20/20 Transcript Cambodia Adoption

Date: 2005-03-25
Source: 20/20

NARRATION

Cambodia. The stunning landscapes, historic temples, and beauty of its people often mask its wrenching poverty and widespread corruption. It is nation ripe for exploitation. Most Americans who came here to adopt orphans were unaware that the woman they trusted to find their children was under suspicion for being the ringleader of a baby selling operation.

JUDITH MOSLEY

063150 They were commodities to ... to Lauryn Galindo, she created the very market that existed, and she's responsible for that.

LAURYN GALINDO

T9 09:17:28 I have never been involved or charged with anything other than paperwork errors. And that's what I pled to, that's what I'm going to go to prison for. //

NARRATION

But the US government insists it was more than simple errors, Lauryn Galindo, they say, was involved in baby trafficking. They found evidence her adoption business paid Cambodian mothers for their babies, sometimes for as little as the cost of a bag of rice.

JUDI MOSLEY

060750 There are enough orphans in this world to go around without recruiting children that are from happy families. //

LAURYN GALINDO

T8 08:11:00 I never wanted to hurt anyone. // 08:27:17 you have to understand my motivation was pure in helping these children. //

NARRATION

This is a story of tragedy and betrayal, a war between women who longed to adopt a child and the woman they trusted to make it happen. What terrible secrets did parents discover once they returned home that turned the joy of adoption into heartbreak?

CAROL RAUSCHENBERGER

T2 [02;28;23;13] I went in to adopt an orphan. I didn't go in to adopt someone, a purchased child from a vulnerable woman. //

narration

By all accounts, Lauryn Galindo's work started with good intentions. In 1990, amidst unthinkable human suffering, Galindo traveled to Cambodia. Decades of war and the genocidal murder of nearly two million people had destroyed Cambodia and left it one of the poorest nations on earth. Stories of selling children were common—whether for prostitution, slave labor or even adoption. With thousands of children in need of homes, Galindo set up the first US adoptions from Cambodia. And American parents, like Judi Mosley, eager for a child looked to Galindo for a quick adoption.

JUDITH MOSLEY

T24 063021 that's why people used to like to adopt from Cambodia, you'd get three week old infants, and one after the other after the other, there was just no shortage of baby girls, or baby boys, //

narration

For Carol Rauschenberger, a child from Cambodia would be her first adoption.

CAROL RAUSCHENBERGER

[01;02;36;06] I wasn't able to have any more children. And so thought that adoption would be a good way to grow my family. //

narration

Michelle Goff of North Carolina hoped to adopt a baby girl.

MICHELLE GOFF

We got a phone call that said, we've got referrals of some little girls out in Cambodia. And our daughter was one of them. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

You got on the airplane at that point? // 02:19:51 Had you ever been to Cambodia before?

MICHELLE GOFF

No.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

What did you think when you saw it?

MICHELLE GOFF

02:19:55 I thought, oh my, get the ... get the cattle off the runway, which was my first thought, which, I mean if you've been there, you know. //

NARRATION

Closer to their dream, these adoptive parents described arriving in a strange country disoriented but anxious to meet the child they had only seen in pictures.

CAROL RAUSCHENBERGER

[01;12;16;24] And the driver picked me up straight from the airport, // and took me straight to the orphanage. // it was a little strange at that moment because // they ran out to the car with my son in, um, the nanny's arms and just handed him to me. [01;12;43;19] And they told me just to get in the car and go to the hotel. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

[01;12;54;04] So you never spoke to anybody? They just handed you this child?

CAROL RAUSCHENBERGER

[01;12;56;26] Yeah. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

[01;13;09;08] Did that feel…odd?

CAROL RAUSCHENBERGER

Yeah. It did. It did. //

JUDITH MOSLEY

T24 062451 and you're whisked in and whisked out of places, and you really don't get much time to think about anything, // 062416 If you want to get home with your child, then just do as you're told and question nothing. //

NARRATION

Parents passed the days waiting in hotel rooms for their baby's exit visas and for Lauryn Galindo to show up to collect, in cash, what she called an orphanage donation fee. In 1999, that's what happened to Carol Rauschenberger and her 5 month old adopted son Sam.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

[01;26;29;08] How did she strike you when the two of you met? //

CAROL RAUSCHENBERGER

// T1 [01;26;44;10] she sort of smiled at Sam with a kind of a glazed over look and got to business. It was sort of like the child was the incidental in, in the transaction here. // And // she asked for the cash, which, you know…

ELIZABETH VARGAS

[01;27;09;13] Right away?

