2011
9/18/2011: “Tulsa woman refuses to give up attempt to adopt Pakistani girl,” Tulsa World
On September 18, 2011, the Tulsa World published an article called ”Tulsan still fighting to adopt girl,” by Wayne Greene. (The headline was later modified to read, ”Tulsa woman refuses to give up attempt to adopt Pakistani girl.”) The piece tells the story of adoptive mother Nancy Baney from Tulsa, Oklahoma as she attempts to adopt a girl from Pakistan. She’s quotes as saying, ”God has brought us through some very difficult times, and I know he will continue to show us the steps needed to bring Gracy home.” There’s also a video clip alongside to the print piece, in which Baney recounts her story....
9/16/2011: “For Adoptive Parents, Questions Without Answers,” New York Times
John Leland wrote an article in the September 16, 2011 edition of the New York Times called “For Adoptive Parents, Questions Without Answers.” “IN almost any adoption, the new parents accept that their good fortune arises out of the hardship of the child’s first parents. The equation is usually tempered by the thought that the birth parents either are no longer alive or chose to give the child a better life than they could provide. On Aug. 5, this newspaper published a front-page article from China that contained chilling news for many adoptive parents: government officials in Hunan Province, in southern China, had seized...
9/13/2011: The Lakeland, FL Ledger on Florida DCF Labor Violations
The Lakeland, Florida Ledger published an article on September 13, 2011 about the Florida Department of Children and Families: “For the second time in six years, a federal investigation has found the Florida Department of Children and Families violated labor laws by causing its employees to work overtime that went unrecorded and unpaid. The U.S. Labor Department charges that between 2008 and 2010, the state agency asked child services investigators in its Miami and Northeast Florida regional offices to perform tasks they couldn’t complete within an eight-hour work day, according to documents obtained by The Ledger through public records requests.”...
8/30/2011: “Russia not satisfied by ‘angry mom’ sentence,” by Reuters/ Toronto Sun
An August 30, 2011 Reuters article, “Russia not satisfied by ‘angry mom’ sentence,” has been picked up by various news outlets, including the Toronto Sun. It talks about Jessica Beagley, an adoptive mother of a Russian boy from Alaska, who was recently convicted of misdemeanor child abuse. An excerpt: “SOCHI, RUSSIA - Moscow is not fully satisfied with the suspended sentence given to a U.S. woman who poured spicy sauce into the mouth of her adopted Russian-born son, a Kremlin official said on Tuesday.” Full link to article: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/08/30/russia-not-satisfied-by-angry-mom-sentence...
8/30/2011″Adoption case raises fears over trafficking,” The Sydney Morning Herald
A new article, “Adoption case raises fears over trafficking,” by Geesche Jacobsen was published today in Australia’s Sidney Morning Herald.  An excerpt: “A four-year old girl who had been informally given to a Sydney couple under a traditional Samoan adoption arrangement should return to her parents in Samoa, the Family Court has ruled. The girl known as ”S” had been promised to a childless great aunt and her husband before birth, but had lived with her parents and seven siblings in Samoa until she was nearly two years old….” Read the full article here: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/adoption-case-raises-fears-over-trafficking-20110829-1jiei.html...
8/27/2011: “Woman Facing Charge in Adoption Fraud Case,” The Joplin Globe
The August 27, 2011 edition of The Joplin Globe has a story called “Woman Facing Charge in Adoption Fraud Case” by Jeff Lehr. Apparently, a Missouri woman and her fiance are accused of trying to sell their infant to two different couples, one in Arkansas and one in Maryland. An excerpt: “Joplin police have arrested a man and woman on suspicion of simultaneously running adoption-fraud schemes on two couples from out of state while posing as May 22 tornado victims….” Full link to the story: http://www.joplinglobe.com/local/x1823382316/Woman-facing-charge-in-adoption-fraud-case...
