On Friday, Voice of America reported “Ethiopia to Cut Foreign Adoptions by Up to 90 Percent.” The U.S. State Department promises to issue an Alert about the subject, but so far, none has been posted.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll just ask again “Why is it so difficult to regulate international adoption?” The article states:
Ministry spokesman Abiy Ephrem says the action was taken in response to indications of widespread fraud in the adoption process… Investigations have turned up evidence of unscrupulous operators in some cases tricking Ethiopian parents to give up their children, then falsifying documents in order to claim a part of the large fees involved in inter country adoptions.
The situation was the same in Guatemala. Everyone from Embassy officials to adoptive parents meeting their childen in hotel lobbies knew the identities of the “unscrupulous operators.” Why weren’t these unscrupulous operators arrested and stopped? Instead, the entire system was shut down.
And what exactly does “falsifying” documents mean? Does it mean changing an address to protect a birth mother’s identity? Or even changing her name? In my opinion, those kinds of falsifications are very different from falsifying the answer to the one question–the only question–that matters: “Did this birth mother freely relinquish her child for adoption?”
For families in process, the next few months could be uncertain and unpredictable. I send you my prayers.