Home > In the news > Children adopted from Ethiopia molested

Children adopted from Ethiopia molested

It is a harrowing tale involving the case of two Ethiopian children adopted by a French family who have become victims of paedophile.

VOA reported last night that a four-year-old boy and an eighteen-month toddler were sexually molested by their adoptive father in St. Etienne, France.

The two had been sodomized until the four-year-old child’s chance visit to a hospital brought the case to light. The man who allegedly committed the crime is now in custody.

Dawit Daniel, an Ethiopian living in  France, told VOA’s Amharic Service that the revelation came when the 37 year-old unnamed adoptive father took the child to hospital to get him a treatment for a wound on his leg caused by a beating.He had to bring him again a week later when it got worse. This had got the doctors suspicious, which led them to examine the child and they alerted the police when they got confirmation.The suspect was arrested on the hospital gound. The eighteen-month toddler was brought to hospital by his adoptive mother and was found abused with a far more harm.

The children are now being taken care of in hospital. A special children’s court has decided they would be moved to foster homes when they are discharged from hospital where they could stay for six months. Then there is a possibility of reuniting them with their biological parents in Ethiopia or might be offered for adoption to another family in France.

Embet Gebreab, a Lyon resident Ethiopian, who runs an NGO Mama Ethiopia, told VOA she is pursuing the case on behalf of the children and has opened a file against the suspect. A court hearing was held two days ago where a representative from the Ethiopian Embassy in Paris also attended.

The court has given responsibility for an adoption service to see if the parents were capable of adopting.

The children were taken to France a month ago by an Addis-based adoption agency called Tukul.

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Categories: In the news
  1. S.M
    June 18, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    It is sickening to know adoption agencies operating under the supervision of the Ethopan goverment are selling kids to sick paedophilc.No one but only the govt is reposnsible for this.

  2. Juru
    June 18, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Oh!No! Hope, this ass hole sick will burn in hell forever!!!!!

  3. Dr. Ethiopia
    June 19, 2008 at 4:19 am

    Adoption is a win-win situation in most cases. The parents get to raise kids, otherwise they wouldn’t have a chance to, nad the baby gets a fair shot at life, specially an orphan from a country such as Ethiopia.

    But inevitably there will be cases such as this, and is saddening and sickening to hear this.

    I hope rare cases like this help adoption agencies to be more rgorous in the screening process of the parents.

    • Chas0x01
      April 30, 2010 at 11:22 am

      Well this is hardly an unfortunate accident. Ethiopia now has one of the worse prostitution problems in the world, with estimates that as many as 25% of women and girls are selling themselves for a $1 on the streets. Child prostitution is also rampant. Ethiopia is dying and is literally selling its soul.

  4. M2008
    June 19, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Arefe,

    It is interesting that Ethiopia has now become a mecca for adopting children. It is cheap and easy.

    It is a disgrace and a sad state of affairs when a nation’s safety net is so weak that adoption becomes an option and a private business.

    In other words, to present adoption as a “win-win situation” and child molestation as a “rare case” is insensitive and hides the real issue. Don’t forget that for every “rare case” there are many more that are not publicized.

    Arefe, here is my request to you. Could you please publish the list of adoption agencies and who runs them? Thank you.

  5. Misiker
    June 19, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    In the first place the children shouldn’t have been ripped off from their root.
    But this country is too poor to take care of them. That is how they are ending like this.
    When children are immigrating to the West in droves, such cases are bound to occur.
    This instance of sexual crime is only the tip of the iceberg. Who knows if there children whose body parts are offered for sale? This has happened before.
    But I differ with one commentator who said only the govt should be responsible. Putting the blame on the govt is reductionism.
    How about the father and the mother who brought the children to this world? Shouldn’t they get chunk of the blame? By deciding to bring children that they can’t take care of, they are taking a cruel and brutish decision. I know a homeless mother who shamelessly begs carrying three children. If she can’t take responsibility for this, I don’t know who else can?
    I am sure such online discussion could help but I am afraid it seems seem like preaching to the converted. I wish I could know what the local media is doing in this regard. Do they talk about this? If they do I am sure but they could do a lot by senitizing future parents. In Ethiopian children are still considered as a blessing and having as many as possible desirable. The New Year song is still Kebrew yekoyun, kebrew ,beamet and ledge woldewu. That is an old song that should be replaced by a new one. There is no reason why I should take sympathy for father and mother who bear kids that they can’t take care of. They are selfish people who don’t deserve my sympathy.

  6. June 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Arefe,

    I think you should do that too. Not in a blaming kind of way but just list the names and contacts.

    I very much agree with the failed state argument.

  7. June 20, 2008 at 8:44 am

    We, parents of three ethiopian children, want to cry out for this terrible case. But it is not a case about adoption. It is a case about pedophilia, one of the worse crime.
    The in most of case of pedophiolia are implicated people close the children, frecuently in the family. I have not statistic, but I think than is most frecuent in biologic parents than ins adoptinf families.

