exposing the dark side of adoption
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Help me return to US: Jennifer Haynes writes to Krishna


As correspondence between India and the US go back and forth over the possible deportation of Kolkata-born Kairi Abha Shepherd (30), whose adoptive American mother allegedly failed to complete her citizenship formalities 30 years ago, Jennifer Haynes (30), who landed in Mumbai after deportation has urged External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to intervene in her own case and reunite her with family in the US.

While Kairi Shepherd who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis reportedly told the media that deportation to India, in her case, would be nothing short of a death sentence, Haynes, who was deported to the country in 2008, has been a steadfast survivor, making a modest living in Mumbai. “Kairi Shepherd’s mother died of cancer and she is ailing herself. Someone should show mercy. I survived but everyone may not be able to,” Haynes told Newsline.

“When I was just seven years old, I was adopted from an Indian orphanage by an American couple from Atlanta Georgia via American Aid for International Adoption. The same agency that Kairi Shepherd was adopted through,” Haynes’s letter written on Monday states.

She has narrated the trauma she went through as she changed multiple foster homes since her adoption in 1989 and was allegedly physically and sexually abused. “Never did I think that I was not an American citizen until I was arrested for a minor drug charge and sent immediately for deportation,” Haynes said. Her letter adds, “In 2008, I was separated from my husband and two children in the US and sent back to India, a country which I had forgotten and which had forgotten me.”

The ‘nobody’s child’ that Shepherd fears being had been Haynes’s destiny for three years as she tried piecing her life together in a city she remembered nothing about. However, her Indian passport that she obtained last year, gave her what she never had — a nationality.

Haynes’s case seeking action against her adoption agency is pending before the Supreme Court. However, she is uncertain if she will ever be able to return to the US. “I am trying desperately to return home to my kids Kadafi (9) and Kassana (8) who are missing me and need their mother,” Haynes pleads in her letter.

“I am sure you as External Affairs Minister can sure help me in my situation,” Haynes’s letter to Krishna says.

2012 May 29