Next Generation Nepal | “earthquake orphans” | Reconnecting Trafficked Children with Their Families

Reconnecting Trafficked Children with Their Families. Next Generation Nepal rebuilds family connections torn apart by child trafficking and helps rural communities become stronger, healthier places to raise their children.

SEE: Next Generation Nepal – How We Work

NGN Turns 10: A Decade of Rescuing and Reunifying Trafficked Children with their Families

With your help, we have brought over 500 children home, raised awareness and started an initiative to stop trafficking before it begins.


Dear Friend of Next Generation Nepal,

It has been 12 years since I first arrived in Nepal for what I thought would be a small blip in my story. Little did I know that I was about to embark down a path that would change the entire trajectory of my life in ways I couldn’t imagine.

This journey began in 2004 when I volunteered at Little Princes Children’s Home on the outskirts of Kathmandu and met a group of boys and girls who would change my life forever. I’d been led to believe that these kids were orphans, which invoked heartfelt empathy and a strong desire for me to bring them joy in their young lives. I soon learned the truth—they had mothers and fathers, siblings and communities where they once had a full and happy life which they had been taken from. I was shocked to know these kids had been trafficked. It was because of this realization that I made a promise to do whatever possible to bring them and as many others back home. Out of that promise the seed that would grow into Next Generation Nepal was planted.

It took two years of commitment and hard work, but, in 2006, NGN was finally able to open the doors of its official office in Nepal and rescue the Little Princes. Soon after, I set off to the remote district of Humla in search of their families. This was the first rescue and reunification that NGN did.

Over the last 10 years, NGN has continued to grow.  Today we work in 31 districts and have helped reconnect over 500 children with their families! In addition to our reintegration work, NGN is now considered an expert on ethical volunteering in Nepal, and our Community Anti-Trafficking (CAT) project works to prevent children from being trafficked in the first place.

NGN has persevered through a civil war, earthquakes and constant political unrest, but we have not let anything stand in our way in accomplishing our mission. Our teams continue to rescue, care and search in the remotest parts of Nepal for the families of these children so that we can bring them home.

NGN is celebrating the joy of 10 years of rescuing and reunifying trafficked children as well as broadening NGN’s reach into bringing awareness to families and communities of the causes of trafficking and stopping it before it begins.

There are still thousands of children who have been displaced from their families and living in abusive conditions for the financial gain of their captors. Please help us to begin this next 10 years by supporting NGN’s work so we can not only bring hundreds more children home, but to stop child trafficking at its core.

With Gratitude,

Conor Grennan (author)
President, Next Generation Nepal

MORE:  After the Great Nepal Earthquake
April 25, 2016

I drove to the NGN transit home where I was overjoyed to find 17 children playing games in a make-shift tent of tarpaulins, and being cared for by our staff and —believe it or not— the Little Princes!  Yes, the now young adults whom NGN Founder Conor Grennan had made famous as children in his book, “Little Princes,” had kept their promise that in the event of an earthquake they would protect the younger children. In addition to this we had a four-week supply of food, water and medicines, so even if the roads and airport were shut off, we could all still survive.

Within the heavily cracked walls of a room at the Central Child Welfare Board, I joined the Government and other NGOs to plan what our response would be for affected children. We knew that the situation in Kathmandu was not as bad as the rural areas. But we also knew that the traffickers were already prowling the villages looking for children to remove them from their frightened parents and place them in profit-making children’s homes.  To make matters worse, several children’s homes were already announcing hundreds of new places for children to come to Kathmandu. It was like the previous decade’s civil war all over again—families would be torn apart by hollow promises of safety and education, only to be used as fundraising tools by organizations wishing to profit from the millions of dollars of disaster aid money flowing into the country.  All these unscrupulous organizations needed to succeed in their plans were children to be falsely presented as “earthquake orphans.” We had to act fast.

…A child-friendly space is a basically a large tent that acts as a safe space for children after a disaster. In the NGN child-friendly spaces, the children were offered structured play and learning activities, psycho-social counseling and locally-prepared nutritious meals. This gave them the opportunity to regain a sense of normality in their lives, and allowed their parents some much-needed respite.  But our child-friendly spaces were more than this—they also built trust with the local community, which, in time, allowed NGN to start raising awareness within the community of the dangers of child trafficking and the importance of family preservation.

By July we had established 11 child-friendly spaces in hard-hit villages where we had assessed there was a high risk of trafficking. We had also supported the Nepal Police to establish two transport check posts where we could intercept buses to search for children who might be being trafficked to Kathmandu.  When we found unaccompanied children on the buses, we rescued them, and the local government returned them to their families.

By now we were also able to roll out our awareness-raising campaigns. These included a traveling acting troupe that performed a street drama about child traffickers pretending to be representatives of NGOs to lure vulnerable children to the city; several passionate street rallies led by school children demanding an “end to child trafficking”; leaflets and posters; competitions and speeches; and a radio jingle to reach the most remote families whom we could not access by road or foot.

***

An International Adoption Clouded in Deception

February 20, 2012: Imagine a complete stranger telling you that your adopted daughter, who you always believed was an orphan, was actually not. “Surreal and heart wrenching” is how Ana would describe it.
Names have been changed in the story to protect the privacy of those involved.

In early 2004, a Spanish woman named Ana wanted to adopt a Nepalese child. Nepal was still in an armed conflict and she was told that many children were losing their parents. She arranged a meeting with a representative at the Consulate of Nepal in Spain to find out more information. Ana was given the contact information for an orphanage in Nepal and started the complex process necessary to adopt a child.

After about one year, the adoption became official and Ana, overcome with joy, traveled to the orphanage in Kathmandu to meet her new daughter and bring her home to Spain. The orphanage had arranged for Ana to adopt Sunitha, a six-year-old girl with a personality that enchanted Ana from the beginning. As months passed, Sunitha quickly learned Spanish and slowly began assimilating to Spanish culture. “Sunitha was becoming a Spaniard, but I also wanted her to be aware of her Nepalese heritage. I did not want Sunitha to forget her origins,” said Ana…

Keep Reading

 

Editor’s Note
Many of the children in Nepal’s “orphanages” are there because traffickers (who are sometimes relatives) deceive parents in remote villages into allowing them to take their kids to “elite educational facilities” that are actually centers for child exploitation. In fewer instances, impoverished Nepalese parents make desperate decisions to take their children themselves to children’s homes under the assumption that they will at least have a chance at an education and a successful life. However, these parents do not think the homes’ managers would ever send their children overseas through adoption. They assume that children’s homes will care for their kids until they enter college and can work on their own.

According to The U.S. State Department website, the United States “continues to strongly recommend that prospective adoptive parents refrain from adopting children from Nepal due to grave concerns about the reliability of Nepal’s adoption system and credible reports that children have been stolen from birth parents, who did not intend to irrevocably relinquish parental rights as required by INA 101(b)(1)(F). We also strongly urge adoption service providers not to accept new applications for adoption from Nepal.” To read more about the US State Department’s guidelines on adoptions from Nepal click here.

By LT

Last year: Children left devastated by the earthquake in Nepal in 2015 were preyed upon by slave traders… Wealthy British families are buying children left devastated by last year’s earthquake in Nepal to work as domestic slaves. The children – who are as young as 10 – are being sold for as little as £5,250 (Rs 500,000, $7,468) by black market gangs operating in India’s Punjab region, according to an investigation by The Sun. I published about Nepal here.

