DanAdopt silent on closed orphanage

Date: 2012-07-30
Source: politiken.dk

AF DORRIT SAIETZ

Det private danske adoptionsbureau DanAdopt har store problemer med sine operationer i Etiopien, som er det land, organisationen henter suverænt flest børn hjem fra.

Det private børnehjem Enat Alem, som er en helt central samarbejdspartner for DanAdopt, har nu fået lukket to af sine tre børnehjem af de etiopiske myndigheder.

Enat Alems børnehjem i byen Assela blev for fire måneder siden lukket af de lokale myndigheder, angiveligt fordi der var rod i regnskaberne, og fordi børnehjemmet ikke opfyldte lovens krav om at støtte børn i lokalsamfundet med velgørende arbejde.

Desuden havde børnehjemmet ikke tilladelse til at involvere sig aktivt i adoptionssager.

Lokalt kontor sagde intet videre
DanAdopts egen medarbejder i Addis Abeba vidste godt, at det var myndighederne, der skred ind. Det har hun, Denkai Hadgu, bekræftet over for Politiken. Men hun har ikke sagt det videre til hovedkvarteret i Danmark.

»Vi var ikke vidende om, at det var myndighederne, der havde lukket Assela. Vi havde modtaget en besked om, at Assela-børnehjemmet var lukket, men har ikke tillagt det yderligere betydning«, siger Marianne Wung-Sung, direktør for DanAdopt, som giver udtryk for, at hun har fuld tillid til sine lokale medarbejdere, på trods af at de tilsyneladende har fejlinformeret hende.

Trusler og falske løfter
Den etiopiske pige Amys mor, Genet Kedir, som er bosat i Assela, var øjenvidne til, at de lokale myndigheder konfiskerede børnehjemmets inventar under en politiaktion.

Over for hende har direktøren Ato Aderejew endvidere afgivet falske løfter om støtte til søsterens uddannelse, truet moderen med politi og fængsel og tilbageholdt rapporter med billeder af hendes børn. Dette har DanAdopt trods gentagne henvendelser afvist at forholde sig til.

»Politikens personlige oplevelser og meninger er ikke noget, DanAdopt kan kommentere«, siger DanAdopts direktør, Marianne Wung-Sung.

Skal straks informere
DanAdopt arbejder under opsyn af familieretsafdelingen under Ankestyrelsen, som også skal godkende samarbejdet med de enkelte børnehjem i Etiopien. Og DanAdopt har pligt til at rapportere om de problemer, der måtte opstå.

»Hvis der foregår noget derude, de er i tvivl om, skal de med det samme informere os«, har kontorchef i Ankestyrelsen Trine Hede tidligere gjort klart.

DanAdopt har først nu, efter at Politiken har spurgt til sagen, meddelt Ankestyrelsen, at børnehjemmet er lukket, oplyser souschef i Ankestyrelsen Lene Conrad.

»Vi vil nu vurdere, om DanAdopt har foretaget korrekt orientering af de danske myndigheder«, siger hun.

»En manglende underretning kan i sagens natur få alvorlige konsekvenser alt efter en konkret vurdering af oplysningernes karakter«.

35 lukkede børnehjem
Heller ikke da de etiopiske myndigheder sidste år lukkede Enat Alems børnehjem i den sydlige Awassa-region, var det direkte fra DanAdopt, Ankestyrelsen fik besked.

Oplysningen kom i stedet indirekte fra den anden danske organisation, AC Børnehjælp, som også arbejder i Etiopien, hvorefter Ankestyrelsen selv måtte bede DanAdopt om en redegørelse.

Børnehjemmet var et blandt 35, som blev lukket, da de etiopiske myndigheder foretog en større inspektionsrunde for at luge ud i et vildtvoksende antal private mere eller mindre lovlige børnehjem, der er vokset frem som del af den etiopiske adoptionsindustri.