8/24/11: New American Media on “Karen Abigail” case
New American Media has published a story that is partially based on interviews with Loyda Rodríguez, mother of the abducted child Anyelí, and her brother. It’s called “Amid Allegations of Human Trafficking, Guatemala to Review Adoptions.” I’ve excerpted at length, because there’s new reporting here that hasn’t been mentioned elsewhere: “All it took was a moment. Loyda Rodriguez recalls carrying her groceries into her Guatemala City apartment before turning around to find her two-year-old daughter Anyeli gone from the patio. “I said, ‘Where is she?’ I was very confused – why did they take my nena?” said Rodriguez of that...
8/18/2011: MaltaStar.com on Unborn Baby Trafficking
“Malta is being named as a country which is involved in unborn baby trafficking. During an international conference, Alicia Bala, Parliamentary Secretary for Social affairs in the Philippines, named both Malta and Austria as two countries were Filipino unborn baby trafficking was taking place. She said that pregnant women from the Philippines were travelling to foreign countries and selling their babies to couples who wanted children. Bala also said that because the women leave the country as tourists, it is very difficult to identify these cases, unless the countries involved cooperate.” Full link: http://www.maltastar.com/pages/r1/ms10dart.asp?a=16391 Video report by Mark Farrugia: http://youtu.be/f43tb4OTHEw (in Maltese)  ...
8/16/11: CNN on the Karen Abigail case
“Guatemalan mother says daughter kidnapped, adopted in U.S.“ By Rafael Romo, CNN Senior Latin American Affairs Editor It’s a case that has become emblematic of the risks involved in international adoption. The case involves a now-6-year-old girl, two countries (the United States and Guatemala), and two families who, in addition to the girl, have been deeply affected by what a Guatemala woman describes as her daughter’s kidnapping five years ago…. Video: http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/08/15/romo.guatemala.custody.dispute.cnn?iref=allsearch Transcript: http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1108/15/cnr.07.html Print article: http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/americas/08/15/guatemala.kidnapping.adoption/index.html?eref=rss_latest&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_latest+%28RSS%3A+Most+Recent%29                  ...
8/16/2011: “Mom and Daughter Reunite 34 Years After Adoption Scam,” ABC News
ABCnews.com has a feature story up called ”Mom and Daughter Reunite 34 Years After Adoption Scam,” by Susan Donaldson James with additional reporting by Jessica Hopper, that tells the story of Sarah Hudson, who was sold as an infant in 1977. “Sarah Hudson, who was “sold” as a newborn in a New York baby ring that scammed adoptive mothers in the 1970s and 1980s, was reunited with her biological mother for the first time since her birth.” Full link to story: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/seymour-fenichel-baby-mother-reunited-34-years-adoption/story?id=14314781...
8/16/11: New York Post on Erickson Baby-Selling Bust
The New York Post published an article today about the Theresa Erickson surrogacy scandal, “How Socialite Brought Down Black-Market Baby Brokers: Mom gets justice after parent-trapping ring dupes her into ‘buying’ child for $180,000.” An excerpt from the top of the piece: A beautiful city socialite bought a black-market baby for $180,000 — then helped the FBI bring down the kiddie-peddling ring that sold him to her. Former Manhattan society girl Taylor Stein — who also has a love child with cosmetics billionaire William Lauder — wept at times as she recounted to The Post yesterday how she unwittingly became embroiled in the...
8/14/11: LA Times on Wartime Child Abduction in El Salvador
The LA Times has a piece here, “Salvadoran Group Dogged In Search for Children Missing Years Ago In Civil War,” by Ken Ellingwood. In it, Ellingwood writes the following: “Investigators hunt leads in dog-eared adoption files and photos from orphanages that operated during the conflict. They tramp onetime conflict zones to trace last known steps and prod residents to recall traumatic, long-ago events. They venture into the most remote corners of the countryside, despite the presence of drug traffickers and dangerous gangs.” The article’s subheading mentions that the investigators also use “modern tools such as Facebook.” It reminded me of the three...
8/12/11: ElPeriódico on False Documents in “Karen Abigail” case
“Cuenta regresiva para anular documentos falsos” (“Countdown for the Annulment of Falsified Documents) by  Magdalena Medina, published in ElPeriódico, August 12, 2011. “Con una resolución histórica, el Juzgado Tercero de Instancia Civil anuló el proceso de adopción de la niña Angelí Rodríguez y ordenó su repatriación. En un plazo menor de dos meses la niña debería estar en Guatemala junto con su madre, Loida Rodríguez, estima la Fundación Sobrevivientes. Se cree que se encuentra en San Louis, Missouri. Claudia Hernández, subdirectora de la Fundación, querellante adhesivo en el caso, explicó que en el plazo de cinco días hábiles el Registro...
8/10/11: The Makeni Children by E.J. Graff
A 3-part series by E.J. Graff, Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, published today on Slate.com: “For 12 years, Judi Mosley had been raising a boy she was sure she’d saved from a civil war. During those same 12 years, his birth family, together with the birth families of other children adopted from Makeni, a town in Sierra Leone’s north, say they were desperately trying to find out where their children had gone. The local child-welfare organization that arranged the adoptions argues otherwise, saying that the birth families knew all along that their children would be adopted—and are now...
8/5/11 Missouri CBS TV Affiliate Mentions “Finding Fernanda;” Poaches Images from Blog
Yesterday, I got a call from a friend who said that KCTV reporter Betsy Webster, based in Kansas City, Missouri, needed to talk to me. I called Webster, and she asked me some questions about the “Karen Abigail” case. Then she asked me if she could use some of my photographs, taken during multiple reporting trips to Guatemala, for free on her broadcast. Although I launched a very successful Kickstarter campaign last year to raise funds for one reporting trip, and another trip was partially paid for by the Stabile Center for Investigative Reporting at Columbia University, the majority of my work...
8/5/11 NYT Piece on Trafficking in China
A piece in the New York Times today by Sharon LaFraniere, with research by Edy Yin, Shao Heng, and Shi Da, explores child trafficking in China. An excerpt referencing adoption: The scandal also has renewed questions about whether Americans and other foreigners have adopted Chinese children who were falsely depicted as abandoned or orphaned. At least one American adoption agency organized adoptions from the government-run Shaoyang orphanage....
7/29/11: “The Lost Children of Guatemala,” from Le Temps
  The Swiss newspaper Le Temps, which is published in French, has a new article out about adoption fraud and ongoing kidnappings in Guatemala. The piece was translated from French into English by WorldCrunch, a news aggregation site. Here’s how it begins: “Maria Leticia Ispaché spent just one night with her son, Christopher, after giving birth in Guatemala City’s Roosevelt Hospital. Throughout the night she listened to his small hesitating cries. The next morning, one by one, the women next to her in the maternity ward room were allowed to leave with their newborns. “I was alone with my baby when a...
7/28/11: China and Vietnam Uncover Baby Trafficking Ring
Today, the “Want China Times,” which is the English-language, Taiwan-based arm of the news outlet China Times News Group, published a piece called “China and Vietnam Uncover Baby Trafficking Ring.” Here’s a few excerpts: In two major human trafficking cases this month in China, a total of 89 kidnapped infants were rescued and 369 suspects arrested, according to police authorities on Tuesday (Jul. 26). In one case, Guangdong police cracked a cross-border organization involved in abducting and selling children from Vietnam. “A major channel used to abduct and sell children from Vietnam to China and a big criminal network were destroyed,”...
DCF Moves to Close Florida Adoption Agency
  Florida DCF has moved to shut down a Florida adoption agency, Adoption by Shepherd Care. They say, according to a new article by Megan O’Matz in the Florida Sun-Sentinel, that one of the reasons is “pressuring a birth mother into giving up her infant twin sons.” The Sun-Sentinel obtained records about the adoption agency from Florida DCF (which I would assume were probably handed over via Freedom of Information Act request!) O’Matz’s piece quotes DCF department spokesman Mark Riordan saying, “DCF isn’t going to tolerate coercive behavior by these agencies, ever.” The agency Adoption by Shepherd Care (ASC) works in both...
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