November 3, 2009
Legal and Medical Experts to Testify Before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Support of International Adoption
Recent closure of international adoption programs in Central and South American countries violates children's human rights, experts say
Washington, D.C.-The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will hold a hearing regarding the "Human Rights of Unparented Children and International Adoption Policies" in the Americas on Friday, November 6, in Washington, D.C. The hearing, requested by Harvard Law School's Child Advocacy Program and the Center for Adoption Policy, will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Organization of American States, Ruben Dario Room, GSB Building, 1889 F St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
International adoption is the subject of a heated debate among those in the human rights field, and the hearing comes in the wake of policies that have virtually shut down international adoption in Guatemala, Honduras, and Peru.
This hearing represents a major development in the human rights debate surrounding these issues, as the Commission will address human rights violations that to date have been largely ignored. Many have claimed the human rights mantle in opposing international adoption. The legal and medical experts testifying on November 6 will argue that restrictions on ethical international adoption violate children's basic human rights by condemning them to damaging institutions or to the streets. They contend that every child has a right to be placed in a nurturing permanent home, whether that home is in the country of birth or abroad. Adoption abuses should, they say, be addressed through enforcement and strengthening of laws prohibiting such abuses, not through closing down international adoption and thus denying homes to children.
The delegation will urge the Commission to initiate an investigation to examine what effect closing international adoption opportunities in these countries has had on unparented children.
The testifying delegation includes leading pediatric experts on early brain development, and legal experts on human and child rights:
• Elizabeth Bartholet, Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Child Advocacy Program, Harvard Law School;
• Paulo Barrozo, Asst. Professor of Law and International Human Rights Scholar, Boston College Law School;
• Karen Bos and Charles Nelson, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health.
A copy of the written testimony to be presented to the Commission is attached, and a tape recording of the testimony will be available after the hearing at the following website: http://www.cidh.oas.org/prensa/publichearings/Hearings.aspx?Lang=EN&Session=117
The Child Advocacy Program (CAP) at Harvard Law School is committed to advancing children's rights and interests, and to training generations of students to contribute to law reform and social change. One of the only legal programs of its kind, CAP unites the study of law and the practice of law. The Center for Adoption Policy is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote effective legislation and ethical practices governing domestic and intercountry adoption. It is not affiliated with any organization involved in adoptive placement.
Calling efforts to stop adoptions in countries such as Guatemala – where kidnapping for adoption has been proven – a violation of human rights, is catamount to calling anti-discrimination civil rights laws a violation of the rights of white supremacist and fundamental bible-quoting gay bashers.
Who are these pro-adoption fanatics, who also oppose all United Nations positions on international adoption as a last resort to help countries be able to care for their own?
The answer is in the following copyrighted excerpt from a soon to be released article about Prof. Elizabeth Bartholet's pro-baby buying statement:
ACT for Adoption and The Center for Adoption Policy
ACT was mobilized in 2008 “to communicate with the White House, Members of Congress, government agencies and the press to educate and advocate for legislation, policies and administrative procedures supportive of adoption.” ACT appears to exist in name only as a lobbying arm of The Center for Adoption Policy (CAP) and Harvard Law School's Child Advocacy Program (CAP). Note that both have the same acronym: CAP and ACT does not reveal its funding source.
ACT has no Internet site nor physical address but disperses press releases regarding the pro-adoption stances and efforts conducted by Harvard Law School's Child Advocacy Program and ACT. These announcements are sent from ACT with a reply to address of firstname.lastname@example.org. In November, 2009 notification was sent that the Harvard Law School's Child Advocacy Program and CAP had been granted a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to present our concerns about “dramatic decrease” in international adoptions, and claiming that the closing of Guatemalan adoption in the wake of proven kidnappings for adoption, violates the human rights of children with Bartholet testifying.
ACT supports its pro-adoption goals with newspeak such as their newly coined term “unparented children” in order to encourage the adoption of children of living parents, as they did in supporting Madonna’s adoptions while recognizing that International adoption “has come under fire recently from UNICEF” because of corruption and baby selling. They also use language such as a need to eliminate “barriers that hinder children from realizing their basic right of a family and ways they might act to eliminate them” without any consideration of a child’s foremost basic right to have his family receive the resources they need to remain intact or reunify.
The Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)