American mother caught in Pakistani child trafficking nightmare

Date: 2012-11-29

What would you do for a child you didn’t even know?

By NICHOLAS NEHAMAS

When Nancy Baney arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad on October 14th, 2009, she thought she was there for a routine meeting to finalize the adoption of a Pakistani baby, Marina Grace.

Instead, police officers took Marina away and arrested the owner of the local adoption agency that had brought Nancy and the three-month-old girl together.

As it turned out, Marina’s birth certificate and her mother’s death certificate had been forged by the agency, Global Adoption Services. Police accused the man who ran it, Sadeem Shargeel, of child trafficking.

“I was stunned,” says Baney. “Here I am, a normal, middle-class person from Oklahoma. I haven’t gotten a speeding ticket in the last 15 years, and now I’m thrown into this very serious child trafficking situation.”

According to Pakistani law, only orphans and legally abandoned children can be adopted or, technically, taken under the guardianship of new parents, since Islamic law does not recognize full adoption. But Marina’s birth parents — members of Pakistan’s Christian minority — were alive and it’s not clear if they gave her up legally.

“They told me I had 30 minutes with Marina,” says Nancy, who lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “That’s when I crumbled. I fell to my knees and cried . . . I fed her a bottle and changed her diaper and I rocked her to sleep. Then a woman took her out of my arms and took her away.”

Nancy says embassy staff hustled her onto a plane to America before Pakistan could issue a warrant for her arrest too. It was the last time she would see Marina for nearly two years.

The wild west of adoption

Not many Pakistani children are adopted by Americans — only 404 in the last 15 years — but Marina’s case reveals wider problems in parts of the adoption industry where fly-by-night operators can take advantage of trusting parents.

One of the biggest problems is Pakistan hasn’t yet signed the Hague Convention, a global treaty that regulates inter-country adoption. That means American parents are on their own when they try to adopt Pakistani children.

Under the Hague Convention, says Irene Steffas, a lawyer from Georgia who specializes in international adoption, foreign countries must provide parents with the information they need to conduct a legal adoption.

“With Hague adoption,” Steffas explains, “there is a point person, a bureaucrat, who can tell you, ‘What is the law? Is this legal?’ That’s a big advantage: accountability, knowing who to go to. The process is more rigorous. When you’re dealing with a non-Hague country, it’s not as clear.”

And a lack of accountability can be dangerous in countries like Pakistan where child trafficking is a “serious problem,” according to Izmiat Ahmed, who works for the Pakistani children’s charity SPARC. Ahmed says that parents sometimes sell their children to strangers because they need money, and the government hasn’t done a good job of combating the problem.

An under-regulated industry?

When Nancy decided to adopt in 2008, she turned to Lighthouse Adoptions, a small agency in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Friends spoke highly of Lighthouse. In the adoption world, that’s pretty much the best reference you can get.

“It’s not like there’s a ‘better business bureau,’” Nancy explains. “An agency can be great one year and then within a few months something catastrophic can happen and the adopted parent might not know that.”

Nancy had adopted her first child, Nicholas, from Russia in 2004. But Lorien Wenger, Lighthouse’s owner, suggested Pakistan would be less expensive and more straightforward than Russia, where tensions with the U.S. over adoption were running high. Lighthouse had no boots-on-the-ground in Pakistan, so Lorien told Nancy she would have to work with a local agency or “facilitator.”

That turned out to be Sadeem Shargeel.

“Lighthouse absolutely did its due diligence, the same due diligence I’ve done on our Russian programs,” Lorien explains. “What would have happened if I had traveled to Pakistan and met Sadeem? Would I have been able to tell his faults just by meeting him? Would you? Absolutely not.”

But a State Department official not authorized to talk on the record says agencies should “meet [their facilitators] and run an in-person check. Ideally, they should have someone on the ground who can monitor their activities . . . If there is no monitoring, that’s when things can quickly get out of hand.”

Nancy is now suing Lighthouse for failing to properly vet Sadeem.

The potential dangers of non-Hague adoption aren’t a niche issue. Last year, over 4,000 children were adopted from Ethiopia, Russia, South Korea and Ukraine, the most popular non-Hague destinations for American parents. Congress is currently considering a bipartisan bill that would compel agencies working in non-Hague countries to gain Hague accreditation through the State Department.

In a statement to Latitude News, Sen. John Kerry, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, called the legislation a “common sense reform that improves the integrity of the international adoption process.”

Irene Steffas, the adoption lawyer, isn’t so sure. “Going through the process of accreditation is an excellent thing,” she says. “But do I think that in and of itself [this bill] will prevent fraud internationally? No.”

Lorien has since eliminated her Pakistani adoption program.

A long flight home

After Nancy returned to the U.S. without the daughter she had been promised, it took several months for Pakistani authorities to clear her of involvement in child trafficking.
In the meantime, the police had placed Marina in an orphanage in Islamabad.

Nancy, who is Christian, says she never gave up hope of being reunited: “My faith told me, this is a child that needs you. She needs somebody to advocate for her. And you can’t just leave her behind. I didn’t know where she would take me, but I said, ‘Okay, God, you’ve called me for a reason.’”

In January 2011, she returned to Islamabad.

“Marina was extremely malnourished, very sick,” Nancy remembers. “She had a 104 degree temperature . . .and horrible scarring on her legs, so bad I thought she had been burned.”

It turned out to be scabies. Doctors also diagnosed Marina with hydrocephalus, a dangerous condition that causes swelling of the brain. Nancy, desperate to get Marina better medical care in America, received legal guardianship from a Pakistani court on January 19th.

Meanwhile, after 12 months on trial for child trafficking, Sadeem Shargeel was released without being convicted — even though his agency, Global Adoption Services, had forged Marina’s documentation. In an e-mail to Lorien Wenger, Sadeem said an associate fabricated the paperwork without his knowledge.

Pakistan’s Federal Investigative Agency, the country’s equivalent of the FBI, had arrested Sadeem and brought the charges against him. But Naveed Tareen, Deputy Director of the FIA, tells Latitude News that a court found Marina’s birth parents “willingly handed over Marina to Sadeem without any monetary benefits.”

On the Internet, Sadeem still claims to run an adoption service and an orphanage for Christian children in Faisalabad (in Pakistan, non-Muslims are not allowed to adopt Muslim children). He did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Barred from the U.S.

Once she became Marina’s legal guardian in January, 2011, Nancy assumed her long nightmare was over. Coming home would be easy.

It was anything but.

First it took 18 hearings for a Pakistani court to amend Marina’s guardianship order to the satisfaction of American immigration law. Then the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) denied Marina permission to immigrate to America. Nancy’s appeal of that decision was rejected too.

“Dealing with the U.S. government was a test of perseverance,” Nancy says. “I learned a lot about our government and it scares me as an American citizen because they can really tie you up for no reason.”

The USCIS does not comment on individual cases. But a USCIS document obtained by Latitude News suggests the U.S. was not satisfied that Marina met the legal definition of an orphan. The agency ruled that “a relinquishment or release by the parents . . . for a specific adoption does not constitute abandonment” under American law.

In other words, USCIS was worried that Marina’s parents had given her directly to Nancy instead of first placing her in an orphanage, as required by law. Nancy says she hired a team of Pakistani barristers to make sure Marina’s parents legally vacated their parental rights.

“I was not in it to take a child away from their parents,” Nancy says. “They gave Marina up to the orphanage.”

While all this was going on, Nancy came back to America just once, visiting her son for Christmas. She also lost her job in Tulsa, having spent a total of 16 months in Pakistan. Nancy’s mother and cousin took care of Nicholas in her absence. She and her son Skyped twice a day, but it wasn’t easy on the boy, who turns 10 in December.
“I had a really hard time being away from him,” Nancy says, “but for him it was even worse. So much worse. The physical absence of a parent is huge on a young child.”
Back in Islamabad, Nancy despaired. Pakistan was happy to let Marina leave — but the U.S. didn’t want to take her.

Marina’s last chance

Then, in September 2011, one of Nancy’s American lawyers recommended applying for a “humanitarian parole” on medical grounds for Marina. According to the USCIS, humanitarian paroles are “for use in emergency situations and allow temporary residence here for someone who wouldn’t normally be admitted to the U.S.”

This April, the application was approved. On May 21st, Nancy and Marina finally came home to Tulsa. Now Nancy is applying to adopt Marina officially. She expects to have a court date in January or February.

“Out of all us,” Nancy says, “she’s doing the best, just being a happy little toddler. After we got her healthy, she flourished.”

If the court denies the adoption request, Marina — who’s now three years old — will have to leave the country.

Nancy isn’t worried.

“I know we’re only half-way there,” she says, “but I’d do anything for Marina. She’s my daughter.”

0

Dear Adopters: Look at what you are doing!

It's hard to feel much empathy for a woman who chose an adoption agency based on the "ease" of an adoption.

It's 2012.  The Hague Convention is neither so old or so new that PAPs have the "I didn't know" excuse.

If an adoption is being planned in a non-Hague country, and an unknown adoption facilitator is doing all the foot and ground-work in said country, where are the red flags for the PAP?  WHAT is that adopter thinking?  If someone is going to throw out the "I am a Christian" card, just how Christian is such an adoption-plan? [Wouldn't the more "Christian thing to do" is help the local Christians in that region of Pakistan so eventually those people suffering could receive better care from charities or it's own government, so child trafficking (the selling of children) would not be necessary?  That's what the Jesus I read about would do....]

But there's more...

When more delays and more cash is required, when does the normal alarm indicating an illegal adoption go off, or does such alarming go silent to this type of American adopter?

The ('legally'?) adopted child, Marina, has forged documents; her mother was given a fake death certificate -- common in non-Hague regions.  There was no monitoring done by the American adoption agency.... the agency CHOSEN by a woman ("desperate?") to adopt.  Nancy, the Amother on a mission "hired a team of Pakistani barristers to make sure Marina’s parents legally vacated their parental rights".  WRONG is written all over this adoption-story.

Meanwhile, the adopter's first child, also adopted, was left alone without his mother.

