Thursday, March 8, 2012

PEAR Ethics Alert on Adoption from Uganda

PEAR Ethics Alert on Adoption from Uganda

PEAR has received numerous reports from adopting families and NGOs on the ground in Uganda regarding unethical conduct by adoption agencies, adopting families, and local facilitators and officials in Uganda. Due to the seriousness of these reports, the rapid increase in interest in adoption from this country, and the continued abuses of the adoption process in Uganda, it is PEAR’s recommendation that families looking to adopt ethically do not initiate adoption from Uganda at this time.

We also call on the governments of Uganda and the United States to investigate allegations of corruption thoroughly and take any and all measures necessary to address these issues with honesty and transparency in order to protect Ugandan children and families as well as US citizen prospective adoptive families.

Ethical concerns include:

1. Reports that US adoption agencies are making donations to existing orphanages to thwart efforts at family reunification;
2. Reports of harvesting of children from intact families in order to provide more “adoptable” children for intercountry adoption (children screened for suitable health, gender, and age);
3. Reports of extensive bribes paid to local officials by US adoption agencies and/or their local facilitators;
4. Reports of bribes paid to local officials by US adopting families;
5. Failure of the Ugandan government and US government to demonstrate a commitment to transparency and honesty in addressing concerns over the slowing of the process for approving Ugandan passports for adopted children;
6. Recent reports that US adopting families are being advised to take children into Kenya for processing Ugandan passport applications. We are concerned about this practice and the possible repercussions of US citizens flying undocumented children across international borders.

PEAR continues to monitor adoption from Uganda and will update our recommendations when believe adequate controls have been put into place to ensure ethical adoptions.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

1 comment:

Angie said...

SRe: #6- Yes, some adoptive parents were taking paperwork over to the Ugandan Embassy located in Nairobi, Kenya. Most of them were driving, not flying.

The process of applying for a Ugandan passport at the Embassy is a perfectly legal way of expediting things. (This is the case for countries all over the world; most embassies are equipped to provide passports for their citizens.) Moreover, this step would not have been necessary at all had the local office (here in Kampala) tasked with passport issuance not been sitting on applications.

The parents that were traveling to Kenya were having to choose between waiting in Kampala for 2+ months, paying a bribe to "grease the wheels," or, alternatively, pursuing a perfectly legal, bribe-free method of obtaining a passport to which their child was legally entitled.