Friday, March 18, 2011

An Ethiopian-American's Perspective

From Ethiomedia, a website with a stated mission to "provide a forum for exchange of views among Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia on matters that would have significant impact on the welfare of the people and survival of our country - Ethiopia," an Ethiopian-American weighs in on the adoption situation in Ethiopia:
Since 2009, the media accounts surrounding alleged fraud involving adoption of children from certain countries including, among others, Ethiopia continues to be very troubling. Direct recruitment of children from birth parents by adoption service providers or their employees has been documented and reported widely in the United States and in Ethiopia. If undeterred, the present abuses will invite legal, social, economic, psychological, and political consequences of great magnitude.

* * *

Therefore, we commend the Ethiopian Government’s recent assurance of a thorough investigation of documented cases of adoption fraud for prompt prosecution and further praise the leadership’s intention to strengthen the legislative framework and Ethiopia’s institutional capacity to protect children and families from exploitation by unscrupulous agencies and brokers.

However, in light of the seriousness of recent contentions, the Government’s response, although measured, is not sufficient. Persistent accounts of fraud and child trafficking have infuriated the Ethiopian Diaspora community, in the United States, and are therefore deserving of extra attention by Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs.
Although the article is dated March 18, it doesn't seem to address the recent slow-down.  Still, I thought the perspective an interesting one and wanted to share!  And yes, I recognize that it is just one person's opinion.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I clicked over to read his full statement, and was dismayed to read this:

"Remember, one half to two thirds of all immigrants to Colonial America arrived as indentured servants. At times, as many as 75% of the population of some colonies were under terms of indenture. Sometimes an “adoption” can be a device for securing an indentured servant."

This is truly one person's opinion. I know many Ethiopians are concerned about the adoption program, and rightly so. Others, knowing the orphan crisis in their country, support the program. We live in an area with a significant Ethiopian population, and have personally received only positive comments from those we encounter. I think residents in Addis Ababa who have encountered less-than-polite foreign parents are most concerned. Some Ethiopians are in fact speculating that the recent announcement of a slowdown was geared more to domestic political PR than a genuine effort at adoption reform.