OUR REPORTING ON INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION

Corruption in international adoptions

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VIETNAM CASE STUDY
NEPAL CASE STUDY
POLICIES FOR FAIRER PRACTICE
THE LIE WE LOVE: ORPHANS & INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION
OUR COMMENTARY
MAPS
BACKGROUND
READER RESPONSE TO OUR WORK
RESEARCH SOURCES
COUNTRY BY COUNTRY: REPORTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

U.S. government documents,
  2007-2008, obtained via
  Freedom of Information Act

“…[D]emand for ‘as young as possible’ infants is creating a very real financial incentive for Vietnamese to fill their orphanages to meet this demand. While there are legitimate orphans in Vietnam, the corruption in the adoption process has become so widespread that [the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi] believes that there is fraud in the overwhelming majority of cases of infants offered for international adoption.” More>

  • Download the table of contents of these documents, which are ordered chronologically, by source. 

  • Read similar cables pertaining to international adoption in Nepal.

Between 2006 and 2009, Americans adopted 2220 Vietnamese-born children. In the fall of 2007 and the spring of 2008, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi posted a series of escalating warnings about fraud in these adoptions, especially adoptions of infants. To better understand the State Department’s concerns, discussions, and actions, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for any communications and documents related to this adoption crisis.

In response we received hundreds of pages of documents revealing how State Department insiders discussed the problems they found, and how their understanding of the crisis—and efforts to stem it—developed. We also submitted FOIA requests to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), and received an additional three documents that are less informative, as they have been heavily redacted under the U.S. Privacy Act of 1974.

  • Download the table of contents of these documents, which are ordered chronologically, by source. Click on any subject line to open the PDF file of the scanned document.
  • Read our article "Anatomy of an Adoption Crisis," published September 12, 2010, in Foreign Policy Online, which summarizes our findings and analysis of these released documents.
  • Read a selection of startling quotes from these documents, ordered chronologically, to see the substance of the State Department’s concerns.
  • See which of these provinces are mentioned as problematic. 
  • Read “The Lie We Love,” Foreign Policy magazine, Nov./Dec. 2008, for a systemic analysis of faud and corruption in international adoption.
  • Read “The Baby Business,” Democracy Journal, Summer 2010, for ideas about fairer policy solutions.

NOTE: This page from the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism website offers documentation of and background about serious irregularities in international adoption. For the systemic analysis of corruption in international adoption, please read “The Lie We Love,” Foreign Policy magazine, Nov./Dec. 2008, and visit our webpages dedicated to international adoption. For ideas about fairer policy solutions, please read “The Baby Business,” Democracy Journal, Summer 2010.


© 2008-2014 Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, 02454. All rights reserved.

Last page update: February 28, 2011