Mail Sandberg to: EU changes position (Strategy)

1 November 2007


Van: Sandberg Elisabet []

Verzonden: 19 November 2007 20:15


Thankyou for sending me the information about the discussion in Holland.

I am as you know also very worried about the way in which parents from especially France, USA and Spain try to "obtain" children for adoption. Unfortunately it seems also that some org:s from those countries and Italy act unethically.

I, however, do not draw the conclusion that adoptions will end in very few years.

I am engaged strongly to explain in Sweden that we need to adopt 4-500 Swedish foster children per year. And that making a difference between Swedish and foreign children is almost a kind of racism.

I think if we, as organisations, let our policy depend on the activities of people who do unethical adoptions we act totally defensively. The policy should depend on what we think is the need of the children. And I do not believe that relief in their own countries, which you refer to, is enough. They need families.

It is another thing if you as an individual decide that you would rather work with another type of child relief, or with something which is more of a long term solution, like programs for strengthening poor families.

I belive that international adoptions will be needed for many more years, and globalization will make them practically easier. If they are ended, I would expect it will be because of nationalism rather than childrenĀ“s rights.

We need to speak up about ethics, corruption and who gets the healthy babies.

I believe that intercountry adoptions have contributed to changing attitudes in many countries. Attitudes to low cast children, attitudes towards single mothers, negative attitudes to adoption as such.

I understand that the negative media coverage in Holland has had a great impact on the public and politicians, as well as your own organisation. Since I do not read Dutch it is hard to follow it. We had a similar situation in Sweden in 2001 or 2002. Suddenly a small group of negative adoptees were quoted everywhere, negative politicans were the only politicians to speak about adoption, etc. I was personally attacked in a TV interview - an awful experience. All this is more or less forgotten now. We have learned that we do not set the agenda any more, the adoptees do. And we did get changes in our law which mean a very strict government control of adoption organisations.

I can understand that Roeli Post is very disappointed. The only adoptions she knows seems to be Rumania during the last time it had adoptions. I understand, if this is the only adoptions she knows, that she became negative. She took part in EU to condemn adoptions. But EU is now changing all that. It has to do with the new child strategy for Europe, which I wrote to all members about.

Actually it may happen that EU will be one of the places to put pressure on France, Italy and Spain. Recently in Brazil France was severly and publicly critizised by the authorities in a conference. It is sad that everybody has to make their own mistakes. But sooner or later France will have to live according to the Hague convention too.

I think your discussion is important.

We need to talk about these things in the General Meeting.

I think during times like these adoption organisations cannot limit themselves to just practical adoption work. We have to be very clear what a EurAdopt organisation does and does not do. We have to speak about what is happening on the world scene and what we think should be done about it.

I will share this and your emails with the Ex Board.

Best regards,


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