DENMARK 18 NOVEMBER 2013 KL. 02.23
Adoption Agencies in several countries are struggling to survive, while the whole sector is under pressure.
It is not only in Denmark that private adoption agencies are struggling for economic survival during these years.
From her residence in Brussels, former official of the European Commission Roelie Post seconded to the small NGO Against Child Trafficking, which fights against child trafficking disguised as adoption, follows the developments.
“We have seen many adoption agencies shut down in the U.S., and some of the largest agencies have merged. Wereldkinderen in the Netherlands its continuity was under pressure and has so far laid off staff and leased half of its office. An Austrian agency had to close after a scandal that resembled the Danish Masho-case. Agencies are using their accumulated reserves, “said Roelie Post.
Why is the number of adoptions down??
“There are always several factors, but in general we see that information about corruption moves quicker, and it got some of the big sending countries to limit or completely shut down adoption. It has already happened in Romania, Guatemala and several other countries, today the information comes via the Internet, so cases become quickly known. It creates a greater awareness in both sending and recieving countries ‘.
Must find new countries
What does it mean for adoption agencies’ economy?
“Every business needs growth or at least some stability. If revenue falls and, as we look at the Danish agencies it has be be more than halved over a short time, while the number of new applicants also fails, the economy is under the double pressure, and it becomes unsustainable, “said Roelie Post.
She describes the development as a kind of self-reinforcing ‘deathly spiral’.
You can no longer feel sure to get a child
Roelie Post, Against Child Trafficking
DanAdopt had at the beginning of the year 382 applicants on the waiting list, but the number has since dropped to 296 To stop the decline in both adoptions and applicants, agencies have to look for new countries where they can find children, explains Roelie Post.
“And it costs a lot of money to travel, cultivating the right contacts and establish new partnerships. You also have to have money for projects that they are offering to private orphanages and government agencies – it opens doors and creates contacts at all levels, if you have 10,000-20,000 euros to help a project. The money can be financed only by constantly getting new applicants. ”
Ethics under pressure
Roelie Post and Against Child Trafficking fears that some adoption agencies may be tempted to put ethics under further pressure. “It puts them under additional pressure to find some children so they can get the last fee installment in and keep candidates happy. They might go to countries where adoption is not well known and proven. We have seen it in Africa, which is an example of an entire continent, where parents do not understand the concept of adoption. ”
At the same time there will be fewer and fewer new applicants who join, also in Denmark. With 245 applications in the first 10 months in 2013 a new low record low is reached – in 2012 searched 438 on adoption to more than 600 the year before. “We can no longer feel safe to have a baby, waiting times are longer and people start often too late after having spent years in fertility treatment – all this working against adoption agencies, “said Roelie Post.