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of laying eyes on the daughter she thought she’d lost forever. Mom holds a newborn, and Mata says she wants a closer look at her sister. Her mother stands and lifts the baby, cradling her over the computer screen. Mata beams, as does her adoptive mom, Jessica Davis. As the conversation continues, Mata wants answers. She wants to know why her mother gave her away. By the time the call ends, Mata’s radiant smile has turned to sobs. «My mom was tricked,» she says. «My mom was tricked.» Her mother told her it was never her intent to give Mata up for good -- that she’d been deceived. She had been told that Mata would be given a great educational opportunity if she was sent away but that she would one day return. That Mom would always be a part of her daughter’s life. It also confirmed a gut feeling: that something was amiss about the story the Ohio-based adoption agency had told Jessica and her husband, Adam, about Mata’s background. The agency, Euro-

pean Adoption Consultants, told them that Mata’s father had died and that her mother neglected her and couldn’t afford to feed her. The paperwork said Mata had never attended school. But in the months after she arrived in America, as Mata’s command of English improved, she spoke glowingly about her mother. How they cooked together, how they went to church together and how her mother walked with her to school. The Skype conversation, on August 29, 2016, confirmed Jessica’s suspicions. As she absorbed the news, Jessica realized that she didn’t participate in an adoption at all but had unwittingly «participated in taking a child from a loving family.» And she knew what she had to do: return Mata to her mother. ‘PULL THE WOOL OVER THEIR EYES’ The Davises shared their story exclusively with CNN, saying they believe that Ugandan children like Mata are being trafficked, with American families not knowing the real stories behind their adoptions. An investigation by CNN into this 23

Profile for africanchildinfo - InfoHub

InfoHub Newsletter Issue N.33 | Intercountry Adoption  

Transitioning from Intercountry Adoption

InfoHub Newsletter Issue N.33 | Intercountry Adoption  

Transitioning from Intercountry Adoption

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