1 Mar 2004

US urged to stop adoptions into America of Marshall Islands babies

4:43 pm on 1 March 2004

There's been a call for the U.S. government to pass laws to stop the adoption of Marshall Islands babies into the U.S.

An NGO in Hawaii, Healthy Mothers - Healthy Babies, says it believes Marshallese mothers are coerced into giving up their babies, aren't given adequate pre-natal care, and are ill-informed of the full implications of American adoption.

The NGO's executive Director, Nancy Partika, says they're concerned about the loopholes in current legislation which allow these women and their babies to be exploited.

"We believe there's exploitation and potential abuse of these women for purposes of basically adopting these children out at 25 to 30 thousand US per child. So its quite a lucrative industry. And we are concerned about the exploitation of these women and the drain of future generations of Marshallese children away from the Marshall Islands"

Nancy Partika.