Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Here we go again. . . .

In Vietnam, parents are promised their children will be educated and returned; instead, the children are adopted abroad:

It was in September 2006 when officials from Quang Bing province's capital Dong Hoi visited the tiny hill tribe, which numbers only 500 people.

They picked out 13 children aged 2 to 9 and offered to house and feed them at a children's social welfare centre in Dong Hoi and return them when their education and vocational training was complete, the families say they were told.

The parents - all poor farmers and most illiterate - agreed and were driven to Dong Hoi with their children where they signed consent forms placing them into the care of the local authority.

Four months later, in the Lunar New Year holiday in 2007, Thu went to visit her daughters. 'They looked well but they missed me very much. They said 'Mummy, please take us home',' she recalled.

'I couldn't bear to see them so sad so I decided to take them home. I took them by the hands and led them out of the children's home towards the bus stop - but the security guards stopped me and told me I couldn't take them away.

'The officials at the children's home said I had signed papers and had to leave them in their care. I was crying and very upset but I believed them and I went home alone.'

A year later - shortly before the 2008 Lunar New Year holiday - Thu travelled to Dong Hoi to visit her daughters again. When she arrived, she was told both girls had been adopted overseas.

'Those men lied to me,' said Thu, who has three other children. 'They said the children would return to the village when they finished school. But they sold them as if they were livestock.'
Click here to read the whole thing. With a story like this, it's sometimes hard to figure out the truth. But it is certainly easy to imagine illiterate parents being duped into signing adoption papers that they thought were school enrollment papers instead. And it is quite possible that even if the parents were told about adoption they did not share the same cultural undertanding of adoption as you and I might have. And how sad that the officials would target a hill tribe with only 500 members remaining -- practically extinct -- and take away 13 of their children.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Sadly this is just one of many. I am sure with more people fighting for reform there will be more and more stories like it.