Thursday, July 17, 2008

UNICEF & Adoptions

I have had questions from you as to why UNICEF gets involved in adoptions. Below, I am re-posting a post that I had written for my other blog on December 13, 2007. It was a report based on a meeting that I had with UNICEF in Haiti:

December 13, 2007

I do not have much time on the computer, but I wanted to give a quick update. I met with Adriano Gonzalez-Regueral, he is the main Unicef representative in Haiti. Also, present was Claude Mane, his title isAdministrateur adjoint de Project Protection de l'Efant.

I was told that UNICEF is concerned with trafficking of children in adoptions.

Adoptions to France came up in our discussion since 500+ children went to France in 2006 from Haiti. I need to know more about French adoption laws and their safeguards against child trafficking.

For adoptions by families in the U.S. there is an orphan investigation before a child can come to the U.S. that is supposed to determine that everything was proper, etc.

Anyway... there is a lot more to tell... one of the comments he made was "There are too many children adopted in Haiti" for inter-country adoptions. (I think that comment was very telling.)

I told him about the problem in the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and he asked me to provide alist of kids whose files are still in MOI who have been there for more than 2 months. He also asked me to identify the kids that are sick and/or have special needs. He said that UNICEF cannot "implement but can only support"...but he agreed that the children should not be waiting this long for passport approvals.

I am going back next week Wednesday or Thursday with the list of kids who are stuck in MOI...please can you guys help me with that? He said that this was the first time hearing about an MOI problem and that he usually deals on the Minister Level and not in the lower levels where things "get done".

One other comment he made was that though he is sympathetic toward adoptive parents, his focus is on the children and he is not fighting for the rights of adoptive parents.

I agreed with him and said that children should not end up being the victims of the cleaning up of a system of adoptions that supposedly includes children that have been sold to be adopted.

What is happening with children who are already adopted and are waiting for months for passport approval is one of the "fall outs" of the "preventing" of child selling/buying. Bottom line, the children are suffering and the children have a right to be with their families who adopted them.

In our discussion, he made a comment that there are women who sell their babies to adoption organizations and then use the money to provide for their other children at home. I asked him if he had concrete proof of that happening.

He said, "Yes." But then he changed the subject and would not come back to that part of the conversation. The positive part of the meeting is that the Unicef representative is willing to ask about the files that are stuck in MOI, though, of course he explained (as mentioned above) that he has no power, but he can support.

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