Here is another adoption trafficking victim here.

Just remember conflict areas like Syria are ripe for human trafficking.

 

Child Trafficking (again)

Child slavery: Rich Brits buying children who survived the Nepalese earthquake for £5,000

Nepal earthquake aerial photosChildren left devastated by the earthquake in Nepal in 2015 have been preyed upon by slave traders Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

Wealthy British families are buying children left devastated by last year’s earthquake in Nepal to work as domestic slaves. The children – who are as young as 10 – are being sold for as little as £5,250 (Rs 500,000, $7,468) by black market gangs operating in India’s Punjab region, according to an investigation by The Sun.

The gangs are targeting the children of Nepalese refugees and poor Indian families, the probe by the newspaper’s undercover team revealed. Slave trader Makkhan Singh told a reporter that the children are obtained by approaching their destitute parents to “do a deal.”

“I can supply the boy. But as to taking him into the UK and the documents you will need, that’s your responsibility,” Singh added. “We have supplied boys who have actually gone on to the UK. What you do with him’s up to you.”

Singh revealed that he usually wraps up a deal within 10 minutes and said: “Take a Nepalese to England. They are good people. They are good at doing housework and they’re very good cooks. No one is going to come after you.”

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake in the Himalayan nation in April 2015 unleashed a wave of horror, killing nearly 9,000 people and leaving millions in need of aid. Buildings including historic temples and monuments were badly damaged, forcing people to live in makeshift camps as they were too afraid to stay inside.

The Sun’s reporter was taken by Singh to meet the children facing a life of servitude, including 10-year-old Amit, 12-year-old Pooja and 13-year-old Susti Ram. Singh said that he had been trading children for eight years and insisted on doing the deal first. “You’re not taking them straight to England,” he said. “You don’t need the documents straight away. We know plenty of people who can do the documents. We’ve got a good network.”

The damning news prompted a quick response from the Home Secretary, who called child trafficking a “truly abhorrent crime” and called on the National Crime Agency (NCA) to look into the claims. “No child, anywhere in the world, should be taken away from their home and forced to work in slavery,” said Theresa May.

“That is why we introduced the landmark Modern Slavery Act last year, which included enhanced protections for potential child victims of slavery and sentences up to life imprisonment for those found guilty.

“We encourage The Sun to share its disturbing findings with the Police and National Crime Agency so that appropriate action can be taken against the vile criminals who profit from this trade.”

Speaking to Sky News, an NCA spokeswoman said: “The NCA works with partners in the UK and internationally to identify and pursue criminals and to safeguard both child and adult victims.

“The hidden nature of human trafficking means that it often goes unreported. Anyone who suspects it should report their concerns to law enforcement,” she added.

The Dominican children given up to Quebec’s ‘adoption machine’

At least 200 children Dominican were separated from their families in the 1980s. It wasn’t because of a famine, a hurricane or an earthquake, but because of an incredibly effective network of Quebec missionaries and adoptive parents

Rosa and Miguel Ramirez with a portrait of their son.

Rosa and Miguel Ramirez with a portrait of their son.

By: Isabelle Hackey La Presse, Published on Sep 21 2015

HATO MAYOR DEL REY, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC—Miguel and Rosa Ramirez’s shack is located at the end of an isolated road in the interior of the Dominican Republic. It is far away from the scenes found on postcards, in the middle of nowhere. A piece of plywood is nailed to the narrow facade of the shack. Miguel has scribbled an address in a ballpoint pen. It’s a rough address, but enough to know that it is one in Quebec.

It is that of his lost son — one among many.

At least 200 children were separated from their families in the 1980s, and they came from this region in the southeast of the country. It wasn’t because of a famine, a hurricane or an earthquake, but because of an incredibly effective “adoption machine” that was put in place by a network of Quebec missionaries and adoptive parents.

In a region of 40,000 people, 200 children within a few years is a considerable number given that they weren’t orphans. Their parents, all very poor, didn’t necessarily understand all that an international adoption implied. In many cases, they were lured with the promise that their children — once they had received an education and become wealthy — would come back to save them from their misery.

In reality, that never occurred.

Miguel and Rosa Ramirez had five children. The youngest was very weak. His stomach was infested with parasites that put his life at risk, his Dominican doctor concluded. At two years old, the child ate next to nothing, as if his body was incapable of absorbing food. The medical treatments were expensive, and Miguel and Rosa didn’t have the money to pay for them.

The couple was visited by a missionary and by Luce Pelletier, an adoptive mother who was organizing adoptions and who would soon become the director of the Quebec adoption agency Monde-Enfant.

“She promised us that in Canada our son would receive the treatments he needed,” Miguel recalled. “She told us that he would surely come back to visit within a couple of years.”

Miguel and Rosa left the meeting convinced. They gave up their youngest son, persuaded that he would have otherwise soon be dead.

In Quebec, the pediatricians could find no evidence of intestinal parasites, according to the boy’s adoptive father.

“The platelets they used at the Dominican hospital may have been contaminated or else there was a mix-up in the medical reports,” he said.

In any event, the child was in bad shape.

Miguel and Rosa’s story was repeated hundreds of times in the region of Hato Mayor. Jean Lacaille, the Quebec missionary at the heart of this wave of adoptions, now admits that he was actively looking for “people that had a large family and with a sick child” to fill the desires of Quebecers who wanted to become parents.

Such targeting of families that were poor and might be willing to give up their child for adoption was legal in the 1980s in the Dominican Republic.  Today, however, such methods would be considered to be human trafficking under national laws that are much more strict.

Father Lacaille, like other missionaries and actors involved at the time, said that he was acting in good faith. But faced with a growing demand, he lost control.

“It snowballed. And even if we were in the Dominican Republic, the snowball grew pretty fast,” he admits.

Father Lacaille recognizes that his goal was not so much to save Dominican babies but to “offer a service” to Quebecers in search of children who contacted him over several years, starting in 1978.

The couples came from all corners of Quebec, from Sherbrooke to Abitibi and Sept-Iles. When Luce Pelletier brought her son Miguel to Quebec in the fall of 1982, there were at least six other children with them aboard the airplane. The adoptive father, who spoke on the condition that he not be identified, confided that he felt ill at ease to see so many children getting off the airplane at the same time.

“It became an adoption machine,” admits Yves Bécotte, former chairman of the board of Monde-Enfant. He explained that Luce Pelletier “walked through the villages” to in search of families “in such a way that the number of children that were adopted from the region of Hato Mayor doubled or tripled. It was a lot for a little organization that didn’t even have an orphanage.”

To stop the machine, Yves Bécotte fired Luce Pelletier, who is now deceased. The decision was a welcome relief to those responsible for the adoptions in Hato Mayor, who nonetheless profited from this small local industry, according to Bécotte.

“She was relieved because she was always walking a tight rope. There are official orphanages there and to go and look for children from families is like bypassing the orphanages,” he said.

Miguel Ramirez remembers the rumours that circulated about the market for children in Hato Mayor. But nobody offered him any money for his baby, he swears. All of the biological parents interviewed in the course of this investigation insisted on the fact that they had not sold their child.

That being said, many families “were waiting for the moment when they would have helped, but that wasn’t a condition,” said Father Lacaille.

“We told them, ‘When the children are older they will have great advantages compared to here . . . and that their parents will probably help them.’ But we tried as much as possible to avoid making it sound like a sale.”

