However, when Alvarado and many other women’s stories of child abduction for adoption went ‘public’ it seemed everyone in the intercountry adoption community was rooting against 'the truth.' It was unthinkable that some of the beautiful children who had been adopted from Guatemala came to their adoptive families from sinister pathways. ‘Orphan’ adoption is viewed by most as an honorable act and to suggest that children are not truly orphans (and may be trafficking victims) is more than impolite to most people. Unfortunately the historical context and story of Guatemala is far too complicated for such fantasized notions about ‘orphans’ to always be true and when interrogates the facts, a grotesque reality unfolds.Doesn't paint a very positive image of international adoptive parents, huh? Not that I question the veracity; unfortunately, we've all had experience with adoptive parents who don't want to know the truth about adoption corruption.
Siegal pulls together many of the facts in her book, often allowing them to speak for themselves. The villain, an executive director of a notoriously bad adoption agency in Florida, gives the reader some insight into the inner workings of a ‘Christian’ woman who uses faith to manipulate her clients as needed. Then, there is the more subtle manipulation of the US Government, ranging from the US Department of State to the many Senators and Congressmen who demand that their constituent’s adoptions be completed—regardless of fears of fraud, coercion, and abduction of children for adoption.
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Then there are the hopeful families who pay outrageous sums to adoption agencies, sometimes ranging upwards to $50,000 USD. How is it really possible that these families honestly believe that such a sum is anything other than the fuel that fed the fires of graft and greed in Guatemala? This is a nation where the average worker makes $2 daily and extreme poverty is almost an understatement.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Willful Blindness: Avoiding the Truth of Corruption
At Rh Reality Check, a review of Erin Siegal's book, Finding Fernanda, about corruption, trafficking and child adoption in Guatemalan adoption (there have been lots of reviews of the book out there, and I haven't posted about every one, but this one seems to be a value-added because the review's author is quite knowledgeable about Guatemalan adoption, too):