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24/07/2009

Haut niveau de pression externe sur la Roumanie. Les États-Unis et l'Union Européenne forcent pour la réouverture des adoptions internationales.

Copiii români aflati în dificultate fac obiectul unei atractii de nestavilit din partea politicienilor europeni si americani.jpgCeci est la traduction intégrale en anglais de l'article "PRESIUNI EXTERNE LA NIVEL ÎNALT - SUA şi UE forţează redeschiderea adopţiilor internaţionale" publié le 23 juillet 2009 dans le journal roumain "Jurnalul National".

L'article a aussi été traduit en français par Kim Myung-Sook et publié sur son blog Fabriquée en Corée.

 

High Level External Pressure.
USA and EU force reopening international adoptions.

 

Jurnalul National came into possession of an official document of the U.S. Congress, in which 8 senators and 13 members of the American Congress ask the Romanian Government, since May, to reopen international adoptions. In parallel, the Committee on the Rights of the Child has given the same "advice" following the presentation of the country report of Romania in Geneva on June 5.


American lobby by the hands of Ms. Hilary Clinton



Romania has become the target of pressure from some interest groups and some foreign NGOs that fight for more than about 5 years to re-open international adoptions from Romania.

In fact, foreigners require the changing of Law 273 of 2004, which brought the regulations necessary to resume international adoptions after a suspension of over three years by the moratorium since 2001. The new law, however, accepts that  children can only be adopted by foreigners who are relatives of the children.



Trafficking in children, unable to stop


Last week has come to light a new scandal concerning the illegal adoption of two Romanian minors in Italy, which has reopened the issue of international adoptions, a real battleground between the National Authority for Protection of Child Rights and several members of the European Commission, on the sidelines, and several private groups in the U.S. and EU which require reopening pressure through adoptions made at the highest level, from Western governments to the Romanian authorities. Exclusively Jurnalul National shows you an incredible document, bearing the letterhead U.S. Congress and signed by 20 U.S. senators and congressmen.



The letter, non published until, has been given to the Foreign Minister, Cristian Diaconescu, by U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, in May, when Diaconescu was at an official visit overseas. On top of that, although the document bears the heading U.S. Congress, the signatories declare to be members of a NGO, "The Congressional Coalition on Adoption".



Although the 21 signatories state functions congressmen and senators, they claim to be a simple group of American citizens who require a change to Law 273, which forbids international adoptions of Romanian children. The letter contains two misinformations: the number of children "adoptable" in the U.S. is not 60 thousand, but 129 thousand, according to international statistics, as regards the fate of 84 thousands of Romanian children, the figure is exaggerated, it includes all children who are included in the system of child protection, reintegration into their families or are in family care in Romania.



It has to be said that the Coalition, a private body whose members are senior U.S. politicians, is an initiative of Mary Landrieu, a signatory of the letter, the U.S. senator who has strongly demanded in recent years to resume adoptions from Romania.



In July 2006, when President Traian B?sescu visited the United States Senator Mary Landrieu introduced successfully, to vote in the U.S. Senate Resolution 359, which relates only to the ban on international adoptions by the Romanian authorities. And Hilary Clinton was involved in the issue of adoption of children from Romania and Croatia. In 1995, when she was the American First Lady, she spoke in favour of the adoption of 28 children, through the foundation of a Californian pastor, Wayne Coombs, whose organization, Adams Children's Fund, had no license for international adoptions.



ROMANIA FACES INTERNATIONAL OFFENSIVE


The same pressures have resulted in recommendations for the Child Protection Committee of the UN, made following the submission of the country in Geneva from June 5, which was submitted by the Romanian delegation headed by State Secretary Ileana Savu, director of the National Authority for Child Protection. It recognized that external attempts to change legislation forcing Romanian.

Despite bans in force, Ileana Savu leans towards a compromise with countries wishing to adopt children from Romania. "There were and there is pressure. The issue concerns us, but especially to the Romanian Adoptions Office. We have found a new system for national and international adoptions. If we claim we are an EU member state, then we must find mechanisms to control what happens to our children, even if it be adopted in other countries and is not abused. It is okay to forbid a law, that of adoption, so just because we want us. have been pressure from the 90s and are still pressures, especially for children who are already in other countries that can legally remain there, " he said Ileana Savu.

Foreign Minister Cristian Diaconescu, said, exclusively for the National Official, that Romania will keep its position on the issue of international adoptions under current law. He admitted meeting and veracity of the document received from Hilary Clinton in May, meeting with the foreign ministers of Hungary and Serbia, the last Saturday, from Timisoara. "Both in terms of regulations and how they have implemented and the international relations of Romania has not anything new, so it is clear that this view does not intend to make any change we" he said.


