News / Africa

Ethiopian Adoptee Wins Legal Case to Revoke Adoption

In this photo made available by Loes Zuidervaart, Betty Lub's current foster parent, the 14-year-old Ethiopian girl shares her court victory against her adoptive Dutch parents with her current foster mother in Addis Ababa, February 9, 2012.
In this photo made available by Loes Zuidervaart, Betty Lub's current foster parent, the 14-year-old Ethiopian girl shares her court victory against her adoptive Dutch parents with her current foster mother in Addis Ababa, February 9, 2012.
An Ethiopian court has revoked the adoption of a girl by a family in the Netherlands. This is the first time a foreign adoption has been revoked in Ethiopia’s long history of overseas adoption.
 
Betty Lub is a 14-year-old Ethiopian girl that was adopted at the age of seven by a Dutch family that abused her. She stayed with them for two years, but still carries their last name because of legal procedures.
 
Betty got the adoption revoked through an Ethiopian court. Her lawyer, Mulemebet Tilahua, said Betty now wants to change her name to Betty Demoze, her Ethiopian last name.

“Revocation of the adoption contract will have an effect on Betty and in a way she will be reinstated to her family of origins. And the other thing is, she will not be forced to be called after the adoptive parents who abused her in their home for a long time,” said Tilahua.

Falsified documents

The documents in Betty’s adoption file were falsified and were full of errors. They gave the wrong age, and wrongly stated that Betty’s parents had died. After a failed criminal case two years ago against those involved with providing the papers, the 14-year-old started a civil case.
 
Betty said that getting her adoption revoked in Ethiopia is only the first step of her journey.
 
“I want to try in Holland to also revoke my adoption and then we will see,” she said.
 
Almost 4,500 children were adopted from Ethiopia in 2010, with about half of them going to American families. Because a growing number of adoption cases from Ethiopia appear to have irregularities, the legal process has been under investigation in Ethiopia and other countries.

Child trafficking

Arun Dohle investigated the files of Ethiopian children going to the Netherlands for the Against Child Trafficking NGO. He said Betty’s case is just the tip of the iceberg.
 
“We found that the adoption process is riddled by fraud and other clear-cut criminal activities. But most important, the demand-driven inter-country adoption process is breaking up families who could be helped in building up their lives with a fraction of the money involved in inter-country adoption,” said Dohle.

Adoptions are big business in development countries, with Western parents usually paying more than $20,000 for a child. Ethiopia’s adoption business grew rapidly after several countries in the world, such as Romania and Vietnam, stopped allowing overseas adoptions because of legal irregularities and corruption.
 
Dohle believes that the inter-country adoption process is systematically misleading parents.
 
“Most of the Ethiopian and African parents in general, do not understand the Western concept of adoption, which completely severs all ties with the child. The child gets a new birth certificate a new identity, and all ties are completely severed, there is no such thing as international foster care,” said Dohle.

Preying on parents

Many parents are not told they are losing their child, they are promised financial support and are made to believe their child will receive a better education somewhere else and will return home soon.
 
Lawyer Mulemebet said parents in developing countries are an easy target for adoption agencies.
 
“Most of the time they are not aware of their legal rights and they are not in a position, especially in a financial position, to claim their rights and to ensure the best interests of their children,” said Mulemebet.
 
Betty was adopted through the Dutch adoption agency Wereldkinderen. It is accused of fraud and criminal activities in research done by the Against Child Trafficking group.  Wereldkinderen chose not to comment on the first revoked adoption case.

Betty Lub is pictured with her biological father and cousin in this photo taken by Loes Zuidervaart, her current foster parent, Feb. 8, 2013.Betty Lub is pictured with her biological father and cousin in this photo taken by Loes Zuidervaart, her current foster parent, Feb. 8, 2013.
x
Betty Lub is pictured with her biological father and cousin in this photo taken by Loes Zuidervaart, her current foster parent, Feb. 8, 2013.
Betty Lub is pictured with her biological father and cousin in this photo taken by Loes Zuidervaart, her current foster parent, Feb. 8, 2013.
Betty hopes her actions will inspire other adoptees.

“I hope that it will have impact on other children to do the same thing that I have done,” she said.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs decided in 2011 to cut adoptions by 90 percent because of fraud during the adoption processes.

You May Like

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

update Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Adoptive Father from: Pacific Nortjwest, USA
February 28, 2013 12:33 AM
We have had our child home from Ethiopia for almost two years - it has been the most enriching part of my life and I love my child and I would do it again. Cost is high, but you cannot put a price on the love you have for your family. Over the last several years we have seen even more changes to international adoption with some countries expiring their participation in the process, leaving many families with lost hope of finding their little loved ones. Even Ethiopia has changed their guidelines, making it more difficult to bring children out of the country and into loving homes. What I witnessed during our process is an interruption in the process due to money and politics that left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Our story is a success and I hope all adoptive families are as lucky as we were.

As for those families that have been abusive with their children, they should be punished to the full extent of the law.

For those families in process - do not give up. We lost our first child and were blessed with another that puts a smile on my face every day.

Adoptive Loving Father!

by: Alyssa from: idaho
February 25, 2013 10:22 PM
My husband and I live in Ethiopia for 2 years. While there we completed an adoption of 5 children. Having lived in Ethiopia for an extended amount of time, we were able to see the adoption world from many angles. You can learn more about our experience here http://goo.gl/dmPLi
In Response

by: Hassen from: Tipton, ok
October 04, 2013 7:47 AM
Thank you for loving Ethiopia and her people by living and doing the right thing! I was adopted when I was 14 by wonderful mom and dad here in the Usa. I love adoption but lately I have been so depressed to see many of my friends who were adopted decided to take wrong way of life and I have one friend who has been homeless for last 3 years:( and don't know what to do!
Of- course there are many sucessful stories, thank God but please pray for those are not.

by: Valerie Bolduc from: Toronto
February 11, 2013 9:22 PM
Excuse me, western parents don't pay up to 20k for a child, the bulk of the money a western parent pays to adopt a child is airfare and hotel costs. Yes, it can add up to up to 20k. Don't spread lies. Yes there is corruption, yes there are problems, but don't insinuate that we buy our kids.
In Response

by: Karen from: New York
February 12, 2013 11:55 AM
Ghost responder: If paying fees to agencies to facilitate the adoption process (and to shelter and feed your child until the adoption process is complete), paying travel costs, and paying fees to government agencies to process necessary paperwork = buying a child, then what is it when birth parents pay doctors for pre-natal care and delivery expenses? They are paying funds for a service that provides them with a child -- particularly if they have had to undergo any type of infertility treatments. So they are then buying their children too? They are exchanging currency for a service resulting in the "desired goods" (what a nice way you have with words), so using your flawed logic, they are paying for their children. This is inflammatory and demeaning language, and is not at all helpful. Corruption exists, sadly, and needs to be stamped out, but to paint all adoptions with the broad brush of "paying for children" insinuates that all adoptions involve child trafficking, which is wrong.
In Response

by: Tuna Ghost from: Osaka
February 12, 2013 8:57 AM
Exactly! Except, no. That is PRECISELY what you are doing. You are providing funds for a service that provides you with a child. You may have altruistic intentions, but you are very literally exchanging money for a child. How you are not understanding this is a complete mystery to me and anyone else that understands the exchange of currency for a service resulting in desired goods.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs