Saturday, January 30, 2010

Child Trafficking by Any Other Name....

Did you hear the one about that wild and crazy group of Baptists who snatched kids off the street to sell on the black market for their organs? Seems like the Idaho-based charity called New Life Children's Refuge decided to do a commando raid in Port-au-Price: they spent a few hours there, abducted about 30 children and high-tailed it to the Dominican Republic. Okay, maybe they weren't going to sell them for their organs. Maybe they were going to sell them as sex slaves. Or drug runners. Or maybe their motives were altruistic. And yes, they look like a perfectly nice group who probably still think they did the right thing. Which reminds me of a game a friend invented for her child: let's go to the park and you tell me who looks like a child molester.

It's still child trafficking, and it's illegal -- even in third world countries. Even if you have the best intentions, which the road to hell is paved with. And even if God told you to do it. A bit of lawyerly advice: you might want to talk to the shrink in jail, if there is one, about those voices in your head. You might get a reduced sentence because of mental incompetence. Oh, wait...

To adoptive parents -- especially the waiting ones - this the stuff of which nightmares are made: my child and I dependent on fate and agencies and paperwork to bring us together, maybe waiting for years, and because a few cretins think they've above the's unthinkable. During our first adoption, our agency suspended adoptions for an unspecified period, and I almost had a nervous breakdown. Save the Children wants a moratorium on new adoptions. Haiti's Prime Minister must now personally authorize each adoption. And I'm betting this will have a ripple effect on agencies all over the world. Child trafficking is one of those things we don't think about too much because it's too painful. It could be our children -- on either end. Respectable adoption agencies makes us jump through endless hoops and fill out reams of paperwork to ensure that once our children are trusted to our care, they stay there. The adoption community uses the phrase Forever Families, which always sounds a little sappy to me but does make the point.

According to the AP, "The church group's own mission statement said it planned to spend only hours in the devastated capital, quickly identifying children without immediate families and busing them to a rented hotel in the Dominican Republic without bothering to get permission from the Haitian government."

Just a few hours to identify children to put on the Magic Bus. Sounds like the Blues Brothers on a mission from God, who could probably pull something like this off in less than an hour. The rest of us -- not so much.

I was talking to a friend while writing this, who observed: "even if they are innocent, if they get away "unpunished" then the REAL traffickers will have a GREEN light to head on in....."

The Rev. Clint Henry urged his tearful congregation to pray to God to "help them as they seek to resist the accusations of Satan...."

News flash, Rev: Satan didn't put them in the pokey, the authorities did. Because -- one more time - child trafficking is illegal.

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