Today, Amy’s mother in court

Informal translation,  Politiken, 18 February 2014

by Dorrit Saietz

Adoptions – For the first time an attempt to have a Danish adoption annulled by a native parent.

In the Ethiopian capital , Addis Ababa , today an extraordinary sitting took place .

Genet Kedir Jara, who four and a half years ago, handed over two of his children in Denmark , asking the court lift the adoption of her eldest daughter, Amy. The reason is that the adoption failed and Amy ended up being placed with a foster family where she is today. The whole process has exposed Amy to violent psychological pressure, she says.

The Dutch NGO Against Child Trafficking (ACT) has advised Amy’s mother up to the point and provided ​​her a lawyer to pursue it. Spokesperson of ACT Roelie Post says that Genet’s goal is to become her daughter’s mother again . „She never wanted to give up her children completely – she only agreed to an adoption by Ethiopian law, which maintains ties to the original family, where there is regular contact and where the children can later return.

That is what all the Ethiopian parents think, „she says .

If Genet Kedir wins the case , it will then be the first time that an adoption system that has brought thousands of children to Denmark from near and distant countries will be challenged through the courts.

The repeal of the Ethiopian adoption has no prima facie effect in Denmark, but the ACT does not intend to stop there.

„The next step will be to seek adoption was abolished under Danish law. This no longer allows the adoptive parents to  influence Amy’s life and future, and Genet can determine what is best for her child, „, said Roelie Post.

Today it is Næstved municipality, on behalf of adoptive parents, that decides about Amy’s life : how she should live and go to school, which means she will have to deal with their difficult situation and how and to what extent she must keep in touch with her ​​mother, sister and other family members in Ethiopia, as she misses them tremendously. Her foster parents must follow local regulations, regardless of what they believe to be best for Amy.

Recently the municipality canceled at short notice Amy’s first visit to Ethiopia since she came to Denmark in August 2009, on the grounds that the trial in which she was called to testify, creates too much uncertainty about Amy’s situation. Specifically, the municipality fears that there is a risk that Amy can be detained by her mother or by the Ethiopian authorities .

Roelie Post says the worry is unfounded.

„We have no reason to doubt Gene Kedir’s very clear statement that Amy can stay in Denmark, if she so desires. But theoretically, if both Amy and her mother want it, there are also opportunities to raise and educate a child in Ethiopia. Everything in life is not about money and living standards, „said Roelie Post.

Amy says to Politiken that she supports her mother. „I’m super sad and disappointed that it does not materialise as planned, but I will not push my mother for anything,“ she says .

Also Genet Kedir has, learned Politiken, decided to fight on, even if it means that it may take longer before she sees her daughter again .

It has not been possible to get a comment from Amy’s adoptive parents.