Illegal adoption of Dominican children has become a ‘big business’ between Dominica and the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
This revelation was made by advocate for the protection and welfare of children, youth, women and the family, Francis Joseph at a film viewing and discussion on “Voices of Abused Children,” held last week at the University of the West Indies Open Campus.
He told the gathering of his first confrontation with the ugly issue when an 18-year-old mother came to him “crying that she didn’t realize that she had rights as a mother and she wants her baby back.”
“So I asked her what she meant that you want your baby back,” Francis said.
According to Francis the young mother told him that her mother suggested that she give her baby away to a couple in the neighbouring French island because “they can’t have children” of their own, and they “will have this baby taken care of.”
“Instinctively this mother is asking for her baby because she gave birth to this baby,” he stated.
Francis noted that he pursued the matter and the child was eventually located in Martinique by the French embassy and then reunited with the mother.
Francis pointed out that he has no problems with the adoption of children but noted that illegal means are being used to have these children enter the French islands.
“It so happen some of them will come, some of them that goes through that trafficking, will get a doctor’s certificate to indicate the child is sick and because they are French they take the child over indicating they going for medical treatment,” he stated.
Francis stated that the practice is particularly rampant among the Kalinago people and the community of Gutter.
He also said such illegal adoption practices are not unique to Dominica.
“I saw this in Bolivia, I saw this in Peru, I saw it in Hondurous, in Guatemala,” he remarked.
Francis noted that there are many unresolved cases of illegal adoption on the island and since he is not authorized to reveal names, he has left it all to the French embassy to investigate.