CHILDREN, INSTRUMENT OF POLITICAL BLACKMAIL



International adoptions have become a hot topic immediately after Romania suspended this procedure in 2001. Since then, several Western governments have pressed Romanian politicians for the reopening of such adoptions, particularly through non-governmental organizations, through American congressmen and French, Italian, Spaniard and Germans Euro-parliamentarians, but also by other EU Member States . For example, reopening the international adoptions was "2" on the agenda of talks between Romanian officials and former state secretary of the U.S., Colin Powell, before the acceptance of Romania into political NATO.



Another demonstration of force was made by Silvio Berlusconi, in 2003, when he forced the hand of then Prime Minister, Adrian Nastase, for adoption by Italy of 105 children, although the moratorium signed by Romania forbade this. Interest groups have used the accession to the European Union, to ask repeatedly, to agree with the adoption of children by families in other countries.



The European Commission did a tough battle to halt international adoptions, after it emerged many cases where children were abused or have become victims of trafficking in children. The corridors of these pressures and the European Commission’s fight with the "black market of international adoptions" by foreign NGOs and politicians have been disclosed by Roelie Post, who coordinated the work for child protection in Romania, for the European Commission between 1999 and 2006. The details of this fierce lobbying and blackmail to which Romania has been subject to re-open international adoptions are presented in her book, "Romania - For Export Only, the untold story of the Romanian orphans", a book that got no attention whatsoever in our country.

 

Sources : Romanian Jurnalul National, The Sofia Echo, Terre des Hommes.

 

Les États-Unis demande à nouveau à la Roumanie la libre circulation (commerce) de ses enfants.

Le Congrès des États-Unis, c'est maintenant connu, a donné une lettre officielle au Ministre des Affaires Etrangères de la Roumanie alors qu'il était en visite de travail aux États-Unis en mai dernier, demandant la réouverture des adoptions intercontinentales en Roumanie.


Le fait que cette lettre officielle remise au Ministre Cristian Diaconescu par la Secrétaire d'État américaine Hillary Clinton a été signée par des personnes qui se déclarent membres d'une ONG, sous le nom de "Coalition du Congrès sur l'adoption", montre que même aujourd'hui, au plus haut niveau, le commerce des enfants masqué comme adoptions intercontinentales est admis aux États-Unis.


Source : Brian Douglas. Director RCHF. All Children Have Rights. 26 juillet 2009.

 

16/07/2009

La Russie bannit 113 agences d'adoption américaines.

Le ministère russe de l'Enseignement et de la Science a interdit aux organes compétents des régions russes d'accepter les demandes d'adoption transmises par 113 organisations américaines non accréditées en Russie, a annoncé la porte-parole du ministère Alina Levistkaïa.

 

Selon le ministère, 16 enfants russes sont morts au cours des 17 dernières années dans le cadre d'adoptions par des étrangers.

 

"Aujourd'hui nous n'avons pas reçu les rapports concernant 376 enfants russes. Dans la liste (des parents ne satisfaisant par les engagements), on en trouve pas une seule organisation américaine accréditée en Russie. Il ressort que celles qui sont accréditées respectent leurs engagements, les autres 113 restantes, non", a-t-elle fait savoir.

 

Les personnes ayant adopté un enfant en Russie doivent envoyer des rapports cinq, 11, 23 et 26 mois après l'adoption, avec des informations concernant son développement, sa santé, ses conditions de vie et ses contacts avec son entourage.

 

Suite à une récente rencontre entre des représentants du ministère et la secrétaire d'Etat américaine adjointe Michele Bond, la partie américaine se serait engagée à lever les questions en suspens concernant ces organisations.

 

Les parties ont en outre convenu de signer un accord russo-américain sur l'adoption d'enfants russes, permettant de réglementer les obligations des parents adoptifs américains.

 

"Il serait bon qu'un tel document soit signé par l'Espagne, la France, la Finlande et l'Irlande", a déclaré la porte-parole du ministère.

 

Source: RIA Novosti. 15 juillet 2009.

 

Repères

 

- Les sénateurs de Russie appellent à suspendre les adoptions d'enfants russes par des Américains.
Source : Ria Novosti. 18.12.2008

 

- L'adoption internationale se plie de plus en plus aux lois du « marché ». Cela peut mener à de nombreuses dérives. Des associations dénoncent l’emprise de l’argent sur l’adoption.
...
En Russie par exemple, il existe des « facilitateurs » qui font payer des honoraires parfois exorbitants pour mettre en relation une famille avec un orphelinat. Très souvent aussi, il faut verser une somme supplémentaire destinée à financer des projets humanitaires ou de protection de l'enfance dans le pays d'origine. Celle-ci peut être directement versée à l'autorité centrale du pays ou à l'organisme officiel qui a servi d'intermédiaire, une pratique qu'EFA (Enfance et familles d’adoption) considère comme « normale ».
...
Source: La Croix. 28.09.2008.