CAROL RAUSCHENBERGER

Yes. And, um, I gave it to her. // [01;27;34;03] But I thought for giving back to the children in Cambodia, I'm happy to do that. //

NARRATION

Galindo directed some families back to the orphanage if they wanted more information about their child. When Rauschenberger drove to Sam's orphanage she learned from the director who his birth mother was.

CAROL RAUSCHENBERGER

She gave me the name of the village, and, // said // that his mother had, // relinquished him because she had, uh, five other children and, and, um, no husband at that time. [01;18;34;16] //

narration

But then just before leaving the country, Galindo handed Rauschenberger Sam's paperwork that strangely listed his birth parents as "unknown." Odd, she thought, but satisfied that Sam was a legitimately abandoned, she took her baby and left Cambodia. Over the years, Rauschenberger, through a third party, sent photos of Sam back to his birth mother; pictures that last year unlocked an awful secret when she read this newspaper article about baby selling in Cambodia. In it a birth mother, riddled with guilt, told how she was coerced into giving up her baby boy. The article described photographs the birth mother had received. To Rauschenberger's horror she realized the boy in the pictures was her adopted son Sam and the article said he had been sold by his birth mother.

carol rauschenberger

T2 [02;12;16;20] And I think at first, you know, it's almost like your blood runs cold. // [03;12;23;21] So I have another mother's baby, // that, um, I didn't mean to have. // I have the worst case scenario. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T3 [03;28;09;29] Do you still feel guilty?

CAROL RAUSCHENBERGER

Um hum. // [03;28;12;25] I think that, um, I was part of a process that I'm not proud of. //

narration

From 1997 to 2001, Galindo facilitated 800 adoptions for American families, more than half of all Cambodian adoptions. No one knows how many of those orphans were in fact real orphans or how many Cambodian mothers were tricked into selling their babies. Galindo insists it was the responsibility of the Cambodian government, orphanages and her own staff to make sure children were legally abandoned.

LAURYN GALINDO

08:10:28 I ... was not part of the abandonment of children ever.

elizabeth vargas

You never checked to make sure that the babies that you went to the orphanage to pick 08:26:40 up and give to American families were really orphans?

LAURYN GALINDO

08:26:45 All the children (Overlap)

ELIZABETH VARGAS

08:26:46 You relied just on the Cambodian government?

LAURYN GALINDO

08:26:47 Absolutely ... I did. // 08:16:36 it's clear that there are going to be some mistakes over 13 years.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T8 08:17:31 It's a pretty big mistake (Overlap)

LAURYN GALINDO

(Inaudible)

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T8 08:17:32 ... though. // T8 08:17:40 shouldn't they expect to be adopting children who truly are either orphaned or abandoned? And not some other mother's child.

LAURYN GALINDO

T8 08:17:51 I agree. And ... to the best of my knowledge ... the children were all properly abandoned. // T9 09:09:44 And all I could tell her is I am so sorry. And how can she live with it? She can continue to, you know, just be the best mother she can be. //

narration

Michelle Goff also became suspicious when the documents of her 16 month old child showed the birth parents as "unknown." Concerned--and having grown up in a law enforcement family--Goff set out to find more facts. At the orphanage she was shocked to learn that for a price she could look into a book of records no one was suppose to see.

michelle goff

T66 01:08:29 he popped the book open, and laid it down. There were little pictures of children going down the sides. And there was a little tiny picture of my daughter over there. And he said, for 500, we'll translate the information. So I paid him. //

narration

The hidden book -- like this one -- contained names of mothers and fathers suggesting that some children weren't orphans after all. Goff, fearing her daughter was not a real orphan, raised concerns to officials at the US embassy. Incredibly, despite the appearance of fraud, an official cleared Goff and her new daughter to leave Cambodia.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T66 01:10:02 he just told you, we know that this sort of lying happens on the visa applications, and no big deal ...

MICHELLE GOFF

T66 01:10:07 (Overlap) ... we know that the allegations in the books existed, that our case was cleared, and to go ahead and go. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T66 01:10:36 Did you consider leaving her in Cambodia?

