29 May 2008

Liberia: Parents Cite Poverty for Abduction of Children

As the House standing Committee on Health & Social Welfare continues hearing on the plight of Liberian children, mothers of adopted children have clarified that their children were sent to adoption homes due to the high rate of poverty in the country.

Speaking yesterday at a public hearing conducted by the House Committee on Health and Social Welfare, several mothers of adopted children who gathered in the joint chambers of the Capitol Building informed the lawmakers that they were not forced to send their children to be adopted but that it's due to the sufferings they are going through in the country.

Doris Bartee, biological mother of about three children who were adopted noted, "I'm suffering in this country; that's why I decided to send my children to the adoption home to be sent abroad so that they will not suffer like me."

Another biological mother of an adopted child, Madam Mildred Parjibo narrated the condition she has been going through since the civil crisis in the country. According to her, her husband left since the war and does not know his whereabouts to date.

"And because I have no one to help me with my children so I decided to carry my daughter to the adoption home for them to help me. She is now in America and I have received photos from her proving that she is in a very good condition," Madam Parjibo narrated.

An Adoption home, Acre of Hope's Executive Director, Patty Anglin who said she is an adopting mother for over 250 children, pointed out that her organization was accredited by the Ministry of Heath and Social Welfare to adopt children in the country. Madam Anglin said Americans adopt thousands of children around the world every year. She said most of those philanthropic Americans are moved to help a nation that is suffering more than those in America. She said these people do not have the resources to build a nation but that what they do have is the heart to reach out and help a child.

She said the intention of people who adopt children is not to take away their heritage but to afford an opportunity to a child so that that child will be somebody tomorrow to come back home and help his/her people. Madam Anglin clarified that adoption is not trafficking as many believe but to help the children get a brighter future.

Speaking also, Seide Wesseh of the African Christian Fellowship International (ACFI) said adoption is not against the law but to help the suffering children of Liberia and other poverty-stricken nations including Liberia.

The cChairman of the House standing Committee on Health and Social Welfare, Nimba County Representative, Edwin Gaye lauded participants at the public hearing for their input and assured them that their concerns will be addressed appropriately.

Rep. Gaye urged the participants to present their recommendations to the body through writing for prompt action.

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