died) with a brand spanking new 10 year old 32 inch Sony. The remote actually works - woohoo.
When we adopted our son from foster care we had to disclose our finances to ensure our fiscal ability to raise him, even though the state was not offering us an adoption subsidy of any kind. That's only good common sense.
Plain and simple, if you can't afford the expenses to raise a child, don't adopt.
Agreed. If you can't afford the expenses to raise a child, don't have children. Period.
While I agree, most people that adopt from foster care don't do so to make a living out of it, there are several cases where this has happened. The most notorious in recent years was the case of Judith Leekin, while some of the mega families also live off the adoption or foster care subsidies they receive.
People that adopt two or three children from foster care don't do it for the money, but beyond seven or eight, it can become lucrative. That's why I believe states should set an upper limit to the number of children people can adopt from foster care, or the number of foster children people can have in their homes at any given moment.
The families that do foster care as a stand alone, need funds to offset the care of the child. Foster Care is the outsourcing replacement of Orphanages that were once plentiful in the USA.
Many operate a license for Child Care, some specialize in Special Needs while others take new born or toddlers and others take in Teens.
The Fost to Adopt situation has foster care as a "temp" situation until the adoption procedings are finalized. I agree it gives the child and the family an opportunity to bond, get to know each other or move on to another suitable situation.
I very much agree with this
I very much agree with this and have always been suspicious of "mega families" (good term!). They remind me of animal hoarders, and beyond a certain point I question the quality of care, especially if there are many special needs kids. The media loves mega families and treats the adopters like saints, but what they really become is unsupervised group homes with a huge potential for neglect and abuse. 15 or 20 kids is not a "family" in any sense, and I would like to see a limit placed on how many kids they can take. These mega families become a dumping ground for kids nobody else wants, and agencies sometimes solicit them to take just one more, which ups the agencies' number of adoptions out of foster care and makes them look good. What happens to the kids is often another matter.
Would you believe, I agree... to a degree
When I was growing-up, my Amother told me I was adopted because my birth-mother in Canada was a (no-good) drunk, and my dad was a foreign visitor... (the implication being, he was a typical man, looking for an easy no-responsibility lay). Turned out, when I was in my mid-thirties, I learned my first mother was not a drunk, and at the age of 26, I was her first pregnancy. According to my non-id info and the social worker who read my files to me, my first mother was a medical professional at the time of my birth. She was a well-educated single woman who did not want to get married to a (Canadian) military man, simply because she was pregnant. According to the social worker, and the adoption agency information, my first parents were long-term sweethearts, not complete foreign strangers. Both came from very large (Catholic) farming families. Supposedly, both agreed adoption would be best for me.
Within the first year of life, I was adopted by a newly infertile American couple who wanted a second child to "complete" their young family.
I was not the little girl who was abandoned, neglected or abused. I was not the child of a teen. I was not the daughter of someone who was poor. I was a choice. Some chose adoption because it was easier to give away, than face long-term responsibility... some chose adoption because of a hysterectomy.... some chose international adoption because even in the late 1960's, it generated a good sum of money.
Those are very tough beans to swallow, given the real-life experience (YEARS of sexual abuse and secret torment) I had to endure in my pre-screened adoptive family. [Dare I express how many times I wished I was aborted and NOT adopted by that American couple?!?!? Dare I TRY to express that sort of anger and grief, KNOWING it did NOT have to be?!?!?]
A funny thing happened, as only life can happen to me.
When I was 22, I wanted to move away from my owners, but knew Catholic tradition, once again, would get in the way. The only way I could leave my parent's house was if I got married to a man who could prove he could provide a home. I got married at 23 to a man much older than me. I got married because I was a "good girl" and it was expected of me. I had children because I was a "good girl", and it was expected of me. I had four children, not because it was expected, or planned, but because twins run in my genetic family.
To this day we struggle because we barely make enough money to provide for six people. To this day, even as we approach Christmas Eve, I'm reminded how my multiple pregnancy ruined so many good things.
I am one of those people who tried to do all the "right" things. Unfortunaltely, I was never good at future predictions. I married a man who would neither want nor be able to afford to raise and (pay to educate) four children. Do you think for one moment I ever considered giving ANY of my babies away, simply because of money?!?!?
Sometimes we can't help what decisions are made for us.... sometimes we have to do the best we can possibly do. Not because it's easy... not because it makes parents happy... simply because it's the right thing to do.
While I agree people should not have sex unless they are ready to face the responsibility, I am the first to admit, unexpected "surprises" happen, whether we want the surprise, or not. [For every action, there is a reaction... and in my own case, I know first hand how rape and multiple pregnancy can change all sorts of pre-made plans.]