Three decades later, Jean Lacaille continues to believe in this model of “open” adoption to preserve the links between the child and the biological family, even if this model has long since been discredited all around the world. Even if this type of adoption is now completely illegal in the Dominican Republic.

The country only authorizes adoptions where the links between the child and the biological family have been severed. Since the new rules were enacted, there has been only a trickle of children leaving the country. Only 17 foreign adoptions occurred in 2013.

Miguel Ramirez admits that for the first few years after the adoption of his son, the adoptive parents sent him a bit of money that allowed his other children to go to school. But little by little that source dried up.

Today, regrets eat away at the old man. While he tells his story, bitter tears fall into the deep wrinkles that cross his cheeks.

Rosa listens to her husband and nods her head. She speaks little. Her slanted eyebrows give her face a permanent sadness. Sitting on the porch, she holds a fading portrait of her Canadian son. It is all that remains since a hurricane took their old home — that and the fragment of an address on a piece of plywood.

A corruption called adoption

NOTE: I am posting this disgusting story because it’s obvious the lengths some people will go to fulfill THEIR NEEDS – and it’s not about the baby or mothers and fathers or the future. It’s about the adopters. It’s about what they want – and that goal is a baby/babies. There is something so psycho about this, it’s hard to fathom it’s still happening in 2015. AND there is ICWA to consider in this case.  When there is money involved, buying a baby is child trafficking, not adoption. Laramie (My comment is noted)

Adoption struggles lead local woman to write book

September 10, 2015 | 

(Photo)

Photo A.K. Barnes Crystal Hodges Guffey signs her book Some Call it Life, Others Call it Faith, Aug. 29 at the Salem First Baptist Church. Guffey’s book is about the struggles she faced that led her and her husband to eventually becoming parents through a horrific story of a corrupt adoption service. [Order this photo]

Some Call it Life, Others Call it Faith, is the title of Crystal Hodges Guffey, of Salem’s new book. One she wrote after a season of trials and testing of her faith. Guffey held a book signing for her newly published book at Salem First Baptist Church on Aug. 29. Her parents are pastors at the church.Members of the local community came out to show their love and support. Some smiled, some laughed and others cried as they showed their support to someone who has been a light to all, and has such a remarkable story to tell. “As a young girl, I always wanted to be an author, I repressed that for a very long time, because I felt like I didn’t have the writing skills or abilities to do that. After going through what I went through, I thought “I can’t be the only one” and after researching books I couldn’t find one that related to what I was going through,” Guffey said.

There were moments when she questioned God’s plan and sought to understand exactly what he was doing. Her book is based on her life and the struggles she faced such as early marriage, misunderstanding, infertility, college, potential adoption and a hysterectomy.

Guffey is a 2002 graduate of Salem and she said as a little girl she always wanted to be an author so this is one of her life dreams coming true. Who better to share this with than her home town of Salem, Ark. “I grew up in Salem as your typical cheerleader and I participated in band. I was more of a cheerleader than anything,” she said.

Guffey and her husband Josh were married when she was 17 years old. The couple was high school sweethearts, they knew they wanted to be together and decided to tie the knot before they headed to college. “We knew we wanted to start our lives together. I’ve always been an old soul and Josh knew that I was the person he wanted to marry. So after talking to our families we started our lives. We experienced college together,” she said.

Shortly after arriving to college was when her medical problems began. While taking a physical education class in 2002 at UCA in Conway, she collapsed on the tennis courts. “I reached to hit a ball and I stretched really far and I felt this pain I have never experienced before and I fell to the ground,” she said. Guffey learned at just 18 years old that she had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. (PTOS) “Every month when women ovulate they have eggs, I would never do that. My body would just create these cysts and they would rupture continuously,” she said.

On top of PTOS, Guffey also found that she had Indymetriousis. “Whenever I heard those words, I knew that it meant it was going to be hard. When the doctor said the chances of ever getting pregnant and staying pregnant were never going to be a part of my life, I felt like a piece of my soul and all of my heart were crushed. I felt like the one thing God put me on this Earth to be, the one thing I truly wanted to be, was a mother. No matter what, that was the one thing I always wanted to be. I felt like it was being taken from me. At 18 years old, in an emergency, at that very moment, I felt like it was taken from me,” she said.

After learning the possibility of having children was low, Guffey and her husband tried with medical assistance for pregnancy for five years. They started treatments to help in the ovulation process. After never-ending doctors’ appointments and failed attempts at pregnancy, in 2007 she decided that she had enough disappointment. “In March 17, 2007 when I found out that I wasn’t pregnant, after going through a tremendous amount of fertility drugs, I just said no more. I can handle no more. I felt like in that moment that God had taken that ability to be a mother away from me because my husband was against adoption. I was angry, I was hurt. I felt left out with everyone else in the light of God. I felt like I was that one person that the light had been snuffed out,” Guffey painfully said.

After this emotional time in her life, Guffey gave up on everything. “I gave up on my marriage, on God, on my family and I gave up on life. If I made it through and I laughed, hey I laughed. That’s how I lived for about two months,” she said. Realizing her marriage and life was in turmoil, when her husband came home one day, stating her needed to talk she feared the worse. What she heard instead was hope. Her husband told her that he wanted to adopt a baby. “It was like the flood gates of Heaven opened up and God said “Your heart is not dead.” I am with you,” she said.

In Dec. 2007, the couple decided to adopt through a Little Rock based agency, called Adoption Advantage. They were assigned a birth mother coordinator who mediated between the birth couple and the couple. Crystal said they had to pay close to $30 thousand dollars up front and that didn’t guarantee that they would be able to adopt a child. This doesn’t include the near $11,000 they spent on birth mother fees. The Guffeys became responsible for helping assist the birth mother with her bills. Anything from, electricity, medical, rent and groceries bills were paid. “You were placed on a waiting list and the length of time you waited depended on what kind of child you will take and you are never guaranteed a child,” she said.

By Feb 2008 the Guffey’s were in connection with the birth mother of their first daughter Brianna. The adoption process was extremely hard. Unknown to the Guffeys, the people who ran Adoption Advantage were corrupt and wanted in multiple states for adoption fraud as well as other kinds of fraud. After going through numerous birth mother coordinators and unanswered phone calls by the agency, she decided to drive to the agency herself and demanded copies of her files.

The child the couple was promised was born in June, 2008. They had since hired another agency and an out of state attorney to assist in this process, due to their suspicions of the agency. This cost them close to four thousand dollars. After hearing the birth mother was in labor for five days and no phone call was returned agency, the family became even more afraid. Finally, the birth father called and said come to the hospital.

Neither the birth mother coordinator or the agency called or returned her calls so she and her husband went to the hospital to see their baby. “We called a secondary agency we had hired and was told they would meet at the hospital. “Finally we get to see her and three hours passed by. We were in the room with her and the door opens and it’s the social worker for the hospital, a nurse and the secondary agency that we hired. They are all three in tears. They said, “I’m sorry the paper work is not correct and you are legally not supposed to be here.” They literally had to rip her out of my arms and we had to leave the hospital,” she said.

As soon as the paper work was completed the birth parents signed the rights over five days later. Soon after they found out she was an eighth Cherokee and because of this the Cherokee Nation wanted to take Brianna from the Guffey’s. “It’s what they call “first dibs” and if there is a child who is born of Cherokee blood, that the parents, grandparents, brothers or sisters are registered, then they can be first to adopt the child into the tribe. We then hired another attorney and we had people fighting from every angle. If the agency would have done their job then this would not have happened,” she said.