MICHELLE GOFF

01:10:40 It's like being split in two. You want to be a mother, but you don't want to do something wrong. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T66 01:13:18 At that point, too, how bonded had you become with your daughter? //

MICHELLE GOFF

T66 01:13:21 When you look in the eyes of a child, that you think needs 01:13:38 to have a parent, and you want to be a parent so very badly again, you can't separate the heart strings.

narration

Suspicious or not, hundreds of American families took their babies and left…some, completely unaware that their children were recruited from desperate Cambodian mothers like this woman, who told us she sold her child in exchange for American dollars.

Some people call Lauryn Galindo a saint others a profiteer. What is certain is that this native Hawaiian is about to go to prison. According to the US government, Galindo is the first American convicted on charges related to baby trafficking. A charge she vehemently denies. So we went to Cambodia to find the truth…from the back alleys of Phnom Phen to the endless rice fields in the countryside. Our first stop was Liang Kout. A village so poor and remote it isn't even on the map. But reportedly 18 babies here were mysteriously abandoned, left by the side of the road.

VARGAS - VILLAGE STAND UP

// people here tell us those babies were not abandoned, they were sold. To an orphanage in Phnom Penh funded by Lauren Galindo. Some mothers got as little as $15 for their babies, others say they had no idea they would never see their children again.

narration

This is Chea Kim. She told us mothers knew that they could receive money for their babies. Some she convinced to give up their children, others just brought the babies to her. She is what US authorities call a baby recruiter.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

t41 112354Can you tell me, how many babies you took to the orphanage in Phnom Penh? //

CHEA KIM

t40 Maybe about six. //

NARRATION

Recruiting posters, like this one, were created showing pictures of happy Cambodian babies adopted into American homes. Incredibly, many mothers were deceived by these recruiters into believing that their children were only going to be cared for by the orphanage.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

Did you tell the parents, the babies would be going to America?

CHEA KIM

112536 I never tell them that the baby will go to America.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

Did the mothers believe they were losing the babies forever, or that the babies would come back one day?

CHEA KIM

112602

I just bring the baby to the orphanage. And when they grow big, they will let them come back.

elizabeth vargas

t41 113018 An orphanage would pay you $50 for the baby. And you said you shared some of that with the mother. How much did you give the mother? //

CHEA KIM

113107

Maybe, I don't know, 15 dollar?

elizabeth vargas

$15, for their babies? //

narration

Chea Kim then led us down a dirt road to one of the mothers who told us she got $15 for her baby. Her name is Main Dim and her child became Carol Rauschenberger's adopted son Sam. He was the youngest of five children and his mother was desperate to feed the rest.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

120906

Why did you give him to the orphanage? //

SAM'S MOTHER

120932

because at that time, // it very difficult. // I was alone. //121126 I thought the baby would stay in the orphanage. I didn't know the orphanage would adopt him away. And after one month, they just told me that my baby was adopted by foreigners. //

elizabeth vargas

121516

Did anybody come to you, and tell you, that the orphanage would pay for the baby? //

SAM'S MOTHER

121546

Someone came and told me that if I give the baby to the orphanage, they give you money. // I cried, when I gave away the baby. I cried. //

narration

The only contact Main Dim has had with her son were these photographs Carol Rauschenberger sent. Last year she received $300 from Sam's American family to buy a cow. At first Main Dim says she wanted her baby back but she says she had no choice.

main dim - SAM'S MOTHER

Even now, I miss him. I still miss him. //

narration

Lauryn Galindo denies having anything to do with baby trafficking. But we found Moung Thy, a former orphanage director, who claims he was a baby recruiter for Galindo. He says this man, Galindo's assistant, paid him over $300 for each of the 10 children he delivered. We asked him why the documents falsely listed the children's parents as "unknown."

moung thy

002500 Just to make it easy for adoption. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

10:18:42 when women in Cambodia say they were approached by you ... or somebody working for you ... and told ... "Give me your child ... I'll pay for your child," they're lying?

LAURYN GALINDO

T10 10:18:54 No one ... who worked for me approached anyone to solicit a child. //

narration

But the US government uncovered a paper trail of receipts that it says lists the expenses for the trafficking of babies. One cost was $200 for "nurse care." A US investigator told 20/20 he interviewed two Cambodian baby recruiters who worked for Galindo. Both independently said the "nurse care" fee was code for paying off birth mothers. Government agents found these receipts in Galindo's home in Hawaii.

