Private U.S. agencies arranging international adoptions of children paid “gifts of gratitude” to Armenian officials getting an unfair advantage over possible local Armenian adopted parents.
This thorough report by RFE/RL was based on online correspondence between Ara Manoogian, an Armenian-American activist, blogger and human rights advocate, and a host of U.S. adoptive parents, who basically admitted of paying bribes.
Under the Family Code, Armenian children can be made available for international adoption only three months after their inclusion on that registry — if they are not taken in by Armenian citizens. This legal restriction appears to have been violated in at least two cases in 2007.
Speaking to RFE/RL Ara Manoogian said U.S. agencies involved in the process, like Hopscotch and Adopt Abroad must be banned from doing business in Armenia and compared their activities with human trafficking.
“For me, there is nothing more outrageous than cashing in on these voiceless children, who are being deprived of their birthright as Armenians as a result of the circumvention of the system in place,” Manoogian said.
PS: The facts revealed in the article are simply outrageous. The whistle has been blown. Something has to be done. Will concrete steps follow?