And one of the most successful human trafficking scams is run by no other than the Christian World Adoption, included in yesterday's post decrying the closing of adoption from Guatemala. Yes, there true orphans in Ethiopia--up to five million--but the disgusting tactics of Christian World Adoptions encourages families and women to give up their children simply because they are poor. It's the crassest of proselytizing to raise new Christians; left behind with their tears and memories are the mothers, these women who are our sisters in sorrow and grief. Yet here is how the adoptions are sold at the Christian World Adoptions website:
Ethiopia AdoptionEthiopia Adoption Program
Christian World is very pleased to be among the first U.S. agencies authorized and accredited to have an Ethiopia adoption program. The Ethiopia adoption program is our largest program, and each year we place over 200 children from Ethiopia with loving, forever families.A recent documentary called Fly Away Children by journalist Andrew Geoghegan for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation shows the tactics used to convince women to give up their children. The women are promised updates and information every three months, only to hear nothing. The families who come to take their children are advised to come in and out of the country quickly so as not to be aware of what is really going on, or they send someone to pick up the child so as to not touch down in the country at all. Often children are advertised as healthy--videos you can watch on your computer are available--only to have multiple life-threatening problems.
As Geoghegan reports in Fly Away Children:
Across the city, hotel foyers have become clearing houses, departure lounges for many families and their adopted children. This is the scene in just one hotel in Addis Ababa. And the website You Tube is plastered with new parents’ home movies.
The crude reality is that children have become a big Ethiopian export....
Ethiopia is not a signatory to the Hague Convention which requires international adoption be used only as a last resort. So as a result, a completely unregulated industry has grown up. More than 70 agencies operate here, almost half are unregistered. Corruption, fraud and deception are rife.
The movie takes just under a half hour to watch but is worth your time--especially if you are thinking of adopting from a foreign country. Included is a family from Palm Beach, Florida who went to Ethiopia to take three children from their mother, a pastor and his wife, who were facing the empty-nest syndrome because their three sons were grown and gone. Why did it not occur to them simply to find a woman who needed help and support her so she could raise her own children? In most African countries, $25 to $50 a month will provide a family with a good living.These people live in Palm Beach, one of the wealthiest communities in the country, and it was obvious they could support several families if their goal was to actually help others. No, their goal was to fill their house with children. And certainly they are being congratulated and praised for taking all three siblings. But instead of helping, they put additional pressure on the suppliers to come up with more children to harvest for the American market. Do they piss me off? Oh yeah. Because it's all done under the rubric of "doing good" but they are Doing Bad by taking children who have a mother--but who is simply too poor to raise them. Christian? Hardly.
They might also consider helping the family, also featured in the ABC report, that ended up caring for a seriously ill child whose drugs cost nearly $750 a month. They were told the child they picked out of the sales lineup of photos was healthy, but instead has multiple problems, and they, quite courageously, are making do.
Parents who adopt from other cultures need to be absolutely sure that they are not taking stolen children, that the children they adopt are true orphans. But in their desire to have a child, many simply look away, and say, Not my child. If you don't think it can happen to you, read this story about a child kidnapped in India and sold for just over $300. He is being raised in the Midwest. The other day at the beach I saw a woman with two little girls, one obviously her biological daughter,the other obviously Indian. Who are her real parents? I thought. Was this another kidnapped child whose family wonders what happened to their beautiful daughter? And she was beautiful. A prime candidate for kidnapping.
The whole business of harvesting children to feed the international market for babies reeks of corruption and deceit and fraud. Call it humanitarian, and you are deluding yourself. Harvesting children from other cultures and countries is the whole trafficking of children. I am reminded of The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood's book about a class of women who are recruited to have children for others. Sadly, it has become a reality in our lifetime.--lorraine
Note: To make this even more sickening, when I edited this post as a reader suggested, I got an ad for Ethiopia Adoption...from an International Adoption site. As well as three other ads-just in case I had a baby to give up in an "open adoption." I'm going to give Google a piece of my mind.