• November 28, 2014

Exposing Corruption in International Adoption

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Tiny Spark is a new podcast on the business of doing good. The first installment takes a look at corruption in international adoption and how it has caused problems despite the generous impulses of many parents. Amy Costello, a freelance reporter and radio producer, hosts and produces the program.

In the past decade, American parents have adopted some quarter of a million children from Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, Nepal, and elsewhere. And in all of these countries and others, fraud has been uncovered.

Pressure from children's advocates and others are leading to changes. But problems persist.

For insights about how the process of trying to place needy children in good homes can go so wrong, Ms. Costello talks with Jennifer Hemsley, who spent years trying to figure out whether a child she tried to adopt from Guatemala had been kidnapped from her birth parents.

She also interviews Erin Siegal, author of the new book, Finding Fernanda, a new investigative account of international corruption in the adoption system in Guatemala.

Learn more: Ms. Costello interviews Ben Gose, a Chronicle contributor, to find out more about nonprofits that focus on adoption.

Amy Costello has reported in Africa for National Public Radio, PBS television, and the BBC World Service. Her Frontline story, "Sudan: The Quick and the Terrible" was nominated for an Emmy Award. Amy now lives in New York where she has worked as an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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