De lukker det, fordi den dag, de inspicerer Enat Alem, er direktøren der ikke selv, og de kan ikke få adgang til journalerne
Marianne Wung-Sung, DanAdopt
Forældre betaler over 100.000 kroner
Der er mange penge på spil, for udenlandske familier betaler over 100.000 kroner for at adoptere et barn, og hvis bare en tredjedel af dette beløb går til de formidlende børnehjem, er det formuer efter etiopisk standard.

»I Awassa-regionen var adoptionsindustrien eksploderet, efter at filmstjernen Angelina Jolie i 2005 hentede et adoptivbarn«, fortæller programdirektør Sarah Guebreyes fra African Child Policy Forum.

Dårlige forhold
På mange af børnehjemmene var forholdene dårlige, og papirerne var ikke i orden. I Enat Alems tilfælde var der blandt andet ikke det nødvendige personale, lød begrundelsen for lukningen.

Men Marianne Wung-Sung fra DanAdopt har ikke set dette som et problem for samarbejdet med Enat Alem:

»De lukker det, fordi den dag, de inspicerer Enat Alem, er direktøren der ikke selv, og de kan ikke få adgang til journalerne – og fordi der mangler personale. Vi har efterfølgende taget en del møder med Ato Aderejew. Han har en advokat på sagen og vil rigtig gerne åbne igen«, siger hun.

For mange hittebørn
I 2009 optræder Enat Alem i øvrigt i en anden sag, hvor fem børnehjem sættes på den sorte liste af de etiopiske myndigheder i forbindelse med, at et usædvanlig stort antal ’hittebørn’ over en kort periode indleveres til netop de fem børnehjem.

Ifølge en rapport, bestilt af det hollandske adoptionsbureau Wereldkind, fra oktober 2009 beordrede dommeren en nærmere undersøgelse af 154 sager om hittebørn.

»Ved nærmere eftersyn af de meget kortfattede politirapporter viste det sig dog, at der reelt ikke fandt en efterforskning sted. Ikke desto mindre blev hele verden ledt til at tro, at sagerne blev efterforsket, og at der ikke havde fundet svindel sted«, skriver Wereldkind i rapporten ’Fruits of Ethiopia – Intercountry Adoption: The Rights of the Child, or the ’Harvesting’ of Children?’.

»Naturligvis kender vi til denne undersøgelse«, lyder kommentaren fra DanAdopt.

Løj sig yngre
Det er endelig børnehjemmet Enat Alem, der har udfyldt Amys papirer og skrevet, at hun var 6 år ved afrejsen til Danmark, selv om hun ifølge sin mor var næsten 10 år.

Ifølge Amy selv fik alle de store børn at vide, at de skulle lyve sig to år yngre, mens de mindre børn kunne nøjes med at sige, at de var et år yngre, end de var.

Lene Conrad fra Ankestyrelsen siger, at de oplysninger, Politiken har med fra Etiopien, nu vil indgå i det styrkede tilsyn, der i forvejen er med Etiopien.

Ikke mindst mistanken om, at børnehjemmet har truet og presset Amys mor, betegner hun som »dybt alvorlig«.



By DORRIT SAIETZ

SERIES - ADOPTION OR CHILD EXPORT

The private orphanage ENAT Alem, which is a key partner for DanAdopt, now has closed two of its three orphanages of the Ethiopian authorities.

Enate alems orphanage in the city Assela was four months ago closed by the local authorities, allegedly because it was rooted in the accounts, and because the orphanage did not meet the statutory requirements to support children in the community with charity work.

In addition, the orphanage is not allowed to become actively involved in adoption cases.

Local office said no further
DanAdopt own staff in Addis Ababa knew that it was the authorities who intervened. She has, Denkai Hadgu, confirmed to the newspaper Politiken. But she did not say it to the headquarters in Denmark.

"We were not aware that it was the authorities who had closed Assela. We had received a message that Assela-orphanage was closed, but have considered it more important, "Marianne Wung-Sung, Director of DanAdopt which expresses that she has full confidence in its local employees, despite of the apparently misinformed her.

Threats and false promises
The Ethiopian girl Amy's mother, Genet Kedir, who lives in Assela, was an eyewitness to the local authorities confiscated orphanage furniture during a police operation.

