Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Open Brief aan de Rechters in de zaak Dilani Butink

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

20 mei 2020

Open Brief

Edelachtbaren,

Met belangstelling heb ik eergisteren gekeken naar de online streaming van de rechtszaak die door Dilani Butink is aangespannen tegen de Nederlandse Staat en adoptieburo Kind en Toekomst. Het betreft een civiele zaak, waarin ze erkenning vraagt voor het feit dat haar adoptie frauduleus was. Met daarbij de enorme  gevolgen  ten aanzien van haar identiteit. Ze verzoekt de Nederlandse Staat om hulp bij het opzetten van een DNA database om zo haar zoektocht naar haar afkomst helpen te bewerkstelligen. Dat is tenminste wat ik ervan begreep.

Advocate van eiseres gaf een indringende samenvatting van de business die adopties uit Sri Lanka was in de jaren tachtig, begin jaren negentig. Het belang van het kind stond niet centraal. Toezicht werd er niet gehouden.  En de ogen toegeknepen.

Dat de Landsadvocaat één en ander wenst af te doen met verjaring, begrijp ik vanuit hun oogpunt. Het is niet gemakkelijk om toe te geven dat de Staat betrokken was, en is, bij de handel in kinderen.

Dat de advocaat van Stichting Kind en Toekomst de eventuele betrokkenheid bij misstanden, fraude, handel in kinderen, ver van zich wierp, is vanuit haar oogpunt ook te begrijpen. Deze zaak van eiseres geïsoleerd willen zien en alle relaties met andere zaken ontkennen lag in de lijn der verwachtingen.

De directeur van Kind en Toekomst, mw. Bertie Treur, ging vervolgens op de emotionele toer. Ze had het niet geweten, en nee anders zou ze het ook nu niet doen. Haar argument was dat deze  kinderen  anders gedood zouden zijn. Wat hieruit naar voren kwam was dat zij deze kinderen had gered uit het arme miserabele Sri Lanka. Ook dat is iets wat mij totaal niet verbaasde. Het is de gebruikelijke retoriek van de adoptiewereld. Deze is zelden het resultaat van een objectieve observatie, maar is veelal geschoeid op een nogal koloniaal wereldbeeld.

Wat mij wel verbaasde was uw voorstel. Uw voorstel aan eiseres om contact te leggen met mw. Treur. Er werd gesteld dat er veel pijn was, aan beide kanten. Wellicht dat contact tussen partijen die pijn kon verlichten. En bij dit punt ging het heftig mis.

De afgelopen 15 jaar heb ik vanuit mijn werk en expertise vele geadopteerden mogen ontmoeten. Ik ben mij bewust geworden van het moeilijk te omschrijven leed dat hun is aangedaan. Ik waag mij daar dan ook niet aan. Om echter de pijn van beide partijen vergelijkbaar te achten, en te suggereren dat begrip voor elkaar zal helpen? Nee dat gaat echt te ver. Natuurlijk had eiseres dat al geprobeerd. Zoals zo veel geadopteerden hulp zochten bij ‘hun’ adoptieburo. Meestal tevergeefs.

Zulk advies heeft het risico van re-traumatisering, ook op de bredere groep geadopteerden die dit proces op de voet volgen, door eiseres contact met de dader te adviseren.

Ik heb de afgelopen jaren ervaren hoe de autoriteiten in o.a. Nederland omgaan met berichten over kinderhandel voor adoptie. Alles, maar dan ook alles, wordt in het werk gesteld om weg te kijken. En als dat niet lukt, dan is de inzet om e.e.a. te vertragen totdat… Totdat het er niet meer toe doet? Totdat partijen er aan ten onder zijn gedaan? Totdat het verjaard is?

Als we het hebben over verjaring, moeten we ook denken aan de transgenerationele effecten. Zijn we ons er bewust genoeg van dat het uitblijven van erkenning, gerechtigheid en ‘closure’ generaties lang doorwoekert? Met alle gevolgen vandien.

Zelfs een klip en klaar geval van kidnapping wordt nu al zo’n vijftien jaar door het Ministerie van Justitie onder de pet gehouden. De kidnapping is in India erkend. De ouders hebben een bescheiden vergoeding ontvangen voor het hun aangedane leed. Hier in Nederland is er geen erkenning. Geen bewijs dat hun kind in leven is. Geen DNA test. Geen afsluiting.

Deze niet erkenning van kinderhandel en het daardoor ontstane leed aan beide zijden (ouders en kinderen), zoals zo goed verwoord door United Adoptees International in de NOS podcast van gisteren, vormt de achtergrond van uw niet zo subtiele advies aan een slachtoffer om te praten met haar ‘trafficker’.