LAURYN GALINDO

T9 09:12:02 Yes, I'm familiar with these. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

09:16:27 why do you have itemized receipts like that?

LAURYN GALINDO

T9 09:16:31 Well, this must be that my assistant paid these ... paid these fees on my behalf to be sure that the children were well cared for. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

09:13:04 So $200 for nurse care. That was ...

LAURYN GALINDO

09:13:06 Yes.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

09:13:07 ... payment that you paid for?

LAURYN GALINDO

T9 09:13:11 Well, it was customary, uh, when a child entered the orphanage, I normally paid an intake fee. //

elizabeth VARGAS

11:09:41 If these were really nanny fees, why are ... I ... I don't understand why the entire Cambodian population isn't working as a nanny. I mean, come on, this is a country where people are earning $50 a year. // That's a fortune in Cambodia. //

LAURYN GALINDO

11:07:55 it's a fortune in Cambodian and it's very little to an American and it's would to think that they can be part of helping these women who are acting as nannies ...

ELIZABETH VARGAS

11:08:10 (Overlap) That's not a fee for nannying. That's a ... that's a baby-buying fee.

LAURYN GALINDO

11:08:15 These ... this is a fee for nannying. //

narration

US agents also found this note in Galindo's home, in her handwriting; it says "freelance locators are in the countryside." And just above it "who brings kids in."

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T9 09:18:29 Do you recognize that? //

LAURYN GALINDO

09:18:31 this is a note I wrote where I was very concerned, and I wrote this as a, um ... when I heard about it so that I could make a proper report to the U.S. government. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T9 09:18:55 So you were actually detailing (Overlap) ...

LAURYN GALINDO

T9 09:18:57 What I was hearing about.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T9 09:19:00 ... what u thought was wrongdoing.

LAURYN GALINDO

Absolutely. Yes.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

09:19:03 When the government says this was proof that you were doing this ...

LAURYN GALINDO

T9 09:19:05 Absolutely.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

... they're wrong.

LAURYN GALINDO

09:19:06 They're completely wrong. I was, in fact, the watchdog and trying to do my best to help bring the problems to the attention of the Cambodian government, //

narration

Our investigation then took us down this side street in Phnom Phen to this woman who pointed the finger directly at Galindo. Her name is Meas Bopha and she claims that in 1997 Galindo came to her home and tried to convince her to sell her three babies for $700.

VARGAS

Are you absolutely certain she was offering you money, offering to buy the babies from you?

BOPHA

050428

Yes.

VARGAS

And are you sure it was Lauren Galindo?

BOPHA

050432 Yes I'm sure. //

elizabeth vargas

And did Lauryn Galindo come try again to talk you out of raising these babies yourself?

BOPHA

She said, 'Bopha, you change your mind?' And I said, "no I don't change my mind."

NARRATION

Galindo calls this woman is a liar. But according to Bopha, Galindo apparently had more success with her neighbor Tu Nhanh. She claims she sold her son for $150; that she was told that when he grew up and made enough money he would bring the rest of his family to America. Tu Nhanh says she was very sad to give him up but was promised she would receive a photograph every year. So far none has arrived. When we showed her a picture of Galindo she wasn't sure if she was the woman she sold her baby to. She only remembers that it was a short woman with long hair.

tu Nhanh

121935 Now he's about eight years old, and I miss him so much. (SHE CRIES)

INTERVIEWER

121948 do you regret… are you sorry you, you let him go?

tu Nhanh

T51 122004 I don't regret, I'm sad. (CRYING…HOLD ON FACE) //

narration

Judi Mosley and her daughter Camryn have set out on an extraordinary journey to right a wrong. They are returning to Cambodia for the first time since 1999 when Judi came here to adopt Camryn.

JUDITH MOSLEY

T24 052155 it caused a lot of anguish to me that we didn't adopt a true orphan. //

narration

Today they know the painful truth that Camryn was never the orphan she was supposed to be but a child recruited from a happy family.

JUDITH MOSLEY

T24 062339 And eventually that child grows up and asks questions, // "Why didn't you find out information? // Did you know that I had family? Why did you take me from my country?" //

narration

The Mosleys are returning to Camryn's native village, to find the family she lost and reach out to the real orphans left behind.

camryn

T 23 051840 I just, uh, miss my country and just want to go back and see my family just to visit.

narration

Five years ago, Mosley, a former British native married to an American businessman, flew to Cambodia after Lauryn Galindo--her adoption facilitator--had located an orphan named Songkea. Mosley was told the child had no family and had spent four years in an orphanage.

