Remember when we told you about the documentary Mercy Mercy – A Portrait of True Adoption. It featured the heartbreaking adoption story of two Ethiopian children, Masho and Robba. Just in case you have not seen the film, here’s the recap because it can be very difficult to find and view online.
The lives of two families become intertwined, as they enter the market for international adoption. In Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, adoption agencies pop up everywhere, and western couples are gathering, looking to adopt local children. A Danish couple, Henriette and Gert, are there to adopt two children from an Ethiopian couple, Sinkenesh and Hussen. The two families have different motives for choosing adoption. The African couple wishes to secure a better future for two of their children – and to receive an economic compensation. The Danish couple wishes to realize their dream of becoming parents. Mercy Mercy follows the process of one adoption from both sides of the globe, during four hard years. We experience the consequences for the biological parents, who are not prepared for the conditions and processes of international adoption. And we follow the Danish couple, who are not prepared to parent two children, who already have parents. Finally, it shows how the oldest of the two children, four-year-old Masho, is suffering the detrimental consequences of an adoption gone wrong. Mercy Mercy raises important questions about the ethical and political implications of international adoption, and watching it is a both heartbreaking and heartwarming experience.
So the documentary was made. People have watched it and were rightly horrified by the awfulness of the injustice that has been inflicted on these children and their biological parents.
But what has happened since then?
Will it surprise you now, to find out that Masho still doesn’t have contact with her biological parents, who have been fighting seemingly in vain for their daughter. Masho has been languishing for far too long in a children’s home in Denmark, while her “biological parents hit a bureaucratic brick wall in the battle to just be allowed to hear news about their daughter, who now is nine years old.”
The adoption systems around the world are undeniably broken. It is unthinkable and unacceptable for the world to sit by and allow injustice to continue to prevail in global adoptions. This from ACT (againstchildtrafficking.org),
“How heartbreaking Masho’s case may be, it is far from being the only in the adoption picture. Especially in Ethiopia so-called ‘child catchers’ operate, inviting parents to have their children adopted, or rather ‘lend’ them. Because the parents are often made to believe that they get their children back. They did not know what adoption services meant because they were pressured and enticed.”
We can not ignore this problem and hope it will go away.
The trafficking of children through international adoption has to stop once and for all. Masho and her family, and the multitudes of other families like them, deserve to finally have justice served. It is is time for all of us to raise our voices in support of ethical adoptions. If you are like me, Masho’s story, in particular, broke your heart and you may want to to help her specifically, here is a place you can do that at ACT.
Maybe it seems like helping Masho finally find mercy is just a small step, too small of a step.
But it is probably the very least we could all do and it is definitely a step in the right direction.