After a long fight against the Cherokee Nation, the Guffey’s won, but the win was bittersweet. In order to keep Brianna, she could not claim she is an eighth Cherokee Indian, which will be a loss in any kind of scholarships or medical help she was eligible for. “I have three legal documents signed by the chief of the Cherokee Nation, stating that she was not born of Indian blood. She lost all her rights. If she has children, they can never claim to be Cherokee. If I have to pay for her healthcare and her college to keep her, then I want every right denied,” Guffey said.  (WHAT THE ___?)

Later, several other couples contacted her about their concerns. “I ended up helping 27 other couples who had also paid a tremendous amount of money as we did to adopt. They went through the same process we did and we were the only couple that got a child, nor did they get their money back. I told them that we have to fight and I understand that you are deeply saddened that you do not have a child and I do but I want to help you. I will testify, I will do whatever you need to help shut this man down,” she said. Guffey helped these couples shut this agencies down in 2009 and the owner was sentenced to prison and remains there.

Two years later, Guffey later ruptured several cyst and had to have a hysterectomy. Her dreams of having a child herself were shattered. On her birthday that year after yet another heartbreak, Guffey told God that she will never go through the adoption process again. “I was so mad at God again, I was so angry that he took that last bit of hope because he knows I will never adopt again. I said to God, “I asked you for a child, I won’t get greedy now and ask you for another but if you want me to be a mother again, you will literally have to drop a child in my lap.” That’s the only way,” Guffey said.

Guffey laughed and said, “Don’t ever get cute with God.” The very next day her cousin called and said she was coming for a visit. While visiting with her family, her cousin sent everyone out of the room to talk with her alone. “It’s just her and I and she says, what would you like for lunch, and I said I do not care. She say’s how about pork loin? I told someone you would adopt their baby and how about corn on the cob? I said what was that second thing? She said well I kind of told someone yesterday, you would adopt their baby. This was the very next day after I had gotten real cute with God,” she said with a laugh. A month later on Oct. 19 they were blessed with another baby girl named Brooklyn.

Shortly after seeing a counselor to help with the pain related to the issues she was facing in life, Guffey began to write. “Going through not being able to have my own children and the adoption process and early marriage, I basically clouded through the whole session. He told me, I think the best way for you to start processing this is to put it all down on paper. I thought “great, I’ve always wanted to write and here you are telling me to write. I’ve never done this but I’m going to start here and now and I’m going to write.” I just went home that day and began to write. I started with the critical moment in my life when I found out that I had all of the problems in fertility. Where I felt like the root of all my issues began,” she said.

The book, “Some Call it Life, Others Call it Faith,” took about two years to complete. She wrote off and on for six months and after getting Lyme Disease she struggled to write for almost a year. After that she decided to finish the book. Her inspiration drew from her experience and hope to let others know that they are not alone. “Someone else has been in their same shoes. Every situation is different but know they are not alone and mainly know that the one person that will never leave your side, no matter how many times you turn your back, is God. ” she said.

Her next step is to create a support group for those involved in similar situations. She also counsels couples who have had similar experiences. Guffey has found her purpose and her faith is stronger than ever.

SOURCE

SOLD: Human Trafficking (videos)

 

BBC VIDEO published on Aug 1, 2015

Human trafficking is a global problem, with the UN saying victims come from as many as 152 countries, and that a third of those trafficked are children.  BBC News focused on three countries, talking to people who have been trafficked and also to the traffickers themselves.   **Video contains some harrowing testimony**

 

 

A few years ago I decided to dedicate more of this blog to cover stories on human trafficking.  This 2007 video is horrifying. Supposedly this was produced by actor George Clooney.

We have a problem. Trafficking is modern slavery.

Ireland: Adoptee Rights NOW!

Guest Post by Mary Lawlor and Paul Redmond

by Michael Nugent on August 30, 2012

Mary Lawlor was given up for adoption in 1960. On the 12th of July this year, at fifty-two years of age, she learned that she has a brother. He was born on the 18th of July in 1963 and shipped to America in 1965. Mary is now trying to find him, and bring him into her life.

Paul Redmond is an adoptee born in Castlepollard, and he organizes an annual trip and tour of Castlepollard for fellow adoptees. He is a researcher and writer, and he and Mary campaign in Ireland for the rights of the adopted community.

Mary and Paul have been meeting with the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin about the question of church records of adoptees. They have also been lobbying politicians, and have launched a new website Adoption Rights Now and a new Facebook campaign page. They have written this guest post about the history of the Irish adoption industry, and the demands of Adoption Rights Now.

What if black people were not entitled to their birth certificates? What if gay people were not entitled to their medical records? What if people with special needs were eligible for testing with experimental drugs? What if babies from the Traveling community who died were surrendered for medical research and dissection for training purposes?

Are you shocked at such politically incorrect language and extreme right wing ideology? Don’t worry; just replace the words black, gay, special needs and traveler with ‘adopted’ and that’s perfectly acceptable for the 50,000 adoptees living in Ireland past and present.

50,000 people classified as second class citizens and ‘illegitimate’. 50,000 Irish citizens denied basic human and civil rights contrary to the Human Rights conventions of the European Union and the United Nations.

The history of the Irish Adoption Industry is the last dirty little secret of the darkest depths of the once fabled and glorified holy Catholic Ireland.You doubt that it was an industry? That it was a machine? Don’t.

Babies and little children were exported like livestock. They were rented out for drug experiments like poor defenceless lab rats. They were condemned to death by the willful withholding or denial of proper food, of medical treatment, of medical equipment from their terrified mothers, who far too often had already been the victims of rape or incest.

From 1948 to 1973, at least 2,132 babies and young children were effectively sold to rich American Catholics by Irish nuns. And this happened with the assistance of the then Minister for External Affairs, one Eamon De Valera, who illegally issued passports on the orders of Archbishop John McQuaid. This was nothing less than child trafficking on an industrial scale.

Experimental trials

From 1960 to 1973, in the three Sacred Heart-run Mother and Baby Homes, there were at least four trials of experimental and/or modified vaccines carried out by a state employed professor of medicine and a doctor working working on behalf of the Borris Wellcome Foundation, which is now a part of GlaxoSmithKline. These trials were carried out on control groups of babies who were as little as eighteen months old, and who had been held in Mother and Baby Homes instead of being adopted.

These monstrous trials were in direct contravention of the Irish Constitution, of the international CODEX guidelines and of the Hippocratic oath. For thirteen years the State, its religious orders and the Borris Wellcome Foundation conspired to turn between 200 and 300 babies and children into nothing more than human lab rats in the three Mother and Baby Homes and other institutions.

Amazingly, after these trials had been conducted, the conspirators just walked away. And heartbreakingly, those babies and children were then adopted without their new parents ever being informed of the trials those babies and children had been subjected to, and without any kind of monitoring or after-care.

Donation of bodies

Between 1940 and 1965, from the fourth major M&B Home, St. Patrick’s, and its sister hospital, St. Kevin’s in Dublin, the bodies of at least 460 dead babies were ‘donated’ for routine dissection practise by medical students and/or research, to all of the major medical teaching institutions in the State, including Trinity College, UCD Medical School and The College of Surgeons.

In both the cases of the vaccine trials and the ‘donation’ of bodies, consent was neither sought from nor granted by either the natural or adoptive parents involved. Nor was the truth of what happened to their children, while they lived or after they died, ever revealed to them.

