Background on the movie:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTirNtngWTE or watch below:
The adoptive parents come across as batsh*t crazy in some scenes, especially the dinner scene, but the less than one hour they are on the screen cannot possibly tell us what happened over the course of four years. I'm sure the real situation is much more complicated. The movie didn't show us any particularly challenging behaviors from Masho, but I assume there were some. This is in no way to blame a child for an adoption gone wrong; I'm just saying the family probably had a much harder time than we saw on camera.
The adoption professionals in Ethiopia were deceitful. They allowed the family of origin to believe one thing and the adoptive family to believe the opposite. They made the biological family think the two families would be connected. They didn't educate the adoptive parents about the biological family's expectations. They sat and talked with the adoptive parents about not letting the biological parents come to the airport, while the biological parents were sitting right there. Later they acted like it was the biological parents' fault for not receiving any reports of their children for four years.
The adoption professionals in Denmark were clueless. The first one completely disregarded Masho's biological family and said that she had probably never experienced a close relationship. The second one advised her adoptive parents to act indifferent toward a suffering child. I can give Henriette and Gert the benefit of the doubt, but I have a harder time with people whose job it is to know better.
The adoptive parents never had any intention of maintaining contact (see interview below). Based on what Sinkanesh and Hussein said at the beginning of the movie, this information would have been a deal breaker for them (and everyone lied about this, the adoption agency and Henriette and Gert, who said, "we have to keep in touch"). Why the hell did they not want to maintain contact? Did they think they would just erase Masho's memories? Did they think Sinkanesh and Hussein did not love their children as parents do? I know staying connected can't be required, there's no way to enforce it, but hours and hours of education on why you should stay connected can be required. Even if adoptive parents are as thoughtless as these two appear to be, adoption professionals should drill into them to the non-optionality of maintaining contact.
Interview with the filmmaker:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0212tRZ-pg or watch here:
I appreciate what a delicate position she was in between the two families. Still, the "I couldn't intervene because I had no one to go to" argument is weak. She had information that Sinkanesh and Hussein desperately wanted and information that Henriette and Gert desperately needed to hear, and she didn't share it.
Follow up video:
Video is in Danish but there is some English toward the end. The attorney says, "The child has a right to maintain her relationship with the family of origin." She is correct, this is stated in Article 183 of the Ethiopian Family Code. But again, how to enforce internationally?
Danish adoptions stopped from Enat Alem: