Adoption Stories from Adopted the Movie - A Feature Film by Barb Lee

December 11, 2007

Couple gives up girl, 7, adopted in Korea as a baby

Filed under: Adoption,Korean Adoption — Tags: , , , — Catherine @ 12:23 pm

From JoongAng Daily:

HONG KONG ― A high-ranking Dutch diplomat and his wife, who adopted a 4-month-old Korean girl in 2000 when he was posted in Korea, gave up the child last year, officials here said.

Now, officials here are looking for someone to take care of the school-age child.

The girl, Jade, is still a Korean citizen because the adoptive parents, whose names were not released, never applied to give her Dutch citizenship, according to an official at the Hong Kong Social Welfare Department.

She doesn’t speak any Korean. She speaks only English and Cantonese, according to people close to her.
And she doesn’t have Hong Kong residency status, either.

The Hong Kong Social Welfare Department, where the Dutch diplomat left Jade in September last year, has had responsibility for her ever since, the official said.

Full article is here:

FOLLOW-UP on Dec 13, 2007 at 6:30 PM:

From 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

The Sunday Morning Post (SEHK: 0583, announcements, news) 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

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.

From The Guardian:

After seven years, Dutch diplomat puts adopted daughter back up for adoption

A Dutch couple living in Hong Kong yesterday found themselves at the
centre of an international controversy after they gave up their
daughter for adoption seven years after they adopted her themselves.

Raymond Poeteray, 55, who has worked as a Dutch diplomat for more than
20 years, and his wife, Meta, adopted Jade, an ethnic Korean girl,
when she was four months old.

Poeteray told the South China Morning Post that the adoption had gone
wrong. He said that his family was “trying hard to deal with it”.

He added that his wife was receiving counselling following the
decision to give up Jade. “It’s just a very terrible trauma that
everyone’s experiencing,” he told the newspaper.

Full article:,,2226521,00.html

From De Telegraaf:

Former baby sittter: Jade got less attention

By Bart Olmer

AMSTERDAM – “There was my sweet Jade for whom I baby sitted two years long
and with whom I played -… My heart broke when I read yesterday’s

These are the words of the Dutch former babysitter of Jade. ‘I’d love to
adopt this child myself and give her a good home!”

She stutters, overtaken by emotions and is looking for the right words. Her
use of language makes clear she lived for many years in Asia and Latin
America, as daughter of a Dutch couple that for their work travelled the
world. That’s how she got to know Raymond Poeteray, the Dutch consul in
Hong Kong, of whom the whole of Asia speaks in shame these days.

Less attention.

Yearlong the babysitter, in the meantime settled in The Hague and studying,
lived in Jakarta, nearby Raymond and Meta Poeteray, who were then attached
to the Dutch Embassy in Indonesia. She was a regular guest of the house and
saw from close how the diplomate couple, who already had a 7 year old son,
adopted the four-year old Korean girl. “But since the beginning I felt
something was wrong: they gave her much less attention as their own son. It
got wrong since the beginning.”

The former babysitter knew Jade until her second year. ‘IN the evening I
looked after her. During the day there was an Indonesian woman who looked
after Jade constantly. But Meta treated Jade directly as not her own
daughter. Their son, by the way, was very fond of Jade.”

The Dutch babysitter, who yesterday cried dire tears about Jade’s fate,
remembers her as ‘very sweet, but also very quiet’. There is absolutely no
abuse in the family, she says.

‘I am very angry at the adoptive parents Poeteray. I could hate them for
what they did. I am amazed by their action. You don’t do such thing. When
you adopt a child, you are fully responsible. It is not a dirty sock, which
you throw in a corner. The girls is not a piece of dirth? I would like to
adopt her myself. Make sure she gets a good home. But whom should I call for
that in The Hague?”

The babysitter denies that Jade would have behavioural problems, as is being
said by the Dutch ex-parents. “She was very quiet. But I can of course only
speak for the first two years, not what she became later on. That her
adoptive parents say there are problems with eating is incredible. You
should just work on that. Patience, take your time. Give her a chance. But
the strange thing is, Jade at anything at home, she ate anything. We have
not noticed an eating disorder. The parents Poeteray speak about a
difference in culture, but that’s a lie: the girl was already in their
family at the age of four months. She was shaped by their education!’

The former baby-sit is very worried about the current emotional well being
of the child. ‘I am doing everything to find out where she is now. Jade must
be very confused. She can impossibly understand what is going on. She sleeps
in another bed, with unknown people, at a unknown address. She is being
damaged in a terrible way. My baby-sit child is somewhere all alone, that
hearts me terribly.

Apart from the avelange of furious reaction from the Netherlands and the
whole of Asia, the revenged diplomatic couple gets support of Huub van ‘t
Hek, chief editor of the magazine Perspectief, a magazine about parents and
children in youth care. He has understanding for the diplomatic couple:

“It may sound paradox, but breaking up with your adoptive child can in
exceptional cases be in the interest of the child. If you adopt a child of
four months, you don’t know what you get into your house. I do not know what
happened at the time with this child, or if there is possibly a genetic
problem. .

Most foster cares do more than the average parents. They work very hard for
the well being of their children. Bu ta child can by psychologically so
damaged, so unadapted, so unreachable, that it is not able of any bonding.
Such children remain ‘bodemloos’. In such cases it is not ‘dumping of
children’, but parents are simply broken by the slow poison that is
destroying their family life. In such cases ‘dismantling’ is in everyone’s

Original article (in dutch):