After a few weeks of working with my fixer on the ground who is organising the paperwork for my adopted girl to get into Spain, it finally came up: the “money to make it go faster.”
I knew he was talking about a bribe of course (I am not sure if the euphemism he used was to soften the blow or simply that he didn’t have the word ‘bribe’ in his vocabulary) but it was obvious what he was talking about. In order to make the process of both the paperwork and passport not take as long as the train tracks for the AVE, money would have to be paid.
I sort of expected it, as the subject of bribe paying often comes up on adoption groups on the internet. Most people who respond are dead set against it, with lofty arguments of not ‘setting precedents’ for those that come after you. Some even draw comparisons with paying bribes and paying mothers to give birth to babies that will be put up for adoption.
So I had been warned that bribes would be asked for the process, I just didn’t expect it to be so soon (I had also heard that iPods, mobile phones and cameras are perfectly acceptable ‘gifts’ and was hoping to unload a couple of old-but-still-good ones I have lying around). However, cash it is; dirty money that will hopefully get my daughter here quicker. I just told my fixer to let me know the amounts before he agreed on anything.
Did I do the wrong thing? I would love to hear your thoughts…
On a lighter note I was having a talk to a friend the other day, another single mother who has opened a doble via in her adoption process. A doble via is a new thing that has been facilitated by ICAA—and it basically means that adoption applicants can cite two countries when they put in their solicitud—a good thing given the frequency with which countries ‘close’ to adoption, which basically puts you back to square one.
Anyway, given the precarious adoption situation in her first country of choice, she chose Spain as her second. I hadn’t really considered national adoption, and presumed that parent-less children here would mainly fall into the ‘special needs’ category or come from such broken homes that adjustment would be a nightmare. But I was pleasantly surprised at what she told me. I'll tell you more about it next week.