Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adoption law opens door to traffickers

From: NPE
Poland could see a rise in child trafficking, if proposed changes to the adoption law come into force, experts have warned.

The proposals, which are currently being debated in parliament, could allow for the adoption of children for money, and this, apparently, could foster an illicit trade in young children.

“Following the changes to the law this could become the norm: Children will be put up for adoption for money, because there will be no penalty for it,” warned Wieslaw Dolegowski of the Foundation for the Child, Family and Adoption. “We’re concerned that when the law comes into force, adoption will be driven underground.”

Jerzy Naumann, a lawyer specialising in adoption law, also struck a negative note, saying that in his opinion the proposals “may lead to a flourishing market in the trafficking of children.”

In particular, adoption experts are concerned the proposed changes fail to include commercial adoption under its definition of human trafficking, thus biological parents could waive their parental rights in return for a fee.

Forums for couples looking to adopt children from anything from a few thousand zloty to PLN 150,000 currently exist, and with such riches already on offer, if the new proposals become law they could provide easy money for people looking to shed a child.

The flexibility and anonymity granted by the internet also allows people willing to sell their children the ability to do so with little problem.

But the insinuation that adoption and child trafficking are on the same immoral level has been rejected by those looking to adopt.

“You can not immediately claim that adoption is an indication of human trafficking,” said Maria, who set up the internet adoption forum, adding that many people on the forum would not consider buying a child.

Malgorzata Pomaranska-Bielecka, a doctoral student from Warsaw University who has studied the phenomenon of commercial adoption, said that the new proposals could ease the burden of guilt experienced by some adoptive parents.

“To date, participants in commercial adoption feared accusations of human trafficking. Now the threat of punishment falls only on the intermediary, the person who arranges the adoption for profit,” she said.