Nancy came back to America just once, visiting her son for Christmas. She also lost her job in Tulsa, having spent a total of 16 months in Pakistan. Nancy’s mother and cousin took care of Nicholas in her absence. She and her son Skyped twice a day, but it wasn’t easy on the boy, who turns 10 in December.

"Faith" told Nancy the illegally manufactured orphan in non-Hague country Pakistan NEEDED her. Her son back at home needed her, too.  In fact, as an already adopted child old enough to fear re-abandonment, emotionally and spiritually speaking, he may have needed her more. 

Wow.  This story has it all, proving just how shady and self-centered the dark-side of the adoption industry can be, and it shows how critical and defiant American adopters can be when they are told to SLOW DOWN so the legality of an adoption plan can be checked, and re-checked.

So, how about this... from now on can we please keep "faith" out of foreign adoption plans?  Such "faith" is truly hurting children, both on US grounds, and on foreign soil.

Such "humanitarian" adoption stories truly disgust me, and make me wonder... who is behind the words of ICA whispered from God -- God Himself, or just really good liars and great deceivers?

Nancy, the Mother . . .

I am Nancy, the mother to 2 of the most precious children on this earth! Kerry, if you truly knew ALL the facts of this case . . . you would not judge so harshly. It is very, very difficult to give a complete accounting of this entire, complex case in 1 very short article . . . what do you keep in? what do you leave out? to bring clarity to the true situation . . . it is the reporter's rendition/editing, not mine (although, I do think the article was written well . . . it, however, does not give the in depth details).

The b.parents made a life decision for their child when she was 5 days old, before I was even involved, before Lighthouse Adoptions even contacted me about a possible Pakistani referral for adoption. That life decision for Marina was upheld over & over again throughout 2009/2010 & again in 2011. So, in 2010, Marina was officially & legally a "ward of the courts" & as a result, a judge was responsible to determine her custody & guardianship . . . that is the way it works, in any country, when a child is unfortunately placed in "state's care".

I could have turned my back on Marina because I was so "wronged" . . . OR, I could step outside my own injustices & try to make her life matter, consider her value & make sure she was in a loving home, not an orphanage. I watched & waited . . . yet, after 16+ months, no one in Pakistan seemed to care that a child was withering away in an orphanage . . . The adoption agency immediately closed the program & washed their dirty hands . . . there was no pipeline of families anywhere (other countries & domestic included) "waiting" for this child. Everyone got what they wanted, except for the innocent victims (PAP & Child) - the adoption agencies, the US gov't, the Pakistani gov't & yes, even the b.parents . . . all managed to obtain their objective, but where was the "best interests of the child"? Hmmmmm?

Call it my "faith", call it my "humanitarian" desire, call it whatever you want . . . but I didn't "Take", I "Restored". I love my 2 children more than the whole wide world! And, my children are safe, healthy & happy . . . don't they deserve that?

Thank you for your response

Hi Nancy...

I thank you for your response, and while I can appreciate your own personal experience, I still maintain these singular events DO create a greater whole and hole within the much larger, often corrupt, adoption process found in known corrupt sending countries. With that, I hope you take my criticisms in the spirit in which they are given: with the hope that others entering the adoption process read and see the red flags that are out there, and that they WILL REPORT problems that are known to harm children, to not only US State Officials, but to fellow APs, as well.

With that, I'd like to respond to your comment.

Like so many staunch APs before you, you state, The b.parents made a life decision for their child when she was 5 days old, before I was even involved, before Lighthouse Adoptions even contacted me about a possible Pakistani referral for adoption.

How many AP's can be certain of that? How many APs can be certain the child was not coerced, or stolen, or kidnapped FOR an orphanage? Are you aware of other cases of child trafficking that involved Pakistan, false documentation, and Lighthouse adoptions? Maybe you yourself got documentation that has not been fictionalized, but this is a very important question to be certain about as we enter the next phase of the corrupt adoption process.

Like so many staunch APs before you, you stated, [the child] was officially & legally a "ward of the courts" & as a result, a judge was responsible to determine her custody & guardianship . . . that is the way it works, in any country, when a child is unfortunately placed in "state's care". I know an alarming number of APs blindly believe the judge involved in their case is a just honest law-abiding individual, but how many times has it been found that a judge in a court of law has been found to be corrupt? How many judges simply rubber stamp the recommendations submitted by a corrupt social worker? How many Americans entering a foreign adoption plan check and double check to see if the judge, (and adoption lawyers involved) are credible law-abiding people? You see, there ARE a lot of troubling complexities in an adoption, which is why I chose to single-out this particular well-written report. My attack is not on you, as a single individual, but against a system that knows exactly what it's doing, all in the name of easy money.

You wrote, The adoption agency immediately closed the program & washed their dirty hands . . . there was no pipeline of families anywhere (other countries & domestic included) "waiting" for this child. Everyone got what they wanted, except for the innocent victims (PAP & Child) - the adoption agencies, the US gov't, the Pakistani gov't & yes, even the b.parents . . . all managed to obtain their objective, but where was the "best interests of the child"? Hmmmmm?

My question to you is, have you yourself gone on other adoption forums and discussed this with fellow adopters? If so, what was the response?

If you DID post on other forums, and voiced an outraged warning [because these agencies DO create a tremendous amount of harm to children], I applaud you.

If you did not, I must ask: why not?

On PPL we have MANY adopters who faced varying versions of a corrupt adoption. Each has complained that they recognize how adoption in many foreign countries is the same [corrupt], and the US State Dept is doing very little to ensure these practices change. I believe this immobility has to do with the demand made for more children, especially by those who claim they want to make a faith-based adoption, and save as many orphans as they can.

I would hope, as one who saw what happens - when a dirty agency had to shut-down - what happens to ALL the many many so-called adoptable orphans, HOW corrupt adoptions operate, and WHY foreigners rushing into a plan (increasing the demand for more not orphaned "adoptable orphans") is NOT in the best interest of ANY child, PERIOD.

[Yes, I admit, I do get angry... I do get angry, knowing what's being done to so many kids, all because a foreigner wants to adopt, and that foreigner has no idea what he or she is contributing to.]

<deep heavy sigh>

I feel as though foreign AP's have a moral obligation to others when it comes to an adoption practice that is shut-down. I believe these APs NEED to help educate other PAPs so when they enter an adoption plan, they will have more insider-knowledge as to what it means when there is a forced delay, more cash is required, or what happens when the child they bring home cannot seem to bond or attach or thrive in their new home. I believe there are some really great AP examples, out there, too.... many of whom have joined PPL to share more of their insight because it was the only safe place to do so. After all, PPL is NOT a place where the evil and crime in Adoptionland will be denied or sugarcoated -- it is a place that will say such actions should never be tolerated, in the first place.

Do your research...You are not alone

Hi Nancy- I too am a fellow AP. I just want to let you know, you are not alone. I too was like you and I know many APs in the similar situation.
So, I know where you are coming from. Please do not take any of this as a personal attack, but just words of wisdom from those that have come along before you. I have to chime in when an AP believes that a Judge in a sending country has reviewed the paperwork and the case. Do your OWN research. What you may find may surprise you and in the end help countless of children and mothers. I urge you to read the following article and post:
http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/50223

Your and your children's journey has just begun. I hope you post in the future. This is a safe and very supportive site for all that have been affected by adoption. Best wishes.

Liz

Corruption simply cannot exist in Adoptions ...

Liz, so sorry, I never responded your post ... I also agree that corrupt judges need to be held accountable. I also believe that WHEREVER corruption lives, it should be brought to light & the responsible individuals held accountable ... And, I don't care if it is within adoption agencies, foreign legal systems or within the US USCIS/DOS/Homeland Security agencies.

Children deserve the very Best & Truth is BEST!

Adoption and Risk Management

There are no 100% risk free adoptions, domestic or foreign.

It's impossible to personally validate all the events which lead to voluntary relinquishment and/or termination of parental rights by a court of law.  If an adoptive parent were "present" at each and every step along the way, that wouldn't eliminate the risk factor either.  In fact, if adoptive parents were present during a voluntary reliquishment and/or involuntary termination of parental rights, that in and of itself would be suspect.  Who's to say the adoptive parent is both qualified and objective to make such a determination?  Who's to say the adoptive parents didn't influence the process?  There's an inherent conflict of interest that should actually preclude adoptive parents direct (or indirect) participation in the decisions leading to the availability of adoptable children.

Adoption is no different than any other major life decision or profession.  How does a medical professional know that medical records are complete and accurate when treating a patient?  Maybe the preceding physician was incompetent or cheated on his medical school exams.  Maybe there were clerical errors along the way.

How does a corrections officer know that the prisoners in their charge weren't wrongfully convicted?  How does a consumer know that the product they purchased wasn't manufactured by slave or child labor?  The answer is... it's both impractical and impossible to know to any absolute degree of certainty.

Domestic adoptions are subject to the same questions as foreign adoptions.  How did I know for absolute certainty that the biological parents of my son and/or daughter were unfit parents and were justifiably stripped of their parental rights?  Twenty years later, my son's biological mother told me a very different story than what was in her state records as to why her parental rights were terminated.  How do I know that she was telling me the truth?

Adoptive parents need to do their due diligence and be guided by a strong moral compass.  There are ways to mitigate the risk when it comes to adoption decisions, but there are no absolute certainties anywhere.  Adoptive parents need to make decisions based on the best and most credible information available to them at the time.  Just like any other person in any other circumstance.  If they later find out that the practices leading to their children's adoption were somehow corrupted, they need to validate those allegations as well in the best way humanly possible.

An adoption "unfriendly" position is taken at face value on this forum and rarely (if ever) questioned by some moderators.  Were you present when ethics were violated?  Were you a direct witness to the fraud in an adoption process?  How do you know to any degree of certainty that malpractice actually occurred?

Though I rarely post any more, I still faithfully read Pound Pup because I want exposure to both sides of the adoption equation.  It serves that purpose very well.  It also gives me a glimpse into the thoughts and feelings of adult adoptees.  I learn more by listening than by reading my own drivel.

Pound Pup actually does serve as a balance to the pro-adoption propoganda on adoption friendly websites. But at the end of the day, it is no more "fair" or "balanced" than those forums which promote adoption.  We all bring our biases and experiences.  We all have our particular axes to grind.  This place is no different .

