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fearing she'd be sent away

In the last home where Nita was sent, re homing served a different purpose, Ohio prosecutors contend. They say it was used to silence Nita and another girl in an effort to conceal the repeated sexual abuse of children.

(For more Reuters Special Reports, double click on )

Nita was 13 at the time. She became one of nine Dittenber children, four biological and five adopted, including Nita's younger biological sister. Each of the adoptees is Nike Stefan Janoski Women Haitian.

including police who investigated the Kruse case have never heard of the compact.

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Since the late 1990s, Americans have adopted about 243,000 children from other countries. If the failure rate of international adoptions is similar to the rate at which domestic adoptions fail estimates by the federal government range from about 10 percent to 25 percent then more than 24,000 foreign adoptees are no longer with the parents who brought them to America.

Months later, according to criminal charges filed in Union County Court here, Emily Kruse abruptly put Nita on a flight back to her original adoptive parents in Idaho alone and "with only the clothes on her back."

two of his daughters and sexually abusing another daughter. He and his attorney didn't respond to interview requests. Emily Kruse, 36, has pleaded not guilty to felony charges of obstructing justice and intimidating a witness. She declined to comment; her attorney did not respond to questions.

Starting at age 14, Nita Dittenber was passed among four families over two years through a practice called "private re homing."

At the federal level, a group of 18 Republican and Democratic members of Congress is seeking hearings to "identify ways to prevent these dangerous practices." Sen. Ron Wyden, D Oregon, called for broad action in a letter to Obama administration officials, writing Nike Sb Shoes Air Max

that it was "stunning" that "this practice of advertising children, usually over state borders, does not seem to violate any federal laws."

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Re homing a child is easy. No state or federal laws specifically prohibit it, and state laws that restrict the advertising and custody transfers of children are often confusing and rarely spell out criminal sanctions. Many law enforcement officials Nike Stefan Janoski Midnight Navy

In 2009, Tony and Michelle Dittenber adopted her and brought her to their home in Nampa, Idaho, just outside Boise. Tony helps operate a food warehouse. Michelle books flights for an airline.

In September, Reuters exposed an underground market in which desperate parents use online bulletin boards to offer adoptees to strangers, often illegally and with no government oversight.

Not long after she was sent there, Nita says, the younger Kruse children told her they were being molested by Jean Paul. Nita says she struggled for months over whether to speak up about the allegations, fearing she'd be thrown out of the house and sent to yet another set of strangers if she did.

Born Nita Durand and raised in Port au Prince, Haiti, Nita still speaks with a trace of a Haitian accent. She says her birth parents were poor and sent her to an orphanage when she was 9, hoping she would have a better life than they had.

"I said, 'Oh my God! All the puzzle pieces are coming into focus,'" Tammy Dittenber recalls. "I realized she had been re homed the way you re home a pet."

By Megan Twohey

RE HOMED LIKE A PET

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Nike Stefan Janoski Women

Jean Paul Kruse, 41, has pleaded not guilty to 17 felony criminal counts, including raping Nike Sb Stefan Janoski Max Suede Shoes

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For 17 months from early 2011 until July 2012 Nita lived in the Ohio city of Marysville with Jean Paul and Emily Kruse. Jean Paul was an information technology specialist with the Ohio National Guard. Emily was a stay at home mother. The Kruses were the fourth family to take custody of her in America.

Yahoo shut down the re homing groups that Reuters brought to its attention, and the Illinois attorney general is pressing Facebook to explain how the social network polices itself. Reuters found that adoptive parents also were offering unwanted children there on a private page called Way Stations of Love. In a Jan. 21 letter responding to the attorney general's inquiries, Facebook said it had found "no evidence of the type of Pages you described" but that "if people were discussing the activity in closed Groups or in private messages, we do not know about those communications unless they are reported to us."

HOW CAN PEOPLE DO THIS?'

"I didn't want to get passed around anymore," Nita, now 18, says in an interview.

Tammy says she knew that Nita's adoptive parents her in laws, Tony and Michelle Dittenber had sent Nita to other families. But Tammy says she had no idea how until she read the posts.

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Nike Stefan Janoski Women

Even so, Ohio state officials say prosecuting the Kruses for breaching the pact would be futile. "There are no sanctions or criminal penalties in Ohio for violating the ICPC," said Benjamin Johnson, a deputy director of the state's Department of Job and Family Services.

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The reason: Kruse discovered that Nita had told relatives of the Kruses about the abuse accusations. Prosecutors say Emily sent Nita away to ensure the teen "would not be around to answer questions or participate in the resulting investigation." They say another girl an alleged victim of the abuse was also threatened by Emily with re homing unless she wrote a letter saying her accusations against Jean Paul were "not true."

No government agency tracks what happens to these children after they reach America, and none monitors how frequently children are transferred to strangers via the Internet. But on a single online message board examined by Reuters a Yahoo group called Adopting from Disruption a child was offered for re homing about once a week during a five year period. Most of the children were adopted from overseas. One was Nita.

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In Illinois, lawmakers held a hearing on the practice, and Colorado, Florida and Wisconsin are moving forward with bills aimed at stopping re homing. "We need to protect kids who are literally being traded between homes," said Republican state Rep. Joel Kleefisch, who sponsored the Wisconsin bill. The state senate passed the measure this week, and it now awaits the governor's signature. "This legislation puts Wisconsin on the national forefront of addressing re homing and attacking it head on," Kleefisch said.

After Reuters published messages from the Yahoo group, Nita's adoptive aunt began reading the posts. Reporters had removed names and other identifying information. But Tammy Dittenber says she quickly recognized that some of the messages were about Nita, based on details about her age, nationality and state of residence.

MARYSVILLE, Ohio, March 21 (Reuters) On an Internet forum where parents sought takers for adopted children they no longer wanted, a teenager from Haiti was offered more frequently than any other girl.

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