exposing the dark side of adoption
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Case study: Nepali boy adopted in France


Joseph Aguettant, Nepal's country director for Terre des hommes charity, has documented 68 cases of children who have been adopted abroad even though they have parents who can look after them in Nepal.

He tells the story of one Nepalese family divided by an adoption into an overseas family.


The case involved a poor construction worker in Kathmandu who had two children - a boy and a girl.

When his wife left him for another man, this worker found it hard to look after the children.

Although he sent them to a local school, he was unable to pay the fees and the school threatened to evict the children.

Then he was approached by an orphanage - known in the local area as the "foreign orphanage" because of the large number of foreigners who visited it.

This orphanage negotiated to take in these children, in exchange for paying their school fees.

The father agreed to this. He was later told that a foreign woman was interested in his son, though didn't pay much attention to this at the time.

His son then disappeared.

Terre des hommes became involved in this case when a woman contacted them from France to say she was worried about the status of the Nepalese orphan she had adopted.

She said that as soon as this boy began speaking French, he started asking about his mother and father, and told her he was worried about who was going to look after his little sister.

The charity was able to trace this boy's father - the construction worker in Kathmandu.

Eventually, the French adoptive mother returned to Kathmandu so her son could meet his real family again.

The child is now legally French and remains adopted in France.

However, the French mother keeps in touch with his biological family and pays for his sister to be educated.

2010 Feb 4