15/04/2009

Confier les enfants éthiopiens aux Occidentaux ou tout faire pour les laisser grandir chez eux ?

Mariama VAI en Ethiopie.jpgMariama, la nouvelle volontaire pour l’adoption internationale, le "Peace Corps à la française" créé par Rama Yade, est arrivée en Ethiopie, le deuxième pays où les Français adoptent.


Au consulat d’Addis-Abeba, les fonctionnaires ravis se sont un peu emmêlés les pinceaux en accueillant cette grande jeune fille aux cheveux en pétards. « Ah voilà, notre VIA ! » (Volontariat International en Administration). Mariama sourit, très pro, serre les mains, imagine déjà où elle va installer son bureau. En réalité, elle est une VAI, un sigle encore tout neuf pour les employés des ambassades : Volontaire pour l’Adoption Internationale.

 

Embarquée dans les valises de Rama Yade pour un voyage officiel en Ethiopie durant ce week-end de Pâques 2009, cette jeune métisse de 31 ans papa guinéen, maman hollandaise n’allait pas se formaliser pour un sigle écorché : elle est la seule (La journaliste a oublié Elodie Chemarin qui est déjà en Ethiopie depuis février 2009), parmi les dix premiers volontaires missionnés dans les pays où les Français adoptent, à avoir la chance de faire un voyage de repérage avec la secrétaire d’Etat aux Droits de l’homme.


« Je vais avoir du boulot »


Il faut dire que l’Ethiopie est un « gros morceau » du programme si cher à Rama Yade, pour ce réseau de volontaires comparables à des Peace Corps américains, chargés de tendre la main aux associations sur le terrain, très en amont de l’adoption. Cet Etat mythique de la corne de l’Afrique est devenu, sans bruit, le deuxième pays où les Français adoptent, derrière Haïti. Et à voir les dossiers dans des cartons alignés dans le bureau du consul, le nombre de visas accordés enfle tous les ans… Ce qui soulève beaucoup d’espoir chez les 30 000 candidats à l’adoption en France et inquiète ceux qui pensent aussitôt « dérives » .

 

« Je ne suis pas là pour augmenter ou faire baisser ce chiffre, précise d’emblée Mariama. Ma mission sera d’harmoniser, d’être une sorte de pont pour que tout le monde soit rassuré. » Dans les orphelinats, les associations et les ONG, « sister Mariama » est accueillie avec espoir, sympathie et un peu de circonspection par des messieurs fiers de montrer les cases en parpaings fraîchement balayées où les enfants jouent avec des Barbie démantibulées, les salles de classes sommaires remplies de bouilles sombres mangées par des grands yeux craquants.

 

«Il y a du chauffage ? » s’inquiète la jeune volontaire en visitant le dortoir d’un orphelinat pour les 5-12 ans où vingt lits superposés sont alignés sous le regard de la Vierge Marie. « Je découvre. Trente-deux filles dans une même pièce, c’est beaucoup… ».
Au final, 5 % seulement seront adoptées. « Les Américains, les Français, les Espagnols, ils veulent tous des petits », soupire le directeur. Mariama sait que ce sera compliqué. Penser aux enfants, à ce qui est le mieux pour eux. En Ethiopie, le taux de fécondité des femmes tourne autour de six enfants. Et leur espérance de vie plafonne à 43 ans.

 

Des milliers, peut-être des millions d’enfants sont orphelins. Mais il y a aussi des enfants des rues qui pourraient, moyennant un soutien à des associations, réintégrer leur famille d’origine. Même les Ethiopiens ne sont pas d’accord sur le bon choix : confier leurs enfants aux Occidentaux ou tout faire pour les laisser grandir chez eux ?
« Je vais avoir du boulot », concède Mariama, qui entrera en fonction dans un mois.


Source: Le Parisien. 14.04.2009

 

Repères

- Adoption in Ethiopia
Capsule overview of adoption issues
News reports of adoption irregularities
The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism

10/04/2009

129.000 enfants américains sont actuellement en attente d'adoption.

LA TONYA FRELIX.jpgIs international adoption about passion or trend ?


Just last week Madonna was denied the option to adopt a Malawi child, and as a result, blogs and commentary boards are abuzz on whether celebrities should adopt from overseas.

