Blogging about life and raising our five kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, May 30, 2011

Corruption in the World

Corruption, and the practice of accepting bribes to "get things done" is a problem all over the world, but my attention is focused on Eastern Europe and the Balkan region, and corruption related to international adoption practices.

Being post Communist countries, it is difficult for people to get past the the concept that they will need to pay someone in order to get things done in a timely manner, and for officials to expect they'll be offered bribes in order to perform their duties expediently. It is no surprise that corruption in adoption in these areas is no different. Bribes are paid all along the way in the adoption process to get steps completed quickly: a quick medical appointment, a passport, SDA appointments, even to have the files of certain children presented to families when accepting a "blind" referral.

Transparency International is one organization who has been studying the practice of bribery around the world, and their reports get sent back to the UN and are also taken into consideration for countries that are making steps to join the European Union.

While adoption is at the bottom of the list as far as government concerns go in Eastern European countries, Americans participating in international adoptions and working with facilitators known to be corrupt just perpetuates the problem in that area of the system.  The bribes paid by facilitators to officials is what causes them to, in turn, extort money from adoptive families. I've said it before in a previous post, it's easy for a corrupt facilitator to see who the easy targets are when a family's financial information is put into their hands.

There ARE facilitators who are ethical, and work without paying bribes to government officials or trying to extort money from adoptive families. It's a shame that some agencies and organizations choose speed and the ability to get more information about children over ethical practices. This puts the safety, security and financial welfare of unsuspecting families at risk.

Adoption related agencies and organizations in the U.S. need to act when they learn of corrupt practices in their adoption programs.

You can visit the Transparency International website and do a country specific search to read the reports that have been completed.

*edited to add*
I forgot to mention that if you dig around on the TI website, you will find that they have hotlines to call if you're in country and feel you've been a victim of corruption. I'll post some Eastern European country specific information here:

Serbia

Transparency Serbia / Transparentnost Srbija

Address:
Bulevar Despota Stefana 36/1
11000 Belgrade
Serbia


Website:
www.transparentnost.org.rs

Contact Person(s):
Mr Nemanja Nenadic
Executive Director

Phone :+381 (0) 11 303 38 27
Fax :+381 (0) 11 322 81 96
E-mail(s):
ts@transparentnost.org.yu

...................................................................
Ukraine

NGO Creative Union TORO

Address:
Egorova 17, Office 4,
Kirovograd, Ukraine 25005


Contact Person(s):
Mr Oleksii Khmara
Phone :+38 0522 27 23 15
Fax :+38 0522 27 27 54
E-mail(s):
info@toro.org.ua
khmara@toro.org.ua
..............................................................
Bulgaria

Transparency International Bulgaria

Address:
3 Bistriza Str., 4th Floor
Sofia 1000
Bulgaria


Website:
www.transparency-bg.org

Contact Person(s):
Dr Ognyan Minchev
Phone :+359-2-986 7920
Fax :+359-2-986 7713
E-mail(s):
mbox@transparency-bg.org

Ms Diana Kovatcheva
Executive Director
Phone :+359-2-986 7920
Fax :+359-2-986 7713
E-mail(s):
mbox@transparency-bg.org
................................................................

Russia

Center for Anti-Corruption Research and Initiative Transparency International Russia

Address:
Nikoloyamskaya ul. 6
109189 Moscow
Russia


Website:
www.transparency.org.ru

Contact Person(s):
Mrs Elena A. Panfilova
Director
Phone/Fax :+7-495-915 0019
Mobile+7 916 675 8429
E-mail(s):
info@transparency.org.ru
panfilova@transparency.org.ru

1 comment:

Kathie Brinkman said...

Dang, girl! Who are you?