Some also used the group as a clearinghouse for unwanted children. REUTERS/Handout. In an interview earlier this year, Nicole Eason - the woman who disappeared with Quita - referred to private re-homing as "non-legalized adoption.". Hundreds of other adoptive parents were seeking new homes for their unwanted children through Internet message boards like those that had featured Quita. Some experts say the percentage could be higher given the lack of support for those parents. Part 1: When a Liberian girl proves too much for her parents, they advertise her online and give her to a couple they’ve never met. In fact, taking a child may enable the new family to claim a tax deduction and draw government benefits. Within hours, it began shutting down Adopting-from-Disruption, the six-year-old bulletin board. From left to right, Calvin Eason, Quita Puchalla and Nicole Eason. Leave a comment on our Facebook page or tweet us Nicole slept naked, she says. Authorities, including police, subsequently went to the mobile home park in Westville. Ukraine has joined a group of nearly 80 WTO members (the World Trade Organization) which issued the joint statement that these countries commit to not impose export restrictions on foodstuffs purchased by the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) for humanitarian aid. The internal report was dated Oct. 20, 2008, 16 days after the Puchallas had dropped Quita at the Easons. ", Audio Calvin Eason talks about raising, taking in children. He was accompanied by a typed letter that read in part, "I no longer wish to parent this child.". As the Puchallas drove away, Melissa sobbed. The official who sent the memo, Stephen Pennypacker, says he issued the warning after a child welfare worker in one state noticed cases of kids being sent to new parents without the approval of authorities. Taking custody through re-homing often costs nothing. If you need medication for your psychological problems, I've got you there. No state, federal or international laws even acknowledge the existence of re-homing. It was from a tracheostomy, a surgical procedure to alleviate a sleep disorder. "It makes me feel important," she said. Often cited is the case of the Tennessee woman who returned a 7-year-old boy she adopted from a Russian orphanage. Some participants in that group both offered and sought children for re-homing, sometimes simultaneously. Later that day, investigators separately interviewed the Easons and Quita. Viktor Yanukovych, Ukrainian politician who served as prime minister (2002–05, 2006–07) and president (2010–14) of Ukraine. and use the hashtag #ChildExchange. At least 70 percent of the children offered on the Yahoo bulletin board, Adopting-from-Disruption, were advertised as foreign-born. The agreement requires that if a child is to be transferred outside of the family to a new home in a different state, parents notify authorities in both states. The company subsequently took down five other groups that Reuters brought to its attention. "How would you give me up when you brought me to be yours?" Inside were printed these words: "I have faith that you're going to come out of this experience with more wisdom and resilience than you ever thought possible. Reuters analyzed 5,029 posts from a five-year period on one Internet message board, a Yahoo group. It was parked outside a house where Nicole's mother lived. KIEL, Wisconsin – Todd and Melissa Puchalla struggled for more than two years to raise Quita, the troubled teenager they'd adopted from Liberia. After Reuters shared its findings with Yahoo, the company acted quickly to shut down the group. Days later, she goes missing. The Easons view re-homing as a way around a prying government, and a way to take a child inexpensively. the Easons had pornography in their house. 'RED LIGHT': Melissa Puchalla says she sobbed after leaving Quita with the Easons, the couple she met on the Internet. ", Today, Melissa Puchalla says, "Maybe a red light should've went off – too good to be true. Other nations, including Guatemala and China, have also made the process more difficult. Einsatzgruppen Trial (officially, The United States of America vs. Otto Ohlendorf, et al.) Nicole also had a card for Melissa. That means Reuters may have accounted for some children more than once. I'll chase you with a hose. For an investigation into how parents use the Internet to offload adopted children, Reuters analyzed more than 5,000 messages posted on the forum over a five-year period, September 2007 to September 2012. Everything would be fine, Melissa assured her. "If you don't want to pay $35,000 for a kid," Nicole Eason says today, "you take your chances.". The handoff took place at the Country Aire Mobile Home Park, where the Easons lived in a trailer. Although Puchalla had signed over custody of Quita, she says she felt obligated to ensure Quita was safe. Americans have adopted about 243,000 children from other countries since the late 1990s. Giving away a child in America can be surprisingly easy. Some of the trailers were well-maintained. High remittances erode poor countries’ competitive advantage – new study Labor migration keeps millions from extreme poverty. If international adoptions fail with about the same frequency, then more than 24,000 foreign adoptees are no longer with the parents who brought them to the United States. Residential treatment centers can be expensive, and some parents say social services won't help them; if they do contact authorities, they