An investigation recently conducted by leading U.S. networks has found that Ugandan parents have been tricked into giving up their children to adoption agencies.
The duplicity came to light after two families in the U.S. realized that the children had come from happy homes.
The Davis family and the Wells family, both adopted female children from Uganda in recent years. Both families opted for a well-established adoption agency known as European Adoption Consultants (EAC).
The families were told that the father of the children was deceased and the mother was openly abusive.
However, when the children arrived, the families realized that something was amiss. Both girls conveyed only happy stories of their time in Uganda.
The organization promised the mothers that their children would receive schooling in the United States. It was the lure of a better education and a better life that drew the mothers to the agency.
Keren Riley, a member of Reunite Uganda said facilitators on the ground preferred to prey on vulnerable mothers who were usually widows.
Additionally, Riley stated that there is no direct translation for the word ‘adoption’ in the language spoken in Uganda’s villages.
Speaking of the trafficking, she said that traffickers often “know when somebody has lost a husband in a tragic way and is vulnerable and is not coping—and then they get flagged.”
The headquarters of EAC is listed at a business park in Strongsville, Ohio. However, investigation revealed an abandoned building which was in need of repair.
The building was shuttered in December of 2016 after the State Department debarred the agency for the next three years. The FBI has since conducted a raid and seized any pertinent information from the premises.
In its statement, the State Department said EAC had failed to ascertain that its foreign providers didn’t indulge in the “sale, abduction, exploitation of trafficking of children.”
A 2015 study sponsored by UNICEF found that Ugandan parents were being “bribed” and “deceived” and that in a large number of cases, the orphanages were complicit.
The report stated that orphanages were often lax where verification was concerned which in turn allowed traffickers to exploit the child.