“Lions Roaring Far From Home: An Anthology by Ethiopian Adoptees” Now Available on Amazon!

I could not be more thrilled to announce that “Lions Roaring Far From Home: An Anthology by Ethiopian Adoptees” has been published. You can purchase it (Kindle or paperback) on Amazon.

It is the first ever anthology by Ethiopian adoptees. The 33 writers hail from six countries, and they range in age from 8 to over 50. The essays and poems present a range of views on adoption, and each one is insightful.

Book cover with painting of Ethiopian woman standing proudly next to a roaring lion
Cover art Copyright Nahosenay Negussie

All of the writers are Ethiopian adoptees. They were raised in the U.S., Canada, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Australia. Two currently live in Ethiopia.

The co-editors are Aselefech Evans, an American Ethiopian adoptee, Kassaye Berhanu-MacDonald, a Canadian Ethiopian adoptee; I am also a co-editor, and am the adoptive mother of Ethiopian twin daughters as well as two sons born in the U.S.

Deep gratitude to each of the amazing writers for this groundbreaking book.

Debra Parris, European Adoption Consultant Staffer, Sentenced for Horrific Adoption Fraud and Corruption via Uganda and Poland

Debra Parris, a staff member of the adoption agency European Adoption Consultants, was sentenced November 4 “to a year and a day in prison for bribing Ugandan officials and lying to Polish authorities about the adoption of a girl, who was later raped,” according to Cleveland.com.

The full Cleveland article is here.

The judge said Parris’s healthcare needs caused him to sentence her to less than the recommended sentence of three years. He also ordered Parris to pay a $10,000 fine and $118,197 in restitution to 42 families. He allowed her to self-report to prison by Jan. 9, unless the Bureau of Prisons directs her otherwise.

Among the victims of Parris’s crimes was adoptive parent Jessica Davis. Upon learning that her adopted daughter from Uganda had a loving family and had been fraudulently placed by European Adoption Consultants, Davis and her husband returned the child to her Ugandan mother. You can read more about the family here.

At the sentencing, according to Cleveland,com, “Davis gave a tearful statement during Friday’s hearing, conducted via Zoom. She pleaded with the judge to give a harsh sentence to send a message to adoptions agencies that fraud can’t be tolerated.

‘I waited for this moment for a long time, specifically for Debra,” Davis said. “You caused a lot of people pain and suffering.'”

Jessica Davis and her family took action that many adoptive parents would not, and they handled their adoption with integrity when they returned the child. The Ugandan child is, by all reports, thriving back home with her family.

Also from the Cleveland article, “Parris in November pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiring to commit fraud. Two others— Cole and former agency employee Robin Longoria— also pleaded guilty in the case. Cole, who also had serious health issues, was sentenced to three months in prison. Longoria was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, similar to Parris.”

European Adoption Consultants caused unconscionable damage to children and their families. While some justice is served with the guilty pleas and in the sentencings of the agency staffers, I wonder what restitution the Ugandan and Polish children could receive. The case of the Polish child is horrifying.

Jessica Davis wrote this on CNN in 2017:

“The travesty in this injustice is beyond words. I must be clear in the following statement: My race, country of origin, wealth (though small, it’s greater than that of the vast majority of people in the world), my access to “things,” my religion – none of these privileges entitles me to the children of the poor, voiceless and underprivileged.

If anything, I believe these privileges should come with a responsibility to do more, to stand up against such injustices. We can’t let other families be ripped apart to grow our own families!”

National Council for Adoption Releases New Report on Adoptive Parents

The National Council for Adoption recently released, in their words, “the largest survey ever conducted of adoptive parents.” You can read the results here: “Profiles in Adoption: A Survey of Adoptive Parents and Secondary Data Analysis of Federal Adoption Files.”

Here are a few of my observations, and, as an adoptive parent, I hope that adoptees and birth parents (and adoptee- and birth parent-researchers) will weigh in.

The NCFA survey was funded by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and by Gift of Adoption, which has dispensed some $14 million in adoption assistance grants to adoptive parents.

Responses were from 4,212 adoptive parents—representing 4,135 households and parents to 6,608 adopted individuals—residing in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. These adoptions occurred between 1966 and August 2021, with 74.9% completed since 2010, including 55.9% since 2015.