High mortality rates

Most shocking and disturbing of all is the high mortality rate for the babies of single mothers both inside and outside the high walls of the adoption machine. It is in these horrific mortality figures that the influence and the consequences of the Church’s iron grip on Irish civil society can be most clearly seen.

Since 1922 the mortality rates for babies of single mothers has run considerably higher than the national average. In the years 1923 to 1929 inclusive, infant mortality rates for ‘illegitimate’ babies ran at about FIVE times the national average for ‘legitimate’ babies. In 1930, 60 of the 120 babies born in Sean Ross Abbey died. And during the 1930s, mortality rates ran at approximately FOUR times the national average.

By 1948, John Cunningham, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCD, stated that the annual national infant mortality rates were 47 per 1000 babies born within marriage (4.7%), and 147 babies born outside marriage (14.7%), over THREE times higher. Interestingly, he also stated that this was not a problem.

In the three Sacred Heart run M&B Homes, there are so-called ‘ Angel Plots ‘ which contain the bodies of between 3,000 and 4,000 babies buried without birth certificates, death certificates, baptisms, names, or even the most simple dignity of a coffin. These are unmarked or barely marked graves.

Political reaction

Fianna Fail did nothing in all of their years in power during the Celtic Tiger to even attempt to correct this massive injustice which their founder, Eamon De Valera, helped inflict on tens of thousands of innocent Irish citizens.

During their long, long spell in opposition, the now Ministers Francis Fitzgerald and Alan Shatter promised the sun, the moon and the stars to the adopted community, but have completely failed to act on, let alone deliver on, their many promises since assuming office.

Adoption Rights Now!

As adopted people, we have little or no rights. We are determined to change that. For us, for Mary’s brother, and for the souls of each little baby in those unmarked graves. And we are asking you, the person reading this, to help us change this terrible situation. We, just like you, just like everyone else, have the right to know who we are and where we come from.

Please step forward and help us, and 52,000 others like us. We need volunteers who will help us to break free from this prison we have been trapped in, simply by the circumstances of our birth.

We are demanding

  1. That all adoption records are opened immediately in line with international best practice.
  2. A full public inquiry into the vicious treatment of mothers and children, and the consequent high mortality rates, in Government and Catholic run institutions in Ireland since the foundation of the state in 1922.
  3. The granting of minority status to all adoptees.
  4. All Angels Plots in former Mother & Baby homes and Magdalene Laundries to handed over to a trust committee of adoptees and natural mothers.

How can you help? You can contact your local and national politicians, and members of the Catholic clergy, and tell them about our rights and our demands. You can write to the newspapers, ring up radio stations. You can share links to this article on the Internet.

You can join our Facebook campaign page.

You can also help us to get signatures for our petition seeking immediate action by the Irish Government and the Catholic church.

For more details, check our website Adoption Rights Now! or email marylawlor87 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Propaganda Pawns: Selling Babies, Rehoming, deporting ADOPTEES must end

trafficking_business_int
Using children to make a billion dollars: Propaganda Pawns

By Lara Trace Hentz

This recent essay on Lost Daughters is a truly revealing story written by a deported adoptee, who experienced a corrupt system called “adoption,” made a victim by her American adoptive parents who fail to register her for citizenship with immigration: http://www.thelostdaughters.com/2015/03/international-adoption-and-story-of.html

And Adam Pertman’s recent post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-pertman/against-the-backdrop-of-s_b_6830268.html  [In short, Shepherd’s adoption took place before 2000, when a new federal statute conferred automatic U.S. citizenship on most children adopted internationally into this country; the law included a retroactive provision, but she was adopted a few months before it kicked in.]

Read about Korean adoptee ADAM threatened with deportation: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/retroactive-citizenship-adult-adoptees-n318581

WHY is this not big news? (Is the adoption industry nervous getting bad press?)

Many, many years ago, adoption was meant to help the children of war, poverty and (often called) this country’s pioneer problems.  Church-run Orphanages housed these small victims – some who had living parents. Some were even called half-orphans. Then gradually state’s replaced orphan asylums with child welfare departments. Gradually and subtly, it was grilled into our heads how adoption “saved” their lives. Or did it?

About the latest thing: some adoptive parents forget or neglect to get American citizenship for their adopted child. An adoptee gets in trouble, breaks the law and they get deported?  To where?  To whom?  If that child meant so much to them, how could American adoptive parents forget or skip that part of the legal process? If you paid money for a baby to be yours, didn’t the adoption agency or lawyer mention citizenship? Wouldn’t you want them stay in the USA if you raise them to be YOUR child? (What is wrong with this picture – buyer remorse?)

This is what we can’t seem to get into our heads: over the years adoption trafficking morphed into providing babies to infertile couples, those who can pay. Courts close adoptions to ease the adopter’s minds and permanently erase the adopted child’s identity and ancestry on their birth documents. When the supply of illegitimate bastards ran out in the US, trafficking went overseas. Those shortages built the international adoption industry into a billion dollar booming business it is today. Those specialized lawyers and adoption agencies legitimatize supplying babies and making lots of money.

FOLLOW THE MONEY: now it requires money to find that orphan, that available baby.  Couples desperate to make a family and adopt will head to hundreds of websites! Potential adoptive parents (PAPS) are shown photos of children languishing in overseas orphanages – a clever sales device to ply PAPS with pity. Those kids are propaganda pawns. Those kids have parents! (Stories about Angelina Jolie and Madonna have surfaced how their adopted children have parents too — but shush, that’s not good propaganda.)

So now the bigger picture is clear… if a child has parents, we can’t call them orphans – because they are NOT ORPHANS. But they are being used to make money, to sucker you in to adopt overseas.

If babies are product, for those who buy in the black market and overseas, they might overlook a baby is only a baby a short time. A child is not a programmable replacement for the child you didn’t conceive. Babies are not blank slates. Adoptees do grow up and will have questions when they get older and not all will be complacent or happy or grateful. Then what will you do? And if your adopted child from overseas has problems, who will you blame? (Will you re-home them? SEE THIS) (top photo from Facebook rehoming page)

Where are the headlines about the cyber-market: babies abducted then auctioned off.  But how do you get adoption papers for cyber-market stolen babies? You’d have to pay off a judge and use a lawyer, right? (Do you think that’s why some states refuse to unseal adoption records? It might reveal fraud and corruption?) We know it takes quite a bit of paperwork to adopt a baby these days, especially internationally. It was never about us, the adoptees. It was about filling a need, collecting cash. Just follow the money and it becomes obvious.

Billions could and should be spent on family preservation, and solving infertility that only seems to be getting worse in the USA – but the adoption industry keeps people focused on the perfect propaganda pawns – orphans. Now there are fertility scandals (see below).

Willful ignorance, bad information or insufficient education, none are acceptable or an excuse anymore. With the internet, there is plenty for potential adoptive parents to read, if they open their mind and take their time and do some research.

You know what? It’s time all this comes out – and all the trafficking and money and corruption is exposed!

159dd-trafficinbabies-bmpMy priorities: We can give children-in-need new parents under new laws called legal guardianship. We never erase a child’s identity. We abolish adoption entirely, and open all the sealed adoption files. We give birthfathers the legal rights to raise their own children.  Social services are reconfigured to work on family preservation and helping parents be parents – and of course solving and ending poverty. Most of all, we MUST stop selling babies and deporting adoptees. We close all adoption agencies and prosecute the traffickers.

