An underground system of online chat rooms exists for people to get rid of kids they have adopted, a joint investigation by NBC News and Reuters has found.
On average, a child was advertised for what's euphemistically being called "re-homing" once a week on one Internet message board Reuters watched for a five-year period.
Most of the kids were between 6 and 14 years old and had been adopted from abroad. The youngest was 10 months old.
These children are not protected by any law enforcement, the investigation found. There are no government agencies monitoring these bulletin boards.
"The thing that I find particularly appalling is, it seems we're dealing with a situation where the child is doubly vulnerable," Lisa Frydman, associate director and managing attorney at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, UC Hastings College of the Law, told TechNewsWorld.
"They're both an adopted child and a foreign child brought to the U.S. -- they have that many less ties and protections in the U.S.," Frydman explained.
It is difficult to clamp down on this type of activity because "there is not a clear Internet-related crime classification to control this type of behavior," Frydman said. "There need to be more, clearer federal laws."
Read the full story from TechNewsWorld here.