90% of the respondent adoptive parents were white. (Latine/x 3%; Black 2%; Asian/Asian Pacific Islander 2%, American Indian/Alaskan Native 1%; Multiracial 1%, with 0.6% reporting “other.”)

Whether private infant adoption, intercountry adoption, or adoption from foster care, around 80% of the adoptive parents are Christian/Catholic.

In terms of income, 72% of adoptive parents in private domestic adoption had an income over $75,000. The percentage was 62% for intercountry adoptive parents and 54% for parents who adopted from foster care.

In terms of education, 81% of adoptive parents in private domestic adoption had a bachelor’s degree or higher. The percentage was 84% for intercountry adoptive parents and 63% for parents who adopted from foster care.

The survey looks at Special Needs in adoption, and, astonishingly to me, on page 40 has a category titled “Mental Retardation.” Since Congress passed Rosa’s Law in 2010, the preferred designation is “intellectual disability.”

The survey does not note the ages of adopted children at the time of adoption, nor of the current ages of the adoptees. I believe that information would have been useful to the analysis.

The survey did not shy from using what some in the adoption community see as language of commodification: “Adoptive parents were asked five questions related to their satisfaction with adoption. Overall, adoptive parents expressed very significant satisfaction.” (Some in the adoption community see this phrasing as akin to “product or purchase satisfaction.”)

Indeed, here are the “Key Takeaways for Adoptive Parents’ Satisfaction:

• A large majority of adoptive parents find their role to be rewarding and satisfying.

• With the perspective of lived experience, adoptive parents report they would still make the same decision to adopt their child.”

Adoptive parents of International adoptions were also asked about their satisfaction with Intercountry Adoption Service Providers. Adoptive parents through private domestic adoption and through foster care were not asked (or results were not included) about their satisfaction with their attorneys or other service providers.

There is much to be parsed from the survey answers regarding race. As previously noted, 90% of the respondent parents are white. In the case of transracial adoptions, the survey says “A large majority of adoptive parents who have a child of a different race/ethnicity seek to participate in activities to incorporate elements of the child’s race, ethnicity, and culture.” While that may be a basic first step, it’s hardly a strong example of much needed anti-racist education. The words “racism,” “colorblindness,” and “anti-racism” do not appear in the report. (Here is one example of the perspective of Black and brown adoptees on how their white adoptive parents handled race: “I know my parents love me, but they don’t love my people.”)

From the section in the survey on Future Research: “The National Council For Adoption views this report as just Part One of a three-part series examining profiles in adoption. There is no single survey, focus group, or data set that can tell us everything we would like to know about adoption. In Part One, we heard from adoptive parents. We also intend to hear from birth parents and adopted individuals in upcoming research reports. Taken together, the three reports in this series will give us a fuller picture of adoption.”

I find it striking and not surprising that the first report is on adoptive parents, the people who hold and have held the most power in adoption policy. (One could argue that white, financially secure, well educated Christians have long held the most power in our society overall.)

The two authors of the report are Ryan Hanlon, the executive director of NCFA, and Matthew Quade, associate professor of business management at Baylor University. Both men are adoptive parents, and both hold PhDs.

I look forward to reading the NCFA reports on birth parents and adoptees, as to the numbers of respondents, the demographics (race, age, education, income, etc.), their perspective on “satisfaction,” whether they would still make the same decisions (adoptees of course rarely have agency in the adoption decision), and noting who funds the surveys of adoptees and birth parents. I hope the authors of the next two reports are themselves adopted persons and birth parents. I also hope the survey-takers contact the birth/first parents of international adoptees, and I look forward to reading those results.

I look forward to a time when all children have safe, loving families, and when children are not removed from their families of origin due to poverty, economic imbalance, or systemic racism. I also look forward to the equitable distribution of funding and of pre- and post-adoption services to all birth parents (including International birth families). I especially look forward to deeper, well funded, accessible, and equitable advocacy for family preservation.

