Is this destroying the culture of Moroccan children? A side note here is that Morocco is NOT a party to the Hague Convention on trafficking of children.
There is a very disturbing situation going on with International Adoption in Islamic countries. In order to adopt, you must convert to Islam. This includes the most "moderate" of Muslim countries, like Morocco.
This is supremacist and outrageous.
Moroccan Adoption Guidelines
• In the country of Morocco, which is located in Northern Africa, a child can only be adopted by a married couple or a single female. Children may not be adopted by parents that are single males or who are involved in a same sex marriage.
• There is no age restriction imposed on the adoptive parents as a requirement for adoption.
• The individuals who are adopting must be employed.
• The adoptive parent or parents must be Muslim or they must be willing to convert to the Islam religion. The adoptive parents must provide proof of this conversion.
Conversion to Islam as a requirement for International Adoption in Morocco
By William Thacker
There is a strange and sad adoption program taking place in our American culture among International Adoption Agencies. Four American Adoption agencies are offering adoption services from Morocco and part of the expensive price tag includes a requirement of the Government of Morocco to convert to Islam. Yes you did read this correctly – it is a 2 for the price of 1, you get a new child and new religion for one low price of somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 (not including travel expenses).
Searching the Internet I found several American Adoption agencies offering adoptions in Morocco under the Kefala law of Islam. Adopt Abroad Adoption Agency was the first to claim they offered Moroccan Adoptions. A quick call to this agency and the information was vague, I was unable to find out just how many adoptions they have finalized under this bizarre adoption law. However with further research I found that on the US State Department’s website, I found that Moroccan Adoptions were growing to the USA: 2008 (12) 2009 (20) and 2010 (32) total of 64 adoptions to the USA from Morocco in 3 years: here A list of sworn translators located throughout Morocco can be obtained by contacting the Immigrant Visa Unit at the U.S. Consulate in Casablanca, Morocco at firstname.lastname@example.org. The following is a list of basic documents required for the Kefala procedure:
• Islam Conversion Document for the prospective adoptive parents
• Birth Certificate for each prospective parent
• Marriage certificate for the prospective parents (if applicable)
• Health statement from a doctor practicing in Morocco
• Work and salary statements for each prospective adoptive parent (if applicable)
• Home study completed by a licensed U.S. home study provider
• Photographs (the exact number and size required varies)
• copy of passports of each prospective adoptive parent
The other thing of Interest on the US State Department website, it indicates that Morocco has not signed a Hague Convention agreement with the USA. Which being a party to the Hague Convention a country is stating they have precautions in place to safeguard against human trafficking or selling of children/babies for referrals. But then some people only want a child they care less about conversion to Islam or being ethical. It’s hard to imagine that any self respecting American would stoop to this level just to have a child and submit to Islam. Harder yet the US State Department 2010 report on page 4 indicates http://adoption.state.gov/content/pdf/fy2010_annual_report.pdf that 43 American Children from foster care were adopted OVERSEAS with Canada (19) and the Netherlands (18) being the countries very willing and able to adopt American children. How is it that we as Americans have not provided for our children, yet we have couples willing to spend over $30,000 travel over 6,000 miles and convert to Islam to adopt? Yet couples in Canada and Netherlands are adopting American children.
Moroccan children deserve the right to stay in their country with members of their fellow ethnicity and religion, the same is true for American children retaining their American culture and roots.
Adopt Aboard Adoption Agency states that:
The Moroccan adoption program is open to married couples and single women. It is possible to adopt more than one child in a single adoption process. Morocco is flexible regarding the age of the adoption parents. Families must respect the child's religious heritage.
Hopscotch Adoption Agency states that bluntly you must submit to conversion of Islam:
Our Morocco child adoption service is a pilot program that we're very pleased to announce. In 2009, 20 U.S. Visas were issued to children of all ages—many of these issued to infants. While this is a new program to Hopscotch, we have partnered with a very experienced team in Morocco and expect that this program will be very popular. For our Morocco children and infant adopting, families must be comfortable in the knowledge that we are responding daily to the changes in process as they occur. Additionally, Married couples and single women may adopt from Morocco. The country does not permit same sex marriage, partners or single men to adopt children from Morocco. There is no age restriction on the prospective parents. The prospective parents must be employed and must be Muslim or willing to convert to Islam. All prospective applicants to this program will be required by the Moroccan government and court to submit to conversion of Islam in the presence of a court notary while in the country prior to the court proceedings. The conversion appointment is completed on your first day of arrival. We expect all applicants to take this very seriously and honor the legal codes and culture. Conversion taking place in a manner, time or place other than in Morocco in the presence of a court notary or Imam will not meet the requirements for the purposes of obtaining guardianship, also known as ‘Kafalas’.
Children’s House International Adoption Agency states it more direct:
The culture of Morocco cherishes children. Due to conditions of poverty, some children are abandoned at a young age. Your time spent in Morocco will be culturally rich and will enable you to understand better the country and background of your child’s heritage. The prospective adoptive parent/s will begin the process by taking the following steps. They will file an I 600A with the embassy in their country of residence since Morocco has not signed the Hague as of this time. You will also begin a homestudy with an approved social worker. Please contact our agency before you begin this process to be sure that your social worker is qualified. Prospective adoptive parents of Moroccan children must be Muslim. Those who are not already Muslim can convert to Islam while in Morocco. Conversion does require that you reflect on your decision and make a knowledgeable, certain, sincere and truthful declaration of faith and intent with love, affection, submission and acceptance.
Across the World Adoptions makes it sound more like a romance novel:
Salam and Peace be upon you! Across the World Adoptions (ATWA) is excited to announce its pilot program for adoptions from Morocco. Morocco, located in North Africa, is a short ferry ride from the tip of Spain. It may be best known to many Americans for the romantic invitation to “Come with me to the Casbah.” The Casbah is a walled citadel or fortress woven with alleys and souks (markets). The markets of Morocco are renowned for their splendor, variety and frequent invitations to join the proprietors in a glass of hot mint tea.
Our coordinator for Morocco is very experienced with the adoption process but families should be prepared for unexpected changes or delays in the program as it unfolds. Although we use the term adoption in this description, families should think of the process in Morocco more as a guardianship or legal custody (“Kefala”) in preparation for adoption in the United States.
After reading and researching about this new adoption trend, I was disgusted with the marketing of children and the adoption process. What has become of Americans that we adopt our children to Europeans and Canadians but would travel across the world, convert to Islam for the chance to adopt a child in a country that is not even a party to the Hague Convention? Have we just become victims of some fancy marketing or notion of exotic adventure of adopting a child from an Islamic country? Only time will tell if this latest trend in International Adoptions will pan out or just be another passing fancy done on a whim.