JUDITH MOSLEY

T23 050936 that was it. That was the only details that I knew, and that she was ... about six or seven. //

narration

At Galindo's apartment, Mosley met her new daughter for the first time.

judi mosley

Camryn came running over. // and she had a big smile // and she just jumped up into my arms. //

narration

Mosley was told to bring $3500 in cash, an orphanage donation she paid directly to Galindo.

But // T22 041845 I was still determined to go back and see where she came from.// T22 041456 And // see the orphanage that Cameron had supposedly spent the best part of her life in. //

narration

Against Galindo's advice, Mosley took Camryn back to her orphanage at Siem Reap. Once there, Camryn suddenly ushered her new mom back to the car and in her native tongue directed their driver down dirt roads and out into the countryside.

judi mosley

T23 050842 And so I just followed along. // T23 050623 And, // we pulled up outside of a house. // And, the .. down the stairs, came a lady who had a baby in her arms. // T23 050701 And the translator said, "This is Camryn's sister. And, that's her nephew. // this was the first time that I knew there was a family. //

narration

The scene was surreal. As Mosley returned to Phnom Penh to confront Galindo her head was spinning. How could Camryn have a family if she was an orphan?

JUDITH MOSLEY

T23 051352 I said to her ... I went to Sin Rip // "And Cameron's got a ... a family there," and she said, "Oh, that's nice," and that was it.

narration

It wasn't until Mosley was leaving Cambodia that Galindo gave her the English translation of Camryn's documents.

judi mosley

T23 051426 So the first time I read them was on the plane back to Hong Kong, and I thought, "Lived in the orphanage for four years, un ... unknown father, unknown mother, no siblings. // these documents clearly don't match what I've just seen," //

narration

Once home, a year past before Camryn spoke enough English to tell Judi the truth; that she was never an orphan, she was nine years old not six, that she came from a stable family. She explained how after her mother died she was living with her sister when she was approached by this man who asked if she wanted to go to America. He was a baby recruiter who told us that Galindo's assistant paid him $300 to recruit Camryn. He sent her to ask for her older sister's approval. Camryn moved into an orphanage but only for a few months, not four years as Judi Mosley had been told.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T7 07:28:21 Why tell the family the girl had no family and the girl had been living in an orphanage when neither was true?

LAURYN GALINDO

T7 07:28:30 Well, I don't believe I ... I did tell them that she had no family, and I ...

ELIZABETH VARGAS

07:28:36 It's on the paper work that you supplied the family.//

LAURYN GALINDO

T7 07:28:40 the paper work asks for the names of any family members, and they were unknown to me and therefore I wrote, "Unknown." //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

I mean this family is upset, the Mosleys, //

LAURYN GALINDO

T8 08:02:01 She is the one who made the choice to proceed with the adoption, and it was not my choice to disrupt the adoption at that point. All the paper was finalized, it was out of my hands. //

JUDITH MOSLEY

T25 070701

That sounds like somebody passing the buck, to me. // 070750 she was involved with the Embassy, you assumed that she was doing everything legitimately. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T8 08:04:22 this family is paying you thousands of dollars to do this right.

LAURYN GALINDO

T8 08:04:25 Uh-hm.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T8 08:04:26 And ... you didn't do it right. You didn't check. And ... the child had a family, // the whole thing was a sham. Can you imagine how the family (Overlap)

LAURYN GALINDO

T8 08:04:42 It is (Overlap)

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T8 08:04:43 ... felt?

LAURYN GALINDO

T8 08:04:45 Naturally, I understand how the family feels and I regret any ... anything that has been done that brought ... you know, any pain to this family. //

NARRATION

For Camryn Mosley the emotional fallout was deep. These pictures document her first year away from Cambodia and her family. She often slept outside on hard surfaces as she had in Cambodia. Many nights cried herself to sleep.

judi mosley

T23 051555 there was one night she started to cry, // and she just howled and howled and howled. // and I started to cry. // and she was talking about her sister, she kept saying, "Lee, Lee, Pin(?)-Lee." And I realized then that she was homesick. //

narration

Five years have past and now Mosley feels it is the right time for Camryn to return home.

