We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Dutch (mis)treat

The International Herald Tribune (which is published by the New York Times) says today that the Dutch family in the adoption disruption brouhaha is feeling “misrepresented” by media reports about their family.

The family apparently released a statement, which said, in part,

“In contrast to what has been written, we don’t want to be rid of our daughter and there’s no suggestion we would disown her, right up until today. We are (her) parents and we feel responsible for her well-being and we always will.”

I hope this is all true and details as reported in the media are wildly wrong. I suspect not, but I hope.

The family also said their daughter is very sick, and suffers from “a fear of emotional attachment.”

Here’s something that really didn’t make sense. I mentioned earlier that the parents never processed their daughter’s Dutch citizenship. The IHT quotes them as saying it was an “oversight.”

An oversight? I might believe it if they lived in the Netherlands or elsewhere in the EU where it’s relatively easy to cross national borders. But coming and going around the world is much easier with some consistency in passports. We did not want the kids to enter Egypt as Ethiopians and then possibly not have the protection of the US government. Maybe it’s different when you are a diplomat, but I would think they’d be even more inclined to make sure their passports were in order.

This whole situation is more than troubling. The IHT article ends with the family asking for privacy, which seems like a fair request, but it also seems too late for that.

Perhaps the best that can come out of this is that their daughter can get the care and treatment and parenting she needs, and other adoptive parents will reflect carefully on this and perhaps become better parents to their kids.

(Tip to Racialicious for linking to the blog Resist Racism, which blogged about this and linked to the IHT.) 

(Edited to fix formatting, which I think now should be set.)


14 December 2007 - Posted by | adoption


  1. I agree that not getting her citizenship is weird, but they have only been in Hong Kong for two years by one reports so they must not have issues moving around where they have been.

    In any case, this second news report is pretty much what I expected the truth to be. Until someone has walked a mile in the shoes of a family dealing with a RAD child, I really think they need to shut up.

    Comment by Dani | 14 December 2007

  2. In regard to her citizenship status, I wonder what citizenship she has. If you are living abroad, it can be a lot of work to get your home country citizenship for your children.

    My husband is a Dutch-US citizen with dual citizenship. Our children are 2.5 and 1 and though they qualify for dual citizenship, since we are living abroad (not in the Netherlands), both parents must travel with both children to the embassy in Chicago. That means time off of work, the the expense and hassle of taking the whole family (young kids)…etc. It’s not like going on the internet and filling out some forms.

    It doesn’t seem unreasonable that they just never did it. I could also apply for Dutch citizenship, but unless we are living in Holland, it is a lot of work and doesn’t really do anything for me while I’m living abroad. It would be important if we were living in Holland, but we’re not. As long as everyone in the family has functioning citizenship so we can travel…it’s not important right now that we all have the same citizenship.

    Comment by Kohana | 14 December 2007

  3. Dani, apparently they were living in Korea when they adopted their daughter, then moved to Indonesia, and then to Hong Kong. Because they’re diplomats, I assume they had at least yearly visits back to the Netherlands (which is pretty standard for expats, especially diplomats, from what I understand).

    Kohana, the girl right now is formally a Korean citizen, though without any Korean language skills or any connection to Korea other than her birth and ethnicity. I know the citizenship process can be difficult (been there done that), but if anyone should be able to navigate it, it would be someone who works at their country’s embassy!

    You’re right that not everyone needs to have the same citizenship. But, at least in your family, your kids have the same citizenship as at least one parent. And it’s the adults whose citizenship is more complex, right?

    Comment by Ms. Four | 14 December 2007

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