French families, like the Bardols, who waited in vain at an airport outside Paris for the children to arrive, claim they were not trying to buy a refugee but simply provide a safe haven for youngsters fleeing the horror of war and famine. “The aim was to save children and not take one as our own. Maybe there were errors, maybe it wasn’t done in the best way, but we were not collaborating with gangsters.”
The Bardol’s said they wanted to share a little of their good fortune with an African child in need. The Ragots, who also have children of their own, insisted theirs was a humanitarian act. “We were all agreed we were making a donation to save a child. We gave 2200 Euros.”
The Zoe’s Ark charity told the families that international law allowed for Darfur refugees under the age of 5 years to be fostered by French families.