The sad part of this is adoptees can’t escape what adults and courts and governments do. We have nowhere to go if we don’t know who we are…We are the pawns. Our voices, our experiences, aren’t part of adoption propaganda.

Karen Vigneault who helps me help adoptees emailed me that we need President Obama to pardon every adoptee from this existing system of identity theft and give us our legal documents: our original birth certificates and adoption records.

I agree.

***************************

More Corruption:

Two prominent reproductive law attorneys, Theresa Erickson and Hilary Neiman, were awaiting sentencing (in 2011) by a US district court after pleading guilty to charges connected with an elaborate surrogacy and baby-selling scheme. The many headlines about this fertility industry scandal are clear on the nature of the criminal activities. NBC San Diego titled its early story “Lawyer Busted in Black-Market Baby Ring”; the Los Angeles Times called it a “scam”; the UK Telegraph ran with “Babies ‘sold for $150,000’ in California.” Even the FBI pulled no punches: Its press release is titled “Baby-Selling Ring Busted.”

Many questions about the baby-selling scandal remain unanswered. How did the perpetrators get away with it for years, when many others in the field must have known about or at least suspected what they were doing? What sentences did the court impose? What will be the effects on the babies who were conceived from anonymous gamete providers in order to be sold, and on their families?

**********************************

Previously on Biopolitical Times:

****************************

Notice: Expert committee formed to review adoptions procedures; National Adoption Committee authority revoked in Kenya

***************************
AND I lost a wonderful friend:

Evelyn Stevenson, longtime tribal attorney, advocate and original proponent of the Indian Child Welfare Act, passed away on March 12, 2015 at 9:11am in Ronan, Montana on the Flathead Indian Reservation.  Evelyn was a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and was the second tribal member, and first tribal member woman, to become a licensed attorney.

A wake will begin at noon on Sunday, March 15, 2015 in the Elmo Community Hall in Elmo, Montana..

Tribal news coverage here.

**************************************

[My deepest thanks to Karen Vigneault-MLIS for her help and friendship and research on rehoming, the deportation of adoptees and other breaking news… XOX Trace]

The End Result: Fantasy-Failed Adoptions

adoption guide
no link to this propaganda ad

By Lara/Trace

I was thinking about all the adoptees I’ve met who have no contact with their adoptive parents. No calls, no visits. How does this happen?

Well, we first have to go back in time!

Let’s pretend we are a young couple (early 30s) who get the devastating news we can’t have a baby.

We see on a TV commercial there are poor orphans out there (to save) so we are determined to adopt one of those abandoned babies. Our first contact is the social worker in our state and the adoption agency we choose from the phone book or on the web.  Next we enroll to become certified foster parents and do a home study. We watch the movie JUNO and get excited a teenager might choose us.  We soon find out there aren’t babies available in American and a private adoption could cost up to $80K plus attorney fees. We see another TV commercial and consider open adoption but friends warn us we’d have contact with the baby’s mother and we can only imagine how awkward or risky that could be – what if the mother changes her mind and takes her baby back. (and we’d be out of all the money we spent, too.)

In our foster training classes for several weeks, we decide an older child is not going to work for us. Some of them come from broken homes and drug addicts. We want a baby or young child so they will bond with us.

So we decide on international adoption after watching another TV commercial. We know it’s expensive so we start a blog to raise money and friends at church hold a pancake breakfast. We think we’ll adopt from Russia or China so we meet with a new adoption agency, recommended by our other adoption agency.

At this point, we have no clue what it’s like for the adoptee and what hell they have been through.

We (the couple) can only imagine how grateful the toddler will be to come to America and have us for parents. “We’ll give them everything they need and love them unconditionally….” (You can say it over and over but what happens when your child doesn’t bond with you. This fantasy failure was never mentioned in the TV ads.)

OK, that’s it. This is the extent of their education, only what they are told by a few friends, the social worker, websites for adoption agencies and TV commercials.

The couple gets defensive when someone posts a comment on their fundraising-to-adopt blog that they should really investigate and learn more about adoptees, what they are really like. Someone else suggests they need to know more about adoptee disorders like severe narcissistic injury or reactive attachment disorder. (That is not considered by the couple as even remotely true.)  They are not interested in hearing the bad stuff.  They are good people and won’t be discouraged by some angry adoptee or mother who claims she was coerced into giving up her baby.  They aren’t aware there are baby brokers in some countries who steal babies to be sold into adoption to rich US couples? (Every single country has had some scandal about child trafficking.)

Fast forward a few years: They are very surprised their child cannot bond as they were expecting and disappointed their child is not happy to be adopted or grateful. The couple was not advised they will need therapy for this child.  Their social worker is not required to check on the baby or the couple.   Their lawyer gets paid and he’s gone on to the next couple. (Then they hear adoptive parents complain about their international adoptee when they join a support group. They learn some parents re-home their adopted child by placing an ad on the internet!)

They never imagined adoptees would have difficulties or how they will ask and want to search for their families and could end all contact with them once they are reunited.

END RESULT: complete ignorance, greatly encouraged by the booming billion dollar adoption industry.

How many times has the Fantasy-Failed adoption happened?  Too many times to count…

 

(an edited version of THE END RESULT was also published on Lost Daughters last year…)

Nestlé, Cargill and ADM face child slavery case

Nestle-Cargill-and-ADM-face-child-slavery-case_strict_xxlBy Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn, 27-Jan-2014 (Confectionary News)

Three Malian men have won the right to bring their civil child slavery case against Nestlé, Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to Californian courts.

Read more: http://www.confectionerynews.com/Manufacturers/Nestle-Cargill-and-ADM-face-child-slavery-case

Human trafficking: preying on expecting moms

917dd-childcatchers-2131By Lara/Trace

At this point in my research into human trafficking, I am looking at the billion dollar adoption industry tactics to convince mothers who are expecting to give up their newborn by using coercion, isolation, promises and careful maneuvers to guarantee the mother is going to go through with the transaction. I call this child trafficking because money is exchanged for the sale of an infant (commodity), coordinated by the adoption agency and/or lawyers (brokers) who collect fees from the future adoptive parents (buyers). It is like a real estate deal. You have a product, your house. The brokers and agencies have a buyer and charge money to make the transaction happen.

In recent cases like Veronica Brown (Capobianco), the lawyers and Nightlight Adoption Agency prey on the birthmother Christy by having her cut off all contact with Dusten Brown, birthfather. They might promise an open adoption but this is not legally enforceable but it means she will see her child occasionally or get updates. The lawyers use “no contact or financial support” to paint the father Dusten as a deadbeat. Viola – the adoption happens.  As you always hear, follow the money.

Read this post about the advertising tactics of the adoption agencies! Once an expectant mom makes that phone call to the agency, the coercions and preying begin.

State of IL Files Suit Against ANLC

From Suz’s blog Writing my Wrongs:

I want to comment on this story. I want to comment on it not only because it involves adoption in the State of Illinois. I want to comment on it because I lived it.

The article states that Illinois has filed suit against ANLC for internet advertising. The article cites Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan:

“They’re very specific in directing their advertising and marketing to people in Illinois,” says Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, even though they’re not licensed in the state. Illinois prohibits for-profit adoption agencies.”

Yes. True. I lived it.

The article also says:

“Adam Pertman of the Donaldson Adoption Institute worries about a coercive approach to pregnant women who may be in crisis, unsure what to do.”

