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Wednesday 23.08.2017 | Name days: Valgudis, Ralfs, Vitālijs
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American adoption services count millions in annual turnover at Latvian children’s expense

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian children are adopted by American families as a result of active participation by special business organizations of this superpower – adoption agencies. Latvian Welfare Ministry has accredited 14 such organizations. Prices available on their websites show that making one Latvian orphan an adopted child of an American couple costs EUR 15,000.

Therefore, American adoption services count nearly EUR 1.5 million in turnover every year at the expense of Latvian children. Some amount of this money even ‘warms’ Latvia’s economy, as reported by Diena newspaper.

Each agency has its own representative in Latvia. Among these representatives there was once a high-rank official of Welfare Ministry – Janis Veinbergs. A detailed assessment of the list of representatives shows that there are only four officials who ‘take care of’ all 14 agencies in Latvia. These include Chairman of the Mormon Community of Riga and Imanta Gatis Senkans, head of Tervete Care Centre Daina Roze, lawyer Kristine Lemantovica and Janis Veinbergs.

Those of them that agreed to discuss the financial aspect of the adoption procedure, say they are not aware of prices of agencies. They claim not to know about different categories of costs. Veinbergs said costs that are published on websites are an internal matter of different agencies. He added he has nothing to do with them. Lemantovica later added that specific amounts include costs for legal services in Latvia, preparations of necessary documents and their legalization, as well as postal and translation services. When asked why she decided to represent three whole adoption agencies in Latvia, Roze replied: ‘None of your business!’ and added in a rather unpleasant way that she offers legal services to Americans. Veinbergs was also reluctant in his reply: ‘It is a very private matter’. He was asked why he chose to replace his seat in Welfare Ministry with representation of World Links International Adoption Agency.

According to Gatis Senkan’s declaration for 2013, in addition to his work in the City Council, legal firm and four other companies, Senkans was paid EUR 28,000 last year. It is possible that this amount includes his pay for the representation of two American adoption agencies, as reported by Diena.

BNN had previously reported that 499 Latvian children have been adopted by American families with help from American religious organizations in the past decade.

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