U.S. Still Suspects Fraud In Nepalese Orphanages
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By Monica Brady-Myerov
May 10, 2011 / npr.org
Last August, the U.S. government suspended adoptions from Nepal because it was concerned about fraud in Nepal's adoption system. The suspension left dozens of American families in limbo.
After months of investigations almost all of those American families have been granted visas for their adopted Nepali children.
But there's still concern about whether many of Nepal's orphans really are orphans.
Children Sold By Traffickers
The desire to be a mother was so strong for 45-year-old Dee Dee Milton that she went halfway around the world from Boston to Nepal to try to achieve it.
"I tried to adopt through the American foster system here and was not matched with a child and was told they had no idea when I would be matched and if I would ever be matched," she says.
In July, Milton was matched with a 4-year-old Nepali girl. Just after Milton landed in Nepal and took custody of her daughter, Bina, the U.S. closed the program, saying too many children who were reported to be abandoned by their families may actually have been kidnapped or sold into the orphanage system.
Milton and 65 other American families were caught in the middle. Milton ended up living in Nepal and hiring lawyers and investigators to help prove Bina was legitimately abandoned. Milton had to take out a home equity line of credit to afford the delay.
In the worst cases I've seen ...they are actually forging death certificates for families and putting these children up for international adoption.
"I was on an unpaid leave from my job, so I literally had no funds coming in the entire time I was gone and then came home to unemployment," she says.
Janice Jacobs, assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, says while she sympathizes with what Milton went through, Nepal's child adoption system isn't trustworthy.
"They estimate — the NGOs with a lot of on-the-ground experience — estimate that perhaps 10 percent of the children who turn up in orphanages are in fact abandoned," she says.
That means as many as 90 percent of children in Nepalese orphanages may have been sold by a child trafficker under false pretenses. UNICEF estimates there are 650,000 orphans in Nepal.
Conor Grennan says that happens all the time. He's the founder of Next Generation Nepal, an NGO that has reconnected 400 trafficked children with their families. He says some of the children have been kidnapped. Other children have been sold by their families to brokers, who claim they will educate and care for them.
"And in the worst cases I've seen ... they are actually forging death certificates for families and putting these children up for international adoption," Grennan says.
Grennan says the child trade continues because it's lucrative. Orphanages can make $5,000 per child from an international adoption — a lot of money in a country where more than half of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day, according to UNICEF.
Difficult To Prove Fraud
Five months after Milton went to Nepal, Bina got a U.S. visa once a government investigation found no fraud. Now Bina lives a typical life of an American little girl, attending preschool, visiting her nana and tormenting her cat.
Eventually, U.S. investigators determined there was no fraud in the cases of 65 of the 66 children waiting to be adopted by American families. Only one is still pending, which leads Milton to ask: Where is the fraud?
"I mean, the law of averages and the number of cases — [and] there was absolutely no fraud found?" Milton says.
But proving fraud is very hard, says Grennan. He says the only way is to travel to mountainous villages.
"There's no roads here," Grennan says. "You have to put on a backpack and you have to walk through the mountains and you have to get to the village and you have to say this is where the child is from, are the parents still alive or are they not? To me, that is the proof," he says.
The investigation of Bina Milton and the others was done by a government agency outside Nepal. Jacobs of the State Department says you can't draw conclusions about the adoption system in Nepal from those investigations. She says Nepal will have to make sweeping changes to its child welfare system if the U.S. is to reopen adoption.
"They have to work on a system that builds in better protections for these children and they also have to find ways to look for domestic solutions," she says.Nepa
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Hmmm.... it's deja-vu all over again
Where have I heard and read this before? Oooh, I know.... I saw a video about this! See: Children for Sale- KRO Brandpunt. Watch the Ethiopian's mother's face, in Part 2, when she reads she is dead. (The good part starts at 1:50 in the first video, and continues throughout all 3 segments.) I urge readers to watch this video collection.
And how much can an orphanage, in Nepal, make per
headICA and forced orphanage donation fees?
Yea, there's no profit in foreign adoption. Nooooooooone at all......
The worst part is how the US State Dept finds every excuse in the book to continue feeding into these illegal adoptions, all so "desperate" PAPs turned-off by domestic adoption can get the child they want for themselves.
One door closes, another door opens
One door closes, another door opens. One country closes, another country opens. And I bet that the "rescue the hungry orphans" crusade of adoption agency directors and attorneys will be the same ones as well!
As a family who dealt with and SURVIVED the organized crime that deals in inter-country adoptions, complements of your beloved attorney and agency, let me let you know I am not the only one who has dealt with and has had a bad experience, I am part of the countless families that have endured horrifying experiences. These attorneys, agency directors and in country facilitators are thugs and garbage and those that work alongside of them and post about how great they are are also garbage. When are people going to realize that the kids are not starving orphans? There is a whole network of criminals involved in this and it is fueled by the demand for a child.
Absolutely. I think what others need to see and know is a little more visual detail. For instance, not many get to see how an agency rep can easily side-step direct question(s) regarding the horror behind some of these cases. In the video I mentioned in my previous post, part three exhibits how a "good" PR rep operates under pressure.
So here you have an agency rep from the Netherlands. On film. Fielding questions from a nosey investigative reporter. (What does one suppose her anual salary is?) If she wants to keep (or improve) her current salary, what is she, the agency rep, expected to do and say, when asked a hard question like, "What did you and your researchers do?" or given the statement, "This is criminal".
While this video features Ethiopia and the Netherlands, and the article focuses on Nepal, one must see what adoption agency directors are making, whilst orphanage directors are "earning" 5k an ICA head.
For instance, according to our findings, in 2007, executives, like CEO at Buckner International made almost $400,000 that year. $398,795, to be exact. One could say agency directors, at agencies like Buckner, and out-spoken senators, have "good reason" to show a strong interest in ICA and sending-countries like Ethiopia, or Nepal.
For more, see: Executive compensations at adoption agencies. Do the math that goes with the job that ought to connect the dots and verify the missing pieces, before an adoption plan is advocated and completed. And then consider how one more player in the adoption-triad often gets over-looked or underestimated in terms of the real force and power behind adoption fraud, and illegal adoption practice. Written in February, 2010:
All the corruption, the lies, the false stories, the fake documents, the bogus testamonies... it all sorta makes a little more sense, now, doesn't it?
Why any American will still want to involve him/herself in an ICA plan is beyond me. Really. It ain't like we got no kids in America to adopt! (But we all know, "desperate PAP's" always have their reasons....)