JUDI WALKING THRU ORPHANAGE

T20 021902: Look at these beautiful kids. //

narration

Their first stop is the orphanage at Siem Reap where Camryn lived for four months before being adopted. Even so, for Camryn, now 14, the connection to this place and these children is still strong.

CAMRYN AT ORPHANAGE

T20 021139 it brings back a lot of memories. I'm so sad most them are still here…//

judi mosley

060258 they are living // day to day with no money for medicine, barely enough money for food. Where did all that money go? //

narration

That's exactly what US investigators wondered when three years ago they inspected several orphanages sponsored by Galindo and found deplorable conditions. So where did each family's $3500 orphanage donation fee end up?

ELIZABETH VARGAS

You got $2.8 million, according to the government, in cash. // Where did it all go? //

LAURYN GALINDO

09:29:14 the money is in Cambodia. // T6 06:27:36 if people thought that the entire amount was going to a particular orphanage, that was a misunderstanding.

narration

Galindo showed 20/20 an extensive list of humanitarian causes and programs she claims she generously funded. We showed it to Dr. Nancy Hendrie, who operates an orphanage Galindo says she supported.

elizabeth vargas

T35 030711 And she said, // 1200 dollars in tips for Dr. HENDRIE, that is you, (Laughter) Here's the whole list. // Did you get all of those things from Lauren Galindo?

DR. Nancy HENDRIE

T35 030737 No, absolutely not. //

elizabeth vargas

And sometimes you received nothing? //

DR. Nancy HENDRIE

For the first children that we had here, we received nothing. //

narration

(But) US prosecutors say Galindo used part of that money to buy beachfront property in Hawaii and other luxury items like a jaguar and pearls. They even found off-shore bank accounts.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

09:26:36 The U.S. government says the reason you insisted on cash is because you were taking that money and you were pocketing most of it. And that it was completely untraceable. And in fact, so untraceable you can't prove that you did spend it in the orphanages and for ch- ... charitable and 09:26:53 humanitarian causes.

LAURYN GALINDO

09:26:54 I have some regrets about the way that I worked. // 112457 I wish I would've been more diligent about keeping records. //

JUDITH MOSLEY

She isn't who she portrays, she's not a humanitarian. //

narration

Now Judi Mosley feels compelled to do what she says Galindo should have done.

judi mosley w/ orphanage director

T20 02:32:10 (HUGGING DIRECTOR) I'll give you money. I'll bring money. //

narration

She's decided to give money to the orphanage director to support the sixty orphans there.

Judi Moseley on-camera:

T20 02:38:59 She feeds 60 children on $4 a day // T20 02:39:40 (Starts to cry) It makes me very mad. -- if she can feed them on $4 a day and the facilitators were getting $3500 orphanage donation // think how much good it could do. //

narration

The next day Judi and Camryn return with food and medical supplies.

judi mosley

T27 10:08:24 "Hi, how are you!" (Nice shot with boys making praying gesture of greeting to judi and camryn.) //

CAMERON

T22 043558 when I look back, // I'm lucky, // I should be grateful. And... // I guess I'm just like everyone else. Try to ... (Sighs) ... find some place to live, and be loved by someone.

narration

T20 (02:55:10) They ask one of the orphans if he remembers his siblings. He says yes and that he misses them … His siblings were adopted. He says he wasn't the lucky one.

T20 (02:57:02 T/S OF JUDI COVERING HER FACE AND CRYING )

narration

For Judi, the visit is overwhelming…

Camryn looking out car window

T21 03:14:35 I'm glad I came. Yes I am.

narration

Then it was time to find Camryn's family. Five years have past since she worked in the rice fields, since a motherless Cambodian girl became an American teenager. When they arrive Camryn's sister is not there. But she is greeted by her nephew and extended family.

JUDITH MOSLEY

T24 052145 She had a loving, stable family, she had aunts, she had uncles, she had cousins. //

narration

Inside their hut, a framed picture of Camryn's birth mother. And then for Camryn, a flood of emotion; having forgotten her native language she is unable to speak to her family. More Western than Asian she struggles to reconcile her humble past with the privileged life she now lives.