Ik verneem net dat de Belastingdienst na lange tijd van veel ophef nu aangifte heeft gedaan bij het Openbaar Ministerie tegen een aantal van haar topambtenaren. Ditzelfde zou m.i. dienen te gebeuren door het Ministerie van Justitie. Het voortdurend wegkijken, de blote ontkenning, het jarenlang faciliteren van interlandelijke adopties zonder een helder normenkader, is buitengewoon verwerpelijk. Door bovengenoemde feiten heeft er op grote schaal schending van de mensenrechten plaats gevonden.

Ik bereid momenteel een dossier voor en zal zeer binnenkort persoonlijk aangifte doen. Ik weet echter uit ervaring dat dit zeer waarschijnlijk tot niets leidt. Toch doe ik het. ‘Herhaling, herhaling’, zei de Belgische politie mij in 2004, alleen dat leidt uiteindelijk tot resultaat.

Het is met het meeste respect en hoogachting voor de rechtsstaat, en de mensenrechten, dat ik de wens uitspreek dat deze civiele zaak de erkenning brengt voor een slachtoffer van een ‘businesss’ met kinderen. Voor haar en de vele anderen waarvoor zij een daad stelt.

Mw. drs. Roelie Post

Klokkenluider, voormalig ambtenaar Europese Commissie, Brussel

Bron: ZEMBLA


Adoptions from Romania – The Devil is in the Details

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

23 April 2020

The Romanian adoptees who were adopted in the nineties and early 2000 have reached adulthood and have started looking for their roots. For their country. Their parents.

The Dutch TV programm Spoorloos (Traceless) has shown some of their stories. They found their parents. Their stories were different than they had been told. They were not abandoned. Often their parents had tried to find them. To claim tham back.

How could that happen?

My book Romania for Export Only, the untold story of the Romanian ‘orphans’ tells a lot about the wheelings and dealings that were going on in Romania. I have a lot more information and documentation. As of today I will start publishing some of that, so that adoptees can have access to the circumstances surrounding their adoptions.

Today’s focus:  The Romanian Adoption Agency Copiii Fericiti (Happy Children) and its relation with Solidarite Enfants Abandonnes Roumains (SERA)

Copiii Fericiti was one of the biggest end nineties.  Below some context and explanations:

Background 1993 Abandonment Law:

In 1991 Romania’s new adoption law limited international adoptions to children in ‘orphanages’. But those children were not legally free – not abandoned.

Under pressure of the US (senators, negative media disabled children, actors etc), during the negotiations of Romania’s Most Favored Nation Status (trade agreement) – Romania adopted a law that ruled that children, through court, could be declared abandoned and free for adoption if their parents had not visited for six months.

It was up to the Directors of the ‘orphanages’ to file the abandonment cases to Court.

New Romanian government in 1996. Tabacaru Secretary of State for Child Protection and Head of the Romanian Adoption Committee (RAC.

He was appointment after interference of Jacques Chirac (according to FdC).

In 1996 Tabacaru in his policy plan states there are 100.000 children in orphanages.

Summer 1997:  new adoption law   (Tabacaru)

September 1998: pointsystem developed by RAC.

June 1998 (SERA report 34)

To ensure that CF has good relations with the local Social Service Departments, SERA spends its aid through CF. Also, CF distributes to the Social Service Separtments part of the money received from adoptions. CF receives 2.000$ per child, of which 500 $ are given to the Social Service Department.

CF complains that even though they provide a lot of aid/money, and help to legally free children for adoption, there is no guarantee that they can facilitate these adoptions, or get children for adoption.

The SERA report contains handwritten lists of children, abandoned, free for adoption etc.

Comment: The decentralized Social Service Departments were set up as part of the 1992 Phare Programme – in 1996. In 1997, Tabacaru changed the names of these services into Child Protection Departments. Humanitarian assistance for families was now given through child protection only. That meant that too often children would end up in residential care, instead of providing aid…  (Example: the dead twins in Ireland).

In 1998 a law was implemented that made the DPCs responsible for the filing of abandonment cases to Court (so no longer the directors of orphanages) – page 18 SERA report 36.

November 1998 (SERA report 35)

CF works in 15 departments in Romania and did 200 ICA in 1998, mostly with France where Medecins du Monde (MdM) is their main partner.

Tabacaru’s system creates a link between the number of children attributed by the RAC to an adoption agency.

Points can be gained by donations, but also for adoptions: 5 points for national adoption, 5 points for adoption of a child older than 6 years, 5 to 10 points for adoption of a special needs child.