 

There's nothing wrong with giving a child a home, stable environment and loving parents. Does Madonna really have to adopt internationally to help a child become a productive adult? My first thought goes to all the children in the U.S. who are without mothers and fathers and are awaiting someone like a Madonna or Angelina Jolie to come in and sweep them out of the system.

 

According to the Dave Thomas Foundation, 129,000 American children are currently awaiting adoption. And while 79,000 children were approved for adoption last year, only 51,000 found homes through the foster care system, leaving 28,000 American children without adoptive families last year alone.

 

I'm not knocking the process and the intention, but why not seek a domestic adoption before heading overseas?

 

The Adoption Guide Web site breaks the financial costs:

- The majority of domestic newborn adoptions cost less than $25,000, while more than 75 percent of international adoptions cost more than $20,000.

- The majority of adoptions from Ethiopia and China cost between $15,000 and $25,000.

- The majority of adoptions from Russian and Guatemala cost more than $30,000.

 

Money may not be an object for Madonna, but what if she adopted locally and used whatever money she would have spent on adopting the Malawian girl on a charity?

 

I don't know what the time frame is on domestic adoptions versus international adoptions, but I recall one blog post stating some countries are tightening the laws making it difficult to adopt if the prospective parents are from another country. Is it really worth the hassle if you have children at home in dire needs as well?

 

What's the old saying? Oh, yeah. "Charity starts at home."

 

E-mail: lfrelix@hattiesburgamerican.com.


Source : Hattiesburg american.

 

01/04/2009

En Ukraine, le Département de l'Adoption subit des pressions énorme. Liudmila Volynets.

Liudmila Volynets.jpg"Adoption Department is under terrific pressure” – says Liudmila Volynets

 
Head of the Ukraine’s State Department for Adoption informs about progress and problems of this government agency.
Ministry of Ukraine for Family, Youth and Sport is currently summing up the results of National Adoption Support Year. The Minister in charge Yuri Pavlenko is proud to state that the number of adopted children has finally exceeded the number of bereaved ones

 

According to the year results, 19,554 of orphaned children and children devoid of parental care have found families. It was in the year 2008, that the number of children adopted by citizens of Ukraine climbed above two thousand; fourteen of them were HIV-positive. "These children have finally implemented their right to be upbrought in Ukrainian families” – observed Pavlenko. “The ministry staff feel hopeful that the positive trend remains unchanged, and they have a good reason for that: nearly a thousand and five hundred applications have lately been filed by the Ukrainians, intending to adopt.”

 

Besides, it would be instructive to recall that last year the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted in favour of the amendments to the law “On the State Aid to Families with Children” and “On the Introduction of Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts”. This law provides a lump-sum benefit of 12, 240 hryvnias for the adopting family; the same amount of money is usually paid as a first child maternity grant. The Cabinet of Ministers has also established a work procedure to be followed by guardianship and custody bodies as they promote and safeguard the rights of children; as well as the procedure for adoption and the subsequent monitoring of the adopted children’s rights implementation. As a result, on and after the 1st of December the adoption procedure substantially changed. Among the most welcome changes is the access to information on children who are available for adoption. The law stipulates that the information has to be disseminated through mass media in order to make it accessible for the public. The categories of children available for adoption have also been clearly determined, the legal basis and relevant documents have been specified. And furthermore, officials at all levels are now personally liable for every particular child’s destiny.

 

Sure enough, the Department staff speak not only of the accomplishments, but also of problems. For instance, some officials and public figures extensively criticize the measures taken by the government as well as the state policy in the field of children’s rights protection. But most of the trouble has been caused by middlemen, who allegedly help foreign families to adopt Ukrainian children and charge $30,000-$50,000 for their services. This is precisely what gives rise to talk of public officers’ supposedly corrupt practice. “They come to the Department and make impudent demands. The system that appears to have been formed in the early nineties has penetrated deep into the country and affected boarding schools, orphanages and maternity hospitals”- says Yuri Pavlenko. But international adoption can by no means be prohibited! There have been numerous examples of foreign families giving no less than a new life and new opportunities to special needs children with severe disabilities. “However, we clearly give a higher priority to the national adoption”- goes on the minister. “If a foreign family and a Ukrainian one are willing to adopt one and the same child, the preference will decidedly be given to the citizens of Ukraine. This is what a moratorium year is meant for. Therefore, according to statistics we have no children less than three years old available for adoption. Foreign families adopt either children over 7 years old or severely disabled ones.”

 

Liudmila Volynets, the head of the State Department for Adoption and Protection of Children’s Rights, tells that the Hague Convention would be a great benefit in the matter of a full-fledged protection for children adopted by foreign families, and counteraction to corrupt middlemen. Unfortunately, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has already three times failed to ratify the Hague Convention.


