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Monday, December 4, 2023

international adoption, always a delicate issue

Organized by the Raif association (Network of internationally adopted people in France), a conference is taking place this Saturday, November 18, in Lyon. It marks thirty years since the adoption of the Hague Convention which sought to guarantee the rights of children.

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Thirty years after the Hague Convention on international adoption, a conference in Lyon is today trying to show what the life of people adopted abroad is like, beyond the clichés. If the outlook has changed, several scandals in recent years have shown that the adoption of a child sought abroad was sometimes close to commerce and could lead to possible serious abuse.

This is the case for Yooree Kim. Adopted at age 11 in the 1980s – a Korean child was then worth $3,000 – she found herself in an abusive family. She was raped by her adopter and escaped at 17. Years later, she conducted the investigation and notably discovered evidence of the participation of the Korean state in its adoption by the association Friends of Children of the World. It was – for example – stated that she was an orphan, which was not the case.

It was my word against his »

Three weeks ago, Yooree Kim filed a complaint in France. Before leaving for Korea, she told Frédérique Genot how she got there: “ During my investigation, I was able to find magistrate Charles Duchêne who had taken my complaint very seriously. It was a complaint of sexual assault and rape on the part of my adopter. He investigated for two years. He closed the case but he told me that he was convinced that I was telling the truth. »

Onlysays Yooree Kim again, he couldn’t punish someone according to his belief at the time. There was a lack of evidence. It was my word against his plus that of my adoptive mother and my brother who defended my adopter. I was able to find Charles Duchêne. He told me : “You could file a complaint for kidnapping and forced disappearance, these are crimes against humanity, there is no statute of limitations so you can file a complaint.” »

And these children are now adults. Like Emmanuelle Hebert, co-founder of the Raif association (Network of International Adoptees in France), which offers another look at adoption. Particularly to those who were often told that adoption was an act of generosity and ultimate love or that they had been saved from the streets: “ Perhaps this isshe says, to remove all these barriers which have prevented us from expressing ourselves until now, to emancipate ourselves from this conflict of loyalties. And take a look at the truth about our adoptions and what that represents in terms of consequences on our experiences; This does not undermine the love we have for our adoptive family. »

Not the same look »

Things were generally done a few decades ago and obviously we did not have the same view at the time on international adoption. So I’m going to draw a parallel which may seem a little trivial but in the same way as at the time of apartheid or at the time of colonization, no one would have come to question this system which is ultimately based on a crass injustice which is to imagine that parents on the other side of the earth would not be able to take care of a child », says Emmanuelle Hebert again.

Eight billion neighborsIllegal international adoptions, when child trafficking is recognized as a crime against humanity

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