Belgian newspapers are reporting how the Belgian consulate in Uganda are holding Belgians hostage in Uganda. This because, according to the Flemish Central Authority, exit visas have been refused despite court orders.
Now that would be terrible… But is this so? And if so, is there a reason?
So ACT did some digging. First of all, it rapidly became clear that the Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister (at Federal level) Didier Reynders regretted the method used by the Flemish Centre for Adoption. He underlined that the Flemish Centre for Adoption should take into account the applicable legal rules in Uganda.
After more digging through ACTS wide network we found from a trusted source:
About the Flemish Central Authority/Het Kleine Mirakel Adoptie (Little Miracle, Belgian Agency):
1)They misled everyone in Uganda by stating in 2014 that they would do a pilot project of ICA in Uganda (of 3 or 4 cases) – despite the warnings and views of the consulate in Uganda that they did not believe that the system could at all be trusted… the pilot went on and on and was 10 or more cases
2)They rejected ALL advice from experts in the field and continued with their pilot despite the pleas from their own consulate and Ugandan government not to continue
3) At the end of the pilot it was discovered that many cases (of course) were fraudulent and that the Lawyer used in Uganda was the Attorney Generals law firm, a firm cited as being implicit in dubious adoption practices. Despite all of this they continued to purse the programme in Uganda saying it would be small, one or two cases per year, but actually it expanded rapidly
4) They continue to use an unlicensed orphanage which traffics children across borders and which the Ugandan authorities had indicated for closure and further investigation. The continued to use the orphanage despite the orphanage being told that the children should be reunified to their families or placed into waiting and approved Ugandan foster care placements
5) When the amendments to the children’s act reforms were passed hey continued to send families to Uganda to try and gain legal guardianship orders despite the new regulations that prohibits legal guardianship orders being granted to foreigners
6) When the law was enacted on June 2nd they continued to disregard the Ugandan law. Now that the Ugandan authorities has written to them, the judiciary and the consulate they are complaining despite arrogantly continuing and ignoring Ugandan laws and the concerns from the Ugandan government The Belgium adoption agencies, central authority and Belgium families have no right to complain as they had received a number of warnings, alerts and alarms from within Uganda that the system was corrupt and in the process of being reformed, and yet these warnings were not heeded.
After some investigation ACT also found that the recent criticism of the Belgium consulate in Uganda are unfounded as she has constantly been trying to persuade the Flemish Central Authority to following the proper processes according to the Ugandan authorities that would have avoided this mess.
The Flemish authority rejected use of the formal Alternative Care Panel because, ACT believes, that the panel would have rejected these cases for intercountry adoption because the panel has waiting Ugandan foster and adoptive families and ensures that everything is done to reunify the child with family before alternative care is considered.
Never trusting our sources blindly, we googled for confirmation. This is what we found on the website of the Flemish Parliament: very alarming reporting from the Belgian consul in Uganda. Despite this, the Flemish Central Authority continued to allow adoptions from Uganda and now have to face the result of their inaction.
ACT calls for a full investigation into the activities of the Central Authority which ignored the laws of Uganda, ignored warnings and alerts and even ignored the Belgium consulate on the ground in Uganda
See also ACT’s previous Adoption Alert:
ADOPTION LOBBY ALERT is an initiative of Against Child Trafficking. We are closely monitoring the Adoption Industry.
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