Someone strip this guy of diplomatic immunity

De Telegraaf Am I allowed to swear on a family-friendly blog? Because I have some choice words for Dutch diplomat Raymond Poeteray. This a$$h*l& and his wife, Meta, adopted a baby girl from South Korea seven years ago when they were posted in Seoul, and now they’ve gotten rid of her because she’s inconvenient. Here ...

597482_Poeteray_05.jpg
597482_Poeteray_05.jpg

De Telegraaf

Am I allowed to swear on a family-friendly blog? Because I have some choice words for Dutch diplomat Raymond Poeteray. This a$$h*l& and his wife, Meta, adopted a baby girl from South Korea seven years ago when they were posted in Seoul, and now they've gotten rid of her because she's inconvenient. Here are the facts:

The Poeterays have two biological children. They adopted 4-month-old Jade in South Korea in 1999. They never applied for Dutch citizenship for the baby.
They moved with their children to Indonesia, then to Hong Kong in 2004.
Last year they placed Jade with Hong Kong's welfare authorities. When the news became public, Poeteray explained that Jade had been diagnosed with psychological issues, including "serious bonding problems."
A spokesman for the South Korean consulate in Hong Kong says that the couple also claimed that Jade never adjusted to Dutch culture or food.
Hong Kong's South China Morning Post interviewed a former babysitter who says that the Poeterays never treated Jade as one of their own, and that nannies largely raised the child.
Hong Kong lawmaker Fernando Cheung says that Jade is now with an English-speaking foster family in Hong Kong, and appears to be a normal, happy 7-year-old girl. Although she is a South Korean citizen, he says that she will likely be allowed to stay in Hong Kong.

De Telegraaf

Am I allowed to swear on a family-friendly blog? Because I have some choice words for Dutch diplomat Raymond Poeteray. This a$$h*l& and his wife, Meta, adopted a baby girl from South Korea seven years ago when they were posted in Seoul, and now they’ve gotten rid of her because she’s inconvenient. Here are the facts:

  • The Poeterays have two biological children. They adopted 4-month-old Jade in South Korea in 1999. They never applied for Dutch citizenship for the baby.
  • They moved with their children to Indonesia, then to Hong Kong in 2004.
  • Last year they placed Jade with Hong Kong’s welfare authorities. When the news became public, Poeteray explained that Jade had been diagnosed with psychological issues, including “serious bonding problems.”
  • A spokesman for the South Korean consulate in Hong Kong says that the couple also claimed that Jade never adjusted to Dutch culture or food.
  • Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post interviewed a former babysitter who says that the Poeterays never treated Jade as one of their own, and that nannies largely raised the child.
  • Hong Kong lawmaker Fernando Cheung says that Jade is now with an English-speaking foster family in Hong Kong, and appears to be a normal, happy 7-year-old girl. Although she is a South Korean citizen, he says that she will likely be allowed to stay in Hong Kong.

This is a total disgrace. They think they can just cast aside a girl they’ve “raised” since she was only 4 months old? I’m not trying to belittle the possibility that Jade did indeed have emotional problems. But there are other ways of dealing with troubled adoptees. It’s especially horrible that this incident is from a diplomat, someone whose job is to encourage good relations between nations. But the Dutch government is officially backing Poeteray instead of duly firing him for shaming his country.

Beyond the abhorrent behavior of the Poeterays, this incident has larger implications. It casts the entire concept of international adoption in a bad light. Before this incident, there were already troubling questions being raised about how Westerners conduct themselves when going to developing countries for adoptions. Take, for example, the controversy surrounding Madonna’s adoption of her boy from Malawi. Supposedly, his birth father was not aware that he was giving up his rights. Then there was the case of the French charity that tried to evacuate 103 children from Chad earlier this year. Several French citizens were charged with kidnapping and fraud. And just earlier this month, Guatemala tightened its adoption rules over concerns that mothers would sell their babies for profit. It’s really a tragedy that such a big part of international adoption has turned into an illicit industry. There are so many unwanted children, and so many loving and caring families willing to welcome them. Why isn’t there a better way to make this work? 

Christine Y. Chen is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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