Budget of donations CF to local Departments of Child Protection (DPCs): 600.000 $ in 1998.

CF pays DPCs 6.000 $ per adopted child.

Ivanescu thinks the number of adoption agency will reduce: only 20 will continue to exist (now there are more than 100)

January 1999 (SERA report 36)

Translation page 58:

In 1998, CF is the first adoption agency with 200 adoptions, 30 more than number two, the Italian agency Solidarieta.

In 1999, CF hopes to double the number of adoptions and to get between 400 and 500 adoptions.

CF works mainly with France, and in France mainly with Medecins du Monde. But it works also with 8 other countries: Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, US, Malta and Cyprus.

The honorarium asked from adoptive parents varies, depending of the country, between 3.500$ and 7.000 $. From this sum CF transfers minimum 1.000$ to the DPCs because adoption needs to contribute to the financing of the reform: prevention of abandonment, de-institutionalisation of the children in orphanages by the creation of a network of foster families, and humanization of the living conditions of the children in orphanages.

The working method of Dr. Ivanescu is to sign conventions with the DPCs: CF hereby engages to finance certain costs, such as payment of salaries of social assistants, and, in return, the Department engages to obtain a precise number of abandonment judgments and adoption judgments.

In 1998, CF paid 150.000 $ of aid to the Departments. Dr. Ivanescu wants to triple that sum in 1999.

He is convinced that SERA and CF ‘accentueront’ their cooperation: SERA will trasit through Copii Fericiti most of the financial aid that it gives to the DPCs (almost 2 million French Francs are foreseen in the 1999 budget), in such a way that it will assure the efficiency of this aid in terms of adoption.

May 1999 (SERA report 37)

Prime Minister of Romania writes to European Commission, 26 May:

147.000 children in institutions.

Because of economic crisis, impossible to raise enough funds to nourish the children.

Apply for extremely urgent aid.

New adoption regime begins to function well. 2.000 adoption in 1998, and this year it should be between 3.000 and 3.500 children.

CF is among the first Romanian adoption agencies. It did 200 adoptions in 1998 and hopes for 300 this year. Second in place are the agencies directed by Ms. Bustea, Irene and Stuart, who mainly work with Spain. Behind those, some thirty small ones are in process of concentration: soon fifteen will remain, of which five or six at national level.

Tabacaru has created a virtuous circle of the financing of adoptions.

CF donated in 1998 600.000 FF to the DCPs. The first five months of 1999 CF already donated 800.000 FF financed by SERA.

The main break on adoptions is the legal status of the children. To make them adoptable needs time, will, competence, and money.

  • In one department (Dolj) CF has employed a law student, named Alin, who does an extraordinary work. He is paid by CF 600 FF per month, plus an extra 120 FF per file. Since beginning of the year, Alin has succeeded to make 80 children legally adoptable (abandonment law).
  • In the department Botosani CF employed two social workers from the DPC, but that does not work. They only manage to free files very slowly.

The ideal would be, says Ivanescu, that CF had the means to employ in every department an Alin. If we could submerge the territory with Alins, we would really become performant: many abandoned children would find a family, and the others would be better treated.

Copii Fericiti facilitated (data 1999):
Small World Inc. – USA
(MAPS Maine Adoption Placement Services)  – USA
Universal Aid for Children. Inc.  – USA
Uniting Families Foundation  – USA
SEEK (Saving Eastern Europe’s Kids) Inc.  – USA
Wereldkinderen (Netherlands Intercountry Child Welfare Organisation) – Netherlands
Medecins du Monde – France

Unknown which agencies they worked with in Belgium, Cyprus, Malta and Sweden.

COURTCASE  Copii Fericiti  – 1999

Summarised the story is as follows:

The child (born 1993) was placed in children home by her mother, together with two siblings, in 1996. The husband had left the family and she was too poor to keep them. In 1998 (so under the new Hague legislation) the child was placed on the adoption list and Copiii Fericiti got the task to find adoptive parents.  They ‘selected’ a Cypriot couple (so in fact it was an independent adoption – no Cypriotic agency involved).

When at the Court, it appeared the child was not free for adoption (I guess that means the mother visited the children, otherwise the abandonment law could have been applied).

The mother was contacted by Copiii Fericiti and she signed relinquishment papers.

The father and his concubine, however, asked for 5.000 dollars – but 4.000 was negotiated. Which the couple paid – through the adoption agency’s worker Cosmina Simon (they transferred the money from Cyprus to Copiii Fericiti, who changed it into Romanian lei and gave it in a plastic bag to the father.

When the mother heard about this, she wanted also money/a house. The overwhelmed Greek couple then went to the police.

