Wednesday, October 13, 2010

International Adoption and Diplomacy

Remember when, in 1999, U.S. planes, acting under the auspices of NATO, accidentally bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade?  In our usual egocentric fashion, the China adoption community was very concerned over how this would affect adoption from China (I've admitted to similar egocentricity, worrying how the 9/11 tragedy would affect my travel to China to adopt Zoe).  The encouraging conventional wisdom at the time was that surely China wouldn't shut down adoptions over something unrelated to adoption. . . .

From an Irish newspaper today:
Russia’s Ambassador to Ireland has warned that an adoption agreement between both countries may be in jeopardy because of an Irish government investigation of stolen passports.

The stolen Irish passports were later used to set up fake identies for an “Irish” couple living in New Jersey and spying on Americans. The couple were arrested by the FBI who informed the Irish government of the theft.

Ambassador Mikhail Timoshkin raised the concerns after a meeting with Debbie Deegan, director of Irish charity To Russia With Love. Deegan had revealed that a passport of a member of her organization had been stolen and used by Russian agents.
I'm not really surprised to see international adoption as a tool of diplomacy, are you?  Certainly we've seen arguments that international adoption is a positive element in diplomatic relations between countries, with adoptees spoken about as "bridges" between the two countries.  Some have argued that the State Department, which is the Central Authority for purposes of the Hague Convention, is reluctant to investigate charges of corruption in international adoption for fear of jeopardizing diplomatic relationships with important allies or trading partners (hint, hint, how much money do we owe China?!).  So yes, international adoption will always be a diplomatic football.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what your point is here, unless it is to try to stimulate controversy.

You are comparing apples to oranges to carrots and then making a generalization that international adoption is part of the diplomatic football game between nations.

Russia making threats to Ireland to delay or suspend a diplomatic agreement on grounds of objectionn to a separate action by Ireland on alleged stolen passports IS a normal tactic and approach for Russian diplomacy. To then try to connect that to the US State Department and it's diplomatic practices is contrived.

On matters of international adoption, the US State Department has consistently demonstrated (to the dismay and agony of some waiting parents) that they will suspend or end programs with countries who do not meet legal and ethical requirements under standards of international law and policy. There is ample evidence of this, and no evidence to the contrary.

Judge Russia by Russia's actions. Judge the US by US actions.

As an American, I care little what Russia does, I care what my own nation does. I am satisfied with the State Departments record on monitoring and compliance matters with respect to international adoption programs

Sandy said...


Adoption is huge tool between don't have to look too far to find many examples.

malinda said...

Stimulate CONVERSATION, not controversy. Thanks for adding your 2 cents to the dialogue.

Yes, the U.S. has closed some adoption programs -- but usually YEARS after the programs are known to be riddled with corruption. Think Cambodia, Viet Nam, Guatemala. . . . There was little will at the State Department to end those programs.

Anonymous said...

Nonsense Malinda. You are just trying to be provocative again.

The State Department doesn't close programs at the drop of a hat, they tighten the hell out of their visa approval requirements (to the anger of some waiting families) while they fully investigate and then press for either remedy of the problems or become convinced they cannot be remedied. When they cannot force remedy to their satisfaction, they shut the program down.

I just wish we had even half that much diligence in the US domestic adoption programs, which are in many cases corrupt and under the manipulation of attorneys who are laundering babies into the hands of adopting parents. Why is it that you never get provocative about this?

Anonymous said...

"Sandy said...

Adoption is huge tool between don't have to look too far to find many examples."

Prove it please. Your link offers no such proof.