Ethiopia – Yet another article…

29 Apr

The Wall Street Journal article is making its way around the adoption community and to me that is a good thing.  Yet at the same time, I cannot understand how this is news to anyone.  Department of State has issued numerous warnings that can be found at PEAR or Ethica.  PEAR has 54 posts on Ethiopia, and Ethica has numerous posts as well here.  In this post I did from December 2010, I link to two articles from Voice of America on Ethiopia which is only one, of numerous posts I have done on Ethiopia.

Quotes from the Wall Street Journal article below but please read the entire article as it is important.

Inside Ethiopia’s Adoption Boom

Ethiopia has become one of the busiest adoption destinations in the world, thanks in part to loose controls that make it one of the fastest places to adopt a child. Nearly one out of five children adopted by Americans hailed from Ethiopia the past two years, second only to China.


“Ethiopia is a classic example of the next boom country where there are warning signs,” said Karen Smith Rotabi, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies global adoption. While there is no proof of widespread fraud, the State Department says, in recent months it began requiring DNA tests and interviews of Ethiopians who have relinquished children, to ensure they are related.

No – the warning signs happened way back when Guatemala was closing and Ethiopia was just starting to be the go-to country.  People just did not want to see, or hear, the message being provided.  Nor does it appear that the “Voice” (JCICS) for International Adoption with all those Adoption Agencies members, mandated best practices protocol of DNA testing at the very beginning in Ethiopia – that was the protocol implemented in Guatemala, at least towards the end, (despite the problems with it – at least it was a start).  The very fact that the protocol existed as a means to deter fraudulent adoptions in Guatemala, yet to my knowledge, they failed to mandate it to their member agencies for Ethiopia from the start, which to me if they didn’t, speaks volumes.

Four years ago, he claimed, a stranger—a middleman in the adoption trade—came to his village and persuaded him to give up a child with the promise that she would grow up and send money to support him. “White people are taking children of the poor and helping them get a better life,” Mr. Delebo said he was told. “It will be good for you.”

If I remember correctly, this exact practice was detailed in the Fly Away Children produced by ABC News Australia back in 2009.  JCICS made this statement about the Fly Away Children program, but to the best of my knowledge, never published the results of the promised investigation into the allegations, nor can I find further mention of it on the website.

Adoptive parents who found out the truth after the fact have spoken out, repeatedly.

Ethiopia has shut down over two dozen orphanages, many that appear to be pipe-line orphanages (feel free to correct me here).

Tom Di Filipo head of JCICS back in 2007 videos from Al Jazeera English spoke on Guatemala and the problems and about Ethiopia and to how some families could stay together for between $20 and $50 dollars a month and that should happen first.  He also spoke to the problem of a program becoming too big, too fast and how it allows for corruption.  Take the time to watch these videos, please.  Understand that problems were known and acknowledged way back then, but it still persists today – that’s not right.  They knew up-front there would be problems, but didn’t do anything I can see to stop it from happening in the first place.



At the end of the day the talk is not solving the problem, but at least Ethiopia seems to have put the brakes on the revolving door.  But what about Uganda or the DRC?  Is the same thing going to happen again and again?


Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child, Ethics


Tags: , , ,

9 responses to “Ethiopia – Yet another article…

  1. Kim

    April 29, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Uganda and the DRC are already there. *sigh*


  2. The adopted ones

    April 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Kim, welcome – I have see an indication and if I can see it from an observer view then there is absolutely no excuse – for those deeply involved with the wherewithal and power to make a difference – for doing nothing. No excuse. It makes me sad for everyone that has to live with the fall-out for the rest of their lives.


  3. Kim

    April 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    This is a very good summary of what is happening in Uganda:


  4. The adopted ones

    April 29, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Kim I totally agree that post is eye-opening – I had that linked in my favorites bar for days for easy access – I also have them in my blog roll, and was considering linking to that post and a couple of other blogs that are on the ground, yet I am shy and don’t want them to be upset.

    I am just so tired that nothing happens to fix things, and people don’t learn from the past – yet are so quick to tell us adoptees that adoption is SO different than when we were adopted – different yes – same result/different words yes…really different no.


  5. veggiemom

    April 30, 2012 at 3:00 am

    It’s a really well done article. I wish it would make a difference but I don’t think it will. It’s already being totally dissed on the Ethiopia adoption forums.


    • The adopted ones

      April 30, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      And it is exactly that attitude of dismissal that causes the discord between postions within adoption. Something that is blatantly wrong but acceptable to one segment within a group of individuals that taints all individuals within that group to a greater or lesser degree. I say that to not paint all within the segment as such.

      No adoptee should be created when they did not have to be.


    • b.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      I agree. It is unbelievable how the same phrases have been repeated in comments, time after time after time, regardless which of the many reports from the last four years now is being discussed.


  6. Keren Riley

    May 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Hi there Please feel free to link to any of our articles/our blog, hopefully they will be of help and benefit to somebody. Thanks for reading our blog by the way:)


    • The adopted ones

      May 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Keren – thanks for commenting. I so appreciate your voice and other voices that are brave enough to speak out. Thank YOU!



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