fear being investigated for abuse or neglect. He says he also told child protection officials in each state to alert their attorneys general, local police and social workers "so that people could be on the lookout.". "We never let anyone know about the disruption." Within a few days, the Easons stopped responding to Melissa Puchalla's attempts to check on Quita, Puchalla says. A significant part of the population of Ukraine, like many post-Soviet republics, is traditionally wary of vaccines, fearing side effects from poor quality drugs. "There was no other option," Melissa says today. "The Easons faked their home study," the report says. You are using an outdated browser and cannot view this interactive. You can also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. LIBERIAN ORPHAN: In this picture, Quita went by the name Quita Davis and lived in a Liberian orphanage. A woman who said she is from Nebraska offered an 11-year-old boy she had adopted from Guatemala. During that time, the group was one of the most accessible Internet forums for adoptive parents seeking new homes for their children. ", NEW PARENTS: On the day her adoptive parents dropped her at the Eason trailer in Illinois, they snapped this picture inside the couple's kitchen. The parent asked that others share the ad "with anyone you think may be interested.". I also knew there were people looking to adopt kids from those situations, so I wanted to get those people together, kind of like a clearinghouse. On Quita's first night with the Easons, her new guardians told her to join them in their bed, Quita says today. one parent wrote in July 2012. (Russia is among the nations that seek periodic updates on children adopted from there.). No attorneys or child welfare officials came with them. "People get in over their heads," says Tim Stowell, an adoptive parent who created the Facebook group last year. A similar forum on Facebook, Way Stations of Love, remains active. Some sought new parents for children who already had been re-homed. "We adopted an 8-year-old girl from China… Unfortunately, We are now struggling having been home for 5 days." But unlike parents who take in American-born children through the U.S. foster-care system, many adults adopting from overseas receive little or no training. It didn't turn out that way," she says today. The majority of the Ukrainian sex industry exists underground and prospers due to poor law enforcement and widespread corruption. But there are ways around such oversight. The practice, the official wrote, is "placing children in grave danger. Through Yahoo and Facebook groups, parents and others advertise unwanted children and then pass them to strangers. You need a kiss? When she arrived in the United States, Quita says, she "was happy … coming to a nicer place, a safer place. A few weeks later, on Oct. 4, 2008, the Puchallas drove six hours from their Wisconsin home to Westville, Illinois. Not long after the Puchallas arrived with Quita, the Easons presented a cake. GIRL AVAILABLE: Quita Puchalla's adoptive parents used this photo to advertise her online. For Quita, the drive to the Eason place was a blur. She calls the decision "the hardest thing we've ever done in our lives." And the State Department won't disclose the number of failed international adoptions that are reported by adoption agencies. Quita still can't reconcile it. Often, the children are treated as chattel, and the needs of parents are put ahead of the welfare of the orphans they brought to America. In 2008, WHO released the largest survey ever carried out on drug resistant tuberculosis with results from more than 80 countries. A U.S. federal law, passed in 2000, requires states to document cases in which they take custody of children from failed international adoptions. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Days later, they had no idea what had become of her. "You're talking about a population that appears to be especially vulnerable to exploitation.". But at that point, I was walking in such a fog.". Quita wasn't at the trailer park, either. "But they were warm, and they were caring. Taking Quita from the Easons and returning her to the Puchallas was the extent of the response by authorities. We have disrupted our daughter. To Melissa Puchalla, the Easons "seemed wonderful." The man convicted of armed robbery who had traveled with the Easons to New York wasn't there. When Melissa Puchalla called the school Quita was supposed to attend, she talked with an administrator who then contacted state child protection officials. was the ninth of the twelve trials for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the US authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany in Nuremberg after the end of World War II.These twelve trials were all held before US military courts, not before the International Military Tribunal. They were eager to take Quita, even though the ad warned that she had been diagnosed with severe health and behavioral problems. ", Not until January 2011 did any official responsible for overseeing the U.S. child-protection compact call attention to the dangers of the online network. was fake, created by the Easons themselves. They attached a makeshift camper to the truck bed of their purple Chevy S-10, packed most of their belongings and left the state. The Puchallas had rescued Quita from an orphanage in Liberia, brought her to America and then signed her over to a couple they barely knew. I won't leave marks