He was only five years old when his adoptive parents decided they didn't want him anymore … so they gave him away to a complete stranger – on the Internet. In a fifth estate investigation called “A Boy Named Moses,” Gillian Findlay looks at the unregulated practice of what is euphemistically called “rehoming.”
“It's a very comforting way of saying trafficking in children,” says Mary Ellen Turpel Lafonde, British Columbia’s Children Advocate.
Moses was adopted from an orphanage in Liberia by a couple from British Columbia, but soon they found him too troublesome to keep. They found Internet chat rooms and forums where people, like themselves, posted ads about adoptions gone wrong.
They quickly found a willing taker in Texas and Moses’ adoptive father dropped him off at a Houston hotel with a stranger, a woman they had never met in person before.
When the authorities discovered what had happened, Moses was eventually returned to British Columbia, but the couple that used Internet to give him away were never charged. The BC Ministry of Child and Family Development refused to discuss the case.
Moses is now a thriving and happy 13-year-old, living with a B.C. couple who have taken in many children who have suffered through failed adoptions.
“It’s unbelievable anyone could be that inhumane… with a little boy,” says Cathy Gilbert, his new adoptive mother.