Armenia’s National Security Service Investigating Illegal International Adoption Cases

Raffi Elliott - The Armenian Weekly

"Armenia’s top intelligence agency—the National Security Service (NSS)—has launched a criminal investigation into reports of illegal international adoptions which allegedly took place between 2016 and 2018," according to this article from the Armenian Weekly. The article states that the NSS revealed that at least 30 infants were illegally adopted by families in Italy and the United States. 

The article describes how the "demand" for intercountry adoption has "unwittingly propelled a sort of black market for orphans in their countries of origin." The article also notes the criticisms regarding the conditions and level of care of Armenia's orphanages, both State and privately run. "The practice of pegging the level of state funding to the number of children in these institutions combined with assistance from the Diaspora creates a financial incentive to take in more children than these facilities can handle. Funding which would otherwise be better utilized to help provide care for vulnerable children at home has instead encouraged families to institutionalize them." The article also refers to a recent report from Human Rights Watch which called for the closure of such facilities in Armenia. 

According to the article, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs temporarily halted all international adoptions in September in light of the discover of "discrepancies in the official figures reported by adoption agencies."