Dad

incentives

While I don't disagree with much of what you say, I'd like to look more closely at the measures taken with respect to the various risks you mention and then look where adoption fits into the scheme of things.

For every important decision we have to rely on information provided to us by others, whether they are doctors, lawyers, business owners or accountants. The world we live in is too complicated for one person to fully understand, so we are dependent on what others tell us to be true. Now the question is, can we trust the messenger?

In every profession there can be perverse and non-perverse incentives not to provide objective information. The legal profession is an excellent example. One doesn't expect a defense attorney to provide information damaging his/her client, and one doesn't expect a prosecutor to provide information that keeps the defendant off the hook. However by balancing those two interests/approaches, a jury may eventually reach a reasonable verdict.

To counter-act perverse incentives, attorneys may face disbarment, a measure that is effectively being taken and has prevented hundreds of fraudulent lawyers from practicing their profession. Of course the system is not ideal and there are probably plenty of cases where the legal system failed at fact finding, but at least we can say there is a system in place that more or less functions.

Doctors accused of unethical conduct or malpractice have their license to practice medicine revoked. There is plenty of incentive to sue doctors, because there is a lot of money to be made from such claims, so we can at least say that the system is in place and is actively being used.

We can go on about other professions where to more or lesser degrees measures exist to ban people from practicing their profession when being caught acting unethically.

When it comes to trade all bets are off. Very few manufacturing firms can rightfully claim their products have not been made through slave or child labour. The world of manufacturing is complex with millions of suppliers distributed all over the globe. So even the most honest and decent retailer can not guarantee that the products sold are produced ethically. Unfortunately many retailers and manufacturing firms are far from ethical, so we end up all contributing to the misery of other people, simply by being a consumer.

Adoption is complex in this respect. Inter-country adoption is much like trade, and we see unethical practice in every country that is somewhat hot. Licensing may help somewhat. Some of the worst American adoption agencies were effectively taken out of the market with the ratification of the Hague Convention in 2008. On the other hand we see continued problems in India, despite being a Hague member.

What actually works best when it comes to curbing unethical practices in inter-country adoption, is to make it difficult to adopt in the first place. Most Latin-American countries have used this approach with great success.

Unethical practices in adoption don't necessarily have to be related to trade. One of the important jobs in the adoption process is the screening of prospective adopters.

Like in the medical profession, licensing is required to write a home study. The licensee needs a degree in social work to even be allowed to practice, so on the surface everything seems to be taken care of. There is just one difference with the medical profession: no incentive exists to sue screeners for malpractice. The victims of unethical screening are children, living with the very parents whom should not have been approved in the first place.

In all the years of being involved with PPL, I have not heard of one social worker license being revoked due to shoddy screening. At the same time, the many abuse cases we list, are testament of the fact that a lot of shoddy screening does take place. So while a system is in place to prevent unethical conduct in adoption, it is not actively working.

Adoption and ethics have been in conflict as long as adoption exists. There are many perverse incentives. The more prospective adopters a social worker approves, the more recommendations they will get, resulting in more work, hence more income. In short, shoddy screening is rewarded. The faster an adoption agency manages to place a child, the more customers they will attract. In short, corruption gets rewarded.

Much more so than the medical profession, the adoption business floats on a sea of perverse incentives, while the measures to counter-act these forces are a mere facade.

It's for that reason that PPL exists. Whether we are fair and balanced is immaterial. We don't exist to provide generic information about adoption, although it would be great if that existed. We exist because there are very few outlets on the internet and beyond, that pay attention to the most egregious aspects of unethical practices in Adoptionland. It's an ugly job, but someone has to do it.

Just wondering . . .

Kerry, just wondering . . . Your suggestions sound like a complete elimination of adoption, all together? So, let's never allow childless adults to become parents? And, let's allow parentless children to languish away in institutions or worse? Enlighten me why that would ever be in the "best interests of the child"?

Aren't we smart enough to find a way to create the change needed without throwing the baby out with the bath water . . . ?

Outcries, outrage, and suggestions

No where did I say or suggest there needs to be a complete elimination of adoption and no where did I say or suggest  parentless children ought to languish in institutions or worse. 

I agree 100% with a comment you wrote in another response: "The Children need us, the adults, to change the highly incompetent system that controls their future. Yes, there is a system, in place & there are laws, in place . . . however, the front line enforcement, on both the sending & receiving, is corrupt & pathetic!"

Spoken as one who was forced into the broken and corrupt system, as a newborn, I simply believe the front-line begins well before the orphanage.  I believe any adult seeking a child to adopt needs to consider that point of origin, especially when it comes to changing the incompetency involved in all aspects of faulty care-systems.

Please keep in mind, just as you started your own blog because of your own personal experience, I started PPL based on my own horrific adoption-journey, complete with neglect in the private care-facility chosen for me, a violent and dysfunctional Afamily, and falsified documentation.   No adoption site wanted me.  No adopter wanted to hear my POV, and too many adoptees were too afraid to speak as I did, and still do, because many of them can't take the level of hatred sprewed by adopters and adoptees who do NOT want to hear that an adoption-story can be anything less than fantastic and great, and the answer to so many prayers.

I see it here, within this post, how you and PPL receive attacks and very snide remarks.  It's crazy, isn't it?

The backlash is intense, and it's unrelenting; the negativity and alienation becomes really hurtful and insulting. Here on my own safe-haven, created for adoptees like me,  I STILL get APs angry with me and my POV. <sick demented laugh> WHO gets mad at the messenger for victims?  Who?  Those who want to deny there is any wrong-doing, that's who.

According to the outraged APs who feel the need to remind me a thing or two, I need to learn how to be more fair, for their sake, and for the sake of each adoptee who claims to be happy and not at all stuck in the adoption-fog all of us get sucked-into.  In a way, I feel most sorry for these APs because I think PPL brings out a dark truth most APs don't want to see:  many times the much loved cherub adopted through an agency does not share their APs view on adoption.  And the more we inform adopters and adoptees the more grim facts behind the adoption industry, the more one needs to hate someone or something.... like the messenger who is ruining what's supposed to be seen as so wonderful and philanthropic, in theory. 

I'm sure you can empathize when I ask, what service does my own silence bring to those hurt by a system that is known to be corrupt, on all sides?

I wish I could say the criticism made by angry APs and ignorant adoptees has made me develop tougher skin, but how does one grow an animal's skin, and remain compassionate, curious, hopeful and human? Yes, there are days where I just want to give up and say, "FINE....you horrible narrow-minded people...YOU WIN.  You want to maintain your fantasy about Adoptionland, go ahead... but do it without me.  I'm outta here"

But after the initial anger, I remind myself over and over again, PPL is NOT just about me. 

It never has been.

 

Have you taken the time to read and review our abuse cases?  I mean REALLY read and review, and not just glance, and skim-through?

Have you seen what so many children are being put-through because of corrupt care systems and equally corrupt adoption practices?

Do you have any idea what sort of people these children become, IF they live long enough to become adults, with spouses or children of their own?

After reading a few hundred of our cases, can you begin to understand why an angry adoptee may want his parents (all of them) dead?

I do.

It breaks my heart.  How can it not?  Each child in our abuse archives represents a Broken Foundling, a deeply wounded human being.... just like me.

For better or worse, PPL is my labor of love and in order to heal and recover and bring some sense, reason and greater purpose to what was done to me,  I need PPL as much as it needs me.  I did not choose it.  It chose me.  God sure is funny and cruel that way...

It has never been my goal to limit myself to a mere website that has tens of thousands of pages with critically important  archived information. PPL, in my mind, is simply my next step - of many.  God willing, all my labored babysteps will take me to a place where I can assist others, by giving them the critical information they need to help improve care-systems around the globe and the adoption agencies that are affiliated with them.

It's for the sake of displaced children that APs like you, and adoptees like me, need to agree on a least a few core things.  

Sweeping change in the child-placement industry does not take place overnight, or in a year, or even a decade.  Necessary change will cost an enormous amount of money (much of which would have to be taken out of the many pockets that have been profiting most from adoption-plans) and sufficient change require an enormous amount of dedicated selfless work.

Before any radical change can legitimately take place, however, all sides with outrage need to be heard.... and felt, in it's entirety, so people can better appreciate what sort of problems we are looking at when we discuss incompetency within the many broken adoption and care-systems we're looking at.

This part of the process - the bitching and the yelling - may be an uncomfortable and unwelcomed reality, especially if the outrage comes from an adoptee....[after all, we above all others in the adoption-triad are expected to be grateful for being 'chosen' and 'saved', and not left behind, like so many of our fellow foundlings.] 

But the truth is, not every adopted child is happy with his or her own adoption arrangement. 

Yes, some arrangements turn out to be great.... eventually... after many many years of hard work and struggling.

That is WONDERFUL, and an amazing miracle, because SO much good and right has to happen when the adoptee can honestly say, even behind closed doors, "I am really glad I was adopted, and wouldn't want to change one thing about how things came to be."

But those good outcomes do not negate or minimize the bad ones.  All one has to do is ask, how often does an adoptee really thank God for being placed in a care-system, in the first-place?

 

The group of adoptees I represent are an ignored and overlooked group.

In my group of adoptees, many would choose suicide over one more day filled with the grief and loss and pain they feel from their adoption, and all the adoption issues that go with it.  [Here's an insider's tip:  many of us put in crap-care institutions have a LOT to grieve and be depressed about.  You think that goes away after only a few years living in a country like the USA?]

So my question back to you is:  Would it be smart to exclude those voices when striving for change? 

Why does reform have to mean the bath and baby both get thrown out?  Can't the baby be held and protected by one, as another prepares better cleaner warmer bath-water?

Sorry, my post was a response to Niels, not Kerry

Kerry, I apologize . . . I'm just now noticing my response was to a comment by Niels, not to you. I was responding to his comment about ". . . making it difficult to adopt in the first place . . . as Latin American countries have successfully done". My interpretation of his statement is IA should be next to impossible.

Niels, I'm just not convinced that making it "more difficult" is the answer either. I believe the policies & laws in place, given proper enforcement, would eliminate much of what is "wrong". However, it takes a willingness of gov't agencies to admit that they need education & help in properly understanding the very policies/laws/guidelines that they have been entrusted to police.

human nature

We may argue about whether "more difficult" equates "next to impossible", but that is nothing more than a discussion over semantics.