CAMRYN TALKS TO CAMERA

T26 08:21:39 I just couldn't hold it. // 08:22:14 I don't know what to do for them and I don't know what they expect me to do for them. // I just came back., but there's nothing I can do about it except come and visit.

judi mosley

T26 08:25:10 I thought she was ready for it. But obviously it's an emotional experience. //

08:27:12 t/s of Camryn's face with tears

narration

Later, the Mosleys return…this time Camryn's sister is home…

Camryn's older sister Ly told us that she allowed her sister to be adopted so she could have a better life and that she was never paid. But still she misses her and cries every night.

Judi mosley

T26 082510 And it makes you wonder if it's right to take children from families. " they have a home, they had a family, they had a life." // T23 052656 nobody has the right to strip those details from a child, // that is who they are. //

narration

As she waits to go to prison, Lauryn Galindo's $1.4 million dollar home in Hawaii is empty, having been seized by the government along with her other assets. But the portrait of her as profiteer and criminal is not shared by everyone. Nearly two dozen adoptive families—in this video sent to the court--insist Galindo is a saint who has been made a scapegoat for a foreign adoption system riddled with corruption.

DAVID PEPERNY

T111A 00:53:04 The idea of Lauryn being in-incarcerated is like putting Mother Teresa in prison. It's completely absurd.//

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T11 11:11:46 The government, when it came time to sentence you, said in its report that Lauryn Galinda fully knew the illegalities of her actions. // They called you callus, greedy, untruthful and manipulative.

LAURYN GALINDO

T11 11:12:18 There are a lot of things the government said that I don't agree with. // T11 11:23:04 What I pled to was knowing that there was additional information elsewhere to be had. And indeed, I did. // 11:23:43 And as I said, I made some mistakes.//

NARRATION

No one knows how many of the hundreds of adoptions she arranged were fraudulent. Adoption advocates like Trish Maskew, who promote ethical adoptions, are outraged.

TRISH MASKEW

T63 02:23:34 we have hundreds of children who've had their identities erased. They can't find out who 02:23:54their birth families are. They can't go back and trace them. // 02:23:58 they have nothing. They've erased their identities. //

narration

Last year, Galindo pled guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud and money laundering in 17 cases. She denies baby trafficking but admitted falsifying documents that wiped out the identities of Cambodian children in those cases.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

02:03:54 If in fact Lauren Galinda is guilty of child trafficking, why didn't the government prosecute her on that?

TRISH MASKEW

T63 02:04:00 Because we don't have a law, a federal law, in this country that makes buying children for the purpose of adoption illegal. There is no child trafficking law. //

narration

While there are laws against trafficking for the purpose of sexual and labor exploitation they don't apply to adoption.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

11:28:21 You are going to prison now for 18 months. //

LAURYN GALINDO

11:28:40 I never dreamed I would be in this position. // 11:29:15 But // if I could even save one child from the fate of being in a pedophile ring or ending up on the ... on the street sniffing glue, then everything I've done is worth it just for ... just for 11:29:33 one child. And I have done that for hundreds of children. Hundreds. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T66 01:20:49 You know, there are a lot of people who, when they hear about this case say, I don't understand what's so wrong with paying a woman money for her baby, if she's willing to sell that child. //

MICHELLE GOFF

T66 01:21:18 Children are not a commodity. They're individuals, and it's illegal in almost every country out there to sell a human being. //

TRISH MASKEW

T62 01:14:08 If Bill Gates came to your door tomorrow and said, "I can give your kid everything you can't," would you hand your child over to him? That isn't what makes families.//

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T62 01:22:09 But nobody's going around holding a gun to these women's heads and telling them, "You have to give up your babies." //

TRISH MASKEW

T62 01:22:28 Well there's physical coercion, but there's also inducement. // 01:22:28 how much are we tricking these people out of their children, just because they're disenfranchised and they're too poor to have a ... you know, a voice in this. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T66 01:12:06 So many of the parents // that we've talked to have sort of said, oh, my goodness, we got over there and it was clear something was wrong.

MICHELLE GOFF

T66 01:12:30 Mm hmm (Affirm).

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T66 01:12:31 But they either choose to look the other way, or they don't allow themselves to ask themselves tough questions, // but they all took the babies, most and ... and left. //

MICHELLE GOFF

T66 01:12:52 Your own government's involved. And they clear you. // And you're hoping that what is in your documents is true. // It's three years and I always wondered. // What the true story is behind how she came to us. //

narration

Michelle Goff wants to know if her daughter, now four years old, was a true orphan or a victim of baby trafficking. So with only fragments of information, Goff asked 20/20 if we could track down her daughter's birth parents. An almost impossible task in a ravaged country with few telephones; where travel is difficult; and where people are fearful to tell the truth. But in a small border village we found a needle in a haystack.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T66 01:24:12 we have some good news and some bad news.

