Back in 2007, a story hit the media about a Dutch diplomat and his wife relinquishing parental rights to their daughter adopted from Korea. Here's a Time Magazine article, under the headline, "Can an Adopted Child Be Returned?" about the case:
Every child is a gift, as the saying goes. But in a case that has stoked outrage on two continents, a Dutch diplomat posted in Hong Kong has been accused of returning his eight-year-old adopted daughter like an unwanted Christmas necktie. The story, which first appeared in the South China Morning Post on Dec. 9, began seven years ago, when Dutch vice consul Raymond Poeteray and his wife, Meta, adopted then-four-months-old Jade in South Korea. The couple, who also have two biological children, brought Jade with them to Indonesia and then to Hong Kong in 2004, although Poeteray never applied for Dutch nationality for the child — a curious oversight, given that he worked in a consulate. Then, last year, the Poeterays put Jade in the care of Hong Kong's Social Welfare Department, saying they could no
longer care for her because of the girl's emotional remoteness.
According to a spokesman from the South Korean consulate in Hong Kong, the family also said that Jade did not adapt to Dutch culture or food. "They said she had not adjusted to a new home, that there were some problems," he says. But some specialists are skeptical of that explanation as well. "My gut feeling is it's just an excuse," says Law Chi-kwong, an associate professor of social work at the University of Hong Kong. "That only happens when the adoption took place when the child is
already six or seven years old. It would not happen to a child they raised for several years, raised in the family."
A nanny who took care of her said Jade wasn't treated like a "real daughter." The family adopted at a time they thought they were infertile, and then after the adoption they had two biological children.
We all know that sometimes, tragically, adoptions are disrupted. And it is sometimes hard to know what all is going on in such a case. But I have to say this one really smells bad. Where's the "forever" in Forever Family?!?
Recently there was happy news:
A Korean girl called Jade who was adopted by a high-ranking Dutch diplomat in Korea in 2000 and then abandoned six years later in Hong Kong has found a new family. The nine-year-old has been adopted by an expatriate family in Hong Kong and currently lives a normal life, an official at the Hong Kong Social Welfare Department said Saturday. For reasons of privacy, further details about the adoptive parents cannot be disclosed, the official added.Both The Original Heping (littlewing's blog) and Ethnically Incorrect Daughter have posted about Jade.
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Since the Poeterays hadn’t applied for Dutch citizenship for Jade and she had no formal residence status in Hong Kong, the child was virtually stateless until the recent adoption.
I've been following the blog of a family trying to adopt a child whose adoptive parents are disrupting the adoption: 6Across . It's been a real rollercoaster, and I could do with less God talk (sorry, that's just me!), but I'm anxious to see how the situation works out for them. And I can't help but cry for poor Sweetpea who's the victim in all of this.