Nine French nationals of Mali origin file a complaint against an adoption agency

Date: 2020-06-08

They are called Marie M., Jean-Noël R., Lise F. or Florent T. *. They were born in Mali about thirty years ago. All of them then became French, adopted through the Paris-based association Le Rayon de soleil de l’Enfant Alien. But under what conditions ? Thirty years after their adoption, this Monday, June 8, they are nine to file a complaint at the tribunal de grande instance of Paris against the French organization and their former correspondent in Mali, Danielle Boudault, for “Scam, concealment of fraud and breach of trust”.

“This case is dramatic. There are still people who have had their identities stolen, children who have been lied to all their lives, and people who are quiet today. The purpose of this complaint is to hold everyone accountable for their responsibilities. The state too, because there has been action at all levels “, said Noémie Saidi-Cottier, one of the complainants’ two lawyers. ” This is not an isolated case, adds Joseph Breham, the second lawyer. Here it is Mali, but other countries are probably affected. This is this association, but there are probably others. We are not on an epiphenomenon, but on something that affects a certain number of French women. “

In this 38-page complaint, containing more than 100 documents, the two French lawyers, members of the Alliance of Lawyers for Human Rights (AADH), detail the main operating mode of the Rayon de soleil and the “Stratagems” implemented to allow “Circumvention of the law” in order to have Malian children adopted in France who, under local law, should not have been.

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It all started in 1989, in Bamako. Le Rayon de soleil, through a French aid worker named Danielle Boudault, begins to collect Malian children before sending them to France for adoption. To convince biological parents to let their children go to France, Mme Boudault “Insisted on the temporary nature of the proposed adoption and ensured that the child would return to live in Mali once he reaches the age of 18”. Thirty years later, the children have grown up and none have returned to live in the country. Because to these adoptees as to their French parents, the association would always have had a very different discourse: that of a permanent abandonment on the part of the biological parents.

Actions “tolerated or even facilitated”
Once grown up, some have seen their search for origins turn into a nightmare, noting flagrant contradictions in their records, such as two different names for their biological mother or false birth certificates. Others have learned that their siblings have been broken up by The Sunray, separated into different adoptive families. In one file, consent to the adoption of the biological parents is absent. In another, it is assumed that the child has been rejuvenated by the French organization to promote its adoption.

The charges are serious. Today, nine of the 324 children adopted through Rayon de soleil in Mali between 1989 and 2001 are asking the public prosecutor to open a preliminary investigation for acts committed between 1989 and 1996. The world had met Mme Boudault in January. Faced with accusations made against her by some of the complainants, she replied: “You listen to what you want, I tell you that I have never been in traffic. “ As for Sylvie Cyprien, the current president of the association, who also received The world in January, she argued: “I don’t think a possible challenge is necessary at all. I don’t think there was a fault. ” According to her, the Malian families had indeed been informed by the association that by sending their children to France, the links with them would be definitively broken.

Through their legal action, the nine complainants of Malian origin also seek to denounce the “Shortcomings” of the Mission de l ‘adoption internationale (MAI), the body of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs responsible for monitoring international adoption organizations. So we read in the complaint that ” vsRegarding the complainants, it seems certain that the MAI did not fulfill its mission towards them. […] For years, she had allowed legally prohibited adoptions to thrive. […] Ultimately, if wrongdoing has been committed by the respondents, it has been tolerated or even facilitated by MAI ”.

In the 2000s, the alleged fraudulent acts of the Ray of the Sun had already been denounced by the press in the Central African Republic and Peru. But the association would never have been worried by the French justice and, even today, it benefits from the approval of the Quai d’Orsay to proceed to adoptions in six countries (Bulgaria, Chile, China, South Korea , India and Haiti).

* The first names have been changed.

From Paris to Bamako via Luxembourg, Ségou and Brittany: for one year, The world, in partnership with TV5 Monde, investigated the abusive adoption practices perpetrated in Mali by Le Rayon de soleil de l’Enfant Alien. Lack of control on the part of the authorities, breaches of French justice, deficiencies in the Malian administration … Exclusive testimonies to be found in two long-term investigations published in The world from Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 June (dated 10 and 11 June), and to be found live in the newspaper Afrique de TV5 World on June 8 and 9, at 8:30 p.m. GMT, as well as a replay on the TV5 Monde website.

Morgane Le Cam and Kaourou Magassa