Trafficking, adoption and the TVPRA

Good article, go read if you haven't already: Carried Off: Abduction, Adoption, and Two Families’ Search for Answers. It is the story of two families, one in China and one in the U.S., fighting to learn the truth about their children, both of who were stolen from their families.

I sincerely hope that no one who reads this post or the article believes that trafficking isn't a part of intercountry adoption, or that it should be treated differently than any other kind of human trafficking. This incredible piece of double-talk, a quote by a U.S. State Department representative (emphasis mine), tells me that hope is wasted:

We believe the best available protections against the abduction and sale of children for purposes of intercountry adoption, bribery, fraud, and inappropriate financial gains are offered by the Hague Adoption Convention...
Fraudulent intercountry adoptions are sometimes mislabeled as “child trafficking” because of varying international definitions related to the two phenomena. Children made eligible for intercountry adoption may fall victim to bad actors engaged in criminal practices and questionable procedures. In the majority of these cases, however, the persons committing the fraud do not intend to exploit the child for purposes of commercial sex or forced labor and, consequently, do not meet the defining characteristics of human trafficking under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.
U.S. trafficking laws, primarily the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 and the the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, focus on the use of fraud or deception to transport a person for sale into slavery, prostitution, indentured servitude or pornography. Apparently under these laws, you can sell and transport people for other purposes, including adoption, but it won't be considered trafficking.

This State Department representative appears to reason that the Hague Adoption Convention will prevent adoption trafficking, and that that's enough of a safeguard. Nonsense. If we don't get serious about adoption fraud by criminalizing it, it will continue forever.

Ethica, sadly now defunct, proposed an amendment to TVPRA in 2011. We need to redouble Ethica's efforts and ensure that the U.S. treats trafficking for adoption in the same way it treats any other kind of human trafficking: as a horrible, violent crime.


Anonymous said…
Unfortunately there is too much money to be made in the Forced Adoption market and this includes intercountry adoption, that's why it will never be stopped
T said…
Thank you for writing about this and for your commitment to social justice when it comes to adoption, children, families, citizenship, etc, especially with the voice of an adoptive parent.

I don't know if you've been following the Veronica Brown case. There seems to be an endless stream of corruption in adoption stories. This disturbing case of deception, stands out however, because this forced and unnecessary adoption is being fought, yet is still sanctioned and expedited by the highest courts in the US.

Please visit Facebook page, "Standing our Ground for Veronica Brown" to support keeping her home.

Adoption is for children who NEED a family, NOT for adults to have any child they want.

Thank you for your blog, activism, and continued dedication and efforts to the Korean adoptee community, our families, and for social justice.

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