“So What’s The Issue With Some International Adoptions?”

Since the inception of European imperial forces into Africa, kidnapping and abduction have been a centrepiece in systems of oppression. This does not mean that colonizing whites were originators of these crimes, but that they innovated them in a manner that exploded these criminal occurrences. This legacy still haunts the continent today and places many of her inhabitants in jeopardy especially young women and girls.

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Currently, the abduction of black bodies from the continent is not rooted in free labour, but instead in sex slavery and oddly enough adoptions for eager affluent western families. In most cases, families in the West are not totally aware of their terrible roles in these crimes however the question still remains why are affluent American and European families adopting children from Africa. Keep in mind that currently, the United States of America has over 100,000 children that are searching for adoptive homes. Adoptions in one’s native country also cost significantly less and arguably have a greater social impact, however families that choose international adoptions, state that they have very valid reasons for doing so. Some view their role as adoptive parents to foreign-born children as a divine calling, a Christian mission of sorts to save kids in peril. Others have more practical reasons such as ensuring a clean adoption without any legal challenge from a biological parent. Regardless of the reason, international adoption is often troubling considering how foreign born children are often targeted and treated by western agencies and foreign “orphanages”.

A glaring example of these dangerous practices was found in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio called Strongsville, where an international adoption agency once known as European Adoption Consultants once operated. This agency thrived by providing wealthy families with the opportunity to adopt children from all around the world promising that these children were true orphans. This was not the whole truth, in fact, the organization was under investigation by the FBI for bribery and fraud. This led to a surprise Federal raid where documents were seized in early 2017, subsequently, the State Department barred the organization from facilitating adoptions. The State Department cited alarming instances where the organization did not follow the laws of foreign countries and overall international policy concerning adoptions.

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EAC did not only bribe foreign officials but it also forged adoption papers and worked with international “orphanages”  that clearly engaged in child trafficking. In the case of a young Ugandan girl Namata, this is exactly what happened, she was placed in an orphanage under the guise of gaining a better education and then shipped to the United States by EAC to a family who paid tens of thousands of dollars to “adopt” her.  In her case, Mata’s  adoptive parents realized the mistake after numerous conversations where Mata kept asking why her mother sent her away. Sensing something was wrong they took steps to reunite her with her worried mother. NGOs in the area (Central Africa) cite these “adoptive” practices as being a rampant problem, one that government officials have not even begun to fully grasp.

The most pressing issue is, how many adopted children from abroad are actually victims of illegal child trafficking and what other “adoption agencies” are involved?