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Wednesday 16.08.2017 | Name days: Astrīda, Astra
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Latvian authorities suspect child trade from Latvian orphanages to USA

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU499 Latvian children have become citizens of USA over the past ten years. They were all adopted by American parents. American religious organizations are also involved.

Names and personal codes have been changed, profiles in social networks have been deleted, all contacts lost – this is what happens to Latvian children in foster families in USA. Dozens of directors of Latvian orphanages have told Diena about one and the same scheme – how legally free children are selected (with help from state institutions) and then adopted or handed over to American families.

‘An American family arrives with hired lawyers and representatives of an Orphan Court. The child who had been with them during summer is taken from class in the middle of the day to a leisure centre in the city to have a talk. In other words – they promise him riches and a better life abroad. On the next day they hold a court session, during which the child’s name is changed (allegedly following the child’s agreement) and documents are prepared to have him be adopted,’ – says an anonymous director of an orphanage.

Representative of Saules bērni orphans’ society Viesturs Alksnitis says American religious organizations have become rather active in Latvia. These organizations provide the ‘delivery’ of children to USA – for evaluation.

‘These are rather wealthy events. For example, Vasarsvētki, members of which actively invite Latvians to come stay with them during summer. Their representatives often visit Latvia’s orphanages and offer this opportunity. Who doesn’t want to fly to USA? Even charter flights are organized. This is done in order to convince a child on the spot, not wait around for a long time for some other child. Russia has banned the adoption of its children by American families. Other countries have done this as well. Latvia, on the other hand, seems only happy to get rid of its children,’ – says Alksnitis.

Ivita Krastina – senior referent of Welfare Ministry’s Department of Child and Family Affairs – denies that foreigners wait less time to adopt a child in Latvia than citizens. ‘Residents are first required to receive a status of an adopter. Foreigners are already provided with this status by the countries they come from. This is why they are not required to wait for this stage.’ Krastina admits that not all foreigners are required to wait in line like others. Guest families are in a more privileged position. This is why they are able to adopt any child they want.

Director of Welfare Ministry’s Department for Child and Family Affairs Livija Liepina had previously denied the statements that the rates of child adoption by foreigners has increased because of generous payments by adopters.

Ref: 102.109.109.4784


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