Wednesday, September 21, 2011

UNICEF's callous opposition to international adoption

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - Red Thread: An Adoptive Family Forum by Andrea Poe

An American is thwarted by UNICEF as she attempts to bring her developmentally challenged daughter home.  UNICEF’s response to a desperate grandmother, looking for help in bringing her grandchild Krystina home, confirms what many have long believed -- that UNICEF does not support inter-country adoption.

This summer Eileen Bates, Krystina’s grandmother, a waitress who lives in Reading, Pennsylvania, wrote to UNICEF for help in getting her granddaughter home.  The response she received is nothing less than extraordinary in its cold, detached heartlessness.  The email exchange between Krystina’s grandmother and UNICEF follows:

Contact Us
To: webmaster
Date: Jul 16, 2011 10:35:33 AM

I can not believe you think that leaving children in orphanages is in
the best interest of the child. I am a waiting grandmother of a child in
Krygs.  I know she will have a better life here then in an institution.
She would be loved. Fed and have medical care. We have been waiting for
her for over 3 years now and that just seems fair for who?

From: webmaster <>
Sent: Mon, July 18, 2011 10:22:08 AM
Subject: orphanages

Thank you for responding. Our concern is not to keep children in
orphanages but to help keep the children in their home countries. UNICEF
supports inter-country adoption as a last resort.

Thank you for your concern.

Terry Talley
Customer Relations

To: webmaster <>
Sent: Mon, July 18, 2011 5:17:47 PM
Subject: Re: orphanages

That's fine what you say, but their own country people are too poor to help a child who needs extra medical care.  My hopefully granddaughter has cerebral palsy and she should have had help long ago.   She is going to be 5 and has had no help. She will always remember where she came from and will learn about her homeland. My daughter still corresponds with many from that country and they are good friends.  You need to think of the single child and not  as a whole group. Each child is special and deserves to have parents who love them.  It will not happen for her if she is left there she will be come a homeless person at the age 18.

“I actually felt sick to my stomach when my mom received the cookie cutter remark from UNICEF,” says Ann Bates, Krystina’s mother, who is a pediatric intensive care nurse from Reading.
Bates began her journey as an adoptive mother six years ago after attending a seminar on international adoption at her workplace.  “After much searching and soul searching I was drawn to Rainbowkids website where waiting children with medical needs are listed to try and match them with families,” she notes.
There, she discovered a short paragraph about a 16-month-old girl name Krystina, who was diagnosed with a moderate developmental delay.

Nikolas with Grandmother

As with many programs over the past few years, the processing of international adoption in Kyrgyzstan slowed.  While waiting, Bates found information on a little boy in a Russian orphanage who needed a family.  In April 2010, she landed in Moscow.  “Nikolas joined our family and became a U.S. citizen on June 29, 2010,” she says.

When Nikolas first came home, he was developmentally delayed.  He did not talk. His gait was unsteady. He is now two-and-a-half and is all signs of developmental issues have been erased.  He runs.  He jumps.  He climbs.

“Most importantly, he knows he has a family that loves him.  He is rocked to sleep every night. He wakes up to the love of his family everyday,” she relates. “Sadly, he is a reminder every day of what Krystina and the other Kyrgyzstan waiting children are missing while stick in horrible political adoption delays are experiencing.”

Bates and many other pipeline families from around the country believe that UNICEF is behind the closing of international adoption programs around the world.

According to Bates, in January 2009 UNICEF took Kyrgyz government officials to a resort in Isyk Kul for a round table on inter-country adoptions.  Amid accusations of corruption within the adoption system, UNICEF recommended Kyrgyzstan shut down its international adoption program until it could revamp its laws or join The Hague.  

At that retreat, Bates maintains, UNICEF recommended that the pipeline cases like hers be allowed to go forward and be finalized. Then, several days later, without explanation, UNICEF reversed course.  Kyrgyzstan announced it was implementing a moratorium on all cases, including those with previously matched children and families like Krystina and Ann Bates.

“We believe UNICEF holds a large role in why we have not finalized our cases.  Both The Hague and the United Nations Treaty state that children should not be held in institutions when a suitable match has been identified,” Bates says. “We would like nothing more then for UNICEF to be presented with their own document that states they ‘recommended a moratorium but recommended pipeline cases be finalized’ and ask them to help make good on their recommendations.” 

For now, children like Krystina are trapped in a suspended system, living in sub-par conditions in deteriorating orphanages. 

“Without a doubt, UNICEF has the power and resources to make a positive difference in these cases. Instead, it has chosen to do absolutely nothing to help these children be united with their families.  UNICEF's failure to advocate would be baffling, except that it is sadly their standard operating procedure all the world over when it comes to international adoption,” maintains Kelly Ensslin, an attorney with Smith Moore Leatherwood in Raleigh, North Carolina, who represents Bates.  “The majority of these children were referred as healthy infants to families that expected to be able to bring them home in short order.  As the years have passed, these children have grown into special needs preschoolers living in underfunded institutions with too few resources to meet their most basic needs.”

