Armenia’s National Security Service announced Thursday that it has “revealed numerous cases of child adoption by foreigners with gross violation of Armenian laws.”
According to the NSS, which has launched a criminal investigation, two Armenian citizens have been allegedly operating an adoption ring, through which more than 30 Armenian children were illegally adopted by Italian citizens grossly violating Armenian laws. The two suspects used their connections in a maternity ward, several governmental agencies and orphanages, the NSS said.
Several administrative personnel and maternity ward staffers are also involved in the scheme. The NSS said that from 2016 to 2018 these staffers have coerced more than ten women who had opted for abortions to eventually give birth and give their children up for adoption.
In several cases the medical personnel even threatened the women, gave false information and forced the women to give consent for the adoptions. The NSS said these medical professional even went as far as charging the birth mothers for “medical services rendered.”
After receiving a written consent, the majority of the newborns were taken to orphanages with accompanying medical records, which contained fake diagnoses.
“Staffers of the aforementioned facilities, by abusing their powers and using the fake diagnoses noted by the maternity ward in the medical papers, violated the priority of Armenian nationals’ right to adopt these children and indirectly obstructed the children’s adoption by Armenian nationals,” said the NSS in its statement.
The illegal adoption of children by foreign nationals is a threat to the children’s safety, Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigoryan told reporters following Thursday’s cabinet meeting.
“This and similar issues are on the agenda of the National Security Service and other structures which try to understand where the problem comes from and how they can give a systemic solution in order to prevent such cases. These cases are really a serious threat to the people’s security and that of children,” said Grigoryan.