In the end the Court decided that, according to the Romanian law, only THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD counted, and the adoption could take place because the Greek adopters had the material conditions to raise the child.

The father was the only one who got convicted – but he did not come to court (is on the run).

Comment:  The Court of course took its decision based on the adoption law – which was drafted in such a way that nobody else than the biological parents could be convicted…

Nobody adressed the fact that the child should not have been on the adoption list at all – the mother had the parental rights, meaning she visited the children – and where are the siblings???

BOGDAN IVANESCU -   DR. FEDERICI

Bogdan Ivanescu, as well as Tabacaru are part of the Romania Team of Ron Federici’s Care International.

International members of Care International are the professors who did the brain experiment in St. Ecatarina (with participation SERA), and the Dutch adoption profressor Hoksbergen.

‘The foundation that I have found to be the most reputable in all of Romania is “Fundata Copii Fericiti” run by Dr. Bogdan Ivanescu.”  Quote Ron Federici

MEDECINS DU MONDE

MdM was set up by Bernard Kouchner. When he was Minister for Health (1993?) he asked MdM to also engage in ICA.

’Coût d’une adoption en Roumanie en 2000 : 70.000 Francs Français. J’ai emprunté une partie à ma grand-mère et une partie à ma banque. Le coût varie selon le pays d’origine. A la même époque, adopter au Brésil coûtait 120.000 Francs.

Ce coût est un coût global : la moitié environ a été réglée à Médecins du Monde qui en reverse une partie à l’organisme roumain qui gère l’orphelinat. Cette argent a servi a améliorer la vie de ceux qui sont restés. L’autre moitié, ce sont tous les frais (avion, hébergement, démarches diverses à payer, etc…)

Concernant l’âge, ATTENTION !!!! J’ai adopté un enfant de 6 ans (qui en a 14 aujourd’hui même 07/01), et nous vivons un enfer depuis le début. Je cotoie beaucoup de gens qui sont dans la même situation. Il me semble, mais ça n’engage que moi, que les enfants adoptés tout-petits présentent moins de problèmes.’
http://fr.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080104014549AA0qWBb 0.000 FF = 10.000 Euro

Zwartboek Adoptie, door Eugénie Smits van Waesberghe

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020

over verzwegen adopties in de 20e eeuw in Nederland-Een schoot vol tranen

7 april 2020 – Boekrecensie

Recentelijk las ik het boek van Eugénie Smits van Waesberghe, een (mede-) strijdster voor mensenrechten en gerechtigheid inzake adopties.

De invoering van de Adoptiewet in 1956, op voorstel van de Federatie voor Instellingen voor Ongehuwde Moeders in Kind (FIOM) en International Social Services (ISS-NL), zorgde voor veel leed. Eugenie Smits van Waesberghe laat in haar boek betrokkenen aan het woord. De lezer stapt binnen in een wereld vol leugens, pijn, ontkenning en vernedering. Moeders die onder grote druk hun kinderen ‘afstaan’. Eens volwassen gaan vele kinderen op zoek naar hun afstammingsgegevens en/of hun ouders. Een niet gemakkelijke zoektocht, waarbij vele hindernissen worden opgeworpen. Een traumatische familiegeschiedenis die haar sporen van generatie op generatie overdraagt.
Het is in en intriest te moeten constateren dat dit zwarte hoofdstuk in de Nederlandse geschiedenis had kunnen worden voorkomen.

In 1954 waren er van verschillende kanten grote twijfels bij de noodzaak van een adoptiewet. Kinderrechters zagen in de onherroepelijkheid van adoptie een groot probleem. Het aannemen van de adoptiewet zou een stap terug zijn in de moderne wetgeving, omdat het voorbijging aan het belang van de bloedband en het weten van wie men afstamt. Echter, de politiek liet zich overreden door pressie-groepen die van mening waren dat de gezinsband belangrijker was dan bloed.

Toen in de jaren zeventig het aanbod van kinderen opdroogde, werd de vraag naar adoptie-kinderen verplaatst naar het buitenland. En hetzelfde patroon herhaalde zich. Er ontstond een vraaggestuurde markt, waar kinderen onder dwang of misleiding werden ‘afgestaan’. Of op andere wijzes hun ouders ontnomen.
Zoals Eugenie aangeeft nemen gedane zaken geen keer, maar is het nu tijd voor erkenning. En het leren van fouten. En het dan niet weer doen… de geschiedenis van kinderhandel moet zich niet telkens herhalen.

Ik raad een ieder aan dit belangrijke boek te lezen. Het is een deel van de geschiedenis die we onder ogen moeten zien. Opdat we niet vergeten.

