Illegal adoption of 29 Sierra Leonean children

Date: 2010-07-29

The Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development has written a letter to the embassy of the United States of America seeking an update on the alleged adoption of 29 Sierra Leonean children some years ago.
According to Hindowa Saidu, the coordinator for the Foundation for Democratic Initiatives and Development he said “I want to draw your attention to a letter I wrote to the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children Affairs, Dr. Soccoh Kabia, dated 30th November 2009 raising issues of the alleged illegal adoption of twenty-nine (29) children from Makeni to the United States by a local NGO Help a Needy Child Sierra Leone and another organization from America, Maine Adoption Placement Services (MAPS)”.

The controversy between parents and guardians of children allegedly adopted and flown abroad to the United States by HANCI and MAPS is a long drawn matter which has been in existence since 1997 when a report was made to the Human Rights office of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), he stressed.
He went on to say that “the parents/guardians of these children insist that they never gave their children to HANCI and MAPS for adoption to America. They maintain that the children were given with the understanding that they would be incorporated into a welfare home within the country and not to be trafficked as has now been the case”.
The said adoption took place between United States and Sierra Leonean Nationals and as such we as a Human Right Organization had expected a prompt and positive response from the Embassy of the United States of America, he opined.
He further stated in the letter that “I must confess that we are not happy with the snail pace this matter is being handled by not only your Embassy but by the Sierra Leonean authorities as well. This has the potential of destroying the good image of your country which by virtue of its position as super world power is supposed to be moral guarantors of human rights and democracy globally”.
He therefore called on the embassy to kindly update them with the actions taken so far in trying to solve this gross human right violation