on you. You need therapy? @SpecialReports Our Global Framework for Urban Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sets our strategic vision for Urban WASH programming across global, regional and country levels. A participant in one online bulletin board characterized the re-homing groups as "the 'latest country' to adopt from.". Had she vetted them more closely, she might have discovered what Reuters would learn: • Child welfare authorities had taken away both of Nicole Eason's biological children years earlier. It was not right to me.". The woman had cared for him only six months when she put the boy on a flight to Moscow in April 2010. "The Easons are suspected of using the disrupted adoptions of out of country children… Because there are other states involved, licensing issues and possible public aid fraud as well as a missing child, this matter may involve the FBI at some point.". His time in office was characterized by the imprisonment of political opponents and close ties to Moscow. International adoptees are especially susceptible to being re-homed. They seemed kind. Created in September 2007, a Yahoo group called Adopting-from-Disruption was a place where struggling parents sought support from one another. But what first caught the Puchallas' attention was the tube coming out of Calvin's neck a few inches beneath his chin. The problems – and the isolation parents feel – can prove overwhelming. "But I was like judging in my mind: 'How do you know?'" "We adopted two children from Russia. On average, a child was advertised for re-homing there once a week. OK? But many states say they are unable to keep track of the cases because their computer systems are antiquated. There is one potential safeguard: an agreement among the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands called the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, or ICPC. It purported to be from a social worker who had visited their home and done background checks of the couple. Download the audio here, Melissa helped Quita unpack and hugged her goodbye. Trump is accused of pressing Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. They say they did nothing wrong, and neither was charged. As a result, the number of foreign-born children adopted into the United States has declined from a peak of almost 23,000 in 2004 to fewer than 10,000 a year today. Filed (Additional reporting by Ryan McNeill, Robin Respaut, Zachary Goelman and Elizabeth Dilts in New York), Next, Part 2 - The Dangers: In the company of a pedophile. In case of network problems, check your Internet connection. I'm not going to send you with bruises to school," she said. What business of the Russian government?" Authorities then contacted the New York State Police, who located the Easons' truck in Stephentown, New York. On the bulletin boards, parents talk of children becoming abusive and violent, terrorizing them and other kids in the household. They were about to get a child, for free. Based on solicitations posted on one of eight similar online bulletin boards, the parallels are striking. "The meaning of non-legalized is, 'Hey, can I have your baby?'" No one did the dishes, either, or the laundry. Other participants wrote about openly defying government efforts, foreign and domestic, to keep track of children from failed adoptions (also sometimes called "disrupted" adoptions). But this world is not meant to be perfect. Reuters identified more than 500 members who particpated at least once during the five-year time period. Business and financial news on U.S. and international companies and newsmakers from the past week from CNNMoney.com Just before it was closed, it had 184 members. By obtaining a power of attorney, the new guardians are able to enroll a child in school or secure government benefits – actions that can effectively mask changes of custody that take place illegally outside the purview of child welfare authorities. Like Quita, Calvin Eason is black. Even so, these laws are seldom enforced, in part because the compact remains largely unknown to law enforcement authorities. In bed, "Nicole used to be naked and stuff. "Because the State Department is not the authoritative source of information regarding dissolutions and is not always notified when adoptions are dissolved, we do not provide statistics," a State Department official said. "Welcome home Quita" was written in orange frosting. The failure to keep track of what happens after children are brought to America troubles some foreign governments. Parents who offer their children on the Internet say they have limited options. Life in America, she says, "turned into a nightmare." Nicole and Calvin both say that no child they took in ever slept in their bed. The anti-tuberculosis drug resistance in the world report confirmed that the spread of MDR-TB is reaching all corners of the world. In many cases, this flexibility is good for the child. Nicole Eason knew how the child exchange worked. When she called the school that Quita was supposed to attend, an administrator told Puchalla that the teenager had never shown up. Human Rights Watch | 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor | New York, NY 10118-3299 USA | t 1.212.290.4700 A poor Internet connection can … More troubling, Quita says, was that the Easons took her into their bed: "They call me in there to sleep … to lay in the bed with them." Late last year, Russia banned adoptions by Americans amid a broader diplomatic dispute.