United Nations Report Calls for End to Illegal, Fraudulent International Adoptions

The United Nations Human Rights Commission today issued a report titled “Illegal intercountry adoptions must be prevented and eliminated.” It is the culmination of work done by global experts, in light of increasing awareness of fraud and other illegalities in adoption.

Here are some highlights from the press release:

  • “In certain conditions as provided for in international law, illegal intercountry adoptions may constitute serious crimes such as genocide or crimes against humanity.”
  • “They also called for setting up independent commissions of inquiry to establish facts surrounding allegations of illegal intercountry adoptions and determine the responsibilities of all parties, facilitate the search for origins and propose adequate reparation measures for victims. ‘States shall ensure that all victims, including those adopted in the past, receive the assistance they need to know their origins,’ they said.”
  • “They also called for setting up independent commissions of inquiry to establish facts surrounding allegations of illegal intercountry adoptions and determine the responsibilities of all parties, facilitate the search for origins and propose adequate reparation measures for victims. ‘States shall ensure that all victims, including those adopted in the past, receive the assistance they need to know their origins, they said.”
  • “For instance, States should create a DNA database that includes genetic samples for all cases of wrongful removal, enforced disappearance, or falsification of identity that have been reported, with the specific purpose of re-establishing the identity of victims of illegal intercountry adoption.”
  • “Victims of illegal intercountry adoptions have the right to know the truth.”

Several adult adoptee groups were involved in the inquiry that resulted in the UN report. According to Lynelle Long of InterCountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV) via LinkedIn:

“Many thanks to my colleagues who worked together in our coalition called Voices Against Illegal Adoption (VAIA), led and initiated by Mariela SR Privé, to work with the UN on this statement. We all gave input to the draft, I also presented on behalf of VAIA on 10 March, and we will be presenting our body of evidence and work to the UN at an upcoming meeting in 2023.

Many thanks to our coalition members: 

Fondation Racines Perdues – Raices Perdidas – (RP) 
Chilean Adoptees Worldwide (CAW) 
Collectif Adoptie Schakel 
Intercountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV) 
Empreinte Vivantes – Adoptés belges du Sri Lanka
Plan Angel 
Collectif des adoptés français du Mali
Collectif des parents adoptifs du Sri Lanka
Rwanda en Zoveel meer
Association DNA
Back to the Roots
Collectif des adoptés du Sri-Lanka
Child Identity Protection (CHIP)”

I’ve no doubt many experts, in addition to adult adoptees, were consulted as part of issuing a report such as this. Among them, according to the UN, were the following: The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice and Reparation, the Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children, the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons especially Women and Children, and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

I hope that adoptees, adoptee groups, adoption agencies and providers, international child welfare organizations, and all those connected with intercountry adoption will review this report carefully to bring about long overdue changes to the international adoption industry.

Hundreds of Korean Adoptees Petition for an Investigation Into Their Adoptions

The Danish Korean Rights Group (DKRG), an adoptee-centered organization based in Denmark, has petitioned the government of South Korea to investigate adoptions for fraud, and to ensure that agencies do not destroy adoptees’ documents.

Korean adoptee Peter Møller of the DKRG spoke recently in Seoul. This is an excerpt.

“Today I have handed in 232 new application to the (Truth and Reconciliation) Commission. 163 from Denmark and 69 from countries other than Denmark, from adoptees placed around the world, including the USA, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium…

We add to this declarations of support from adoptees placed by adoption agencies other than Holt and KSS, and adoptive parents…

I have received many inquiries from all over the world, and most adoptees are very worried…adoptees are afraid that the adoption agencies will destroy and dispose of our original documents to prevent the truth about adoption from South Korea from being known.

DKRG has had reasonable grounds to suspect that falsification of adoptees’ documents has occurred to enable overseas adoption…An example:

The adoptee Ms. Stephens from the US writes to me: ‘I was told by the social worker, Mrs. Kim (KSS), that most likely the name provided as my mother’s was a false name, probably changed by a KSS employee. In making me an “orphan,” KSS erased my mother’s identity from my records, making it impossible for me to find her. It is my belief that my mother wants me to find her as she wrote letters to my father and sent him photos of me. My father died before I could meet him.’

