Orphans have been caught on camera parading in front of potential foster parents during an ‘adoption catwalk show’ in Brazil.
In disturbing footage that has sparked global outrage, some twenty children are seen presenting themselves on stage in Cuiaba, Mato Grosso, Brazil.
According to the adoption agency that organized the event, the catwalk show helped prospective parents “get to know the children who are eligible for adoption.”
Human rights activists, however, disagreed and linked the unconventional parade to a slave market.
After the event went viral, a Mato Grosso lawyer, Eduardo Mahon, spoke out on Twitter where he wrote:
“Children parading, for suitors to see how beautiful, friendly and delectable they are, it seems to me like an old slave market, where people saw the teeth and the body of Africans in order to make their bid.
“I don’t think it’s cool, in fact I think it sucks.”
Adding to the debate, presidential candidate Guilherme Boulos said:
“The ‘adoption catwalk’ in Cuiaba, exposing children from four to 17 so prospective parents can choose them in an unbelievable perversity.
“The psychological effects of exposure, the expectation and the frustration of these children may be devastating, even if the intention was different.”
Speaking of the event that attracted some 200 people to the stage, former congresswoman Manuela D’Avila added:
“I think this is one of the saddest stories I’ve ever read. Children on a catwalk, full of dreams and desires, seeking approval by parading, as if to love a child we need to admire them physically.”
Defending the event the Adoption Research and Support Association organized, the institution’s president said they are “a serious organization” who “don’t play around with children’s feelings.”
“All the children had already been presented to diverse families, in orphanages, but no-one adopted them,” he added.
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