exposing the dark side of adoption
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Jennifer Haynes meets her long-lost brother


Mayura Janwalkar

Mumbai: Jennifer Haynes, 28, who was deported to India abruptly in 2008, finally traced her roots after over a year-long search. She met her brother, Christopher, 24, who lives in Ambernath. But in the reunion there was no drama, no emotion.

“I felt nothing. Nothing hurts anymore. I only think of my kids,” Haynes said.

Haynes, a mother of two, was adopted by US national George and Melissa Hancox in 1989. Haynes, however, claims she had a rough childhood in 50 different foster homes and suffered sexual abuse. She was deported by the US immigration authorities as her citizenship formalities were not completed at the time of her adoption.

“My brother visited me in Chembur with his wife and child. He’s a tailor and they’re very poor,” said a stoic Haynes. “We do look alike. He never went to school and grew up on the streets. He still calls me Pinky,” Haynes said. Arguing before the court on Monday, her advocate Pradeep Havnur said Haynes’s mother had left her in the care of Clarice D’souza of the now defunct Kuanyin Charitable Trust for a few days and D’souza without authorisation from Haynes’s parents had given her away in a foreign adoption.

“My mother died in 2006 but my father is in an alcoholic rehabilitation center. I met my aunt who told me that he took to alcohol after I was sent abroad without his knowledge,” Haynes said.

Seeking the de-registration of the Americans for International Aid and Adoption that processed her adoption, Havnur said Haynes’s should be treated as a state guest as she does not have accommodation or a job here.

Additional solicitor general DJ Khambata said, “I wish we could have done that for millions of Indians too.”

Khambata told the court that the government was willing to help Haynes seek a US citizenship on humanitarian grounds. Justice FI Rebello and justice Amjad Sayed have directed Haynes to apply to the US authorities on humanitarian grounds in two weeks.

2010 Mar 16