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Last Updated: Friday, 14 December 2007, 15:25 GMT
Asian outcry over Dutch adoption
A Dutch diplomat has denied trying to "get rid" of a seven-year-old South Korean daughter he adopted as a baby, amid public outcry over the case.

South Korean officials said Raymond Poeteray and his wife gave up the child because she had failed to integrate.

But Mr Poeteray told Dutch media that the couple had parted ways with their daughter because of ill health.

The case has triggered strong reactions in the Netherlands, South Korea, and Hong Kong - where Mr Poeteray works.

The couple adopted the girl, Jade, at four weeks old.

When they decided to put her in foster care in Hong Kong seven years later, Mr Poeteray said they were acting on the advice of medical specialists and social workers.

But the decision attracted outrage in some sections of the public and the media, both in the Netherlands and South Korea.

The Dutch daily De Telegraaf said Jade had been discarded like "a piece of household rubbish".

'Fear of bonding'

But Mr Poeteray told the same newspaper: "Our daughter is ill, that's why we had to part ways."

"After our daughter came to our family we found it was hard to make real contact with her... in 2004 Hong Kong medical specialists diagnosed that she suffered from fear of bonding in a severe form," Mr Poetering said.

"Despite what was written in the media we are not trying to get rid of our daughter and have not formally given her up.

"We are Jade's parents and we feel responsible for her well-being."

But a Hong Kong MP, Fernando Cheung, denied that the girl had been ill.

"The girl is actually in good condition. She's been observed by the experts from the social welfare department and she is perceived to be a normal healthy girl," he said.

"She seems to be living, or basically having a good condition under the current care of the foster parents."

Meanwhile, Asian media have been questioning the commitment of European parents who adopt Asian children.

Some politicians in South Korea are demanding restrictions or even an eventual ban on adoptions from their country.

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Case dominates Asian and Dutch front pages



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