Liudmila Semenovna, the National Adoption Support Year has already elapsed. What kind of a year was it for you?

The year results are habitually evaluated in figures, and we have positively succeeded in making these figures grow; yet I here would like to mention something entirely different. My primary objective is to make changes in mass consciousness of Ukrainian society; that is to alter people’s attitude about children who got into trouble and to develop their willingness to help. I am sure that all Ukrainians have become changed people in the course of past three years. Incidentally, “The All-Ukrainian Forum of Adoptive Parents" was there to persuade the public that there are people who are prepared to voluntarily commit themselves to giving orphans care and upbringing, and they are not scarce. It may be said that we are not the kind of people we sometimes seem to be. There are so many good people among us! We do have something to be proud about. Hence that is the major result of the year for me. Actually, as we held an opinion poll, it has been found that 14% of Ukrainians think themselves ready to adopt orphans into their families. Many of them are friends and acquaintances of people who have already made this important move. And it means that the more children are adopted and fostered, the more families are willing to adopt. It could be compared to a stone dropped into a pool of water generating many circular waves. Yet I regret to say that we have not exactly been successful in inspiring people to openly speak about the adoption of a child and the other people to look with favour on this fact. Meanwhile, we are unable to escape the absurd known as adoption secrecy.

 

This is exactly what I wanted to ask: does the adoption secrecy still exist? Are the guardianship authorities obliged to monitor the life of adopted children in their new families?

Adoption secrecy law is still in place. Adoptive parents have the right to preserve adoption secrecy, yet they may decide for themselves whether to keep it or not. Unlike parents, the officials are obliged to keep the information secret. Meanwhile, it makes families’ monitoring easier. For instance, a District Education Department representative can come and see a demonstration lesson. While sitting in class, the child will have no notion that it's him or her who this person has come to look at. Therefore, one needs to understand the way monitoring is performed. And we teach this understanding to public employees.

Minister Yuri Pavlenko spoke lately about pressure that is being put on you personally by people who deem the state’s adoption policy inadequate.
I can not discuss the matter at this very moment. Yet I have already filed a lawsuit to defend my hohour, dignity and professional reputation.

 

That means the pressure does exist, am I right?

 

Yes, you are. There is terrific pressure. Nevertheless, I would rather not give actual examples as long as each of the parties should be able to speak their respective minds, but I would like to highlight that the pressure is appalling. To begin with, the pressure is being exerted by foreign citizens that come to Ukraine to adopt a child. Their infertility has caused them a lot of suffering, so they are desperate to take action; they have travelled a long way to Ukraine and they must needs adopt. Still, they are often not very well prepared for the adoption and set forth fanciful conditions. And the children who have been orphaned and need to be adopted are not able to comply with their demands. For example, last week we received a family from Netherlands; they came to Ukraine to adopt twin boys less than three years old. According to their ideas, we were obliged to find them by any means. This example is the most telling one, it reveals that the prospective adoptive parents do not very well comprehend that we are not to be subject to their whims. Our Department’s primary objective is to find a family for the child, not a child for the family. Unfortunately, we have to spend most of our working hours on these wishes-to-be-met rather than work.

Another source of pressure comes from the family members that stay at home; they understand that in Ukraine young and healthy children are not available for adoption by foreigners, so they make the situation more difficult by encouraging the prospective parents to put forward demands, file complaints and brawl in order to attain their aim. All this continual instigation is downright unpleasant.

 

Officials are also putting pressure on the Department, aren't they?

 

I can show you a letter from the USA Ambassador in Ukraine; I received it through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I take it only as being pressed. Call it what you will, but when one receives a complaint being him- or herself the object of that complaint and being asked to take adequate measures – I call it pressure. The fact of the matter is that a voter turned to Senator M. MacConnell (the name of the voter being not specified) complaining of the Department administration’s prejudiced position towards the USA citizens. “According to his opinion, the present administration has set unfair limits so as not to let American citizens adopt Ukrainian children deprived of parental care,” – says the letter. The mentioned limits, though, have been established by law; specifically the law that limits the maximum age gap between the adopted child and the adoptive parent. The Ambassador goes on to say that against this background and inasmuch as repeated complaints have been filed by American citizens about inefficiency of the international adoption procedure, it should be mentioned that the represented facts do not contribute to the Ukraine’s positive image abroad. Mr. Ambassador has apparently failed to understand that debating current laws of Ukraine is beyond his scope of jurisdiction; we are to obey the law and not to discuss it. It is also not correct to write a letter of this kind omitting the name of the complaining person, since I am not given the opportunity to verify the made statements as to their correspondence to facts. How can I consider the problem and inform the Embassy of the obtained results?