You state that most problems in ICA would be eliminated by properly enforcing laws. While I don't necessarily disagree with that, I don't believe in the feasibility of the premise. Let's look at the country this discussion is all about: Pakistan, a country of over 180 million people that has been in constant political turmoil ever since its conception. A country where the most sought after terrorist was able to live without any interference of the central government. How in the world can we ascertain that ICA regulations are being maintained when even global security regulations cannot be kept up?

This problem is not unique to Pakistan. In fact, nearly every sending country is an administrative mess and knows abject poverty, otherwise there would be no inter-country adoption. Western countries, with the exception of the USA, have no outgoing adoption, other than very rare special cases.

A country being an administrative mess is incapable of enforcing proper regulations, combine that with abject poverty and you have the breeding grounds for corruption.

I think properly regulated inter-country adoption is simply a pie in the sky. Every country that is capable of pulling off that requirement is capable of taking care of the needs of the children in that country, and with that have no need for inter-country adoption. So the only countries where ICA is seen as a solution to the needs of children, are exactly those countries than cannot properly regulate such programs.

All of this gets complicated by the fact that it's human nature to care about children. Once people learn about the plight of one specific child in one specific part of the world, we tend to care about that child, and some will even break every law in the books to help that one child. We tend to overlook the fact that there are probably more than a billion children living under horrible conditions, and we can't save them all. Instead we tend to think this particular child requires our personal help and no one else in this entire world is better equipped to do so.

Those professionally involved in inter-country adoption know human nature all too well and exploit that. Once people with a desire to adopt have learned about a specific child, they will move heaven and earth to get that child. In that sense, it's fair to say that adopters in general tend to have some form of attachment disorder, where they bond so quickly with a child, they tend to forget about everything else.

Despite knowledge about corruption, despite having seen a million red flags, many adopters pull through, because they want to save that one child they have come to know, sometimes personally, sometimes only from seeing a photo.

The combination of over-eager adopters and unregulated adoption systems in sending countries is a breeding ground for the unfettered corruption, which we have seen in nearly all sending countries. So I stand by my position that the only proper solution I see, is to make inter-country adoption difficult. There is little money to be made if a country only allows a hand full of children to be adopted abroad. Keeping the numbers low, also keeps the corruption low.

Sorry, I meant to say . . .

Sorry, typo, missed an important word in the sentence! I meant to say . . .

"Your suggestions sound like a complete elimination of INTER-COUNTRY adoption, all together?"

Nancy Baney, Pakistan and child trafficking

Nancy - it is very interesting to read your views on your adoption of a little girl from Pakistan.

It's also worth noting that you:
- abandoned the Russian boy (nick) you'd adopted several years earlier for nearly a YEAR to camp out Pakistan to try to complete Marina's adoption. You abandoned your kid!! This makes you a fit parent to TWO kids how??
- lost you job while camping out in Pakistan. No job, no income, yet 2 kids to support!! Why did USCIS give you permission to adopt a second kid, after you abandoned the first one and can't afford to care for either.
- who are Marina's bioparents? Did you do a DNA test? How do you know the bioparents voluntarily relinquished her? Why on earth didn't you care enough to find out??
- if Martina's adoption is on the up and up, why did you bring her to the US on a medical visa:
http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/10/02/50851.htm
Medical visas are NOT immigration visas -- they are issued to permit a person to receive medical treatment and then go back home.

Nancy's behavior is despicable -- proceeding with the adoption of a kid you KNOW was trafficked is DESPICABLE. Despicable. You continued to pursue Marina's adoption AFTER you knew she was trafficked -- you met her fake birthparents!! And wanted a child badly enough to not care if she'd been kidnapped so you could buy her!!!

Finding Fernanda

Nancy- Have you read the book about ICA corruption titled, "Finding Fernanda"?

 https://www.facebook.com/findingfernanda

Just remove the country Guatemala...and insert any country of your choice.

Maybe, I'm not the criminal . . .

Carleee - I can appreciate your passion, but I want to clarify some of your statements you believe to be true fact. I'll take them in the order you list . . .

FYI . . .

If you look up the word "abandonment", it simply doesn't apply in my son's case. I NEVER abandoned my son (Mama Bear comes out on this one. A very "low blow" from a poster who has never met my family!) . . . I equate our 1.5 yearlong living situation to a gov't service family or a military family serving their country overseas . . . do all US soldiers or embassy officials serving in a foreign country abandon their families? Many families have a unique parenting schedule (I met many at the USE/Islmbd) . . . maybe not like mine was a year ago, but still . . . unique! And, it works! But, I do agree, with your intent . . . physical separation is never the best parenting & I grieve for the lost physical time with my son. However, my son “saw/talked” to me every day, multiple times a day. He had access to me 24/7. I conducted many, many conference calls & telecommunications calls with doctors, dentists, school advisers, teachers . . . had parent/teacher conferences over skype. I even watched basketball, soccer, baseball games, even piano recitals via skype. I “ate” meals with my son, did homework, helped with piano practice, “put” my son to bed every night, etc. . . . all over telecommunications. But, no, I assure you telecommunications/skype is not the same . . . & there is no replacement for the physical "touch".

I am not employed at the present because I am taking a personal, extended sabbatical to be with my children. It is my personal choice. Believe me, I’ve earned the right to decide what is best for my family! I am not on gov't aide in anyway. I provide a loving home, medical care & education for both my children. I own my own home, pay my bills & have excellent credit. IMHO, unemployment does not equate to "unfit" parenting (that is judgmental, ridiculous thinking! Again, I consider this a very "low blow" for any poster that does not know the individual). This case is not, in anyway, about my parenting ability . . . !

USCIS approved me based on the process of I-600A approval, 5 times (multiple updates throughout 5.5 years, since early 2006 when I started 2nd adoption). If you understand the I-600A process, you will understand the requirements (I was PAP approved by USCIS prior to traveling to Pakistan & employed for 20+ years). However, employment is not a requirement, but a valid state home study is (financial disclosure is included in h.s). I have also completed 7 favorable state home studies (2 full & 5 updates) & I have had 2 in-depth physiological evaluations (Russian IA requirements). I know the process well, & willingly complied with all requirements. Can the USCIS approval (non-Hague I600A/I-600 & Hague I-800A/I-800) process be improved, absolutely! Can the process of state approved home study be improved, yes! Can the entire adoption immigration process be improved & does it need to be improved, Amen! I am a staunch supporter of "change". However, the current process is what I had & have to work with & I have done so ethically & with full disclosure (many, many times).

I have met both sets of b.parents . . . the "fake" b.father (2009, 1st guardianship order hearings) & the authentic b.parents that gave birth to Marina (2011, 2nd guardianship order hearings). Yes, independent DNA sample collection was done through the US embassy in 2011 . . . the DNA samples were sent to a US laboratory by the USE for testing to ensure accuracy. The identity of Marina is known with 99.998% accuracy (the highest any lab will report). ). Without question, Marina's identity is known. That doesn't, however, make for b. family reunification . . .

I care very much, so much that I initially supported b.family reunification in 2010. Ethical review & legal proceedings were my 1st priority in Maria's Pakistani legal case for the 2nd guardianship order (2011). The Latitude News article's statement ". . . it’s not clear if they gave her up legally.", is very misrepresented & biased towards the USE/DOS. The b.parents have detailed the "why" in personal testimony before P.court (2010-2011 2nd guardianship order hearings), documented in legal, notarized & attested affidavits, to the Pakistani courts (testimonies/affidavits were extensively reviewed throughout 18 Pakistani court hearings by 4 different judges over a period of 5 months Dec 2010-Apr 2011 by multiple levels of court, Civil, District & High Court) & was also included in the USCIS I-600 orphan status application dossier. Nowhere in the b.parents testimonies or affidavits do they claim coercion, deception or kidnapping.

Per Pakistani child welfare law (Guardian & Wards Act of 1890), parental rights are terminated at the time of guardianship per a judge's custody order & this was upheld by the Pakistani High Court. Legal, appropriate termination of parental rights is something the USE/Islmbd I-604 investigation adjudicator overlooked & would not acknowledge, by-passing USE internal guidelines for adoption investigations. This "overlook" was also upheld by the S.E. USCIS office of Jurisdiction in New Delhi, India through my appeal.

"Field Manual of USE, "9 FAM 42.21, (“the FAM”), provides the following guidance for the review of orphan petitions: adjudicators should rely on competent local authorities to make responsible decisions about the facts surrounding child custody and final adoptions, not second-guessing whether such authorities are correctly implementing their own laws or regulations."

4 Pakistani judges & 18 court hearings . . . yes, there was "competent authority".

Marina does not have a visa, of any kind . . . she was approved for a Humanitarian Parole by USCIS for medical needs. She is a parolee to the US & has a parole stamp in her Pakistani passport for a temporary residence of 2 years (2012-2014) while she undergoes medical evaluation & treatment. I am in the process of formally adopting Marina under US adoption law . . . Regardless of where I live with my children, US or Pakistan, I am a US citizen & Marina’s permanent legal guardian; therefore, I have a right to petition for a US adoption legalizing our parent/child relationship. However . . . a legal adoption alone will not grant Marina permanent US immigration & residence. US immigration is an entirely separate issue & will need to be applied for after the US adoption. And, yes, USCIS knew my adoption intentions when I applied for the HP on behalf of my daughter.

It has been my experience that a person gains knowledge when the need arises . . . When I adopted my son in 2004, I did "due diligence", but honestly didn't know the details of what I would now recommend that a PAP of IA knows today (& I tell newbie PAP's that all the time). My litmus test is "Can you name the conditions in the 204.3 USCIS guidelines that classify orphan status & give the definitions of each?" Over the last 3 years, my need to thoroughly understand inter-country adoption & immigration law hit me square in the face! So, I dug in & researched immigration law & inter-country adoption law, along with a team of experts, to make the best possible life plan for Marina (including b.family reunification). That Marina has become my precious daughter is a gift of the outcome, but certainly, in no way was the only option . . . just the best option after she became a ward of the Pakistani courts.

