Anatomy of an Adoption Crisis BY E.J. GRAFF | SEPTEMBER 12, 2010
"...The State Department was confident it had discovered systemic nationwide corruption in Vietnam -- a network of adoption that was profiting by paying for, defrauding, coercing, or even simply stealing Vietnamese children from their families to sell them to unsuspecting Americans. And yet, as these documents reveal, U.S. officials in Hanoi did not have the right tools to shut down the infant peddlers while allowing the truly needed adoptions to continue. Understanding how little the State Department and USCIS could do, despite how hard they tried, helps reveal what these U.S. government agencies need to respond more effectively in the current adoption hot spots, Nepal and Ethiopia -- and in whatever country might be struck by adoption profiteering next.
....In a cable from Jan. 8, 2008, Ambassador Michael Michalak wrote, "I am becoming increasingly concerned at the growing evidence of large-scale organized child buying in Vietnam ... a system under which unscrupulous orphanage directors and agency facilitators have turned infants into a commodity amidst rampant corruption ... Local officials are willing to create documents to cover 'discrepancies' in a case ... [T]he miraculous arrival of over 30 infant girls at Hanoi Center 1 within five months of the opening of that center for international adoptions is not an atypical trend in Vietnam. We have frequently seen that areas and orphanages not engaged in adoption only have older children and those with special needs. This is a clear illustration of the supply being created to meet demand."