 

Hence follows another important question: why do you think the Verkhovna Rada repeatedly fails to ratify the Hague Convention?

 

Ukraine lived through times (in the years 1994-1996)when it was found out that many children had been taken away from the country and no further information as to their whereabouts was available. As a result, moratorium was imposed on international adoption; some members of Ukrainian Parliament remember those times. I think this is the reason they are afraid of making changes, so as not to, God forbid, make matters worse. Sure enough, avoiding changes we shall aggravate the situation and make it even nastier than it was in mid-nineties. It must be understood that there is a procedure accepted by the global community! The Convention opponents keep assuring that pressure from the adopting countries will immediately follow. Aren’t we experiencing it now? Of course we are. We will feel pressure as long as the international adoption exists; any country unable to take care of its children will put them up for international adoption.

It should also be remembered that consideration of a draft law may be initiated only once over the Parliament convocation period. It failed to secure the necessary vote in 2006, but the Convention still has a chance since a new Parliament was elected in 2007.

 

So when will the Hague Convention be ratified after all?

 

The President has already introduced the law in draft for consideration of the Parliament. If the lawmakers get their work properly done, the law will be passed by the parliament in two or three months; Order of the Cabinet of Ministers will then be issued in another six months. And we would most like to make our way into the new decade with the new adoption procedure.

 

Is the middlemen’s access to the Department limited now?

 

Unfortunately, it is not. This kind of activity is permitted by article 243 of the Civil Code; as long as the article remains in its place, there’s no restraining them.

 

Have any middlemen been punished for their malpractice?

Everything is just on the contrary, they file complaints against us. Middlemen are individual persons and are therefore better protected than public officers.

 

Have any public officials been punished for bribetaking?

There was an episode of this kind in Kherson region. The judge of the Kherson Dneprovsky Court took a bribe and was caught red-handed by officers of the Security Service of Ukraine. Previously we received a claim from adoptive parents that money was being squeezed from them. It happened so that she was acquitted. Nevertheless, the public prosecutor who took part in that court session has already filed a cassation petition to the Supreme Court in order to falsify the judgement.

Do adoptive parents often report bribe demands?

 

There are more complaints against middlemen, than against public officers; most of the complaints are filed by foreign citizens. Consequently, if any case of corrupt practice becomes known to someone, this person should not hesitate to address his or her complaints to our Department. Yet foreigners often speak neither Ukrainian nor Russian language, so they cannot file a complaint. It usually happens like this: the Department employees say one thing; the middlemen translate for the foreigners something entirely different. The middlemen sometimes do not inform the adoptive parents of the child’s disabilities, or vice versa – present the child as a disabled one. In such a manner they present a diseased or disabled child as a healthy one, or hold the child for some other family.

 

Do you know these middlemen by sight?

They are always there at the Department door! They have become a part of our employees’ everyday life. Whereas the Hague Convention ratification would give us the basis for amending the legislation of Ukraine. We need adequate laws and time so as to establish order and eliminate the abnormal profits drawn by middlemen. They assure the foreigners that the money is needed for “communication" with public officers, but I am certain that no corrupt practice can ever be exercised in the State Department for Adoption and Protection of Children’s Rights.

 

Source : Orphanages of Zaporozhye, Ukraine 

15/03/2009

Les adoptions internationales par les Américains deviennent très difficiles.

International adoptions by Americans get really tough.jpgInternational adoptions by Americans get really tough



Katie Houser tried to adopt a child from Honduras four years ago, but gave up when that country's government stopped releasing children.

Late last year, she shifted her focus to Ethiopia, where the process was taking about six months.

But in the few months since she filed the paperwork, the time frame to adopt a child there has expanded to a year or more, and she expects it will keep lengthening.

"I have friends who did three separate adoptions from Ethiopia in two years," said Mrs. Houser, of North Huntingdon. "Mine will probably take a year, if I'm lucky."

It's not as if she's childless in the meantime. Mrs. Houser and her husband, Dale, already have adopted 14 children from the U.S. foster care system.

Kristy and Bill McCorkle, on the other hand, have yet to become parents. When they signed up to adopt a baby from China, the time frame was one year. That was nearly three years ago, and the North Apollo couple is still waiting.

"We've heard a lot of different things on why it's taking so long," Mrs. McCorkle said. "They're doing more domestic adoptions, and things slowed down during Chinese New Year and the Olympics."

