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
Collectif des adoptés français du Mali
Collectif des parents adoptifs du Sri Lanka
Rwanda en Zoveel meer
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.