If you research human trafficking, there are many reasons a particular adoption case could be classified as "child trafficking", kidnapping a child being 1 of many reasons. Marina was not "kidnapped", as you claim. We know that to be a true fact from b.parents' testimony. Once again, so many assumptions . . .

I understand you may not have the legal knowledge of all these particular inter-country immigration facts, laws & guidelines, so I believe I have an obligation to help educate when comments seem to show the lack of IA knowledge. I'm not an attorney, so if I have written anything in error & and a legal expert can correct my oversight, absolutely . . . please do so.

Also, I am highly protective of my children, for those of you who wish to discuss our case based on the facts, I'm more than willing . . . however, I will not respond again to the "low blow" judgmental accusations of my "less than" parenting ability nor the use of my children to push me to "Mama Bear" rage.

Nancy - Thank you for your

Nancy - Thank you for your thoughtful response - though I still disagree with much of what you say.

Firstly, with your comparing choosing to move halfway across the world WITHOUT your son to military service. You wanted a kid - that in no way, shape or form compares to the valiant men and women who risk their lives to defend our country's freedom and all to often lose their lives for it.

Secondly, you CHOSE to continue the adoption of a kid who wasn't legally available for adoption -- your now-daughter. At an absolute bare minimum an ethical, non-relative international adoption involves the complete separation of those who benefit from an adoption (PAPs) from those who decide who is eligible FOR adoption.

What's the point of a medical, non-immigration visa if one can use it to adopt a child? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of said visa?? The purpose being to allow a person into this country for treatment but require them to return afterwards.

Last but by no means least, it is so very interesting that you had YOUR international adoption ethics epiphany AFTER 1) abandoning/lovingly leaving stateside while you lived on another continent while 2) pursuing the adoption you knew in 2009 was trafficked. You did everything you could -- including so so so unethically pursuing a TRAFFICKED kid -- to get the girl who is now your daughter home but tell PAPs not to do that cuz you now know better. Did you listen when sane people told you to give up in the trafficked girl?? Of course not!! Absolutely nothing - including LAWS!! - would have stopped you from adopting Maria. You wouldn't have listened to yourself 2 yrs ago on adoption ethics!! Why would you think anybody else would?!?

Again, thank you for the opportunity to educate ...

Carlee, I appreciate your good questions/comments. I'll take your comments in order ...

1st point verbatim – “Firstly, with your comparing choosing to move halfway across the world WITHOUT your son to military service. You wanted a kid - that in no way, shape or form compares to the valiant men and women who risk their lives to defend our country's freedom and all to often lose their lives for it.”

When I traveled to Pakistan, I did not know I would be moving half way around the world (it was to be a 4 -6 week trip) ... I simply had to abide with the situation’s results as they came to me. Had I moved my son half way around the world to Pakistan (of all countries), I probably would have been accused of putting my son in harm’s way with security-risks in an anti-American country (how could a loving parent do that!). Whatever decisions I chose for my son, I would have been criticized ... we can agree to disagree on this point.

No valiant soldier/civil servant overseas gets additional commendations for "good" parenting OR court marshaled for "bad" parenting . . . And, the chest-puffed "that in no way shape of form compares to the valiant men and women who risk their lives to defend our country's freedom and all to often lose their lives for it" service comment is not part of the parenting issue we are discussing (although like you, I also honor those that defend the US, it’s just not relevant to our long-distance parenting discussion here). I don't buy your argument . . . as Niels would say you are using "semantics" ... A civil servant/military family was the comparable example that popped into my head at the time (probably because I have experienced civil servants (who are also parents) at the USE lament about the difficulties of parenting from afar … which I empathized with), but I could have easily used many other examples of long-distance parenting ... However, you are correct …The parent does have a “choice” & last I knew the US draft is not mandatory, military personnel make choices to join the military with known service risks & requirements. Their choice of parenting from afar is very comparable to any other parent’s choice of parenting from afar, with the best interests of family at heart. Again, I think on this point, we will just have to agree to be disagreeable.

It is also very difficult to make the decisions with needs of 2 children, 1 parent . . . Whose needs are the most critical? Had I “turned” my back on Marina . . . I probably would be criticized for the insensitivity to the child’s plight, only “wanting a child” as you claim my motives are . . . & any child “would do”. This is not what my motives were. The “wanting a child” became a very dim motive in comparison to the more serious plight of Marina’s case. The potential re-abuse & re-trafficking of Marina was very obvious . . . my motive was to insure this child was never..exploited..again! (NO, not on my watch! Regardless if I became the guardian or not,) . . . So, which is the more ethical motive? You see, my motives are not far from the motives of PPL . . . stopping the exploitation of 1 child or hundreds of children!

I read another post on PPL . . . http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/28740 which I can certainly relate to in so many ways since I feel many of the motives for the Hemsley(s) are the same motives as my own. Even in the post it is reported that Tom & Jennifer Hemsley “have not given up hope” & traveled to visit the little girl several times, even standing as an advocate for her living condition & medical needs, hoping to finalize the adoption in the future (2008-any current update?). However, this is where my motives deviate, In early 2010 I “had” given up my motive of adoption & was only focused on the best interests of Marina, yet somehow, Jennifer Hemsley comes off looking like a saint & I’m a sinner . . .? I left Marina in Oct 2009, a 3.5 month old healthy baby girl . . . never expecting to see her again. When I saw Marina again in Jan 2011, 19 months old, I was taken to my knees with the medical/living conditions & Marina’s physical health.

So, either way, with both my children . . . we will just have to agree to be disagreeable on my ethical motives. After having lived through this corrupt case with adoption ethics as my beacon, I assure you, I don’t lose any sleep at night over your assumptions of my presumed ethical motives …

2nd point verbatim – “you CHOSE to continue the adoption of a kid who wasn't legally available for adoption -- your now-daughter. At an absolute bare minimum an ethical, non-relative international adoption involves the complete separation of those who benefit from an adoption (PAPs) from those who decide who is eligible FOR adoption.”

Pakistan DOES have a system for intercountry adoption (see the DOS website) & Marina WAS legally available for guardianship/adoption (2nd guardianship 2011). She did theoretically meet the orphan criteria of USCIS guidelines (6 different US immigration/IA attorneys reviewed her case facts & it was unanimous she met orphan guidelines). She was a ward of the Pakistani courts, living in an established orphanage, parental relinquishment was verified & custody was determined by “competent authority”/Pakistani judges (4 judges, to be exact). Yes, INA 101(b) & section 204.3 guidelines were theoretically met by both PAP & child. Had the USCIS guidelines seemingly NOT been met, I never would have processed for a 2nd attempt for guardianship in 2011.

You are correct, Marina was (emphasis on the “was”) a trafficked child . . . in 2009! . . . can she not move past that “label” & find a loving family to grow up in? Does she have to grow up in a “less than” environment & carry the "trafficked" sentence just to prove the PPL “trafficked” point! Even in the case of trafficked children, time marches on for them . . . should they never be allowed the same adoption eligibility as other orphans? . . .

There are many, many I-600 applications that are denied, appealed/denied & appealed again & finally approved or denied. Ours is not an unusual case of I-600 NOID/denial (it happens all the time in IA). An I-600 denial DOES NOT mean the child cannot or should not classify as an orphan (per USCIS guidelines) with additional RFE (request for evidence). It just means that USCIS must be satisfied with the evidence submitted (& with some adjudicators playing “god”, there are subjective/opinionated agendas of the case, which no amount of RFE truth/evidence can seem to overturn) . . .

Had the Humanitarian Parole been denied, we would have still moved forward with the I-600/I-290B appeal through the USCIS AAO in W, D.C. & other legal options still available to Marina. The “long shot” HP approval came 1st & my priority concern was for my daughter’s health, so I brought her immediately to the US under the HP.

Your 2nd comment about separation between the PAP benefits of IA & approval for adoption or orphan approval (my interpretation of what you are trying to say) is in its very generic IA sense, accurate & I understand what you are trying to say here (however, the legalese is inaccurate). The USCIS guideline is … there must be absolute proof that “orphan status of the child” occurred first, prior to PAP involvement or “referral” by the 3rd party child placing agency/IA agency (this evidence is what usually establishes I-600 “orphan status”). In our case, there was ABSOLUTELY total separation between PAP & relinquishment of the child. Many forget that I initially went through a US international adoption agency, Lighthouse Adoptions, Ann Arbor, MI (FYI there are 2 agencies with this name, so I include the city/state) where I received the “referral” of Marina in 2009. Bottom line, b.parents affidavits, notartized/attested, verify that the child was relinquished PRIOR to the referral to the PAP … Me (which is the USCIS guideline). I accepted an orphan referral from my US international adoption agency & DID NOT contact the b.family for the relinquishment of their child! (Side Note: Amazing to me that no one on this thread has even mentioned the US IA agency, Lighthouse Adoptions & the “less than transparent” partnership they established with GAS … Hmmmm?)

However, in the more specific sending country for non-Hague requirements . . . Your lack of understanding of the legal process for a non-Hague country is apparent. In your 2nd comment you mention “eligibility for adoption” . . . You are correct, there is a requirement & the USCIS I-600 orphan status approval governs this eligibility of approval. One of the document requirements of I-600 approval is the legal custody documentation for the child through a valid sending country court of law granting adoption or legal guardianship (Pak only allows guardianship). The a.family can take physical custody of the child after the legal court documents are signed/notarized/attested. And, of course, most a.parents do go get their child from the placement agency/orphanage if they are overseas for court & then continue on with the process by filing the I-600 at the USE/Islmbd, with the child in their arms. The I-600 can be filed from the US, but the PAP is required to be physically present in the Pakistani in-country court hearing process . . . & then they just stay for USCIS I-600 filing at the USE/Islmbd (also a filing option). There have been cases where, after the Pakistani court hearing for guardianship, a.families have returned to the US & left their child in the Pakistani orphanage/placing agency (usually there are some issues with the I-600 process & there are delays). . . But, for the sending country of Pakistan, once guardianship is granted, the responsibility for the child is now the a.parents, not the placing agency. Since the I-600 process approval always begins AFTER guardianship is granted & in almost all Pakistani cases, custody & child placement have already occurred . . . it is unreasonable & in most cases impossible, to have separation PRIOR to USCIS I-600 processing (aka “eligibility for adoption” you mention in your 2nd comment) .

