Source: www.bt.dk (translated from Danish)
By Susanne Johansson Monday 20 January 2014
Scene from the harsh documentary ‘adoption price of a child ‘, which created uproar among very many Danes. Here little Masho arrives to Denmark. (Photo: Frithiof Film)
It is just over a year ago that the gripping documentary ‘adoption price of a child’ [Mercy Mercy] put Denmark upside down, as the Danish adoptive parents in TV 2’s prime time had to give up the little Masho and send her to a children home.
Ever since, Masho’s biological parents hit a bureaucratic brick wall in the battle to just be allowed to hear news about her daughter, who now is nine years old.
The battle has been going on for almost a year. Last April 2013 the parents Hussen and Sinknesh Immishu decided to go to a lawyer based in Ethiopia to annul the adoption and resume contact with their daughter Masho, who was only four years old when she left the country and her parents in 2008.
But the biological parents fight in vain.
– We are denied information about her, says Arun Dohle, who for the international NGO organization ACT (Against Child Trafficking) represents the biological parents.
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– It cannot be right that I, as their representative cannot be allowed to see her, says Arun Dohle and continue to constantly run up against a Danish bureaucratic wall in the case of Masho.
But that’s the system in Denmark, explains Helle Mariager as boss for the children and younth in Holbaek municipality to whom Masho’s case belongs.
– Legally, it is not their child anymore and thus they are not party to the case, she says, and continues:
– But we are aware that it is a type of case of which we can expect more and more, simply because adoptions are carried out differently than expected in adoptive countries, says Helle Mariager.
‘The pressure and hope’
How heartbreaking Masho’s case may be, it is far from being the only in the adoption picture. Especially in Ethiopia so-called ‘child catchers’ operate, inviting parents to have their children adopted, or rather ‘lend’ them. Because the parents are often made to believe that they get their children back.
– They did not know what adoption services meant because they were pressured and enticed. They were promised many things that an Ethiopian official previously told the TV news about the growing problem in the country.
A year ago history was also made, as the court in Ethiopia for the first time ever overturned an adoption and thus reunited a young girl – who was given up for adoption to the Netherlands – with her biological parents.
But to get that same success for Masho’s parents, they need to prove that Masho has been subjected to physical or psychological abuse. And according to BT’s information the documentary ‘adoption price of a child’ is not acceptable evidence.
Was adopted from Africa: Now Masho in children home
The Danish legislation on the subject has otherwise been relaxed a bit. According to a response from the Appeals Board to the Parliamentary Ombudsman last May, an adopted child should not be deprived of contact with the biological parents.
But unfortunately for Masho, this interpretation applies only for adoptions that occurred after 2009, the year after Masho was given up for adoption.