Posted by: 지인 | 13 December 2007

The plot thickens

From the South China Morning Post:

Netherlands backs diplomat in adoption row

A Dutch diplomat who gave up to Hong Kong welfare staff the daughter he and his wife adopted seven years ago in South Korea has received the support of the Dutch consulate-general and the country’s department of foreign affairs amid outrage in the city and the Netherlands.

The Sunday Morning Post this week revealed that the diplomat, Raymond Poeteray, and his wife, Meta, had given up to the Social Welfare Department the child they adopted when she was four months old.

Yesterday a source at the Dutch consulate said they were standing behind him. “Our ministry of foreign affairs says nothing illegal happened. It is a private matter but as a good employer we will assist in this matter in the interests in the child.”

Mr Poeteray “feels he should not go into the open”, the source said.

Social commentators and adoption experts have demanded Mr Poeteray explain his actions.

Yesterday he declined to explain why the couple gave up the child.

“I have nothing to add from what I said on Saturday,” he said.

Mr Poeteray told the Sunday Morning Post the decision to give up the child had caused a “terrible trauma” in his family, and added: “I don’t have anything to say to the public. It is something we have to live with.”

The department has told members of the Korean community in Hong Kong that the Poeteray family – who have two biological children – have not been in touch with the child they abandoned.

Margaret Chang, president of the Korean Women’s Association, said news of the case had triggered a flood of inquiries from families interested in adopting the child.

“Our concern now is for the welfare of the little girl. She is not a Hong Kong resident and she only speaks Cantonese and English,” she said.

Mr Poeteray will return to the Netherlands today, where, the source said, he would be required to explain his actions to the government.

Hilbrand Westra, chairman of Adoption United International and one of 4,200 Korean adoptees in the Netherlands, said the ministry and consul could not continue to defend Mr Poeteray.”The ministry has said this has nothing do with his function. But that cannot be,” Mr Westra said.

He said there was considerable concern the couple had not naturalised the girl as a Dutch citizen, which was against the law.

The Sunday Morning Post made an editorial decision not to publish the names or pictures of the family to protect the child, who is in foster care. But the story has since received extensive coverage by other media outlets, which named the couple.


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