Above her, the Director Ato Aderejew also made false promises of support for his sister's education, threatened the mother with police and prison and detention reports with pictures of her children. This has DanAdopt despite repeated requests refused to relate to.

"Politiken's personal experiences and opinions is not something DanAdopt can comment," said DanAdopt director, Marianne Wung-Sung.

Must immediately inform
DanAdopt working under the supervision of the Family Law Department of the Appeals Board, which must also approve its relations with the orphanage in Ethiopia. And DanAdopt have a duty to report on any problems that may arise.

"If something is going on out there, they are in doubt, they must immediately inform us', the head of the Appeals Board Trine Heath previously made clear.

DanAdopt has only now, after Politiken has asked for the matter, informed the Appeals Board, the orphanage is closed, said deputy head of the Appeals Board Lene Conrad.

"We will now assess whether DanAdopt have made the correct orientation of the Danish authorities," she says.

"A lack of information can obviously have serious consequences depending on a specific assessment of information on the nature '.

In Awassa region was the adoption industry exploded after movie star Angelina Jolie in 2005 brought an adopted child
Sarah Guebreyes, program director, African Child Policy Forum
35 closed orphanage
Not even when the Ethiopian authorities last year closed ENAT alems orphanage in the southern Awassa region, it was directly from DanAdopt, Appeals Board was told.

This information came instead indirectly from the other Danish organization, AC International Child Support, which also work in Ethiopia, then Appeals Board even had to ask DanAdopt for an explanation.

ALSO READ UN warns of children exports

The orphanage was one of 35 that was closed when the Ethiopian authorities carried out a major round of inspections to weed out a wild growing number of private more or less legitimate orphanage that has grown up as part of the Ethiopian adoption industry.

They close it, because the day they inspect ENAT Alem, is the director who will not, and they can not get access to records
Marianne Wung-Sung, DanAdopt
Parents pay more than 100,000 dollars
There is a lot of money at stake for foreign families pay more than 100,000 dollars to adopt a child, and if just one third of this amount goes to the intermediary orphanage, it's fortunes after the Ethiopian standard.

"In Awassa region was adoption industry exploded after movie star Angelina Jolie in 2005 brought an adopted child," says program director Sarah Guebreyes from African Child Policy Forum.

Poor conditions
Many of the orphanages conditions were bad, and the papers were not in order. In ENAT alems cases were among other necessary staff, said the reasons for the closure.

But Marianne Wung-Sung from DanAdopt have not seen this as a problem of cooperation with ENAT Alem:

"They close it, because the day they inspect ENAT Alem, is the director who will not, and they can not get access to medical records - and a lack of staff. We have subsequently taken a number of meetings with Ato Aderejew. He has a lawyer on the case and would really like to open again, "she says.

For many foundlings
In 2009, acting ENAT Alem also in another case, where five orphanages put on the black list of the Ethiopian authorities in connection with an unusually large number of 'foundlings' over a short period presented for just the five orphanages.

According to a report commissioned by the Dutch adoption agency Wereldkind, in October 2009 the judge ordered an examination of 154 cases of foundlings.

"Upon closer inspection of the very brief police reports, it appeared, however, that there really was not an exploration site. Nevertheless, throughout the world led to believe that the cases were investigated, and that there had been fraud place, "writes Wereldkind in the report 'Fruits of Ethiopia - Inter Country Adoption: The Rights of the Child, or the' Harvesting 'of Children? '.

"Of course, we know of this study," was the comment from DanAdopt.

Lied younger
It is finally orphanage ENAT Alem, who completed Amy papers and wrote that she was 6 years old on departure to Denmark, although she according to her mother almost 10 years.

According to Amy even got all the big kids to know that they should lie in two years younger, while the smaller children could simply say that they were a year younger than they were.

Lene Conrad from the Appeals Board says that the information Politiken has from Ethiopia, will now be part of the enhanced surveillance that is already in Ethiopia.

Not least suspicion that the orphanage has threatened and pressured Amy's mother describes her as "deeply serious".

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