Press Release, March, 11th, 2021

Press Release United European Adoptees, March, 11th, 2021

A European movement of adoptees is calling for official recognition of illegal practices surrounding adoption, and the opening of commissions of inquiry.

Across Europe, illegal practices around adoption are revealed every day: adoptees reunite with their biological families, discover the murky circumstances of their adoption and the practices of corrupt and unethical intermediaries, and understand that adoption agencies – approved by the states – cheated the adoptive parents, who had fully trusted them. In Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany: everywhere in Europe, the stories are the same. We find them in the media, which picks up on these stories every time an adoptee from an illegal adoption reunites with his biological family. What is presented as an isolated and unprecedented fact is unfortunately becoming commonplace and more and more adoptees are questioning themselves.

This recurrence points to systemic dysfunctions and is the source of our action:

  • We, adoptees from all the countries of the European Union, have decided to unite our voices and launch the United European Adoptees movement to make ourselves heard at European level.
  • We ask the President of the Committee, the President of the European Council, the Vice-Presidents and also the Members of the European Parliament to hear our voices in order to shed light on these illicit practices and proven abuses.
  • We call on the member states to conduct a commission of inquiry in all the countries of the European Union. We call for official recognition from Europe of this undeniable state of affairs.

Recently, the Dutch government decreed the temporary suspension of international adoption following official recognition of illegal practices observed in their country. Last December, the Swiss government expressed its regret and set up mechanisms to help research into origins: these advances were made possible thanks to the action and the union of adoptees, who commit themselves, investigate and jointly advance these demands. In all European countries, associations and collectives are working on their side to make the voice of adoptees heard. Today we want to join forces and carry out our action at European level, because it is clear that the countries of origin have supplied all the countries of Europe for decades:

Spain: children adopted under the Franco regime, Guatemala, Morocco …
Italy: adopted children from Romania between 2016 and 2018
France: Haiti, Mali, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Romania, Peru, Lebanon, Chad, Réunion …
Belgium: Chile, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, South Korea, India …
Luxembourg: Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Vietnam
Netherlands: Chile, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Colombia, South Korea, India, Brazil, Argentina …
Germany: India, Guatemala …
Sweden: Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Vietnam, China,
Greece: trafficking in children and oocytes …
Denmark: Brazil, Guatemala, China, Vietnam
Switzerland: Sri Lanka

In view of the proliferation of ongoing lawsuits across the Union, it is time for the judicial systems of the Member States to measure the extent of the phenomenon.

We demand that the European institutions shed light on intercountry adoption in Europe and its illegal practices, we demand official recognition of the mistakes of the past and measures to ensure that they do not happen again at European level.

Nicolas BEAUFOUR / Mariela SR – Coline FANON / Emmanuelle HEBERT /
An JACOBS / Marie-Kadiatou MARRE

United European Adoptees is an independent and autonomous European collective of all associations and institutions related to adoption. Its purpose is to bring together intercountry adoptees living in Europe. In addition to requesting the opening of inquiries to the European Parliament, this collective’s mission is to reflect on proposals to improve adoption in an ethical manner and respect for the fundamental rights of the child.

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