United Adoptees International Says Adoption is a Last Resort Not First Aid

UAI-United Adoptees International Responds to Expedited Dutch Adoptions as Not “Humanitarian Aid”. This is an example of what Not to do “for” Haiti’s children:

THE NETHERLANDS, Amsterdam, January 18, 2010 – Following the humanitarian disaster in Haiti, humanitarian aid is on its way, but also; expedited adoptions, possible abduction of children and forced relinquishment for intercountry adoptions to the West. The removal of children in times of disasters and wars under the guise of adoption, according to the vision of United Adoptees International (UAI), is not the right form of humanitarian aid. Concerning Haiti, the reaction of the Dutch government is an irresponsible response to the situation in Haiti where currently monitoring and surveillance cannot even be maintained. However, the Dutch government has decided that adoption will be the first priority and already agreed to 110 adoptions from Haiti. Of these, 56 adoptions were approved by the Ministry of Justice in an accelerated manner, arguing that these were already in the ‘pipeline’. Due to this, the Nederlandse Adoptie Stichting (NAS) and the largest Dutch agency Wereldkinderen, under pressure from prospective adoptive parents, took their chance to put pressure to get even more (risky) adoptions from Haiti.The facts and history teach us that adoptions from Haiti are risky and generally carelessly made. In 2003 the Dutch Youth Inspection called then for a strict control, after several reports of careless adoptions from a Dutch Adoption Agency. In 2005 a Unicef report warned for high risks regarding adoption from Haiti also.
At that time the Dutch agency had to close their dubious adoptions from Haiti.

Subsequently, the UAI reported on May 13, 2008 in the media about about a dramatic adoption from the same agency who opened another channel in Haiti, that was illustrative for multiple adoptions from Haiti. An adoptive couple told their story during a national TV broadcast of EénVandaag. They showed an Adoptee from Haiti who will probably stay the rest of her life in a mental hospital in the Netherlands.

Given the terrible disaster and the appalling situation in Haiti, the current “baby lift” operation is inspired only by emotion and a neo-colonialist way of thinking: “Our children are better off in the West ” as one of the Adoption Agencies involved in the ‘Babylift’ claimed. Just in these situations ,the UAI considers it no more than wise and logic to go through the required procedures, especially in the situation of chaos.

In times of disasters and wars, every time again it appears that children are moved prematurely to the West, before governments know how to deal with the disaster itself. The term ‘baby lift’ operations was originated during the Vietnam war in the seventies, where children were flown per aircraft to the United States. Without checking whether the children were actually orphans or relinquished by their parents. Many Vietnamese parents have searched for years unsuccessfully for their stolen children. But that is not where it stopped, still these kind of activities are still taking place and a recent example is Zoe’s Ark. A French ‘relie’f organisation which attempted to smuggle one hundred children from Chad for intercountry adoption under the guise of humanitarian aid.

NGO’s like the Red Cross, Unicef and World Vision, continuously calls at times for a temporary stop of adoption or a careful approach in times of crisis. These institutes simply need more time to get children back to their parents or to reunite with their family. The UAI in the mean time, made contact with several aid agencies including Plan Netherlands and asked them for their point of view on the disaster in Haiti. They are highly concerned about the situation in Haiti and in particular the high risk of child abduction. Since 1973, Plan Netherlands has worked in Haiti and has 143 employees on the spot. It is one of the largest development organisations. During disaster like these Plan has, in addition to providing medical and other resources, as first priority the protection of children to prevent the exploitation, abduction and abuse. From personal experience Plan knows that in times of crisis, the risk of abduction of children can be very high.

The UAI, therefore, considers the response of the Dutch government premature and not very considerate but too much motivated by emotions instead of properly thinking through the long term consequences for the Adoptees and their Haitian families. And after all the adoption scandals of recent years, one would have expected that the Netherlands now would had learned their lesson in this area. But the reality now shows an opposite picture. And the question is, whether that is really in the interests of children and parents in Haiti.

Adoption is a last resort, not first aid