I am standing here with a letter from one of the adoption agencies, and this letter proves that this is precisely what happened. Let me read it out loud to you. This is a letter to an adopted person:

‘First of all, I would like to apologize for the mistake in your adoption file written in English. It says you were transferred from Namkwang Children’s Home in Pusan to KSS for international adoption. In fact, it was made up just for adoption procedure, and now I would like to share your adoption background as written in the original paper,’ quote Ms. Lee, KSS…

DKRG has decided to write a letter to the President of Korea, in which we urgently request the Korean government and authorities to protect the adoptees’ original documents and protect the adoptees from reprisals.”

Møller’s full statement is here.

Zoom Meeting with Mike Davis, Deported Ethiopian Adoptee: Rescheduling

UPDATE: Unfortunately we need to reschedule this Zoom meeting. probably until September. We really appreciate the concern and support for Mike and his family. Please feel free to send me a message (via the Contact page) if you have any questions. Thank you.

POSTPONED:

Please register for this Zoom (info is below) and share widely! Thank you.

Join us Sunday July 31 at 9am pdt for a Zoom with Mike Davis, an Ethiopian adoptee who was deported to Ethiopia in 2005. Mike’s wife Laura, who lives in the U.S., and perhaps one of their sons, will also be with us.

Mike is almost 60 years old. Born in Addis Ababa in 1962, he was adopted when he was around 8 years old by a U.S. Army officer who was stationed in Ethiopia. In 1976, when Mike was 14, he and his dad returned to the U.S., with the legal approval of both Ethiopia and the United States. Mike grew up on military bases, and believed that America was his forever home. He had several small businesses, such as pizza place and a gas station. He married and had children. About 30 years ago, he got in some legal trouble, and accepted the consequences. He has had no trouble with the law since. Nonetheless, because he had less than excellent legal representation and could not prove citizenship, he was deported.

Yes: the U.S. government deports people who were legally brought as children to the United States for the purpose of adoption. The U.S. deports people who had no choice or agency in their immigration, and who arrived here with the legal sanction of both the United States and their country of origin. The U.S. deports people who were adopted to so-called “forever families,” people who had no means of responsibility for the processing of their citizenship, and then returns them to countries where they have no family, friends, language, or other connections.

Mike’s beloved dad passed away in 2012, and he could not, to his great sorrow, attend the funeral. His sons have grown up without him, and his wife has worked hard to support the family and to encourage Mike. He has grandchildren he has never met.

Mike is one of the writers whose essay is included in our book, Lions Roaring Far From Home: An Anthology by Ethiopian Adoptees. The Ethiopian adoption community, and many other folks, want to help Mike. The co-editors of Lions Roaring, Aselefech Evans and Kassaye Berhanu MacDonald, Ethiopian adoptees themselves, are a pivotal part of this effort.

Mike Davis, in Addis, 2021 via Also-Known-As interview

Our Zoom conversation with Mike and his family will take place on Sunday July 31 at 9am pacific time. (Please double check your time zone!)

Here is the link to sign up for the Zoom conversation:


Sunday, July 31, 2022 09:00 Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpfuuupj8qGtdnFk7HXtVEdFL7KIZ20X48

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We hope to raise awareness about adoptee deportation, and its unfair, devastating effect on adopted people and on their families. We will also be fundraising for Mike’s legal, medical, and living expenses.

Please join us.

Jayme Hansen Named to IAAME Board

Jayme Hansen, who has a tremendous range of professional international work experience as well as the lived experience of being a Korean adoptee to the United States, was recently named to the Board of the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity. (IAAME).

According to Inter Country Adoption News:

“Congratulations to Jayme Hansen!! Jayme is our ICAV USA Director and has just been voted in as a Board member of the USA Accrediting Entity, IAAME for a 2 year term. This is the org in the USA who accredits all adoption agencies on behalf of the Dept of State who hold overall responsibility for intercountry adoption. We have been saying to the Dept of State for years now that Lived Experience needs to inform all policy, practice and legislation – so it’s awesome to see they have actively sought lived experience at this level in their key organisation!

Jayme comes in with a wealth of NGO experience and has sat on numerous NGO boards and has done volunteer work for 28 years. IAAME is designated as an Accrediting Entity (AE), under the authority of the Secretary, and as allowed by 22 CFR 96.7(a) to Accredit agencies and Approve persons to provide intercountry adoption services in the United States.

