Child Laundering: How the Intercountry Adoption System Legitimizes and Incentivizes the Practices of Buying, Trafficking, Kidnapping, and Stealing Children

This paper has been published in the Wayne Law Review: 52 Wayne Law Review 113 (2006).


This article documents and analyzes a substantial incidence of "child laundering" within the intercountry adoption system. Child laundering occurs when children are taken illegally from birth families through child buying or kidnapping, and then "laundered" through the adoption system as "orphans" and then "adoptees." The article then proposes reforms to the intercountry adoption system that could substantially reduce the incidence of child laundering.


Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Family Law | Human Rights Law | International Law | Juvenile Law

Date of this Version

August 2005