Roughly 170 Latvian children were given up for adoption to foreign families in 2013, roughly twice the number recorded five years ago, according to figures published by the Ministry for Social Affairs.

The state is allowing the children to be extracted from their social environment for financial reasons, the daily Diena writes in alarm:

Giving children up for adoption is a good business in Latvia. State-run organisations make the ‘product’ available to the placement agencies, they organise ‘shopping tours’, and when it comes to a deal, the documents are drawn up lickety-split. Small children without parental care, most of whom already live with foster families, are plucked like flowers in a matter of days. The child is seduced with sweets and promises, and soon becomes the property of the adopting family. After all, they’ve invested a lot of money. … The state doesn’t want to integrate these children in our society, but to fob them off as quickly as possible – no matter how. The child is an unnecessary burden, and an obstacle to budget optimisation.