IAAME is a 501(c)(3) organization operated by staff with extensive experience in providing child welfare services, administering child welfare standards, contracting, licensing, monitoring, and both domestic and intercountry adoption services. More information can be found at: https://www.iaame.net/

As best I know, Jayme Hansen is the first international adoptee to serve on the board of IAAME. I was not able to find a list of IAAME Board members. Jayme brings an enormous amount of experience, from his U.S. military service to his work as a chief financial officer in multiple countries. He also has extensive volunteer service, including with efforts to disseminate DNA tests to Korean adoptees. We wish him great success in his new position with IAAME.

I wrote recently about a new accrediting entity, the Center for Excellence in Adoption Services, being designated along with IAAME to accredit adoption agencies under The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. I realize that adoptee citizenship is not the precise bailiwick of accrediting entities, though adoption agencies surely have a substantive role in promoting citizenship for all international adoptees, and should be on the frontlines demanding that deported adoptees be allowed back into the U.S. I continue to believe that citizenship for all international adoptees to the United States should be paramount in any and all international adoption work.

A “Lions Roaring” Update: Zoom with Mike Davis, A Deported Ethiopian Adoptee

We will soon announce the pre-order and publication date of “Lions Roaring far From Home: An Anthology by Ethiopian Adoptees,” and we will soon be hosting a Zoom for a deported Ethiopian adoptee, now almost 60 years old.

“Lions Roaring” is the first anthology entirely by Ethiopian adoptees. The funds from the sales of the book will be used for Ethiopian adoptees. We are creating an account for the revenue and will distribute it to Ethiopian adoptees for DNA tests, travel costs to and from Ethiopia, translation services, and more.

One of our writers is Mike Davis, whose adoptive father was a U.S. Army officer. Mike grew up on Army bases with his dad. Mike went on to get married, have children, and build several small businesses. He got in some trouble, and completed the sentence he was given—he got in no further trouble after that. However, years after, he was deported, as a result of not being able to prove citizenship. Inept lawyers and a difficult legal system added to the adversity. In 2005, at the age of 43, Mike was deported to Ethiopia, where he had no family, no job, no connections.

He is now almost 60. It is time for him to come back to his family in the United States.

Mike Davis, deported Ethiopian adoptee. Let’s work to bring him home.

Many folks, including Mike’s wife and children, have been working hard to bring him back home to the United States. He was not able to attend his beloved father’s funeral, and he has yet to see his grandchildren in person. It is past time to bring Mike, and all deported international adoptees, back home. They came to the U.S. with the legal sanction of both the U.S. and the country of origin, and with the understanding that the U.S. was a safe and permanent home for them. Our government has failed to honor that understanding of adoption, and that is a shameful reality.

We will soon be hosting a Zoom talk with Mike and his wife, so that more folks can learn about his situation, and also to raise funds for his legal costs and other expenses. More details will be available soon. We hope that you will join us.

For updates on the anthology (including publication date) and Zooms, please visit and “Like” the Lions Roaring Far From Home Anthology Facebook page.

Postscript: I’ve written numerous times over the years about the need for Citizenship for All Adoptees. You can get more information at Adoptee Rights Law, Adoptees For Justice, and Alliance for Adoptee Citizenship. If anyone wants to donate directly to Mike, please email me at Maureen@LightofDayStories.com.

US State Department Announces New Hague Convention Accrediting Entity

Citizenship for all international adoptees should take precedence. That said, the US State Department today announced that the Center for Excellence in Adoption Services (CEAS) has been designated as an accrediting entity for purposes of The Hague Convention on Inter Country Adoption.

CEAS will join the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME) as a Hague accreditor of Adoption Service Providers under The Hague Convention. IAAME was designated as an accrediting entity for another five years as of June 2, 2022. There are around 280 agencies currently accredited by IAAME. That number includes agencies that have multiple locations: one agency might have several offices in a state or in different states.