BOL.com


The Rights of the Child in the EU: Denmark intends to put many more children up for adoption

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

2 January 2020

Today there is a lot of attention for the NewYear Speech of the Prime Minister of Denmark. Mette Frederiksen. She announced her intention to get more children into care and have part of them adopted in Denmark, in particular children from minorities.  That is a shocker.

Read more about that in this article (use Google Translate, which indicates that this could mean an increase in children in care from 14.400 to 50.000):

Do we have a Prime Minister who will not comply with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the ECHR?

This is unfortunately the outcome of a more than 10-year process. Every since the European Commission forced Romania to properly implement the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and thus to stop the export of children for intercountry adoptions, the adoption agencies in the US and the EU have been up in arms and pushed the EU to make a 180 degree U-turn.

Long story short, this is what I blew the whistle about. About the Hague Adoption Convention and its perverse effects.
First by publishing in 2007  the book “Romania for Export Only, the untold story of the Romanian ‘orphans”, and secondly by sending a letter to the President of the European Parliament in 2016, copied to the Dutch EU Presidency, the EU Ombudsman, and the EU Ombudsmen on child rights.

We should keep in mind that, once children are made ‘adoptable’ it could well be that they will also be adopted abroad…

Below the text of the Annex to my whistleblowerletter. A letter that remained without reply, as a result I got fired in August 2018. (more…)

Reflections on the 2017 Round Table on Intercountry Adoption

Saturday, December 21st, 2019

21 December 2019

To my surprise, I was invited to speak in the Round Table debate at the Dutch Parliament which took place in The Hague on 24 May 2017. A lot has happened since, which led me to these long overdue reflections.

It was a highly emotional session, where those speaking pro and against adoption used strong words.

Main subject of discussion was the report of the report of the Dutch Council for Criminal Justice and the Protection of Juveniles (RSJ), where – on its own initiative – the RSJ advised phasing out intercountry adoption, and stopping adoptions from the United States, China and EU Member States with immediate effect.

One Member of Parliament, Van der Staaij, himself adoptive father of two Colombian children, asked: why now?
Why now this unsolicited advice to stop intercountry adoptions?

The same question had crossed my mind: Why now?

In 2008, the Kalsbeek Committee was given the specific remit of advising whether intercountry adoptions should be continued or stopped. This Committee, while writing a report that was critical, nevertheless decided that intercountry adoption should continue.
Why now?

In 2007 two things happened in the Netherlands:

• The Indian Scandal about a kidnapped Indian child who was adopted in The Netherlands

• The publication of my book: Romania for Export Only, the untold story of the Romanian “orphans”, exposing the “adoption lobby”.

A Dutch TV programme presented Arun Dohle’s research on kidnapped Indian children. Despite parliamentary questions, and the setting up of an investigative committee, the Indian scandal was largely covered up. Apart from three voluminous reports, not much happened. The responsible Secretary of State for Justice (F. Teeven) kept postponing reporting to Parliament. He could not gain access to the Indian criminal investigation. And when he finally could, at the end of 2012, interest in this issue had subsided. A DNA-test to confirm the Indian parent’s suspicions was deemed harmful to the 14 year old. This recommendation was issued following a request by the Dutch Court by a psychologist with close ties to the adoption agencies. There was no criminal investigation on the Dutch side. Adoptions with India could resume.

One of the principal results was that a special adviser joined the Ministry of Justice (Joel van Andel, who had previously worked in Brussels at the Dutch EU Permanent Representation).

In the meantime, changes had taken place at the European Commission: the Barroso Commission had taken seat. Strong vested interests had taken over the “Romanian Children File”. I had been removed from my job. There was huge pressure to declare me psychiatrically unfit. I had to be declared unfit for work “an invalid” on psychiatric grounds. However, some people at the highest level of the European Commission helped me fight back.

In Romania for Export Only, the untold story of the Romanian “orphans”, I described the ferocious adoption lobby. The manipulation of children’s rights. The dubious role of legally accredited adoption agencies, international NGO’s. And UNICEF. It soon became clear that the Hague Adoption Convention twisted the original meaning of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Why? Because the original, intended, interpretation of Article 21b would make intercountry adoptions as good as impossible. Intercountry adoptions were meant to be an absolute exception, not the rule. The Hague Adoption Convention instead turned it into a child protection measure, one among several and transformed the subsidiarity principle into: first national adoption, then intercountry adoption. Foster care and residential care (institutional care) were relegated to very temporary solutions. Parental rights were terminated, creating parentless children (manufactured “orphans”).