If the narrowed pipeline continues at its current pace, they should be on track to have a child assigned to them in the next few months. After the McCorkles receive a photograph and information about their daughter, they expect to wait at least two more months before traveling to China to finalize the adoption and bring her home.

"It's long, hard and frustrating and it pulls on your heartstrings," Mrs. McCorkle said, "but deep down we know it'll be worth it in the end."

These stories reflect the new reality of international adoption. Americans last year adopted 12 percent fewer children from abroad, according to the U.S. State Department -- www.adoption.state.gov.

The reasons include increased delays and red tape, crackdowns on baby trafficking and other unethical practices, moratoriums, fluctuating regulations and the tanking U.S. economy.

The drop occurred after the three most popular countries for child-seeking U.S. parents saw programs shut down amid allegations of fraud and corruption (Guatemala, the No. 1 program last year); imposed new restrictions or slowed the process to a crawl (China, No. 2); or launched incentives for domestic families to adopt internally (Russia, No. 3, and China).

As children from these places become less available, families are seeking alternative source countries, such as Ethiopia, which last year had the biggest increase of American placements (from 1,255 to 1,725), and South Korea (from 939 to 1,065).

The peak year for intercountry adoptions by Americans was 2004, with 22,884. Last year, the number fell by more than 5,000 to 17,438 -- down from 19,613 the year before. That total is the lowest since 1999.

Even as the number of available children declines, Americans find themselves lining up with citizens of other nations who increasingly want to adopt. At the same time, the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, an international agreement drafted to safeguard children, is creating new rules and restrictions for its signatories.

Meanwhile, millions of orphans worldwide have no permanent families. The situation in Guatemala is thought to be especially dire.

Guatemala signed onto the Hague Convention after allegations of baby selling, but has not been able to implement the treaty's rules. That country's program was run by Guatemala's private sector, which has dropped out of the picture during the moratorium.

Without a state-run system in place, the country has no place for babies to be safely relinquished, spurring reports that abandoned infants are dying.

"Adoption abuses have been a terrible embarrassment and cannot be tolerated," said Chuck Johnson, chief operating officer of the National Council for Adoption in Washington, D.C.

"Domestic adoption is always preferable, but the problem is that when you shut a country down, a place like Guatemala or Vietnam has no ability to take care of the children," he said. "You end up doing more harm than you've prevented by stopping the abuses. But the State Department takes another view. They say we need a moratorium until we fix the system."

As demand rises, new programs begin to take more time to deliver children, too.

"Ethiopia is exploding in terms of the amount of people getting on board to adopt," said Mrs. Houser, who works in Greensburg for the Pittsburgh office of Adoptions from the Heart.

"When a program first opens, people approach it with fear and trepidation because it's uncharted water," she said. "Once they get a reference from an agency about a successful adoption that went quickly, more and more people pile on.

"What was quick and smooth becomes like every place else -- longer waiting lists and a more drawn-out process. The programs get overwhelmed."


Over time, some countries of origin have come to see the outplacement of so many children as a blow to their national pride.

In an interview last year with The New York Times, Kim Dong-won, who oversees adoptions at his country's Ministry of Health, put it this way: "South Korea is the world's 12th largest economy and is now almost an advanced country, so we would like to rid ourselves of the international stigma or disgrace of being a baby-exporting country."

With the foreign adoption picture in constant flux, a third of the U.S. agencies that specialized in international placements or related services have closed their doors or merged with others. Some had problems with accreditation. Others were hurt by availability of children and the economic downturn's effect on a costly process in which costs for adoptive families can run into thousands of dollars.

"Five years ago we estimated 600 agencies or facilitators doing intercountry adoption," Mr. Johnson said. "Now we believe that 200 have quit providing services. It's a pretty big hit, and we expect more to close. We've had four consecutive years of decrease, so it's not just the economy."

One such case involved the multisite Commonwealth Adoptions International. In 2007, its Cranberry office handled 181 adoptions from Guatemala, its biggest program. The agency has since shut down nationwide.

Other agencies, such as Adopt-A-Child Inc. in Squirrel Hill, are weathering the storm. The agency specializes in Russian adoption, and clinical director Amy Jonas said it continues to place an average of 70 to 100 children a year.

"Russians are being paid to adopt domestically now, so there are fewer children available for international adoption," Ms. Jonas said. "We can place a boy in less than a year but girls are in higher demand so it takes about a year and a half."

Still other agencies have refocused their efforts on placing domestic children, even though the trend toward open adoption -- in which adoptive and birth parents remain in contact -- makes many Americans leery.

"Not all families are receptive to domestic adoption because it seems riskier," said Debbie Cohen, local director of Adoptions from the Heart, which has increased its domestic adoptions.