The CEAS website does not yet specify that they are an accredited entity under the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000. It does, though, list their current staff and Board of Directors, all of whom had an affiliation with the Council on Accreditation.

in 2006, COA was the first entity designated by the US State Department. They withdrew as an accrediting entity in 2017. The State Department’s announcement of COA’s decision is here.

The National Council for Adoption wrote about COA’s decision here, during a time when NCFA disagreed with the way that State was handling international adoption.

Much of the controversy then concerned how regulations were being implemented, with some advocates feeling the regulations were cumbersome and unnecessary, and other advocates arguing that the fraud and corruption in international adoption desperately needed better oversight. Many countries (Guatemala, Ethiopia, South Korea, China, and others) have decreased the numbers or completely stopped placing children for international adoption.

Numbers of international adoptions have declined substantially in recent years. While there were almost 23,000 children adopted internationally in 2004, there were just over 1600 in 2020.

International adoption needs a dramatic overhaul—that’s something of an understatement.

And sure, CEAS may well provide good accreditation services, and sure, those services are probably needed for adoption agencies seeking to place children internationally.

However:

Will this new entity be part of business as usual, without adult international adoptees or international birth parents consulted and respected for their expertise? Will the decision-makers and policy influencers involved in the placement of Black and brown children remain mostly white, especially white adoptive parents?

Will there be a focus on adoption without any lens of white saviorism?

Will there be emphasis on orphan prevention and family preservation first? Will there be respect for authenticity and for genuine efforts to make sure there is not any fraud? (European Adoption Consultants, whose staff has pled guilty to fraud and corruption, was Hague accredited. State announced their debarment in 2016.)

Will there be effort above and beyond the minimum to ensure that every child’s medical and family history is accurate, and, especially, that the child is truly an orphan? So many adult adoptees have found that was not the case for them: they have discovered they were not orphans at all, though that is what they and their adoptive parents had been told.

Will there be any follow-up for international birth parents post-adoption that is equivalent to what US adoptive parents can access?

Much more attention from everyone in the international adoption community should focus on CITIZENSHIP FOR ALL ADOPTEES and on BRINGING DEPORTED ADOPTEES HOME.

This should be the priority of energy and attention, by accrediting entities, organization officers, Congress, adoptive parents, prospective adoptive parents, and others, before the international placement of more children.

Adult adoptees are putting in great emotional labor, as well as time, money, and expertise, in working to get the Adoptee Citizenship Act passed. Other information is available here and here.

If you’re going to promote international adoption, do so only after all international adoptees to the United States have been granted citizenship. To do otherwise is hypocritical and insensitive at best.

Orphan Definition, Deportation, and Governments’ Responsibilities to Ensure Citizenship: The Amicus Brief from the Case of Adam Crapser/Shin Song-hyuk v. the Republic of Korea and Holt International


A Korean adoptee’s case against the Korean government and against Holt International adoption agency is slowly making its way through the Korean legal system. It could have significant ramifications for international adoption.

From the Korea Time’s article March 22, 2022, “Adam Crapser v. Republic of Korea:”

“On Jan. 24, 2019, Shin Song-hyuk (better known as Adam Crapser), internationally adopted from Korea to the United States, filed a petition with the Seoul Central District Court against the Korean government and Holt Children’s Services Inc. for violating his rights during his adoption process. Although the plaintiff’s story garnered worldwide media attention, his lawsuit represents a historic legal first. Referred to as case number 2019 GA-HAP 502520 (because Korea does not include the parties involved in the names of legal cases), this petition is the first and only attempt by an inter-country adoptee to hold the Korean government accountable for failing to uphold its duty in such an adoption.”

According to the article, Adam Crapser/Shin Song-hyuk filed allegations against both the government of South Korea and against the Holt adoption agency:

Alleged illegal acts of Republic of Korea:

Negligence of its duty to protect its national in the process of inter-country adoption.

Unconstitutional use of proxy adoptions, a practice stipulated in the Adoption Special Procedure Act.

Negligence of its duty to monitor and audit the practices of adoption agencies.

Violation of its obligation to perform due diligence in the process of allowing children to leave the country to be adopted transnationally. The government had a duty to execute this crucial step by ensuring that a relevant authority would verify the legitimacy of the adoption agencies’ procedures. However, it failed to do so, thereby being in severe dereliction of duty. 

