Sunday, July 22, 2012

Adoptive Parents Create System to Track Missing Ugandan Children

Interesting story from Holland, Michigan (not Holland-Holland!):
A Ugandan orphanage is where Anna Kalmbacher met her first son, Micah.

He was a sick baby who was left behind on a bus, presumably on purpose, in 2008.

Kalmbacher and her husband, Gabe, of Holland ended up adopting Micah the next year, as well as another Ugandan boy, Judah. The following year, a third orphan, Julia, joined the family.

“Now Uganda is the next latest, greatest place to adopt from,” Kalmbacher said. “But there are a lot of sad, sad things happening to break down families (there).”

To meet the new demands, recruiters are popping up in Ugandan towns and villages, pushing poor families to give up their children for adoption.

When children are separated from their families, it can be nearly impossible to reunite them due to Uganda’s disjointed police infrastructure.

“This is not unique to Uganda, but it’s very concerning,” Kalmbacher said.

 Earlier this year, the Kalmbachers launched A Child’s Voice, which partners with agencies in Uganda to ensure the welfare of the nation’s children.

A Child’s Voice was instrumental in starting a new, 24-hour hotline for Ugandan officials or citizens to call to report a missing, found or abandoned child. Information that callers provide is recorded in a centralized database. The hotline launches Wednesday.

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