Trafficking for Intercountry Adoption
In 2001, I worked on a European Union project “Public Awareness Campaign to Prevent the Abandonment of Children in Romania”. It was in essence an anti-child trafficking project. Orphanages, where abandoned children ended up, were the equivalent of clearing houses in a supply chain of goods, the goods in this case being orphaned and abandoned children sold overseas.
Over 80% of children in orphanages around the world have a living parent and most are there because their parents cannot afford to feed, clothe and educate them. Children who are intercountry adopted from poor to rich countries are not simply the benefactors of philanthropy and open hearts, but are also the victims of injustice and inequality which underpins a world in which some parents are forced to give up their children through poverty.
You can read more about my work on combatting trafficking for intercountry adoption, and the alternative care of children below.
- January 2014: The Light Behind My Eyes Has Died: Poem about the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation, including the case of a child intercountry adopted to Australia for the purpose of child abuse.
- September 2013: Institutionalisation and the Children of Sex Trafficking Victims in Nepal. A background article on sex trafficking from Nepal to India, and the institutionalisation of children in Nepal. Includes a section on Intercountry adoption.
- September 2012: Ties that bind: African witchcraft and contemporary slavery. In Africa, witchcraft has become inextricably linked to the trafficking in persons for exploitation. See the section on trafficking of “miracle babies.
- July 2012: Child trafficking and intercountry adoption in Romania’s post-communist years. Book Review: Romania For Export Only, The untold story of the Romanian “orphans” by Roelie Post.
- July 2012: Adoption trade sets up shop in Africa. More than ten years on from Romania’s moratorium on intercountry adoptions, imposed after tales of trafficking networks and a black market in stolen babies, Africa is dubbed the new frontier for intercountry adoption, with a threefold rise in intercountry adoption cases in eight years, despite a global 15 year low.
- May 2012: Production of media pack for The African Child Policy Forum’s 5th International Policy Conference Intercountry Adoption: Alternatives and Controversies, including series of fact sheets:
- November 2002: A fresh start for Europe’s lost children. Hundreds of orphanages were constructed in Romania as a result of former President Nicolae Ceausescu, who declared all forms of contraception and abortion illegal and instructed all women under the age of 45 to have at least five children. The inability of parents to care for their children meant that by 1990 over 100,000 children were living in these institutions. Hope and Homes for Children believes that enjoying a loving family life is as fundamental a need for children as food, shelter and safety and is committed to providing this for every child in Romania’s institutions.