    And, another one thing. I`m completely agree put the law over the people who use the adoption like a bussines. I`m agree that the children must grow in this country whith his cultural roots, but sadly some time this is not posible. What is better, a life in extrenely hardship in this country or a oportuny outside?
    Sorry if I look arrogant. You can be sure that we love the land were our children was born and we try keep and teach them their cultural heritage. The are pride to be Abeshawi.

    Excuse me my bad English.

  8. Arefe
    June 20, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    To be honest, this is not one of the departments that I am well informed about. I never bothered to know how adoption agencies operate and who their owners are. But I can tell you, seeing Fernji adoptive parents carrying Ethiopian kids is becoming common in town. If you go to places like Hilton, you will see plenty of them.
    For the list of adoption agencies, I wish to hear from informed readers.
    For the time being, these infos I googled might be of some use. The June 2007 New York Times article says 22 American agencies were licensed to operate in Ethiopia. In the report, two agencies, Children’s Home society &Family Services, and Christian World Adoption were mentioned. Another 2005 BBC news report listed two other, Kids Care Orphanage run by a certain Ethiopian Aster Fisseha and Wide Horizons for Children, by Dr. Tsegaye Berhe. The later became famous after movie star Angelina Joli adopted a child with their help. BBC then said there were nearly 40 agencies in Addis Ababa handling adoptions. VOA’s Amharic service recently has been running a series of programme on this. I have listened to some of them and I found them informative. They have done a nice job trying to get different perspectives from various corners. I guess they are not done yet.

    About the particular case of children abused by their adoptive father, I managed to find a brief report in a French website, Lamontagne. The story is headlined as “Ecroue pour le viol de son fils adoptf”.
    The man is identified as a craftsperson who lives in a small town in southern France, Yssingeaux, in the Haute-Lore Department, near Saint-Etenne. His picture with his face hidden is posted in the site. He has adopted the two children from Ethiopia in May, 2008, reported the site.
    http://www.wikio.fr/france/auvergne/haute-loire/yssingeaux

  9. curious
    June 21, 2008 at 9:00 am

    As an Ethiopian & idealy, I would rather see these kids brought up here, provided their basic needs are met, in a loving + caring family.
    However, this is not the case! We have a population of over 80M, quasi non existent family planing & do you know of adopting Ethiopians? Those that treat the kid(s) as their own?

    Before criticising foreign adoption, where most will grow up in a caring/loving environment + get a better shot at life & could be great Ambassadors of Ethiopia (think Samuelson the celeb. chef!!!), you should look into the alternative objectively…not beautiful!

  10. June 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Just to update you.Last night, VOA’s Tizita Belachew held an interview with Tsegaye Kebede, representative of the adoption agency, Les Enfants Avant Tout, that handled this particular adoption process.
    He said the usual screening process was done and recall meeting the mother who came to Addis to collect the children a month ago.
    Explaining the procedures, he said there is a committee that study the adoptive parent’s file.The background checks were made in County Council Social Services of France, as is always the case.And the committe handed down the file to the court here in Addis, after making sure that the parents were fit to adopt.
    He said this incidence is a one-time unfortunate happening and they’ve never had such reports before in thier 23 years of operation.
    He said they are saddened by what happened and collaborating with the government Ministry to send a paediatric to the children to lend any assitance that might need.

  11. M2008
    June 21, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks Arefe for your efforts.

    Are adoption agencies members of association of NGOs in Ethiopia? How are the babies/children “harvested?” How many of those agencies are run by family members of the ruling minority government? Is there a way to know ethnic breakdown of adoptees? How are the fees divided up? Who gets what amount? Does the Ethiopian government “make money?”

    From all I know American adoption agencies run a multi-billion dollar business, for better or worse. However you view it it is a lucrative business. The practice in Latin America is often referred to as “child trafficking.”

    Easy money will be the incentive for mothers to “sell” their children. The poor will be cajoled into selling body parts for the benefit of those who can afford them. The government will have excuses for not discharging its duties to its citizens.

    I know this is a dilemma and don’t want to make it sound simple. On the other hand, the fact that a child is provided with a better “future” (education, shelter, etc.) may not mean his/her spiritual/cultural needs are also met. And in many cases, the parents will not necessarily be able to meet such needs. The children will encounter racism as they grow up. Some of these “families” are “same-sex” parents and are accepted as normal parents in Europe and in North America. Child molestation/porn is a real and growing global concern. Divorce in North America within church-going parents is over fifty percent (similar to non-churched).

    Please don’t mistake my comments here are against ALL adoptions per se. There are good and decent families out there (many unable to have their own chidren.) My concern is the practice of uprooting chidren in the guise of giving them a future. That is just an excuse for not shouldering our responsibilities. And yet we see extremely wealthy individuals throwing around hundreds of thousands of birr on a bet between English premier soccer league.

    Would you give your own child for adoption under such circumstances? I am saddend because this is an evidence of how much social capital we have squandered by ethnicizing Ethiopian politics. We have always been dirt poor but we had our pride. How low we have fallen!

    What I hear is that adoptees have a fair chance of becoming “ambassadors” for Ethiopia or another Samuelsson, etc. That may or may not be the case. What I don’t hear is, however, what is being done to change this trend. Indeed, something is radically wrong when a government complacently permits the most lax adoption regime in the world to take place under its watch.

  12. Tegest
    June 23, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Misiker Said:

    “How about the father and the mother who brought the children to this world? Shouldn’t they get chunk of the blame? By deciding to bring children that they can’t take care of, they are taking a cruel and brutish decision. ”
    My guess is.
    In most cases the children are orphans who lost their parents due to HIV?AIDS. Let’s not blame parents.

    Another thing is that Ethiopians are starting to adopt now. It is a great thing that those who are able to do so should make a difference by adopting orphans.

  13. June 26, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Misiker:

    “I know a homeless mother who shamelessly begs carrying three children. If she can’t take responsibility for this, I don’t know who else can?
    I am sure such online discussion could help but I am afraid it seems seem like preaching to the converted. I wish I could know what the local media is doing in this regard. Do they talk about this? If they do I am sure but they could do a lot by senitizing future parents. In Ethiopian children are still considered as a blessing and having as many as possible desirable. The New Year song is still Kebrew yekoyun, kebrew ,beamet and ledge woldewu. That is an old song that should be replaced by a new one. There is no reason why I should take sympathy for father and mother who bear kids that they can’t take care of. They are selfish people who don’t deserve my sympathy.”

    Well said.

    Tegest:

    “In most cases the children are orphans who lost their parents due to HIV?AIDS. Let’s not blame parents.”

    In most cases those parents who die of AIDS are the kind of parents that Misker criticized.

    Everyone is to blame: me, you, parents, the government, the media and any responsible party.

  14. brooke/birucktawit
    June 27, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Right now there are adoptive parents who are trying to give back their adopted child to their agency. She has to stay with them until the agency finds another couple that will adopt her. Although she has been with them for less than a year and the reasons listed on the ad for exchanging her were that : she has lied to them in the past, and she seems to be two years older than her birth certificate states. So the “birth order” is wrong.

  15. purpleamhariccoffee
    August 19, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    The typical “Zahara” case here- think Angelina Jolie wannabes.

  16. adoptivemothertoethiopians
    July 21, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Sad story…. There is another side though, my husband and I were not Angelina Jolie wannabees. We had 2 bio children ages 2 and 4 and the twins age 3 we adopted have more issues than we were informed of prior to adoption. The reasons listed for that girl needing to be adopted again are I’m sure only a few of the reasons- the rest are not listed. We have now learned our adoptive daughters were sexually abused since birth by their father, neglected, physically abused, they have PTSD, eating disorders, Reactive Attachment Disorder… etc.etc.etc. Yes, they lie… but they have molested each other and my bio children so badly (and at age 3!) that we are having to protect our biological kids from our adoptive kids. Think alarmed rooms, gated doorways, not allowed around small animals or young children, children either refusing to eat or making themselves vomit and going to the emergency room to be told they are in starvation mode….. and the list goes on. There are a lot of things that we don’t expect from adoption, but at times catch us off guard. THis is not what we were prepared for, but we are helping them as much as we can. We are to the point now that to protect our bio kids and the girls from each other, they will have to be put in therapeutic foster homes to get better before we can consider letting them reenter the home.

    And about the culture issue… our girls are regularly introduced to Ethiopians, their food, cultural customs, close friends with an Ethiopian family. I am so good at braiding their hair that I am a caucasian mother that is asked regularly by African American men to teach their wives/girlfriends how to braid their children’s hair and sometimes even their own.

    Please don’t judge adoptive families until you know what they are really going through. The sexual abuse of adoptive kids by adoptive parents is not common. There are many many adoptive parents who are doing right and what’s right for the kids, but those aren’t the stories you hear. And sometimes the help the kids need is the very thing they are resisting in every creative way they can think of.

  17. adoptivemothertoethiopians
    July 21, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    P.S. We were thanked by many Ethiopians for helping out their poor while there in Addis and are continuing to be thanked by Ethiopians in America. We are not wealthy in any way… many Christians like us who adopt have to fundraise every penny just to bring their children home. Ethiopia is one of the cheapest countries to adopt from because it is so regulated and there are not many agencies even allowed to adopt out. Our agency has been investigated and not shown any sign of unethical dealings at all- they continue to support the people with humanitarian work there in Ethiopia- job training, food banks, clothing, crisis pregnancy centers to help the mothers keep their children after being given job training, etc. We were given a list of fees detailed to where every amount of money goes in the adoption process and seriously, the majority of the money goes to medical, travel, and USCIS clearance to travel. Not agencies are like ours, but there is an overwhelming majority of them who are just wanting to help find forever families for parentless children and “not-for-profit.”

  1. June 17, 2008 at 3:09 pm

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