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Denmark and Norway suspend international adoptions after reports of child trafficking and document forgery

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Authorities in Denmark and Norway suspended adoptions from abroad on Tuesday. The reason for the decision are media reports about cases of document forgery and child trafficking. An investigation is underway in Sweden to determine whether similar irregularities have occurred in the country.

Authorities Denmark on Tuesday withdrew the authorization to mediate international adoptions by the only organization in the country dealing with this, Danish International Adoption (DIA). The same day, the authorities Norway informed about the suspension of adoption from PhilippinesThailand and Taiwan. The reason for the decisions of both governments are media reports on cases of forging birth certificates and buying children.

“The biggest adoption crisis of the last decade” in Denmark

The website of the Danish Ministry of Family describes the current situation as “the most serious adoption crisis of the last decade.” – When we help a child start a new family on the other side of the world, we must be sure that the adoption will be carried out correctly in relation to the biological parents – emphasized Minister Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil. Hege Nilssen, head of the Norwegian Authority for Children, Youth and Families, added that “adoption must be safe, healthy and in the best interests of the child.”

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Cases of buying children from Madagascar

Until now, the non-governmental organization Danish International Adoption (DIA) was responsible for coordinating foreign adoptions in Denmark. She mediated in adoption processes from the Philippines, India, Taiwan, Thailand and the Czech Republic. She also cooperated with partner agencies in South Korea, Colombia and other countries. In the past, it also operated in South Africa and Madagascar. In recent years, she has brought between 20 and 40 children a year to Denmark. DIA lost its government license to broker adoptions from abroad following the disclosure by the Danish public broadcaster DR of cases of children being bought from Madagascar. The withdrawal of her permit means in practice that it is currently not possible to adopt a child from abroad in the country.

It is currently unclear whether and how international adoptions to Denmark will be carried out, said Minister Rosenkrantz-Theil in an interview with the Danish portal Berlingske. According to the portal’s findings, at the time Denmark suspended adoptions, there were 36 pre-qualified candidates on the waiting list. Rosenkrantz-Theil described the situation of these people as “very unfortunate.” She added that the authorities would contact them “as soon as possible” and inform them “about the further course” of the adoption process. She also noted that for some of those waiting, adoption would still be possible. However, these cases will be considered individually.

SEE ALSO: The abuse continued for years. The Netherlands prohibits adoption from abroad

Norway suspends adoptions from abroad

The Norwegian government also decided on Tuesday to suspend adoptions from three countries – the Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan. As described by the VG newspaper portal, people who have already started the adoption process of children from these countries will be able to complete it only if a specific child has already been assigned to them. They will also have to successfully pass an additional assessment by the Office for Children, Youth and Families. According to VG’s report, the Norwegian government also placed additional restrictions on the adoption of children from South Korea. From Tuesday, only couples who have previously received permission to adopt a child from this country will be able to do so. New permits will not be issued. The list of countries covered by the suspension may be expanded, VG indicates.

Tuesday’s decision by the Norwegian government was prompted by the disclosure by the VG newspaper of cases of issuing false birth certificates to children and selling them. Information about the possibility of similar incidents prompted the authorities of neighboring Sweden to check the documents of minors from the Philippines. Last year, the country suspended adoptions from Madagascar and Panama.

There are three organizations in the country that mediate the adoption of children from abroad to Norway. Two of them have already filed an appeal against Tuesday’s government decision. The third party announces that it will do so in the near future, VG reports.

SEE ALSO: CNN: There is a network of camps in Russia where thousands of Ukrainian children are detained and re-educated

PAP, ABC News, Berlingske, VG, DR, TVN24.pl

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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