To all this I say YES and YES. I also say HELL EFFIN YES to this last sentence:

“Of course, banning targeted ads in one state won’t keep such online agencies from operating, which is why — if Illinois’ lawsuit succeeds — Pertman hopes other states will follow its lead.”

Let me share, again, in case anyone doubts this can or does happen. I found Easter House in the New Haven, CT yellow pages in 1985. They had an advertisement there, a very misleading advertisement. It suggested they were in CT as they had a CT area code. When my mother and I contacted them we did so with the expectation that they were in CT and that I could stay in CT. We were quite surprised to learn that in fact their CT phone # rolled over to Illinois office. Even when we learned that we were still lead to believe they could assist me in CT. It was not until they flew someone out from Illinois to meet with my mother and me in an abandoned office building we learned otherwise. Even then, what we learned was not true, it was in fact a complete lie constructed to deceive us and get me out of the State of CT. Easter House had an ongoing legal battle with my home state and to get my child out of my body and into the hands of a “forever family” they had to get me out of state. They succeeded. They succeeded by terrorizing my mother and I (well, me really) into believing that if I had my daughter in CT she would be required, by law, to be left in foster care for a year, away from me and not with an adoptive family. I have written about this before. This was a very effective ploy on their part. I clearly remember looking up in terror at my mother, hand on pregnant belly, after having visualized a horrible foster care situation, agreeing that I would go away. In doing so, they isolated me, 1000 miles away from anyone known to me. It was “better for my child” they said.

These predatory practices must stop.

Read more about the Kurtz network of baby brokers.

 

Gypsy drama over child trafficking

I want my Maria back: The Roma mother of ten, held twice for trying to sell babies, who says ‘I HAD to leave my blonde girl in Greece’

  • Sasha Ruseva claims she did not sell Maria, who is now four years old
  • Says she was forced to leave daughter with friend in Greece because she could not afford the legal documents to take her back to Bulgaria
  • But Daily Mail can reveal a woman sharing her name has twice been arrested for trying to sell babies in Greece – and skipped bail both times
  • Police believe she will be shown by DNA tests to be Maria’s mother
  • Her husband, Atana Rusev, 37, has albino gene in his family

By Nick Fagge, Ben Spencer and Tom Kelly, CLICK: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2475971/Bulgarian-Sasha-Ruseva-believed-Marias-mother-wants-Greece.html?ICO=most_read_module

PUBLISHED: 25 October 2013

A Bulgarian Roma woman believed to be the real mother of the ‘blonde angel’ found in a Greek gypsy camp declared yesterday: ‘I want her back.’

Mother-of-ten Sasha Ruseva, 35, claims she did not sell Maria, now four, but was forced to leave her daughter with a friend in Greece as a baby because she could not afford the legal documents required to take her home to Bulgaria.

But the Daily Mail can reveal that a woman of her name has twice previously been arrested for trying to sell babies in Greece – and on both occasions skipped bail.

The Bulgarian Roma woman believed to be the real mother of the Maria said: 'I want her back.'The Bulgarian Roma woman believed to be the real mother of the Maria said: ‘I want her back.’

Children
Maria

Mother-of-ten Sasha Ruseva, 35, (children, left) claims she did not sell Maria (right), who is now four years old

 

‘Maria’ latest: ‘Parents’ questioned in Bulgaria

Today the Mail tracked down Mrs Ruseva, who police believe will be shown by DNA tests to be Maria’s real mother, to an impoverished gypsy camp in Nikolaevo in rural Bulgaria where her family share a one-room home without running water.

Her husband Atana Rusev, 37, has an albino gene in his family that may have resulted in Maria’s blonde hair and pale complexion.

Five of the couple’s other children are blonde and closely resemble Maria.

Mystery has surrounded the identity of the parents of the blue-eyed girl since she was discovered after police raided a Roma gypsy camp in central Greece last week.

A couple who posed as her parents for four years to make money from her begging are believed to have bought the child for £850.

Maria’s case attracted global attention, with thousands of calls from people who believe they may know her identity.

Mrs Ruseva wept yesterday as she insisted: ‘I did not sell Maria, nor did I give her away. For the past four years I have never forgotten Maria. I pray for her every day. I want her back, I want her back.’

Mother-of-ten Sasha Ruseva, 35, whose children are pictured here, claims she did not sell MariaMother-of-ten Sasha Ruseva, 35, whose children are pictured here, claims she did not sell Maria

A woman with the name Sasha Ruseva has twice previously been arrested for trying to sell babies in GreeceA woman with the name Sasha Ruseva has twice previously been arrested for trying to sell babies in Greece

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Maria’ dancing in Greek gypsy camp in September

Mrs Ruseva, who was just 13 when she had her first child, said she was pregnant with Maria when she went to Greece to work as a field hand on a farm with her husband.

She said her eldest daughter remained in Bulgaria to look after her other children but that arrangement stopped when she got married and wanted to move out, forcing Mrs Ruseva to return home.

She claimed she could not bring Maria back with her as the Greek authorities required she pay ‘hundreds of euros’ for a birth certificate for her daughter, which she could not afford.

She said: ‘I gave birth to Maria about four and a half years ago. I can’t remember the exact date.

‘I cared for Maria for seven months but I had to come back to Bulgaria look after my other children.

‘I left my daughter with my room-mate. She is also Roma. When I left Maria I asked the woman to send  her to Bulgaria. But she hasn’t. I cannot remember her name, it was four years ago.

‘I missed Maria but I don’t have any money so I did not know what to do. I called the woman several times and I knew she was safe and well. I don’t know why she kept her so long, why they did not send her back to me.

‘I don’t have enough money to call the woman in Greece any more so I stopped trying to get in touch with her. I didn’t know what was happening with my child. But I have never stopped wanting her, she is my own flesh and blood.’

This is the family's one-bedroom home in the impoverished gypsy camp in Nikolaevo in rural BulgariaThis is the family’s one-bedroom home in the impoverished gypsy camp in Nikolaevo in rural Bulgaria

 

Mrs Ruseva, who was just 13 when she had her first child, said she was pregnant with Maria when she went to Greece to work as a field hand on a farm with her husbandMrs Ruseva, who was just 13 when she had her first child, said she was pregnant with Maria when she went to Greece to work as a field hand on a farm with her husband

Mrs Ruseva and her husband registered the birth of a child four years ago at a hospital in Lamia, an hour from the Farsala camp where Maria was found.

Greek police think Maria may have been sold on by a baby-smuggling gang who offer newborns to childless couples for up to £22,000. It is believed that Maria was sold for a knockdown price because police were moving in on child smugglers in the area.

Judicial records show that a Sasha Ruseva was arrested in early 2009 – the same period as Maria  was handed to the gipsies in Greece – on suspicion of trying to sell a baby, but she skipped bail and escaped with the child.

In January this year a Sasha Ruseva was arrested in Thessaloniki, close to the Bulgarian border, for the same offence. On that occasion a child was taken into care and the mother was charged but disappeared before a court hearing.

Sotiris Koutsobelis, deputy mayor of Lamia, the town where Maria was born, told the Mail last night: ‘It seems that Ruseva has been selling babies all along.’

An ID card for a baby – the only documentation needed for it to be taken between Greece and Bulgaria – costs just 15 euros (£12.80).

A man claiming to be Mrs Ruseva’s brother last night alleged she had sold Maria for 250 euros, contradicting her account.

