I've had no less than four readers send me this link! I'm impressed how quickly people are responding. I had planned to post this later this week but since so many people are sending me the story, here it is.
Personal note, I was bawling after watching this documentary. I was also incredibly angry.
From ABC News Australia – an article by Mary Ann Jolley for Foreign Correspondent
Foreigners prefer younger children – babies to five-year-olds. Older
children or those with health problems are more difficult to pitch. So
while many children languish in underfunded and overcrowded orphanages,
some international adoption agencies are out spruiking in villages
asking families to relinquish their children for adoption.
It's a phenomenon known as "harvesting" and it's shocking to see.
Parents are often unaware of what they're doing when they offer
their children for adoption. They're led to believe they'll hear from
their children regularly and their children will be well educated and
eventually bring the family wealth.
But in reality, the parents and families never hear from their
children and receive little information about where their children have
gone. We filmed a room full of grieving mothers who gave their children
for adoption after agencies promised they'd be given regular updates.
Some were even told the agency would help support their remaining children. Their stories are gut-wrenching.
No one disputes there is a real need for international adoptions,
but for the sake of the children and adoptive parents there needs to be
some protection from unscrupulous agencies who purport to be driven by
humanitarian interests, but in reality are stuffing their pockets with
The entire article can be found here.
The video of it is here, click on Fly Away Children.
Also, a related story from AM radio, Australia. Ethiopian children exploited by US Agencies.To listen to this radio show, or to read the transcript, click here.
Thank you for posting this. I’ve shared this with many other parents who’ve adopted from Ethiopia and I’m touching a nerve. I know for a fact we, too, were lied to regarding many things (big medical issues, ages, background stories)…
It’s disgusting to me how so many “AP”s and “PAP”s are willing to turn a blind eye to this. I admit I was ignorant to it until I was in country bringing home my children. But, there are no more excuses.
CWA posted their response to the show today: http://www.cwa.org/response.htm
Predictably, it’s unsatisfying and directly addresses none of the charges made in the show.
On a more positive note, I am seeing APs and prospective APs deciding to press their own agencies (not CWA) for a response to these ethical issues that are surely not limited to a single agency.
A single agency? These problems are not limited to Ethiopia. This story could have been lifted straight from the coverage of Cambodia 10 years ago, Guatemala 15 years ago…
The problem is a feature of adoption from developing countries with weak or non-existent legal protections for women’s rights and weak family law. This feature permits agencies to support what may well be good works in the placing country with fees for services that are only paid by PAPs who are bringing a baby into our families.
From my perspective as an AP of a former baby–now a person with every right to pursue truthful answers about her own birth history–it’s a bug.