And … therein lies the gaping hole (my soap box for reform) . . . when I-600 orphan status (eligibility for adoption, in your words) is denied . . . a.parents have the child in arms . . . they simply are now in the most difficult position & cannot move forward to immigration & cannot move backward to the orphanage/placing agency (for many families it has been months since placement of the child & placing the child back in institutional care is not in the child’s “best interests” & the placing agency/orphanage many not allow it without relinquishment of a.parent legal guardianship rights) . . . the a.parent(s) are “stuck in-country” with the legal responsibility of a child they cannot bring to the US & short of another court hearing, cannot give the child back to the orphanage/placing agency for a temporary amount of time. Oh, my, YES . . . reform is needed! The USCIS needs to mandate a partial “move up” in the process for the I-604 investigation before the court hearing, before an a.family has the legal responsibility of the child. This would be similar to the Hague process, but still have the non-Hague requirements of orphan status approval. I advocate for this non-Hague type of change . . .

3rd point verbatim – “What's the point of a medical, non-immigration visa if one can use it to adopt a child? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of said visa?? The purpose being to allow a person into this country for treatment but require them to return afterwards.”

Good question. First, let me again correct some legal language. Marina does NOT have a medical, non-immigrant visa as you assume . . . she has a “Humanitarian Parole” (this is not a visa in any way, shape or form). Marina has a temporary humanitarian parolee approval to reside in the US for 2 years . . . I want to correct that assumption because I don’t want anyone to google a non-immigrant medical visa (yes, there is such a visa) & assume the B2 non-immigrant medical visa guidelines apply in Marina’s case. But, once again, I do understand what you are trying to say . . . Why would a temporary, immediate entry ”approval” be granted when there is evidence of a permanent immigrant application? (I hope I have interpreted your intent correctly). This seems an obvious coercion of immigration law & doesn’t make sense, correct? The obvious unethical motivation is to have entry into the US & then permanently stay (since permanent immigration is obviously the objective), right? A gaping loophole that unethical PAP’s could potentially use? So, let me explain … In Marina’s case, this HP was NOT a process for adoption (even though USCIS knew my obvious adoption intentions). This was an ad hoc case of “best interests of the child” for medical purposes. These cases of HP by an a.parent are so extremely rare they couldn’t possibly be a “process” for adoption. Another important point, the medical issues of the applicant MUST be supported with evidence that the medical treatment is not adequately available within the birth country. An HP is a very, very difficult, (yes, Niels, ;) almost impossible) approval to receive. I was told by the USE/Islmbd that Marina’s HP is the 1st HP between the US & Pakistan (& I cannot find any record of any other prior HP between US/Pak). Also, the HP does not, in any way, guarantee US adoption or permanent US immigration . . . these are completely separate issues & processes.

4th point – your “last but by no means least” comment

I read your words about my ethical epiphany, however, I’m not sure it even makes sense . . . because the LAWFUL process was what I used & spent 16+ months researching. I wanted to “know that I know” what went wrong & possibly help in valuing a “throw away” child. . . No ethical epiphany moment, I assure you . . . just hours & hours of research. No IA agency to collect the “unnecessary” fees & blur the transparency lines . . . just “roll-up the sleeves” research & legal discussions with immigration attorneys with credentials who KNOW what they are doing! That is what I tell PAP(s), “know that you know” you have a complete/transparent picture of what is going on within your agency. . . The industry of intercountry adoption is “veiled” & “shrouded”; not completely federally regulated, yet it involves complex & global intercountry laws. But PAP’s are told “don’t worry about the details” by their agencies. So, why are IA agency directors not required to have certification for this type of practice? doctors, dentists, attorneys, accountants, financial advisers, etc do . . .! There is no other unregulated industry that can create as much heartache & trauma for an innocent family . . . like Adoption. Unethical, unregulated, top-level agency decisions stab at the very heart of an innocent family & takes huge advantage of the procreation instinct of human nature! The PAP’s knowledge should NOT have to supersede the agency’s knowledge . . . But, in today’s adoption world, it does! And . . . should you still choose to go down the IA path . . . I support you, in so many ways! If I had to do it all again, I would certainly make many changes (hindsight is always a rosy 20/20 vision), but I would still choose intercountry adoption to create my family! That is what I share with others.

As far as why someone should “believe me” . . . as I have said before, I think one acquires knowledge on a “as needed” basis as their need dictates . . . And, well, lol, I guess it is kind of like a cancer survivor . . . the personal experience of BTDT & these are my “lessons learned” carry great weight with someone who is now starting out, facing a similar critical situation. If you have walked where I have walked & fought for the abused & exploited life of a child, like I have . . . you would understand why I do have "some" ethical credibility . . . However, I don’t expect everyone to “get it” . . . obviously you don’t . . .

Using HP to adopt a trafficked Pakistani child (Marina Baney)

Nancy – Thank you again, for taking the time to answer my questions. I really do appreciate the opportunity to find out a bit more about where you’re coming from. I’ll address your comments point by point too:

Item 1) “The parent does have a “choice” & last I knew the US draft is not mandatory, military personnel make choices to join the military with known service risks & requirements. Their choice of parenting from afar is very comparable to any other parent’s choice of parenting from afar, with the best interests of family at heart. Again, I think on this point, we will just have to agree to be disagreeable.”

“when I traveled to Pakistan, I did not know I would be moving half way around the world (it was to be a 4 -6 week trip) ... I simply had to abide with the situation’s results as they came to me.”

Actually, it isn’t. An active duty service member (or Foreign Service Officer) is REQUIRED to go where their employer (US Gov) tells them to. It’s a condition of employment. You CHOSE to go to Pakistan for (initially) 4-6 weeks and CHOSE to stay for nearly a year. It was your CHOICE. You weren’t required to stay there. On that we agree.

I fail to see how leaving the son you claim to love and for whose care you are SOLELY responsible on another continent (even with skype chats!!) for a YEAR is a LOVING choice. Why adopt a kid if you can’t be bothered to care for him in person for a YEAR? Clearly, you see distance parenting via skype chats as a LOVING and RESPONSIBLE choice – the equivalent of hands-on, in-person parenting, right?

It’s your right to see it that way – we live in a free country! – but, wow, abandoning a kid that’s already been abandoned once (Nick) again. Kids deserve SO MUCH better.

Item 2: “ have to grow up in a “less than” environment & carry the "trafficked" sentence just to prove the PPL “trafficked” point! Even in the case of trafficked children, time marches on for them . . . should they never be allowed the same adoption eligibility as other orphans? . . .”

Given that there is IRREFUTABLE evidence that kids – particularly young, healthy kids or young kids with minor, correctible special needs like your Marina-girl – are kidnapped and TRAFFICKED for international adoption, letting folks adopt trafficked kids reinforces HORRIBLE ILLEGAL and UNETHICAL behavior. Check out EJ Graff’s “The Lie We Love” and “Anatomy of an Adoption Crisis” – the latter details how foreigners $$ in Vietnam caused unscrupulous folks to steal healthy babies in order to reap the big buck$$ from international adopters… and how the trafficking stopped, virtually overnight, once the $$ incentive was removed (i.e. most international adoptions suspended).

Sorry, it is absolutely positive UNACCEPTABLE to me to allow unscrupulous people to traffic kids into international adoption just so folks like you can have the kiddo of your dreams. Adoption, particularly international adoption, should be an ABSOLUTE last resort for kids – but there’s no question that there are kids out there in other countries who can’t be adopted domestically, who find loving homes in the US. You chose NOT to adopt one of THOSE (typically older, special needs) kids.

“So, which is the more ethical motive? You see, my motives are not far from the motives of PPL . . . stopping the exploitation of 1 child or hundreds of children!”

A Pakistani kid was TRAFFICKED, you paid the $$$ that are the MOTIVE for criminals to traffic HUMAN BEINGS and got your kid home to the US. Forgive me for not thinking this is a good thing. You neglected your son for a year in order to do so too!!

“hen I-600 orphan status (eligibility for adoption, in your words) is denied . . . a.parents have the child in arms . . . they simply are now in the most difficult position & cannot move forward to immigration & cannot move backward to the orphanage/placing agency (for many families it has been months since placement of the child & placing the child back in institutional care is not in the child’s “best interests” & the placing agency/orphanage many not allow it without relinquishment of a.parent legal guardianship rights) . . . the a.parent(s) are “stuck in-country” with the legal responsibility of a child they cannot bring to the US & short of another court hearing, cannot give the child back to the orphanage/placing agency for a temporary amount of time. Oh, my, YES . . . reform is needed! “

Here’s where we disagree again – a PAP is in a developing country, where the legal system is iffy AND a tiny bit of cold hard US $$ (that is a FORTUNE to folks in a place where per capita income is like, US$800 per year) will get you forged paperwork saying anything they want… should be allowed to adopt that kid? Really?? Even if it is well-known that lots and lots of these kids are probably trafficked and their bioparents were quite likely coerced to give them up (or not informed of the consequences of their actions) or even kidnapped?? The USE should just issue visas for kids who have been trafficked???

This happened in Guatemala, Cambodia, Vietnam and Nepal. It’s why adoptions get shut down. It is wrong and evil and horrible. It is ongoing. The USE is responsible for issuing immigrations to visas who meet the criteria form them – that is their JOB. It is not the USE’s responsibility to make a foreign country have a court hearing for a particular child – Pakistan (and other countries) are sovereign nations! They can’t have a foreign hearing even if they WANTED to!!!

There’s also the little matter that it is not exactly unheard of for PAPs to know or suspect something is iffy with their referral’s paperwork and look the other way because they so desperately want a child. Heck, even if there’s irrefutable evidence (Karen Abigail/Anyeli of Guatemala case, for example) that the kid’s been trafficked AND her biomom wants her back. The USE should issue immigration visas for STOLEN KIDS??

Item 3: Humanitarian Parole.