MICHELLE GOFF

01:24:22 Okay.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T66 01:24:23 The bad news is that, um, we were able to find out that both of your daughter's parents, biological parents, are dead. And…

MICHELLE GOFF

Wow…//

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T66 01:24:40 they both died of AIDS. //T67 02:00:55 ... the good news is that she has a grandmother in Cambodia. // her son was your daughter's biological father. And we were able to find her, and talk to her. And here's what she has to say.

grandmother on tape

MICHELLE GOFF

Oh, my gosh.

grandmother

T67 02:02:04 The mother was taking medicine, but it didn't help, and she died. So only the father was left. // He asked me to bring the baby to Phnom Penh, // 02:02:33 And when I arrived, that's when they came and got the baby.

interviewer

02:02:42 Did they give you any money?

grandmother

No, not even a penny. //

MAN

Do you miss your granddaughter?

grandmother

02:04:16 Yes, I do miss her. I want to see her, and how big she is. //

MAN

And if they sent a picture of her, would you have (Inaudible) feeling?

grandmother

T67 02:04:23 Yes, if they send it, I'll be happy. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

What is it like to watch that?

MICHELLE GOFF

It's happy and sad at the same time. I feel bad for the grandmother. Too bad that we had to make the choice to take a baby. (Inaudible) But I ... at least I know it was done out of love. And that Lauren didn't purchase my daughter. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

02:05:41 We also have a picture of your daughter's father. If you can roll that one more time. We are told ... that it is the man in the white T-shirt.

MICHELLE GOFF

T67 02:05:57 Oh my gosh, he looks like her.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

Really?

MICHELLE GOFF

T67 02:06:02 He does.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

What do you think looking at that?

MICHELLE GOFF

02:06:14 I'm just amazed.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

Here.

MICHELLE GOFF

Oh, my gosh. My daughter (Inaudible) some idea who her biological father is. //

narration

Other parents, like Carol Rauschenberger, face a more difficult road. She's convinced her son Sam was sold.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T3 [03;09;30;22] What have you told him? //

CAROL RAUSCHENBERGER

03;09;47;00] he's only just five. // but // what's Sam going to say in ten years or // when he's of age to understand what happened?

ELIZABETH VARGAS

[03;10;08;17] What are you going to tell him?

CAROL RAUSCHENBERGER

The, the truth. I think that's the best thing we can all do with the children. //

NARRATION

Since 2001, the US and other countries, responding to trafficking allegations, have imposed a moratorium on all adoptions out of Cambodia. No one knows how many orphans there are but Dr. Hendrie says the effect has been devastating for those awaiting homes.

Dr. Nancy Hendrie

T35 031220 I think for many children all over Cambodia, it has almost been a death sentence. // there are children who deserve homes who probably will never have homes. //

ELIZABETH VARGAS

02:19:38 Do you think the moratorium is a good thing? //

TRISH MASKEW

0T63 04:10:50 I think for children, moratoriums are damaging. But sometimes they're the only thing that keeps more damage from happening.

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T65 04:10:56 And you're absolutely certain that this moratorium // in Cambodia hasn't sentenced more Cambodian children to a life on the street or to a life in the sex trade?

TRISH MASKEW

04:11:09 Can't be certain about that. I mean, how can we be certain about it?

ELIZABETH VARGAS

T65 04:11:13 Well (Overlap) ...

TRISH MASKEW

What ... what we can (Overlap/Inaudible) ...

ELIZABETH VARGAS

04:11:14 ... if it's possible, shouldn't we open those adoptions back up?

TRISH MASKEW

I mean, in an ideal world, none of that would be happening. But in an ideal world, we wouldn't be soliciting children for adoption either. //

narration

In an ideal world children would always come first. But the reality is orphans are trapped in a corrupt system both Cambodia and the US have been so far unable to fix. For now, the moratorium drags on and true orphans must wait for families that never come.

MICHELLE GOFF

T67 02:20:27 I think about those children left behind. // And wonder who dries their 02:20:40 tears? // Who fixes their boo boos? Who tucks them in at night? Who's there when they're scared? All children need a mother's arms around them.

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Pound Pup Legacy