The media turmoil that the Indian Scandal brought about, brought my book to the centre stage. The founder of United Adoptees International tipped De Telegraaf, and on 2 August 2007 the paper came with a full page scoop: “Killed by the Adoption Mafia”. It was the beginning of a very hot summer in adoption land.

Around that time, in fact since 2006, a revised draft adoptionption law had been pending in the Netherlands. Due to these scandals hitting the headlines, the Minister of Justice asked the Kalsbeek Committee on Lesbian Parenthood to also advise on the desirability of continuing intercountry adoption. While being very critical, the Committee advised continuing intercountry adoption (May 2008).

At about the same time, the Ministry of Justice’s Independent Research and Documentation Centre asked me to write an article for their booklet “Adoption under Fire”. In “The Perverse Effects of the Hague Convention” I spelled out the contradiction between the Hague Adoption Convention and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (November 2008).

Throughout all this, I was in deep trouble at the European Commission. Strong vested interests had taken over the “Children File”. I had to be declared unfit for work. However, at the highest level of the European Commission there was a guerrilla war that tried to stop this. To cut a long story short: I was seconded to an NGO especially set up for that secondment: Against Child Trafficking. Together with the German Arun Dohle, who initiated the Indian Adoption Scandal, I worked tirelessly for almost 10 years to counter the vested interests. We did this mainly by investing our own time and funding.

In 2008 ACT got involved with the then biggest adoption agency Wereldkinderen by helping them to set up a roots program for Indian adoptees. We invested a huge amount of time, provided them with our expertise, and local experts. The idea was to set up a centre of excellence for roots searches, and request public funding. A rights-based approach for roots searches. But the cooperation failed, and we started helping Indian adoptees finding their roots ourselves. The unpaid work, given to Wereldkinderen, was paid for out of our pockets. I kept ACT financially afloat, while Arun’s working time was unpaid.

ACT received one paid assignment from Wereldkinderen in 2009. The then director was proud of Wereldkinderen’s Ethiopian program, and we challenged her on that. ACT was then contracted to investigate a number of adoption files. The findings were devastating: dead parents who were alive; and adoptions without parental consent. Instead of closing the Ethiopian program and disseminating the results of our findings internationally, the Ministry of Justice and Wereldkinderen travelled together to Ethiopia, were shown around by the traffickers and business continued as usual. ACT continued to uncover scandal after scandal, via the international media. Country after country stopped adoptions from Ethiopia and finally, in 2014, Wereldkinderen also stopped (because they could no longer get children).

ACT initiated the China scandal, by being the source for the media. We networked to draw attention to the trafficking of children in Uganda and Congo. We gave our knowledge to expose the effects of the Hague Convention in Bulgaria. Not only in the Netherlands, but also in other countries, our work created havoc. And the intercountry adoption numbers were constantly decreasing.

UNICEF was our main opponent. Wherever evidence of trafficking emerged (Romania, India, China, Ethiopia) UNICEF continued to embrace the Hague Adoption Convention’s subsidiarity principle, and saw no need to stop intercountry adoptions. It was during the Romanian battle, that UNICEF changed its position into the Hague subsidiarity version, going against Article 21b of the UNCRC.
And the RSJ now advises stopping intercountry adoptions?

Why now?

Because the numbers are now so low that it is no longer justifiable and/or can no longer be efficiently organised through self-reliant adoption agencies?
Or, because I blew the whistle by writing to the President of the European Parliament, copied to the Dutch Prime Minister (EU Presidency), and the European Ombudsman?
I blew the whistle in February 2016 on how I was being treated after my reintegration into the European Commission because the secondment contract to ACT expired. More importantly, I also blew the whistle on the European Commission’s 10 years of biased pro-adoption approach to child rights. And the lasting effects it is having on European children and families (Annex I).

It was a huge battle for the European Union to get children’s rights back in order after the total mess that resulted from the advice of Defence for Children International (Nigel Cantwell), International Social Services, UNICEF and last but not least, the Hague Adoption Convention (Hans van Loon). Romania was the first “sending country” that had implemented the Hague Adoption Convention. A fully-fledged demand-driven market was the result. A sick adoption system, in which high level politicians (and their relatives) were involved, while allegedly paedophile networks had infiltrated the system.

After Romania instigated a moratorium, UNICEF organised a meeting at the US Embassy where Nigel Cantwell represented UNICEF as an expert (9/11/2001). While he is known for his sharp and critical analysis of intercountry adoption practices, he and others insisted that foster care and residential care were not to be considered as suitable means of care, and needed to be limited in time. And that intercountry adoption should be subsidiary to national adoption. In short: the Hague model. But that would have meant the same all over again, and not much would have changed. The EU withdrew from the international cooperation and continued its work with independent European experts.