"Some people aren't comfortable having ongoing contact with the birth parents, and 99 percent of [domestic] birth parents today want that."

Domestic adoption is also harder for singles, she said, because many birth parents want their children to have two parents. Even so, she said, she placed 166 domestic babies last year, compared to 131 the year before.

"One of the big factors is the economy," Ms. Cohen said. "You may have a birth mother already parenting one or two children who doesn't feel she can financially care for a third right now."

Mr. Johnson of the National Council for Adoption expects that to continue.

"About 22,000 infants are relinquished for adoption by birth parents every year," he said. "That number will increase as the economy worsens."

Still, he said, domestic adoption from the foster care system hasn't risen much. Of the 500,000 children in foster care at any time, about 129,000 are available for adoption, but only 50,000 are placed each year. And for every child who gets a permanent family, one or more enters the system.

As for international adoption, he said, the numbers are likely to continue downward. The 2008 total reflects cases from Guatemala and Vietnam that were in the pipeline, and those programs have since shut down.

"I think we'll see families reconsidering intercountry adoptions because of the expense and the drop in value of the dollar," Mr. Johnson said. "With the exception of Ethiopia, I think the days of a country like China allowing so many adoptions to take place are over."

Meanwhile, Ms. Jonas of Adopt A Child said, "Kids are waiting, people desperately want to parent a child, and there's a big gap in between."

Sally Kalson can be reached at skalson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1610.



Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 15.03.2009

27/01/2009

Belgium heading to facilitate adoptions which creates new mazes for childtrade and trafficking.

UAI-NL.jpg[Via UNITED ADOPTEES INTERNATIONAL - NEWS.]


Adopter and Politician(s) directly involved in new proposal to adapt Belgium Adoption law. American perspectives happily copied in Belgium.


Adopter and politician Else De Wachter says that, her proposal for a faster adoption procedure is ready. She pleads for a swift and continues adoption program were the adopters will have a longer validity of their adoption request compared to the present situation.


The tricky part is - what she states on her own website- that she is planning to facilitate adoptions, instead of protecting the procedure. She even hints to the Hague Adoption Treaty as explaination, but as she must know, the treaty does not provide such a concept as facilitate adoptions and the recruitment for new adoption channels.


Again Belgium shows, after years of scandals involving children, that they are slow learners and not willing to understand, that children are not for sale and a trade off of commodities. Nor there should be a distribution channel organized by the local, national or regional governments.


With a history of child molest, rape, pedophilia, child trade, murder and baby killings (last week) such a proposal should awaken the Belgium public to protest. But with structural lack of knowledge and the aim to please adopters instead of protecting children and their parents the development for new scandals is born.


Adoption is a last resort and should be a measure of protection instead of a facility. Children Rights First !


Bron : UNITED ADOPTEES INTERNATIONAL - NEWS.


- Voorstel voor nieuw Vlaams adoptie-decreet
Mijn adoptiedecreet is klaar en hopelijk kunnen we hiermee een doorbraak veroorzaken in de lange buitenlandse adoptieprocedure! 
Verder lezen op de blog van Else De Wachter. 24 januari 2009.

 

- What has changed since Rome and the Romans

Belgium Senator Schelfhout, who childtrafficked a child from Congo for 'illegal adoption' finds the responses of her fellow politicians to easy and heading for electoral gain she says on her blog.


After the responses and critics of Mrs. De Wachter (see article after this one), waiting for a child by adoption also and fellow Senator Anne Delvaux, who's adoption mother of a child from China and awaiting another one from another 'uncontrolled' adoption country Mali. Ms, Schelfhout presents herself moderate in the Belgium Newspaper De Standaard.


But reading her comments on her blog, she is attacking silently her opponents and heading just like De Wachter for easier and faster adoption procedures. Belgium will become the new trade route for children as the ideas of all these Moms and to wish to become one, will be granted in the Belgium Parliament. Due the fact, that the Belgium Parliament ended up in their own storm and incapability of running the parlaiment lately, no one will really care about his issue. Compared to the adoption issue, the national one, of course has prioirty. The ideal season for people like Schelfhout, De Wachter and Delvaux.

No one of these women thinks about the consequences of their own emotions and lack of knowledge and understanding regarding the International Adoption issue. Indeed, somehow this all is about electoral gain. Foremost the ones who have no children and want to have one. Trafficking and Trading children for International Adoption seems to have no shame any more.

Lets throw away Human Rights and Children rights. Politicians first. What has changed since Rome ?

From UAI-News.


- Graag een ernstige discussie over de adoptieprocedure.
- Affaire Schelfhout. Mélanges confus entre humanitaire et adoption.