To date neither Eileen nor Ann Bates has received further communication from UNICEF. 

And Krystina remains institutionalized in Kyrgyzstan.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Colo. couples await breakthrough on adoptions from Kyrgyzstan

Pam and Matt Bean keep a door shut on a room filled with baby clothes, baby shower gifts and a crib. It has been sitting unused in their Delta home since the winter of 2008, when they prepared it for the arrival of an adopted infant daughter.

That daughter, Takhmina, is now 3½, and the Delta couple continues to wait while two governments fail to come to terms on a process for adoptions. Instability in the government of Kyrgyzstan and a lack of action on the part of the U.S. State Department have held up adoptions for years, affecting the Beans as well as two other couples in Colorado and 62 around the country.

Their plight has received a hopeful jolt of attention with a letter from U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Bennet urges her to speed up negotiations with Kyrgyzstan to end the limbo that has forced children to grow up in orphanages while their prospective parents wait.

"We have been riding this roller coaster for so long. I think now we have a guarded hope," Pam Bean said.

Bennet's letter to Clinton stated that two orphans have died in Kyrgyz institutions while adoptions have been delayed. Other orphans have been suffering from a lack of funding and overcrowding.

He urged Clinton to send an emergency delegation to the Central Asian country that has been mired in civil unrest, assassinations and ethnic clashes.

The adoption process went off track in the fall of 2008 when the Kyrgyz government halted adoptions in response to allegations of corruption and illegal processing. Two Kyrgyz adoption coordinators were arrested.

New adoption regulations were passed in the Kyrgyzstan Parliament and signed into law in May, but the law came with a three-month delay before it would go into effect. The new law also did not address the issue of the pending adoptions.

The matter has taken on new urgency because an election is set for October in Kyrgyzstan. There is a chance the current government could be ousted and the new adoption process derailed.

The State Department issued an alert in early June saying the department is "reaching out" to the Kyrgyzstan government to move ahead with the adoptions "but at this time it is not possible for new intercountry adoption cases to move forward."

"What we don't have now is urgency on the part of the State Department," said Kelly Ensslin, an attorney representing 33 of the families with delayed adoptions.

While they wait, the Beans send vitamins and birthday presents to Takhmina. They have occasionally been able to communicate with her on Skype satellite calls.

In Longmont, Brian and Shelley Nelson and their two children wait for their "son" and "brother" Nikolai, who was scheduled to come to them when he was 10 months old. He turned 4 in May.
They have no plans to give up on Nikolai.

"It would be really hard to walk away from a child we've been connected to for so long," Shelley Nelson said.

Steve and Teresa Affleck of Fort Collins say the same about Jasmine, the orphan they were matched with and met when she was 9 months old. They left a pink blanket with her and a promise to come back to bring her home soon. She is 3 now.

Nancy Lofholm: 970-256-1957 or

Read more: Colo. couples await breakthrough on adoptions from Kyrgyzstan - The Denver Post

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bring the Kyrgyz 65 Children Home: An International Adoption Nightmare

Huffington Post article by Tom Roston

Hey, Hillary Clinton (Secretary of State. . . mother of one. . . person with a beating heart), are you listening?

Tonight, there's a 3-and-a-half-year-old toddler who will sleep without the love, protection and goodnight kisses of his parents. His name is Ruslan, and he has been living in an orphanage in his native Kyrgyzstan since he was three days old, despite the tireless efforts of his adoptive parents, Frances and Drew Pardus-Abbadessa to bring him home to New York City.
The couple first held Ruslan when he was seven months old in 2008, and were approved for his adoption, but because of a Kafkaesque process that has been painfully drawn out, the couple continues to fight to be united with Ruslan.

And the long passage of days to months to years has been especially difficult for the Pardus-Abbadessas, because Ruslan is visibly suffering; he's been diagnosed with a "failure to thrive" physically and mentally; in the past year, he hasn't grown at all. And when Ruslan turns 4, he will be transferred to an older orphanage which could make him vulnerable to abuse from older kids.

And this is just one of many families stuck in a confounding nightmare -- there are five dozen others in the same situation, having all been approved to adopt Kyrgyz orphans, but unable to. The families have united to fight for their children, dubbed the Kyrgyz 65, and even though their hopes have been revived and dashed numerous times, they now finally feel that their struggle could soon be coming to a happy end. But not without a last, strong push that will call for a coordinated effort from both the U.S. State Department and the Kyrgyzstan government.

The chronology of events that has led up to this point is maddeningly Byzantine, but the main cause has been fits, detours, stops and starts within Kyrgyzstan policy and a seeming lack of priority from the US State Department. The country, which used to be part of the Soviet Union and borders China, is struggling, recently resorting to the sacrifice of seven sheep to clear its parliament of evil spirits in April. The government had put a one-year moratorium on adoptions soon after many of the American families had been approved. Kyrgyzstan has quite appropriately been concerned that its children do not fall victim to trafficking or other forms of abuse. But since the official lift of the ban, there's been little movement, and while policy has been reviewed, the government has gone through cycles of power transfer, which has caused further delays.

