Acres of Hope statement
Email response in reply of PEAR's request for information
This email is my statement which should be posted in it's entirety.
Thank you for contacting me in advance of printing information. I appreciate your desire to get the correct information as I have seen information go out before that is only partially true causing unnecessary panic and thus effecting adoption in a negative way. First it is important to understand who and where Acres of Hope works. Let me make that clear.
- Acres of Hope, Inc. USA in 2007 was a non-profit charitable organization who acted as an informational resource agency for families interested in adoption. We did not make placements nor recommend any agency over another. We simply provided adoption information to families interested in adoption both domestic and international. We did not do home studies or adoptions. If a family was interested in adoption from Liberia, we would refer them to the agencies who were accredited by the Liberian government, one such agency is Acres of Hope Liberia, Inc. who operates as a separate entity with it's own board of directors and is licensed to complete adoptions in Liberia.
- Acres of Hope, Inc. USA is now a fully licensed adoption agency in the state of Wisconsin since November of 2008, but was not in 2007 when this adoption occurred, and thus did not make this placement.
- Acres of Hope Liberia, Inc. incorporated in Liberia in 2003 as a humanitarian agency and was also licensed as an adoption agency in Liberia approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to facilitate adoptions. They operate as their own Liberian entity under the laws of Liberia.
- Heartsent Adoptions, Inc.in California conducted the home study for the Schaltz family. They are an approved licensed adoption agency in California. They conducted all the background checks and visited the home of the Schaltz family. The Schaltz had a contract with them for the Home study AND post placement services. The Schaltz had agreed to cooperate with Heartsent Adoptions Inc. with all the require adoption education courses and post-placement requirements.
- AOH-Liberia received an approved home study along with a completed dossier and an approved I600-A from the United States Government stating the family had met all the requirements and background checks to adopt from Liberia. Based on the approval from Heartsent Adoptions, Inc. and the United States Immigration approval of the I600-A Acres of Hope Liberia, Inc. proceeded with matching the children with the Schaltz family.
- The adoption was completed in Liberia based on all the approved information that was received according to the laws of Liberia. The information was reviewed by AOH-Liberia and the courts of Liberia where nothing was found to be questionable. AOH-Liberia followed procedures in completing an ethical adoption.
- AOH-Liberia has reviewed all documents in it's procession since the incident and cooperated with the authorities to supply information that might be helpful in this case.
- AOH-Liberia questions the procedures used by Heartsent Adoptions Inc. in determining the justification to approve the Schaltz family for adoption and whether they interviewed the children on what forms of discipline they use as there is nothing in the home study that reflects inappropriate behavior. It would appear that the Schaltz fraudulently lied to Heartsent Adoptions Inc. concerning appropriate accepted discipline methods or Heartsent Adoptions Inc. failed to investigate the Schaltz family properly by perhaps questioning them and their children concerning all methods used in disapline..
We are all shocked and deeply aggrieved that Kevin and Elizibeth Schaltz could have resorted to this type of heinous and unconscionable behavior. AOH-Liberia will continue to work with the authorities to ensure that Justice is served. AOH-USA and AOH-Liberia strongly condemns the actions of the adoptive parents and stand with the government and people of Liberia in grieving the loss of this little girl.
All those involved in facilitating the adoption in Liberia, did so in good faith based on the information received by Homeland Security and by Heartsent Adoptions, Inc.