21 Dec 2013

The Author

Author of the award-winning book Finding Fernanda. Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Redux Pictures photographer. Read more here.


“Congo suspends international adoptions, leaving dozens of children in limbo,” AP, 12/20/2013

“KINSHASA, Congo — The Congolese government has suspended international adoptions of Congolese children, following allegations that some were abandoned by their adoptive parents, while others were “sold to homosexuals.” The move by Congo further restricts foreign adoptions, following similar decisions by Russia and China.”

Read the full story here:


1 Comment
  1. The PAPs in DRC? The ones waiting on exit permits? The ones who ignored multiple State Dept warnings and are now complaining they DESERVE exit permits since their kids were issued Boudreau letters prior to Sept 25/13 (the day a one-year suspension of exit permits began).

    Check out the latest DRC alert, published Dec 19/13:

    “The (DRC) Ministers announced that even those adoptive families whose cases meet the DGM’s (Congolese government agency responsible for issuing exit permits) criteria for receiving exit permits during the suspension will experience significant processing delays. Applications for exit permits for adopted children are facing increased scrutiny following reports of an apparently falsely backdated bordereau letter submitted by a U.S. family. The DGM reported that a number of additional applications appear to include fraudulently-obtained documentation as well. The Ministers stressed that adoptive parents “must be patient” as the DGM is reviewing applications thoroughly and cannot predict when exit permits may be issued.”

    FRAUD. Falsified paperwork! Puts the Carroll family’s complaints in a whole new light:


    A few more INTERESTING facts, that imply corruption in Congolese adoptions:

    - DRC is among the poorest countries in the world, with per capita income of a mere US$368/year (or $30.67/month)

    - Cassandra Taylor’s adoption agency is charging her US$600/month to care for Roland, the Congolese toddler she’s adopted but can’t get an exit permit for:

    “We are completely financially supporting him- childcare, food, doctors visits, a safe place to live (for $600 a month)”


    $600/month is a HUGE amount of money in DRC. It doesn’t cost that much to care for a kid — no more than $150-170/month. What happens to the rest of the cash?? Whose PROFITING from that $600/month??

    - Ex-missionary in DRC Holly’s take on the outrageous $600/month fee:

    “Second, we need to think critically about finances. Let’s say there are 400 adoptions processing in DRC right now — this is probably a low estimate given how fast the program has grown in the past three years. If you are a family with one of the more popular agencies (perhaps one that processes the bulk of the adoptions in DRC), your agency may have 200 families (or children) in process right now, AND may still be accepting new families and giving referrals. It is likely that your child will be put in foster care, which is billed at a cost of around $600/month PER child. If you do the math, you may realize that your agency would be billing $1,440,000 in foster care fees over the 12 month DGM suspension!! Over one million dollars in foster care fees alone!

    But all of this money is going to take care of the kids, right? It can’t possibly be profit for the agency, can it? And no agency charges that much for foster care, do they? Let’s step back a minute. First, it is clear that $600/month/child is within the realm of possible foster care charges. This link shows the wide range of foster care fees that different agencies charge in DRC. Second, average salaries in DRC are far, far less than $600 a month. A doctor may make $550/month, but the salary for an average worker in DRC is $50/month. House staff in DRC may make up to $100/month if they are very well paid. At the orphanage that we support in eastern DRC, we pay staff a salary of $50/month. It is clear that $600/month/child cannot possibly be the salary for a foster parent. Third, the cost to care for a Congolese child is simply not that high. A month of formula for a baby costs $80/month, and food for an older child would cost under $50/month (if you want them to eat meat, milk, eggs). When our twin daughters were in foster care for 3 months, we only paid for their formula costs ($160/month, totaling $480 for the three months they were in care). So even if the foster parents are being paid a high salary of $100/month, and the children are eating very well for $100/month, that is still only $200/month. Even if a child is being checked monthly by a doctor, the cost should not be $600/month. Where is that money going? Someone is making A LOT of money, and I sincerely doubt that it is the foster parents. Perhaps you can follow my line of thinking here. ”


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