Thursday, July 24, 2008

Baby Buyer, Beware

$$$$$$$$$$-the name of the game

Someone on another site was quick to refute my observations that the word is out on foreign adoptions, specifically, baby theft by profiteers pandering to the self-entitled (arrogant) Western PAP. Russia, Africa, Guatemala, Boznia-Herzigovia, Estonia and other countries, even Korea, Viet Nam and China, are starting to rein in their baby flesh trade "entrepreneurs" and it is about time. The fact is, it is the covetous greed and obsession of those wanting to adopt that has created this crime. Without a market, there can be no industry. Read on.

Stolen baby linked to Guatemala adoption system
Story Highlights:
Dozens of mothers have reported stolen babies; at last two found in orphanages
DNA confirmation marks first time officials linked stolen baby to adoption system
Baby's mother said armed men locked her in closet in family's store, took baby
Tests identify baby in process of being adopted by U.S. couple

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) -- Adoption officials said DNA tests indicate a Guatemalan baby reported stolen from her mother was being adopted by a U.S. couple, the first strong sign that the Central American nation's troubled adoption system relied in part on abducted children.
Authorities have long believed that children were stolen or bought to supply Guatemala's US$100 million-a-year adoption industry before thousands of pending adoptions were frozen in May.

Previously, dozens of mothers reported stolen babies, and at least two were found in orphanages, although they had not yet been put up for adoption.

But adoption officials revealed to The Associated Press on Wednesday that DNA tests identified toddler Esther Zulamita, who was reported stolen on March 26, 2007. The girl was in the process of being adopted by an unidentified U.S. couple.

Jaime Tecu, director of a team of experts reviewing all pending Guatemalan adoptions, said the DNA test results represent the first time officials have directly linked a baby reported stolen by its mother to the fraud-plagued adoption system.

"This is the first time that we've been able to show, with irrefutable evidence, that a stolen child was put up for adoption," Tecu said. (wasn't the first, won't be the
The baby's mother, Ana Escobar, said armed men locked her in a storage closet at the family's shoe store north of Guatemala City and took the 6-month-old.

"When I got out, my daughter was gone," she told the AP in an earlier interview about the case.
She spent months searching hospitals and orphanages, looking for the child.
In May, Escobar says she was sitting in the National Adoption Council's offices, hoping to get access to the babies whose adoption cases were being reviewed. She looked up and saw a toddler who looked like her baby. The image of the child being carried by an official haunted her, and she asked officials to see more photos. Soon she was sure the baby girl was hers.

All of the girl's papers were in order, including DNA tests showing that her birth mother was someone other than Escobar. But Escobar convinced officials to take new DNA tests.
"She was so sure that the child was hers that we agreed to search the house where the baby was kept," Tecu said.

The baby was placed with a caretaker while her adoption was pending, but Escobar convinced a Guatemalan judge in May to let her care for the child while the new DNA tests were performed.
"I can't explain how excited and happy I am," Escobar told the AP on Wednesday. "It's a miracle."

Tecu said officials will investigate the lawyers who handled the adoption (hope that includes the US attorneys, as well and the, the doctor who signed the falsified DNA tests, and anyone else associated with the process."This was run by a mafia, and we're going after them," he said.

Guatemala froze all 2,286 pending adoptions in May, and officials are reviewing each case to confirm there is no fraud. At the same time, Guatemala is just starting to adopt babies under a new, more stringent system run by an independent adoption commission.
Before the reform, foreign couples, mostly from the U.S., paid up to US$30,000 to adopt children. The previous system was so quick and hassle-free it became the second-largest source of foreign babies to U.S. couples after China.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Links referenced within this article Guatemala Press

Investigations, by local government officials, into something so lucrative have suffered up until this break-through. It looks like a little bit of national pride on the part of the Guatemalans was a very good thing. The baby trade, just like the opium trade in Iraq and Afghanistan, is singing a siren call to the poor in the third world. If you can make money, do it and hang the consequences. It is the same mind-set that contributes to the slash and burn tactics in the rain forests.

I have to wonder about the protestations of the adopters of Chinese girls. I notice that the first child born after the disastrous natural calamity in China was a girl and she was welcomed and celebrated. Things have been changing for over a decade in China, but adopters will still cling to the idea of the "one child policy and only boys are welcome" policy, that has been changing for a while, now, the same way many domestic adopters assert that "their barf muggle" was a crack whore who insisted they take her baby.

My main concern, as a mother, is these children, how they will perceive their adoptions and how it will make them feel to know that they were a band-aid to slap over the wound of infertility, a second choice or a measure taken to save a marriage (which usually ends, anyway) and, were probably stolen from their real families. The Ugly American is so sure that our culture, our way of life, our religions, etc., is sooooo superior to anyone else's that the UA Adopter expects gratitude and loyalty and most of them are out being fitted for their halos. Our national arrogance makes us very unattractive, indeed.

If I could speak to all of these baby-covetors, I would ask that they leave these children alone and in their own culture with people who look and act like them. Don't traumatize them any more than they have already been. Mentor a young person, spoil your nieces and nephews, work in a nursery and/or a boy's and girl's club, but leave these babies alone. Help their mothers find them. Speak out against the theft of a child for profit. Don't aid and abet this crime.

You might not get a baby out of the deal, but you might sleep better at night. And, for Heaven's sake, if you are obsessed with the idea of a baby for yourself, get help!


Angelle said...

Thanks for posting. I have often wondered what are these people thinking when they adopt. Oh, I know, get a baby and that baby will be mine, mine, mine. And I won't have to deal with the real mother, ever.

There have been 3 babies from China (out of 5 babies) adopted on my street in the past 5 years! It is about time these countries wake up and have some pride. I believe Korea did this a number of years ago.

In my opinion if you really want to create a family for a child that needs one, look no further than the Heart Gallery: "The Heart Gallery features portraits of foster children who dream of having a forever family through adoption."

By the way, I am a married “infertile” who has not raised a child. It was not a death sentence. But I am a truly blessed reunited BSE mother.


Robin said...

Angelle, have you considered becoming a legal guardian to one of these older children, or even a mentor? These kids need truth and their heritage preserved just as much as the healthy infants do. There has to be a better solution for these children than the lies of adoption.

Angelle said...

Actually I have been involved with Big Sisters and adore the kids I mentored. I live outside of a depressed major metropolitan area so there are many opportunities to help kids in all circumstances.

I have always done this because I felt the need to help children after losing my own child. I am a teacher by profession so I have seen quite a bit of need out there.

Your post hit home because this past weekend the newest baby from China arrived on my block.

Triona Guidry said...

Robin, you said: "how they will perceive their adoptions and how it will make them feel to know that they were a band-aid to slap over the wound of infertility, a second choice or a measure taken to save a marriage (which usually ends, anyway) and, were probably stolen from their real families."

I was adopted domestically, but I can tell you my answer. These people - whom some would call adopted "children" even after adulthood - will be very, very angry.

I was the band-aid, the solution to my adoptive parents' problems. We've been estranged for over a decade because of the secrets that kept us apart. While I may not have been "stolen" per se, there is much about my adoption that is questionable. When people ask me if I'm "grateful" to be adopted, I say no. Why would I be? I'd rather have been raised by my own blood, wouldn't anyone? Isn't it better to support mothers in raising their own kids instead of snatching them away to fulfill someone else's desires?

Adoptees aren't stupid, just as mothers who were forced to surrender aren't stupid. Some of us have figured out what was done to us and are even more angry when we realize it's STILL happening to the current generation, who twenty years from now are going to say the same things we are now.

When does the cycle end? When do we treat adoption as involving people, not chattel?

I love your posts, Robin!