USCIS has this to say about HP:

“You cannot use parole to avoid normal visa-issuing procedures or to bypass immigration procedures. As noted above, there must be an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit for the parole to be granted”

Marina is a trafficked child, you weren’t able to get an immigration visa for her (as is customary in international adoptions) so you got her HP. And now you’re trying to adopt her via HP.

How, exactly, is this not a “bypass [of] humanitarian procedures?!?

How HP obtained?

How the hell is the AP going to get her adoptive daughter to stay legally in the US, if she came with an HP? And not really needing it?

I know kids who had heart problems and serious medical conditions, real ones and the DOS/USCIS would not provide a Visa.

There are many people in other countries whose lives are at risk fighting for justice and freedom in repressed regimes and they have been denied a Humanitarian Parole by the US DOS/USCIS.

Who the freak did Nancy Baney know? How was it done?

Clarification

Hi All- I am trying to follow this thread and the legalities, this story of this family does pull my heart strings at the same time.

My question is for Nancy B, the Adoptive Mother.

Were you the Legal Gaurdian at the time of the Humanitarian Parole request?

Please clarify. Thank you and I wish you all the best.

Clarification . . .

Yes, I was the legal guardian at the time of HP application.

Yes, my daughter was

Yes, my daughter was approved based on medical needs . . . Yes, an HP is extremely difficult without a documented medical need . . .

My daughter's HP approval is for 2 years . . . If her immigration is not resolved by the time of her parole exit . . . I will 100% comply with moving my family to an another country.

The health issues for my daughter were documented per USCIS HP requirements both in Pakistan & in the US by MRI & CT scans, pediatric neurologists & in-country pediatric treatment availability.

I hope that answers your questions . . .

H

Nancy Baney's public blog says she was Marina's legal guardian when she brought the girl to the US -- and is indeed planning to adopt her. Despite the fact HP cannot be used to circumvent immigration laws:

"I’m still very busy with legal issues for Gracy’s adoption case. Gracy is here in the US on a Humanitarian Parole, a temporary approval to reside in the US for 2 years. During that time, many steps of US approval are required for Gracy to live in the US permanently as my daughter (I currently have permanent legal guardianship). As of now, we are only about 50% complete and I’m currently working on the US adoption (hopefully an adoption hearing in March). Nothing in Gracy’s case has been easy and the US adoption is no exception . . . but I’m an “old hand” at working through the complex/challenging details and consider it “all Joy” (nothing surprises me anymore!). Once we have a legal parent/child relationship through a US adoption decree, Gracy can move forward through the permanent US immigration process and then US citizenship. I ask you to please keep us in your prayers as we continue forward with Gracy’s case. Please pray for softened hearts . . . for a little girl’s best interests."

http://nrbfamily.blogspot.com/2013/01/year-end-2012.html

Again, HP education needed . . . (Marina Baney)

Carlee, your comment . . . “Nancy Baney's public blog says . . . [NRB] is indeed planning to adopt her [Marina]. Despite the fact HP cannot be used to circumvent immigration laws.”

Thank you for bringing up the “circumvention of US law” point again, because obviously there needs to be clarity . . . & again education . . .
There is nothing on my blog that "catches" me, like you want to prove to the world . . . Nothing! And, there is nothing that you have read in cyber-land that I haven't already read, re-read & re-read again . . . & then continued on with further in-depth research, thoroughly involving highly competent legal immigration understanding & also, the highest levels of USCIS.

Obviously my previous posts have not made this point clear so, I’ll try to explain by taking a different education path . . . let’s take our US legal court system as the example . . . a “decision” needs to be made by a court of law. The lower court’s verdict is “against” one side, let’s say the defendant. What options does the defendant have? . . . an appeal process, right? So, the case is appealed to a higher level of the same legal court system . . . and the higher court’s decision is “for” the defendant, maybe based on additional evidence, let’s say DNA testing . . . Would you say that the favorable decision was circumventing US law? Probably not, since the proper chain of command & legal process was used. Let’s say the defendant appealed several times (up to state or federal Supreme Court), until all legal options were exhausted & the Supreme Court judge eventually ruled “for” based on new evidence. Is this circumvention? . . . again no, appropriate legal system & process was used. And, let’s even say that the Supreme Court judge(s) ruled against a well-known legal point of view because of the evidence of the case (setting new case law precedent) . . . Would anyone say the Supreme Court’s decision was circumventing US law? I highly doubt it, since courts of law & judges are highly competent authorities, well versed & educated to interpret US law (or at least should be able to, lol!) Now, lay-persons may have their opinions on the Appellate/Supreme Court decision, & may not agree with it, but I highly doubt they would claim “circumvention” by the defendant. The defendant used his/her rights to a legal system & process of US law & the outcome was based on the judge(s) decisions, weighing all the facts/evidence of the case . . . that is the best we can hope for in our US legal system, our “day in court”, so to speak.

Let’s apply this example to Marina’s case. Let’s assume the “decision to be made/charge” is orphan status approval through the “court of law” or USCIS. Marina received an “against” verdict/decision by USE/DOS/Islmbd (acting as sub-contractors for USCIS or “lower court”) for I-600 orphan status. That “against” decision was appealed to a higher level of “court”/USCIS, New Delhi, India (USCIS jurisdiction for Southeast Asia), again an “against” decision was received . . . & appealed again, to another higher level of USCIS, Washinton, D.C. AAO (Administration Appeals Office). In the process of this “appeal process”, another piece of evidence became apparent, medical health issues . . . So, under the SAME legal system/USCIS, the additional evidence was submitted through a Humanitarian Parole, for immediate medical treatment in the US. Now, USCIS has 2 decisions to make – 1. Orphan status 2. Medical treatment. At the high level of USCIS, there are no "dummies", USCIS knew there was adoption intentions because there was an I-600 filed & the Pakistani g.order contained language of intentions of "immigration and adoption", so USCIS knew there had to be a review of orphan eligibility as well. USCIS took ALL the evidence (both orphan status & medical treatment) & made a decision. This “Supreme Court” USCIS hearing in Washington, D.C. included all appeals, all evidence & even challenged some well-known existing laws . . . the USCIS decision was favorable. A Humanitarian Parole was approved AND within this favorable decision was a full review of all adoption related intentions & orphan status eligibility. So, there was no “circumvention” of US Law . . . because all intentions were known, documented & all RFE (request for evidence) was submitted to the highest level of USCIS, Washington, D.C. And, just like a court of law judge, USCIS (the highest level of USCIS) made the decision based on interpretation of US immigration law & the intentions of both the applicant, Marina (in the case of a minor, there can be no "intent" so the petitioner for the applicant is also reviewed) & petitioner, Me.

In the end, USCIS ruled FOR the HP/medical treatment for 2 years in the US, with full knowledge & approval that the intentions of the adoption process would also continue, while in the US.

Now, you may not like it, may not agree with it . . . but it is in NO way . . . circumvention of US law!

As I have mentioned several times, USCIS is only a part of the process. There are “2 shaking hands, left & right”, so to speak . . . 1. USCIS (must approve eligibility of the applicant & MUST come before #2) & 2. DOS (issuance of the actual permanent visa or green card). These are 2 separately governed agencies under Homeland Security that “double check” each other. What USCIS has given us is the USCIS side or the “left hand” handshake to the DOS. Under the DOS we still have to go through the DOS process for permanent residency.

Also, so you understand, USCIS doesn’t make these types of decisions lightly & without some kind of “double check” involved & when it gets to this level, it is a case-by-case basis . . . To even be considered for an HP, an applicant MUST have exhausted all appropriate DOS visas that are available to the applicant . . . which Marina had indeed exhausted (again, an HP is NOT a visa).

Whew, I feel at this point . . . I need to make this Disclaimer . . . I am NOT an attorney. This is my personal experience as a lay-person of the process.

I hope this helps in understanding the legal-ness & lawful-ness of Marina’s HP case . . .

Lawful Responsibilities, Reducing Risks, on all fronts . . .

Carlee, I would like to think, in the end, we are for the same outcome, reformed child welfare to insure the health & safety of children . . . maybe how we got to where we are might be a little different, but I do think we agree on the intolerable corruption that is currently in place.

A trafficked child's identity (authentic identity) can be "cleaned up", so to say . . . this actually is very much in the best interests of a trafficked child. The child deserves to have his/her authentic identity known & identified . . . Once the child's identity is known & the child trafficking is in the past, why should the child not be eligible for adoption? Child trafficking remediation doesn't always end in b.family reunification. I don't get why you are so against trafficked children having a family to love them . . . (of course, domestic custody should be sought out 1st, but if that fails & there is a approved, willing IA family, what is the harm in placing this child)?

Your comment verbatim - "It is not the USE’s responsibility to make a foreign country have a court hearing for a particular child – Pakistan (and other countries) are sovereign nations! They can’t have a foreign hearing even if they WANTED to!!!"

Carlee, you've misunderstood my reform suggestion. I'm not asking the USCIS to have a "Pakistani court hearing". I'm simply asking the USCIS to take a look at their non-Hague process & rearrange the "point in time" of some of the required processes, namely the identity investigation/interview (called the I-604 investigation) of the child's placement. I'm not asking for the in-country court hearing process to be changed, not asking for the country laws to be changed & I'm not asking for the USCIS to hold an in-country court hearing. The Hague process does insure/validate the identity documents of the child PRIOR to the adoption finalization (that is what Hague does) & USCIS is definitely a part of this legal orphan approval for a "specific" child. All I'm asking USCIS to do is to mandate the non-Hague investigation of identity documents of the child BEFORE the in-country court hearing . . . it's not asking for a new process to be created (I-604 is a current process), just the timing of an already existing one . . . Would it not be a good thing to know if there are any irregularities in the documents that would create an immigration denial, prior to walking into the courtroom? Let's eliminate as much "risk" as possible to insure the success of the adoption . . . is that not the best interests of both family & child?

Cleaned up Trafficked Kids Identity

Did anyone else fall off their chair when they read NRB's comment?

"A trafficked child's identity (authentic identity) can be "cleaned up", so to say . . . this actually is very much in the best interests of a trafficked child. The child deserves to have his/her authentic identity known & identified . . . Once the child's identity is known & the child trafficking is in the past, why should the child not be eligible for adoption? "

Has the world turned upside down? Tell that to the mothers searching for their kidnapped children who were sold into ICA:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/06/guatemala-mother-searched_1_n_9...

