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Liberia: Uproot Criminal Child Adoption


Liberia: Uproot Criminal Child Adoption

7 February 2008


THE LATE PRESIDENT William Richard Tolbert described children as his 'precious jewels' and future leaders of the nation, endeavoring by so doing to drive home the idea that today's children are tomorrow's adults with the challenging responsibility to shoulder the affairs of the country. Some of the children of Tolbert's days are obviously today's ministers, directors, doctors, lawyers, rights' advocates to name a few.

IN ESSENCE, THE late President saw the strength of the nation in terms of the quality and quantity of its young people, whose development he considered as underpinning all calculations of national development planning and humanitarian endeavors. But current practice, especially, as an outgrowth of the war era, is the criminal enterprise of child abduction euphemistically camouflaged as adoption. In Liberia today, so called humanitarian workers including religious workers acting on catalogue orders of crafty child-seekers, come to the country under the name of benevolent institutions and establish what are referred to as orphanages. From these institutions, the good-doers capture en masse children of poverty stricken families and quickly fly them to childless couples abroad, who in turn defray their criminal deeds with mouthwatering financial rewards.

WHERE THEN IS the future of the country? What stakes have the country in these children that are carted away without future report about their wellbeing or social progress? In this way, we waste the future of our country without any national consideration of the devastating consequence this will pose for the country. We must learn to keep our children here and secure means of educating them to shoulder the future of the nation with capable leadership. In some ways, there is a similarity of slavery to the current practice of abduction now called adoption. Our ancestors, according to history were captured in the hinterland, herded to the coast and then stockpiled in the holds of ships and taken abroad to provide various forms of backbreaking agricultural supports. Instead of adults, as the current practice is, our younger ones, the tender children, Tolbert's 'Precious Jewels' are taken away in the 21st Century without public outcry or questioning by even 'authorities'.

A RECENT NEWS that provoked this analysis has it that some child adoption groups are now directly engaged in child trafficking. The disturbing news has it that two child adoption agencies Addy's Hope Adoption Agency based in Texas, USA, and Greater Love Children's Home in Liberia are at the center of controversy in this trafficking. According to the news, the two groups have succeeded in taking seven of ten children out of Liberia under the same scheme.

WE BELIEVE THAT this news is a dangerous signal of the extent to which this sad practice in our national history has evolved.

2008 Feb 7