Failure to monitor and verify the citizenship acquisition of inter-country adoptees, as prescribed by law.

Negligence of its obligation to fulfill post-adoption monitoring of the plaintiff’s adoption.

Failure to uphold the international norms that seek to prevent financial gain by allowing the inclusion of such unethical practices in the implementation ordinance of the Special Adoption Procedure Act. 

Alleged illegal acts of Holt Children’s Services Inc.:

Holt is among the original four accredited adoption agencies authorized by the government to engage exclusively in inter-country adoptions from Korea for foreign adoptive parents. The original intent of granting such exclusive power should have been to secure the protection and welfare of children adopted abroad. However, rather than fulfilling this aim, it abused its power and engaged in gross child rights violations to reap financial benefits from its adoption business. 

In the case of the plaintiff, despite knowing about the existence of the mother and father, Holt proceeded to provide fraudulent information to the registry office to register the plaintiff as an abandoned orphan.

The allegations are: negligence in the conduct of its duty to serve as a guardian and protect the children under its care; illegally relinquishing and transferring guardianship to the agencies of the receiving countries; failure to execute its obligations to provide support in the acquisition of citizenship for adoptees and to verify the acquisition in accordance with the relevant laws of the receiving countries.”

The petition, filed over three years ago, is still being considered in the Korean court system. I am not a lawyer and have no expertise about the Korean legal process, but I’d guess one reason this is taking so long is because of the potentially enormous ramifications of the court’s decision not only for Adam Crapser, but for all Korean adoptees and for international adoption generally.

A Korean human rights lawyer, Lee Kyung-eun (Ph.D. in law), has recently published three articles in the Korea Times. The articles include excerpts from a 70-page amicus brief designed “to assist the judges in understanding the historic meaning of this case.”

Lee Kyung-eun is the director of Human Rights Beyond Borders and author of the Korean-language book, “The Children-selling Country,” and the English book, “The Global Orphan Adoption System; South Korea’s Impact on Its Origin and Development.”

Here are the links to the amicus brief excerpts, as published in English in the Korea Times:

Submission to court about Korea’s inter-country adoption process (part 1) April 2, 2022

Highlights: This article discusses the history of international adoption laws following the Korean War. The laws expanded and systematized what we now know as intercountry adoption processes. Among the significant points here is the creation of the legal definition of orphan. The 1961 U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act and Korea’s 1961 Special Orphan Adoption Act created policies that meant an orphan was not necessarily a child with two deceased parents. An orphan could also be a child abandoned by both parents, or a child whose one remaining parent gave up the care of the child. Thus, children could be “economic orphans” or “social orphans.”

Court Submission on the “orphan-making” process (part 2) April 9, 2022

Highlights: This article continues the discussion of the creation/relaxation of the definition of “orphan,” plus an explanation of three Korean documents designed to “obtain the final decisions of the adoption proceedings in the U.S. state courts and qualifications for (the child’s) entry to the U.S.” The documents were apparently mass-produced. “The implications…suggest that it is necessary to investigate thoroughly whether inter-country adoption was a system to find a home for orphans or to produce orphans for the sake of adoption.”

Court Submission on responsibility to verify acquisition of citizenship of inter-country adoptees (part 3) April 16, 2022

Highlights; This article discusses the obligations of Korea and of the U.S. (since this case concerns an adoptee to the U.S.) to confirm that adoptees have received citizenship in their adoptive country. There is a reference to Holt’s court documents (which as far as I know have not been published), saying Holt was unaware of such a responsibility. According to the amicus brief, “The obligation to confirm the acquisition of citizenship by an inter-country adoptee belongs to both sending and receiving countries. It is obvious not only under international norms but also under then Korean law. The failure of the Korean government and adoption agencies to fulfill such an obligation is a clear and significant human rights infringement and a violation of Korean law.”

I urge anyone interested in international adoption to read the three articles above which summarize the amicus brief. (There may be more articles to come.) Keep an eye on this case, in regard to citizenship issues for international adoptees, the deportation of adoptees rom the United States, and the definition of “orphan” for purposes of intercountry adoption. The ramifications are global.