The moral lesson I try to teach my children is simple, and it's based on my own personal experience -- think about future consequences before taking a chance.... after all, you never know when you will be expected to pay for one day's/night's action for the rest of your bloody life.
I´m not sure if anybody has noticed the new link on the "ethioadoptionnews - blogspot" yet, which leads to a private blog of an American family. They decided not to proceed with the adoption of three Ethiopian children after investigations and finding out about the circumstances leading to the birthmothers ´ consent for giving their children for adoption. The article contains the name of the ageny and other information.
I agree to a large extent with you that it's absurd people are adopting abroad, while there are so many children within the American foster care system. That said, I do believe for many children in foster care, adoption is not necessarily the answer.
Ever since the introduction of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, child welfare has been dominated by the notion of permanency, which somehow defines the child welfare system itself as a necessary evil, which children need to be pushed out of as quickly as possible. Permanency knows two directions, family reunification and adoption.
This bidirectional approach to child placement, either back to the original family, or towards an adoptive family is unnecessarily restricted and prevents innovation.
There certainly are children for whom adoption is the best solution, and in such cases adoption should be used as a child placement measure, but for many children this is either not an option, or not the best solution possible.
Many older children in the foster care system will never be adopted. There are some people willing to adopt older children, but most adopters prefer younger children. No matter how much adoption gets promoted, the vast majority of children in the foster care system, age 10 and older, will not be adopted. So it is a huge disservice to them, when the child welfare system keeps pushing for a solution that is never going to happen for the vast majority of that group.
Some children in the foster care system are not necessarily served in their best interest with adoption. Adoption is a very radical measure, which severs all ties with the original family, making contact only possible when adopters agree to it. There are children in foster care whose parents are not able to take care of them, but where contact between the child and its original family is doing that child a lot of good. Pushing adoption, because foster care is defined as substandard, is a huge disservice to these children.
There are children for whom a family type environment is a really bad idea. Some children need permanent care and control, that cannot be given in a family type environment. Other children, especially older ones, that experienced years of abuse, may be so afraid of a family style setting, that a group home placement would be much less stressful.
There are many reasons why adoption in certain situations is not in the best interest of a child, yet the permanency ideology that has taken a hold of the US for the last three decades, doesn't allow for an equal treatment of all available option. Permanency has created a preference ladder in which adoption is seen as the best solution, foster care is seen as a lesser alternative, while residential care is seen as the worst form of care.
This preference ladder may apply on average, though recent research even disputes that, but it does not apply in individual cases. If the best interest of the child is paramount, all child placement options should be considered without any bias. Doing so may also result in innovation in child welfare. Declaring one solution ideal, kills all progress that can be made in search for better solutions.
Children are best served by a variety of options
I agree with your points. Child protection options should be seen as a range of options, rather than a hierarchy. I currently work in an NGO foster care program, as a supervisor of several caseworkers and carrying a small caseload myself. Prior to this position, I worked in my agency's therapeutic residential care program for adolescents with complex and challenging behaviour, as a caseworker and then as the manager of the program.
Foster care in Australia is undergoing change as we move in the direction of stronger permanency provisions. Historically, foster-to-adopt has not really been a feature of our foster care program, though that is now changing. Still, adoption is only one permanency option and is certainly not the most common path for kids in foster care.
Many see resi programs as the bottom rung of options, though for some children a therapeutic residential program can best meet their needs. Two boys I worked with at separate times were able to be restored to their mothers' full time care after spending 12 months and 18 months in our program, and they are still at home. Given their presenting behaviours, I don't think either boy would have done well in foster care. Sadly, we also sometimes end up with kids in resi programs who shouldn't be there, simply because there aren't enough foster homes for children over 10 years old.
I am glad that Arun is
I am glad that Arun is fighting against child trafficking. But what I don't understand is why he doesn't fight to ensure the children who are in orphanages are well cared for, and fight to ensure that mothers in these countries consider all alternatives. I have been touched by his efforts in a personal way, and I witnessed a child who died because she could not get the care she needed - because her adoption could not proceed. He also needs to fight the stereotype in India that girl babies are undesirable, as well as popularize in-country adoptions. He should fight child trafficking - I totally support that. But he needs to spend more time fighting to make international adoption UNNECESSARY as opposed to fighting to stop it without considering the consequences.
we do work and advocate for implementation of the UNCRC. Our indian partners work very hard for decades in improving conditions in residential institutions. We also exposed or helped exposing institutions were children were abused.
So we indeed work simultaneously on both ends.
Kindly let me know the details of the child which died and we will take appropriate action against the institution and director in whose care the child died.
You can email me privately- arun.dohle -at- gmx.de
Do you have the guts to really do something ?