International adoptions in France: a study reveals the extent of abuses

In February 2004, Christian Jacob (second from left), then French Minister for the Family, visited an orphanage in the province of Hoa Binh, in northern Vietnam.

Pandora’s box is open. If, in recent years, the proliferation of testimonies from French people claiming to have been illegally adopted abroad suggests that there were many abuses in France, the “Historical study on the illicit practices of international adoption in France” , published Monday, February 6 by historians Fabio Macedo and Yves Denéchère, draws up an even more chilling inventory.

“We can wonder about the ordinary nature of illicit practices and their systemic nature”underline the two researchers attached to the University of Angers, with whom the Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed an agreement in December 2021 to allow the development of this independent research report.

“Child Trafficking” And “irregular adoptions” in Chile, Paraguay and Peru, “monthly pension” offered to biological parents in exchange for their child in India, “corruption and fraud of documents” in Cambodia, “abductions”, “manufacture of false orphans” and forced abandonment “newborn babies by very young mothers” to answer to “request from adoptive parents” French in Madagascar… Their study, drawn up from 9,600 pages of archives drawn from the State’s diplomatic funds, most of them classified, establishes that numerous illicit adoptions have been carried out in more than twenty countries since 1979, despite the incessant alerts sent by the consular services to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Individual adoptions, which until their ban in February 2022 allowed French couples to adopt in isolation, are not the only ones to have been the subject of abuses. The 150-page report of this study reveals that adoptions accompanied by associations authorized by the Quai d’Orsay, supposed to protect candidates from these irregularities, have also experienced their share of fraud. Fifteen organizations authorized for adoption (OAA) are implicated in the report. Five of them are still today approved by the State.

“A real market”

Thus, in Vietnam, in 1994, OAA Comexseo was accused by the French consulate of “money directly from their biological parents” certain adopted children, as he specifies in a letter addressed to the international adoption mission (MAI) of the Quai d’Orsay, the body responsible for monitoring adoptions carried out by AABs. Despite the reports, Comexseo will remain authorized by the State until 2009.

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