Arun Dohle: Inside Story of an Adoption Scandal
In historical terms, intercountry adoptions from India have had a short run. Within thirty years of its inception, murky scandals of child kidnapping, falsifying paperwork, outright trading, and other tragic stories have ridden these intercountry adoptions.
Worldwide, adoption experts widely believed that ratifying the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (1993) would help reduce malpractice in adoption and “prevent the abduction, the sale of, or trafficking in children.”
The Convention aims to minimize malpractice in adoption and “prevent the abduction, the sale of, or trafficking in children. But does regulating help in weeding out cases of malpractice? Or does the regulation of intercountry adoptions, because of the strong demand for children, lead to a legalized market for children without effective control?
“The rules developed under the guise of the Hague Convention do not prevent abuses but instead prevent them from being seen. They mystify and hide the inherent injustice behind a legalized smokescreen. The results are demand-driven “legal orphans” who, according to paperwork, could not be cared for in their own country. The reality is that India could easily care for the 700 to 1,000 children sent abroad yearly. This is a matter of political choice.”