2 August 2016 What is the definition of “OFFICIAL“?
I can tell that in the setting of adoption it is a vague and a grey terminology. There clearly is room for interpretation, which should not be the case – as we are talking about human beings. So humanity must be there. However, in adoption this gets often lost. Who gets the right to decide what is “OFFICIAL“ and what is not? Right! Those with the power to do so.
What is the foundation of their power?
We are talking about the lives of children. Is adoption in the best interest of the life of a child?
To make sure it is, government organisations and authorities are created.
They decide about these kind of matters. They make decisions based on the well-being of all involved in the process of adoption. Professionals working there, have a certain level of education to be able to relate to the complexity of adoption and those involved. Once adoption has been done, there are support services organised by the government authorities. „They are there to support adoptees with questions about their roots. The search for their roots is from enormous importance, so adoptees need to be supported in the right way and need good guidance.” This is written on the authority’s website.
Now, Dear World and all professionals working for adoptees and their families. Speaking as an adoptee, once adopted by an OFFICIAL organisation and OFFICIALLY living in Belgium, I have a question.
Nine months ago I was an adoptee with a concrete OFFICIAL question regarding my roots. As OFFICIAL government authorities are there to support me, I contacted them regarding my search. I clearly explained the need for answers, based on facts.
Soon I realised they were not able to help me in that, so I turned to ACT (Against Child Trafficking). I was an adoptee trying to find the appropriated kind of support in my search.
My dearest mother in India was traced after a short and successful search. Executed professionally by ACT. From the government authorities I only saw a couple of emails without clear follow-up or any constructive result. Once a mother has been traced, there is a need for scientific proof. Proof one is really related to each other.
This is easily solved by a DNA sample and test. To make it OFFICIAL. My mother’s DNA has been sampled but is still in India. And here I am, thousands of kilometers away with my own DNA. In today’s world with all communication possibilities and transportation solutions, distance is only a small detail. It was once easy to even get children from all parts of the world to completely other parts, right?
The use of a diplomatic pouch can be a perfect solution in such a situation. It is used for OFFICIAL goals. However, no third party can use it, so authorities with the power to do so need to cooperate. It can only be used by OFFICIAL authorities for OFFICIAL goals. So that’s what I did. I asked the OFFICIAL authorities to support an adoptee in her search for her roots, to help me in getting my mother’s DNA transported from India to Belgium so we can for once and for all know for sure that she is my OFFICAL mother and I am her OFFICIAL daughter.
Now tell me, Dear World, how is it possible that DNA in this context cannot be handled as OFFICIAL enough to use the diplomatic pouch? And how can official authorities decide that comparing a DNA from a mother in India with her daughter in Belgium is not an OFFICIAL goal and part of their OFFICIAL role? These OFFICIAL organisations are authorised and acknowledged with the powers to be able to make a difference. But if they refuse to handle this as OFFICIAL. I honestly can tell you they are not making any difference, or at least not in the best interest for me, or my mother, or my parents.
So the question to me that arises is: do they deserve to have the power to define what is OFFICIAL and what is not? I decided to share my thoughts on this matter because there is a need to rethink adoption, and how adoptees are handled by government authorities.
Attached you can find the communication about my OFFICIAL request for support to the OFFICIAL authorities regarding the DNA and the communication related to the DNA matter between ACT and the OFFICIAL authorities.
Translation email from Kind en Gezin (Flamish Central Authority, Belgium):
The use of the diplomatic pouch is known to us, we use it sometimes to send official documents. Fact is that we can only use the diplomatic pouch for official documents and goods that are meant for official use; for example if we want to deliver a letter to CARA in India we can use the diplomatic pouch. Personal items and documents can also not be send by us.
Our experience with diplomatic mail is also that it takes a long time before the documents reach destination, often this takes 4 to 8 weeks, which could be of influence to the conservation of the DNA sample. If we need documents to arrive faster then we make use of DHL, I see that they also have specific possibilities for medical material: https://www.dhlexpress.nl/nl/kennisbank/brochures/medical_express_NL
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Het gebruik van de diplomatieke tas is ons bekend, wij gebruiken dit soms voor de verzending van officiële documenten. Het is zo dat wij de diplomatieke tas enkel kunnen gebruiken voor officiële documenten en goederen die bestemd zijn voor officieel gebruik, vb. als wij een brief van ons aan CARA in India wensen te bezorgen kunnen we gebruik maken van de diplomatieke tas. Persoonlijke spullen en documenten kunnen ook door ons niet worden verzonden.
Onze ervaring met diplomatieke post is ook dat het lang duurt eer de documenten ter plaatse zijn, vaak duurt dit 4-8 weken, wat wellicht een invloed zou hebben op de houdbaarheid van de DNA-staal. Als wij documenten sneller ter plaatse dienen te brengen maken we gebruik van DHL, ik zie dat zij hier ook specifieke mogelijkheden in hebben naar medisch materiaal: https://www.dhlexpress.nl/nl/kennisbank/brochures/medical_express_NL
Met vriendelijke groeten,
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