This could only be done because of the EU’s adherence to the original version of Article 21b of the UNCRC and thanks to the opinion of the Independent Panel of EU Family Law Experts that (intercountry) adoption is not a child protection measure. This took strong leadership, by the European Commissioner – under whose guidance I did my work as Task Manager of the Romania Team in DG Enlargement. Because not only did opinions differ in the world of so-called children’s rights, also in-house colleagues at all levels tried to torpedo a child rights policy that would stop the export of children.

End 2004, after the Romanian government completed the EU-supported success story of the Romanian child protection reform with new legislation that corrected the former Hague biased laws, internal discussions started in DG Enlargement on how to achieve a coherent EU approach. We were aware that the closure of Romania would put other vulnerable countries at risk. I was told that achieving such a coherent approach on children’s rights would probably take 10 years. Despite the pressure and harassment/intimidations I had been subject to since I started working in the area of child protection, I was OK with that/happy to pay that price.

When hidden forces removed me from my job, I was told I could no longer work on children’s rights/anti-trafficking. With hindsight, I now understand why. Under the leadership of the right hand of Silvio Berlusconi, DG Justice would work to replace the UNCRC with The Hague Convention. Helped by French and Italian Members of the European Parliament, who were clearly the voices of the Italian adoption agency Amici dei Bambini and the French investment banker Francois de Combret, founder of Solidarité Enfants Roumains Abandonnés (SERA).

Being side-lined, I got into a weird battle with the European Commission, where a few high-level – in fact the highest level, Secretary General Catherine Day, proposed that I continued with my work on child rights. I could be seconded to UNICEF for example… Well, that was not really an acceptable option, considering my experiences in Romania. And since there were no child rights organisations promoting the correct implementation of the UNCRC’s Article 21b, it was agreed that a new NGO should be set up. This is how Against Child Trafficking (ACT) was born.

ACT pressured the European Commission to revoke their illegal acts: The Hague Adoption Convention had been removed from the acquis (EU legal basis) at the end of 2013.

The RSJ now wants the Netherlands to stop intercountry adoption and refocus on building up local child protection instead.

UNICEF, however, wants intercountry adoptions to continue, based on a position paper drafted by Defence for Children International (just look at the document properties).

Believe it or not, where the RSJ opines that the subsidiarity principle cannot be implemented in practice, and thus becomes an argument against intercountry adoptions, UNICEF, Defence for Children and ISS advise applying the subsidiarity rule for each and every child at individual level.

And I wonder, why?

The creation of the Hague Adoption Convention undermined the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by imposing adoption/intercountry adoption on the rest of the world as a child protection measure.

The Dutch are now trying to repair this by reverting to the original meaning of Article 21B of the UNCRC.

But UNICEF/ISS/DCI, all in the person of Nigel Cantwell, are trying to keep it going under a new interpretation.

And I wonder: who the hell is Nigel?

And, last but not least, I still wonder why I was invited to speak at the Round Table.

In 2008 there was no place for me at the Round Table discussion about the Kalsbeek Report, this time there was.

The RSJ report was largely based on the work done by ACT, without acknowledging that this was the case. My article about the perverse effects of the Hague Adoption Convention was extensively quoted.

I still wonder if the whistleblower letter to the President of the European Parliament, copied to the Dutch Prime Minister, in February 2016, had anything to do with that. I blew the whistle about my own situation. In August 2014 the European Commission’s secondment contract to ACT had ended, and I had been reinstated. I was not welcomed back: I was harassed, mobbed, there were again attempts to declare me mentally ill and to force me out on invalidity on psychiatric grounds. History repeating itself.

I blew the whistle on what had happened in the EU over the last 10 years. How the work on the Romanian Children File had been intentionally “forgotten” and how a full push for the Hague Adoption Convention had created a market in children in several European countries and accession countries.

Perhaps that whistle was heard after all… by the RSJ.

Unfortunately, long story short, the RSJ’s advice was put aside by the Dutch Ministers of Justice. Not stopping intercountry adoptions, but doing it better. Sure. Three years have passed, and there is no progress. At all.
Medio 2020 the Minister will come up with new legislation including a clear framework of standards, a so-called ‘normenkader’.
We’ll wait and see.

Cambodia, For Export Only

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

21 November 2019

Today I got a question about Cambodia, about the investigations the Dutch Embassy did there in 2003.
And yes, I have that report.