The man, who asked not to be named, told local radio: ‘We knew that my sister had a child in Greece, and gave it to friends there because it was impossible to support it, but she and her husband would see her quite often in Farsala. They still love Maria very much. She told us that the couple paid her 250 euros for the child.’

Judicial records show that a Sasha Ruseva was arrested in early 2009 - the same period as Maria was handed to the gipsies in Greece - on suspicion of trying to sell a babyJudicial records show that a Sasha Ruseva was arrested in early 2009 – the same period as Maria was handed to the gipsies in Greece – on suspicion of trying to sell a baby

 

Greek police think Maria may have been sold on by a baby-smuggling gang who offer newborns to childless couples for up to £22,000Greek police think Maria may have been sold on by a baby-smuggling gang who offer newborns to childless couples for up to £22,000

Mrs Ruseva and her husband were arrested and questioned for a few hours yesterday morning by Bulgarian police as part of a joint operation with Greek officers. Mr Rusev said: ‘I never got any money for Maria. The police asked us questions about her, but we don’t know anything. We told them we want her back.’

He added: ‘I can’t remember all of my children’s names because there are so many of them.’

His brother said Mr Rusev has been ‘out of his mind’ since he first saw a picture of Maria on Bulgarian television two days ago and has barely stopped drinking since. The family survive on child benefit payments of £40 a month from the Bulgarian state and live on potato soup and homemade bread.

Mrs Ruseva said: ‘Look at us, look at the place we live. We don’t have anything. We have only one bed. Three of the children sleep in it. The rest of us have to lie on the floor.

‘I don’t know how to pay for  their clothes. That is why I send them to school dirty and without shoes or clothes. Look at me. Look at how dirty I am.’ DNA testing is being carried out on Mrs Ruseva and the authorities have collected information about her trips to Greece in recent years.

Greek police chief Astelios Matziokas said: ‘This information is the best lead we have for finding Maria’s parents.’

Mrs Ruseva said: 'Look at us, look at the place we live. We don't have anything.'Mrs Ruseva said: ‘Look at us, look at the place we live. We don’t have anything.’

 

Greek police chief Astelios Matziokas said: 'This information is the best lead we have for finding Maria's parents.'Greek police chief Astelios Matziokas said: ‘This information is the best lead we have for finding Maria’s parents.’

Hristos Salis, 39, and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, 40, who posed as Maria’s parents, are in custody in Greece accused of child abduction. Maria’s case has spurred concerns about child trafficking within the Roma community, as well as accusations of racism towards them.

In an episode apparently prompted by the Greek case, two blond, blue-eyed children were taken by police in Ireland from their Roma parents who had different physical characteristics.

The girl and boy were returned to their families on Wednesday after DNA tests determined the children were rightfully theirs.

Sex Trafficking Children (boys, too)

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States

  • Report Brief (PDF, HTML)
  • Myths and Facts (PDF)
  • Briefing Slides (PDF)

Every day in the United States, children and adolescents are victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. Despite the serious and long-term consequences for victims as well as their families, communities, and society, efforts to prevent, identify, and respond to these crimes are largely under supported, inefficient, uncoordinated, and unevaluated.

The IOM and National Research Council studied these crimes as they affect U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States under age 18. The IOM/NRC report offers recommendations concerning strategies for responding to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States, new legislative approaches, and a research agenda. The report concludes that efforts to prevent, identify, and respond to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors in the United States require better collaborative approaches. These efforts need to confront demand and the individuals who commit and benefit from these crimes. The recommendations in the report have the potential to advance and strengthen the nation’s emerging efforts to prevent, identify, and respond to commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of minors.

Misunderstood
Although victims themselves, children and adolescents may
be subject to arrest, detention, adjudication or conviction,
commitment or incarceration, and having permanent records
as offenders.

Facebook site to dump adoptees, “rehoming” costs nothing

source: gawker
source: gawker

Usually, you only see the term “private re-homing” on message boards where pet owners seek new caretakers for unwanted animals. But, Reuters reports, there’s a far more sinister context for the phrase—on another, scarily similar network of online bulletin boards where desperate parents advertise and abandon children they regret adopting from overseas.

Through Yahoo and Facebook groups, parents and others advertise the unwanted children and then pass them to strangers with little or no government scrutiny, sometimes illegally, a Reuters investigation has found. It is a largely lawless marketplace. Often, the children are treated as chattel, and the needs of parents are put ahead of the welfare of the orphans they brought to America.

According to Reuters, over the course of five years a Yahoo message board called Adopting-from-Disruption (failed adoptions are sometimes referred to as “disrupted”) featured an new ad for a child about once a week. At least 70 percent of kids advertised there had been adopted from overseas, including countries such as Russia, China, Ethiopia and the Ukraine. Most ranged from ages 6 to 14.

The solicitations bear a “striking” resemblance to the way owners would describe an unwanted pet:

“Born in October of 2000 – this handsome boy, ‘Rick’ was placed from India a year ago and is obedient and eager to please,” one ad for a child read.

A woman who said she is from Nebraska offered an 11-year-old boy she had adopted from Guatemala. “I am totally ashamed to say it but we do truly hate this boy!” she wrote in a July 2012 post.

Another parent advertised a child days after bringing her to America. “We adopted an 8-year-old girl from China… Unfortunately, We are now struggling having been home for 5 days.” The parent asked that others share the ad “with anyone you think may be interested.”

After Reuters informed Yahoo of the message board, the company swiftly shut it down, along with five other groups. Reuters said a similar Facebook group called “Way Stations of Love” was still active, although it’s no longer searchable on the social network. A Facebook spokesperson initially defended the group to Reuters, explaining “that the Internet is a reflection of society, and people are using it for all kinds of communications and to tackle all sorts of problems, including very complicated issues such as this one.”

But as Reuters notes, “[g]iving away a child in America can be surprisingly easy,” and the process allows for flexibility that benefits the child. But these online forums circumvent existing safeguards.

The Reuters investigation found that some children who were adopted and later re-homed have endured severe abuse. Speaking publicly about her experience for the first time, one girl adopted from China and later sent to a second home said she was made to dig her own grave. Another re-homed child, a Russian girl, recounted how a boy in one house urinated on her after the two had sex; she was 13 at the time and was re-homed three times in six months.

Nicole Eason, who had been accused of sexual abuse by children in her care and had her own newborn removed from her home by child welfare authorities because the “parents have severe psychiatric problems as well with violent tendencies,” was able to take in a 16-year-old girl from Liberia named Quinta by forging documents in a response to an ad on one of those sites.

In an interview with Reuters earlier this year, Eason described her parenting style as: “Dude, just be a little mean, OK? … I’ll threaten to throw a knife at your ass, I will. I’ll chase you with a hose. I won’t leave burns on you. I won’t leave marks on you. I’m not going to send you with bruises to school.”

The headline of this post initially indicated that parents were selling adopted children via Facebook and Yahoo groups. As the Reuters story reported, “re-homing often costs nothing. In fact, taking a child may enable the new family to claim a tax deduction and draw government benefits.”

 

From Lara/Trace: Until the world catches on to the world of “human trafficking” (purposefully called adoption) and now the re-trafficking of adoptees, until criminal charges are filed on the agencies and parents, these children are the victims of the unscrupulous and criminal “dark side” of adoption trafficking. The chances these re-homed children will be abused in some way, is obvious to me.