Friday, April 26, 2013

‘The Child Catchers’: Evangelicals and the Fake-Orphan Racket

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In her shocking new book, Kathryn Joyce uncovers how conservative Christians have come to dominate the international adoption circuit—and its dark underbelly.

In 2009, a van from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, carrying seven young children and babies, was stopped as it drove outside the rural, central Ethiopian town of Shashemene. The children in the van were wards of Better Future Adoption Services (BFAS), a U.S. adoption agency, and had been declared abandoned—their families unknown—in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Police outside Shashemene arrested seven adults riding in the van, including five BFAS employees. The staff, it appeared to some, had sought to process children who had living family as though they had been abandoned in another region of the country, so that their adoptions to the U.S. could proceed more quickly.

At the time, Ethiopia was in the midst of a dramatic international adoption boom, with the number of adoptions to U.S. parents rising from a few hundred per year in 2004 to more than 2,000 five years later, and around 4,000 worldwide.The boom had brought substantial revenue into the country, as agencies and adoptive parents supported newly-established orphanages that became an attractive child care option for poor families; some agencies paid fees to “child finders” locating adoptable children; and the influx of Western adoption tourism brought money that trickled down to hotels, restaurants, taxi-drivers and other service industries.

For the rest of the story: http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/04/24/kathryn-joyce-s-the-child-catchers-inside-the-shadowy-world-of-adoption-trafficking.html

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