Tuesday, March 28, 2006

"Stealing Babies For Adoption": The State Dept. responds

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Washington Post yesterday in response to this article (my emphases):

Regarding the March 12 front-page story "Stealing Babies for Adoption":

The State Department is committed to ensuring, to the extent possible, that all children adopted abroad by U.S. citizens are legitimately eligible for adoption. U.S. consular officers, including in Guangzhou, are prohibited by law from issuing adoption visas to any child whose orphan status cannot be demonstrated. We work with foreign officials, including the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA), to protect all parties to an adoption, especially the children. The United States signed the Hague Adoption Convention, which it will ratify and implement in 2007, to add further safeguards to the process. We look forward to having China as a convention partner.

The State Department has sought to determine whether any Chinese child adopted by U.S. parents had been bought or sold. We have not confirmed any such case to date. Meanwhile, the CCAA says it has concluded its investigation into the origins of children from Hengyang adopted by Americans and found that all were legitimately orphaned or abandoned and that no biological parents were searching for them.

The State Department will continue its dialogue with the CCAA regarding Chinese adoption procedures, and it will remain vigilant in adjudicating orphan visa cases in China and around the world.


Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs

State Department



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