My point in authentic documentation . . .

My point of "cleaning-up" documentation is for the "mothers searching for their kidnapped children who were sold into ICA". With DNA testing to authenticate, hopefully these heart-broken mothers CAN find their children!

I don't claim I have all the answers, but wouldn't this be a start? Why doesn't every IA adoption require DNA testing with the authentication of a US DNA lab.

It is a start, at least . . .

DNA testing

"Why doesn't every IA adoption require DNA testing with the authentication of a US DNA lab."

I had to laugh when I read this. Have you read up on this lately?

Some sending countries did use US labs, but there were not reliable and the the chain of command was broken.
Corruption also contributed to false results. That is why some countries rely now on University labs, that are removed from the profit of ICA. There is a lab set up in Europe to match kidnapped children with searching mothers.

Nancy, you're OK with adopting a TRAFFICKED kid?!?

Hello again Nancy,

I really do appreciate the opportunity to discuss these important issues with you.

I'm really, really, really hoping that when you wrote that " Once the child's identity is known & the child trafficking is in the past, why should the child not be eligible for adoption? Child trafficking remediation doesn't always end in b.family reunification. I don't get why you are so against trafficked children having a family to love them" you didn't mean to suggest that it is acceptable to adopt a trafficked kid.

The kid has a right to know where they came from; the bioparents have a right to know what happened to their kid. There are zero circumstances in which it is acceptable to simply say "doesn't matter where the kid came from, let somebody else have 'em because it is better that way".

If someone snuck into your house in the middle of the night and stole Marina, would you be okay with that? If someone stole her, trafficked her and a lovely (utterly clueless and unknowing), say, Irish family adopted her and you found her 5 yrs later, you'd be oaky with this? Because your girl ended up in a good place *despite* being trafficked?? Of course not! That's ridiculous! You love your kid and want your kid back!! Can you please explain to me why you think a, say, impoverished Pakiatani family wouldn't feel the same way about their beloved child?!??

It is not okay to traffic humans. It is not okay to adopt trafficked humans -- particularly when the $30-50k you likely spent to adopt that particular trafficked human TELLS unscrupulous criminal traffickers that there's LOTS of money involved in trafficking in humans!!!!

No saying . . . It is OK . . .

Carlee, I'm not saying it is OK to adopt trafficked children when the b.family is still searching . . . I'm saying if the children are a ward of the courts & b.family reunification is not possible . . . then & only then, should there be a move forward to placing the child.

It isn't OK for a b.parent to be searching for 5 years . . . & if the child is found, the child DOES need to be reunited with the un-relinquishing b.parent. I'm not saying this shouldn't happen. You make me out to be heartless. I think it is intolerable what some US international adoption agencies have done in the past & continue to do to look the other way/"insure" a child has orphan status (yes, something the IA agencies SHOULD be held liable for & regulated).

In the specific case of Marina . . . b.family reunification was attempted over & over . . . didn't happen. So, Marina should be left in an orphanage with the sentence of "trafficked" attached to her? As starvation slowly takes her to a point of not even the energy to brush away the flies? Ridiculous! Her b.family did not attempt to search for her because they knew EXACTLY where she was. End..of..POINT!

And, I TOTALLY agree with everyone's point on the $$$ end . . . on the 2nd guardianship process I refused to use an IA agency!!!!! I found out myself EXACTLY how much all fees were in-country (something MOST IA agencies will not disclose . . . no Transparency . . . Shame on them!!!) The "costs" of in-country legal expenses are a "drop in the bucket" to what IA agencies say are necessary . . . There should be federally mandated usury laws placed on the costs associated with each country's adoption program!

Oopps, title typo . . . No"t" Saying . . . It Is OK

Typo in the title . . . It should read "Not Saying . . . It Is OK".

And, I might also add . . .

" Let's eliminate as much "risk" as possible to insure the success of the adoption . . . is that not the best interests of both family & child?"

And, I would also like to include . . . Let's insure there aren't b.parents searching for their child . . . BEFORE the legalities of guardianship or adoption are involved.

I AM 100% convinced that MOST a.parents do not want to adopt or be granted guardianship of child(ren) that have b.parent(s) searching for them or who haven't legally relinquished their child . . . This happens in the US as well . . . who should "get" the child . . . I will ALWAYS defer to the "b.family has 1st rights!" point of view.

Adoptability

"Let's insure there aren't b.parents searching for their child . . . BEFORE the legalities of guardianship or adoption are involved."

That IS what many sending countries decided to do, but that was met with resistance and hysterical reactions from many hopeful US PAPs, who embarked on letter writing campaigns and media coverage. Basically because it meant that no newborns or babies would be available.

Just recently, Columbia put a moratorium on ICA, due to the wait time for adopting a child under the age of 6 . Many children older than 7, sibling groups and those with special needs are available, but not being adopted. Similar to China that has Special Needs adoption on the rise.

With that said, very few parents are prepared to deal with the issues that relinquishment/orphanage care/adoption creates in a child, add abuse and neglect and less than very few are prepared either emotionally or financially to deal with a child with psychological/developmental delay needs. The toll it takes on the family is unimaginable, as is the toll it takes on the child. The stress of assimilation/fitting in/racism, just complicates existing issues that a child already has. Add to this that the schools are not adequately prepared to deal with the effects that trauma has on learning.

Don't rely on any agency to assist after the child arrives. Just don't. That is why adoption disruption is on the rise as well. Alot of these children should not have been placed for adoption in the first place, but instead HIGH QUALITY care in their home-country would have been a more humane alternative. It is the responsibility of a country to care for its own citizens, including its children.

Keep in mind, there are ALOT of children in sending countries living in orphanages. Many of the them are not adoptable and MANY orphanages are not involved in ICA.

The ones involved in ICA where set up by adoption agencies/attorney.
Who profited? Certainly not the child.

Global Adoption (GAS)

Hi Nancy

(Side Note: Amazing to me that no one on this thread has even mentioned the US IA agency, Lighthouse Adoptions & the “less than transparent” partnership they established with GAS … Hmmmm?)

I wanted to point out that we do have trafficking case established for Pakistan/lighthouse 

http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/44318

You may have been around here long enough to have figured the PPL system out, in case you (or a reader) hasn't. if you go to any of our 'case' articles, rather than to a "case" there will be one or more named people or organizations at the top. That name links together all the other cases and articles with that person involved.

If you have more information for this case, we'd be happy to post it.

You can browse through other cases here http://poundpuplegacy.org/child_trafficking_cases

Corrupt In Country Facilitators

Good point about the Lighthouse Adoption Agency. One cannot ignore adoption agencies connection to corrupt in-country facilitators/organizations. Worth reading: http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/51639

PPL links between IA agencies & corrupt in-country processes

Thank you, Silent1. I have read through many PPL "links" between the corrupt Pakistani facilitators & the US IA agencies that were a part of it, which I am thankful for.

I do have information on additional IA agencies involved but I'm not sure how to submit or to whom or what kind of evidence is required . . . please advise.

additional information

We are certainly interested in information about other adoption agencies involved. We only include information in our database when there is proper evidence (court documents, news paper articles, statements on agency websites etc.)

If you post links to sources in a comment, then we will make sure it gets added to the database.

and....

If you don't want to post in comments, you could create a login (left side) and send info via pm to Niels or I. Niels is better as he is here more consistently, but whatever you feel most comfortable with.

Thank You

Thank You.

Nancy Baney is adopting a trafficked kid!

My precious Sweet Pea's US Adoption Hearing is FINALLY scheduled ... next week, Friday, September 27, 2013 ... I am jumping for JOY!

Amazingly, everything in her case seems to happen in "16 month" intervals ... we were separated for 16 months (2009-2011) when she was taken from me (1st guardianship) & then I saw her again (2nd guardianship), I lived in Pakistan with her for 16 months before she was approved to enter the US on a Humanitarian Parole & now it has been 16 months since we are here in the US waiting for her US adoption. I'm just praying it won't take 16 months for her permanent immigration/green card ... But, LOL ... I have "weathered" it all & it that is the case, so be it!

She is my precious daughter!

A heavy load . . .

A heavy load to carry, but I carry it willingly . . .

When making the decision to publically share an adoption experience like this . . . you have to determine if you are strong enough to take the criticism, backlash & dumping that will undoubtedly come from the adoption community, side-line/audience critics & lay persons . . . People read/hear a portion of the story & make all kinds of assumptions & judgments about your integrity, values & ethics. Majorly infused drama & sensational attitudes take text out of context & blow the facts completely out of proportion. It comes with the territory . . . I thought through this prior to posting, but I shake my head & brush off the blame dump of “all that is wrong with IA adoption” because I do welcome the dialog! It has to start somewhere . . . outrage is an emotion that should be felt somewhere . . . I challenge everyone to read, research & ask questions of our particular case 1st to determine “who” the outrage needs to be directed against.

nrbfamily.blogspot.com – The story from my point of view

However, I stand tall & carry the weight of this case, screaming at the top of my lungs the injustice of it all for 2 main reasons . . . It is personal for me because of 3 innocent little girls (there were 3 US families involved in the 2009 trafficking incident), 1 little girl being my Marina . . . & from a global IA point of view . . . The Children need us, the adults, to change the highly incompetent system that controls their future. Yes, there is a system, in place & there are laws, in place . . . however, the front line enforcement, on both the sending & receiving, is corrupt & pathetic!

One day...

I'd like to read your daughter's adoption story, from HER uncensored, and educated, point of view.

Warning to Blog-lovin' APs

I have been horrified reading the adoption journey blogs AND coming home accounts AND the PUBLIC complaints about the child after arrival and every minutia of detail involved in bringing and raising the adopted child posted with pictures on a blog. Coupled with grandiose AP visions of either saviorhood or saintly crusader against or for ICA, using their own adopted child as the reason for that stance.

I warn APs that the child's school friends WILL read these blogs and so will the growing adopted child themselves one day.

Be forewarned.

Not sure . . . ?

I'm not sure if this is just a generic statement or specifically directed at my blog?

Thank you for your insight.

Plural

There is an "s" after the AP...meaning plural.

Pound Pup Legacy