Dutch Embassy report
LINK

Letter on behalf of the Dutch Minister announcing to stop adoptions from Cambodia (and Guatemala) : LINK

As far as I know, this was the only time the Dutch Central Authority ordered such an investigation.
It was also, as far as I know, the only time that the FBI investigated intercountry adoptions:

Richard Cross – FBI

Despite lots of pressure, Cambodia has not really re-opened again.

Cambodia Adoption Notice: Update on Status of Intercountry Adoptions from Cambodia
Last Updated: February 17, 2016


Romania’s children are coming home

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

Sunday, 17 November 2019 on Antena 3

Preview

Debate in Dutch Parliament about ACT’s founder Roelie Post

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

During a debate in the Dutch Parliament, Members Pieter Omtzigt (Christian Democrates) and Renske Leijten (Socialist Party) brought up the case of EU whistleblower Roelie Post.
Prime Minister Rutte said it was a sensitive case.  And he passed the case to Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok.

A motion was handed in:

“Noting that Mrs. Roelie Post has written a whistleblower letter to the prime minister of the Netherlands when the Netherlands was president of the European Union,
Noting that the problem she raised was child trafficking for international adoptions has by no means been resolved,
Invites the Dutch government and Mr. Timmermans for a decent solution for both the case and for the person in question and to inform the Chamber about this before October 25, 2019.

French pressure on Romania: for export

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

Here we go. Again.

In the middle of the dramatic adoption of Sorina, French TV channel ARTE launches yet another campaign to re-open intercountry adoption from Romania.

Let’s not forget that there are 314.000 children in the French child protection system.

And that in the Dutch child protection still many older children are put in isolation, for behaviour problems.

Still, in France or the Netherlands, nobody lobbies to send these children abroad.
Only Romania has the doubtful honour to be the target of the French.

Same same, since more than 30 years.

Date: 2019-07-15
Source: https://www.arte.tv

The end of Democracy, Rule of Law. And European values

Sunday, July 28th, 2019

28 July 2019

For Alexandra and Sorina

In Caracal, Romania, 15 year-old Alexandra was brutally murdered. Authorities let it happen, while she and neighbours called 112. No police available at night, and the next day they waited for hours in front of the crime scene, failing a search warrant.

In Baia de Arama, Romania, 8 year-old Sorina was brutally taken by the authorities. Taken from her foster family, her family, her country, culture, language. Exported abroad.

In both cases authorities stuck to the law, they say.
In Alexandra’s case, of course the law would have allowed the Police to enter the crime scene to prevent the crime. The law allows that. Common sense and humanity dictate it.

In Sorina’s case her passport was considered a legal document. So Sorina was allowed to be taken out of Romania by her legal adoptive parents. The adoption paperwork contained false information.
The adoption could have been stopped by the Courts.
The law does not allow falsified paperwork.
The adoption could have been cancelled.
Common sense and humanity should have prevailed.

In Sorina’s case, her adoption was based on the adoption law that got into force in 2013.
That adoption law allowed Sorina’s adoption by unrelated Romanians living abroad.

Almost a decade before, the adoption of Romanian children by unrelated Romanians or foreigners abroad had been stopped. Children’s Rights had become law, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights. European values became law.
Under pressure of the European Union, as condition for Romania’s accession to the EU.

That should have been the end of the undignified export/sale of Romanian children.

The EU’s U-turn

Unfortunately for Sorina, the EU informally made a U-turn. Non democratic, in a mafia like way (Link Interview Bostinaru), the EU ‘forgot’ that the UN Convention was their legal basis and replaced it with the Hague Adoption Convention.
During the same time, the EU did not force Romania to prosecute those that were involved in the Romanian children business. Instead, they benefitted from impunity. And EU-funding.

Central in all this:

The United State of America’s adoption policy doctrine, promoted mainly by
o French relationship banker Francois de Combret
o The Soros network
o International Social Services
o Unicef
o Italian adoption agency Amici dei Bambini.

And their allies and front-offices inside the EU and Romania.

A crime against humanity

Instead of ‘Open Society’, as promoted by George Soros, it seems to be about ‘Open Market’.
In this case, a regulated market in children.

Through political meddling, abuse of power and misuse of EU funding to influence laws and policies these influencers got their way.
They collectively undermined the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, by creating the Hague Adoption Convention and enforcing its implementation.

A ‘Trojan Horse’ that changed intercountry adoption from an extreme measure that is, if all, the extreme exception into a regular measure of child protection.

By allowing something like this to happen, they fail all children.

Sorina. But also Alexandra.

It gives the message that children do not count for the State. The State does not care.

No humanity. No solidarity.

The end of democracy and the rule of law. Of European values.

A sad state of affair.