A recent article tells the story about how the number of foreign adoptions to Denmark has dropped with 80 percent since 2005. It is good news because several investigations and documentaries have shown that the entire international adoption traffic is riddled with corruption.
In Somalia parents were paid and promised that they only leant their children to Denmark as a kind of open adoption. Seeing that their children got get access to the Danish education system which is second to none, they lied their children younger and went home with money and the idea that they would get both paid and an well-educated young adult back. In some extreme cases the parents were also lied to about them suffering from a disease which would kill them long before their children would turn into a teenagers.
It is not only Denmark which has been targeted by corrupted officials abroad. Many Americans have received a child who has been emotional damaged by their first year in their home country. The child could have been born by parents with drugs or alcohol problems. The child might have been born with symptoms of addictions because the mother was an addict during the pregnancy.
The parents are not prepared for this. They are sold an illusion. Even if the child is healthy the child could face difficulties bonding with their new parents.
Very often – too often, the child needs residential treatment because doctors are quick to label the child with Reactive attachment disorder. Very often the child is just looking to seek its origins while going through the rite of passage towards adulthood. Even a normal teenager can be a challenge to rise so when a doctor put a label on the child, the adoptive parents may feel relieved.
I saw a book called “From Hopeless to Hopeful: Raising an Older Adopted Child” by Ann Sullivan. She adopts a girl from Russia. She neglects to teach her daughter the full story about her childhood in Russia so the daughter starts to make dramatic stories up her mind. Her daughter ends up in one of the wilderness programs which kill teenagers every year. The percentage of casualties in some wilderness programs is so high that it would be safer to let toddlers play on the high way; then follows a stay in a residential program mostly known to have hired employees with poorly driving skills. Two girls from this residential treatment facility died in a traffic accident some years ago during an outing.
I found it disturbing that the mother killed the social profile her daughter had on Myspace without consulting the daughter. She also moved while her daughter was in the program. So a child having lost first her old country then have to accept losing her childhood home while living a restricted life in a small village out in the desert.
The question which left me after having scanned the book was how the mother – Ann Sullivan – was approved as an adoptive mother. This brings me to another book called “The Child Import” by Amalie Linde, Matilde Hoermand-Pallesen and Amalie Koenigsfeldt. They cover the huge number of German kids who were adopted to Denmark after the second world war. Many of the children were born as result of rape by Russian soldiers or shameful relationships with fathers from the United States, England or France. It was a traffic which continued until the early 1960’s and ended in tragedy for many of the adopted children.
Some of the 3,000 children tell their story in the book. We are talking abuse and incest. There was even a case where a wife to a doctor was suspected of killing some of her adopted children. She was suspected to have been silenced in jail to avoid a trial which would expose the adoption scandal. The doctor wrote the death certificates and as direct result of this case the law was changed so no doctor can sign death certificates for relatives.
Foreign adoptions have been, are and will be a question about money. So where will the children come from in the future. In Denmark we have an expensive foster care system. What our parliament is working on is to convert some of the families from expensive foster families to cheap adoption parents. The social heritage in Denmark has proven almost impossible to beat, so many of the politicians believe that they will do children from poor and underprivileged families a favor by putting them into the foster system as an early age so they get use to their new family from the very start.
I fear that while they will have stopped corruption on an international level that they will continue to create victims domestically when children who are from second generation poorly integrated immigrants, underprivileged families or children who just have too many teddy-bears in their room will be yanked away from their birth parents to satisfy a market for adoption parents.
Even when you are third generation immigrant with an odd religion, underprivileged or over-serviced with teddy-bears you have the right to your birth past. I dislike the new adoption strategy. Reactive attachment disorder doesn’t disappear just because Danes adopt Danes or US Citizens adopt US Citizens. Of course some of the costs will be hidden inside the huge budget the social services in Denmark (mis)manage but it costs are still there.
We have solved a problem abroad but to satisfy the demand and keep the money flow running we are risking creating a new problem.
- Adoptioner falder til rekordlavt niveau (Berlingske Tidende)
- From Hopeless to Hopeful: Raising an Older Adopted Child (by Anne Sullivan – Amazon Link)
- Some of the teenagers who have died in wilderness programs (Today a child died memorial blog)
- Boerneimporten (by Amalie Linde, Matilde Hoermand-Pallesen and Amalie Koenigsfeldt – Saxo Link)
- Indlæg om Adoptioner (Bloggen Embedsvaerket)