But, according to the American families, all of the proposed reviews have been completed; even the original birth families have been double checked for approval, and yet, still, Kyrgyzstan declines to let the children go.

Tragically, two of the children have died during the delays due to lack of the proper medical attention. Already, some of the American families are tending to the ailments of their Kyrgyzstan children -- about half of whom have serious medical conditions, but these kids are clearly at risk.

"We have great admiration for the parents for their courage and their resilience for remaining so true to these children for so long," says Ambassador Susan Jacobs, the Special Advisor for Children's Issues.

A State Department official also tells me that Ambassador Jacobs and U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Pamela Spratlen have "repeatedly" tried to get the matter resolved "as quickly as possible." They most recently met with officials from Kyrgyzstan, including the Foreign Minister on June 10th. Both sides hope to finalize a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that is needed to permit the pending adoptions to be completed. "We're doing everything we can to unite these children with their adoptive parents in the United States," says Ambassador Jacobs.

That sounds great; there have been indications that Secretary of State Clinton has been giving attention to the issue, but words and intentions are what the families have been hearing for years. What counts is getting things done. Discussions on the MOU began two years ago with work on the MOU going on for nearly a year.

But, still, Pardus-Abbadessa is not willing to cast blame. She doesn't even want to target Kyrgyz officials. Although she will say that there's a "lack of political will on their side," what is most slowing things down is mistrust: the Kyrgyz are truly perplexed that American families want these ailing children so badly.

Specifically, what the American parents want is to get that memorandum of understanding completed, and for U.S. representatives to go to Kyrgyzstan to hold negotiations similar to those recently completed in Russia before August, when the government slows down.

The State Department official tells me that a delegation, including Ambassador Susan Jacobs, plans to visit Kyrgyzstan in the fall. This is important, because the current Kyrgyz government will go through elections this fall and another transition of power at the beginning of next year, when everything may move back two spaces -- yet again. "We are committed to finding a path agreeable to the Kyrgyz to move forward on these cases," the State Department official says.

As a parent myself, it's impossible to fully understand what these families have been going through. Pardus-Abbadessa and her husband had hoped to adopt an infant, but now he is a toddler. At Ruslan's third birthday, she was disturbed at how quiet and reserved the children behaved. What every parent wants is to see their children thrive and feel joy. So, during several visits spanning more than two years, they have brought him gifts and books and vitamins, but it's all piecemeal.

"You feel powerless," Pardus-Abbadessa says. "This has been an emotional roller coaster. It's been absolutely horrible. Now we are the most hopeful, but we still don't know."
She clearly respects Kyrgyzstan's desire to reform its adoption process, but it is just common sense to let the Kyrgyz 65 go to their families immediately. As we can see with our own government's torn and conflicting agenda: where there's a will, there's a way.

To be powerless as a parent, being unable to care for one's suffering children, is perhaps the greatest cruelty a mother or father could endure, I'd think. For now, the Pardus-Abbadessas do what they can. Drew just recently returned from Washington D.C., where he and other Kyrgyz 65 families were meeting with members of Congress.

And yet, every night, the Pardus-Abbadessas know that Ruslan sleeps with a laminated photograph of himself and them together, under his pillow. Is that fact equally on the minds of the people with the power to get things done? How much longer must he cling to this laminated substitute for loving parents?

If that doesn't move governments to action, what will?

For more information, go to the Kyrgyz 65 website ( )
or their Facebook page ( ).

Follow Tom Roston on Twitter:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Washington Times -Poe

EASTON, Md. -- May 16, 2011 -- On May 6th, President Roza Otunbaeva signed into law a bill that will allow prospective foreign parents to adopt from Kyrgyzstan, after a two-year moratorium. This is welcome news for the 11,000 abandoned children living in orphanages in the country.

Kyrgyz 65

It’s also news that a group of Americans, known as the "Kyrgyz 65” has been waiting a long time to hear.

This group of 65 American families began the adoption process in Kyrgyzstan two to three years ago. They got caught in limbo when the moratorium was placed on foreign adoptions. When their adoptions couldn’t be finalized, these parents could not take their children home, and the children were forced remain institutionalized. Two of the Kyrgyz 65 children passed away during the moratorium from lack of proper medical care.

Kyrgyzstan’s 120 orphanages are chronically underfunded and conditions in many rural orphanages are dire. Many orphans live without running water, sewer systems, or basic medical care.

Kyrgyzstan is a small country roughly the size of South Dakota. Bordered by neighbors China, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan, this landlocked country is the second poorest country in Central Asia. This former Soviet republic directed the vast majority of its exports to the former Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, Kyrgyzstan, without a major trading partner, was left in economic ruin. The country tried to rebound by pumping up its agricultural production, but continues to struggle.

Reinvented Adoption Process

Before the Kyrgyz government halted adoptions, families from the United States, Israel, Italy, Germany, and Australia adopted 235 children between 2006 and 2009.

More than half of the children adopted by Americans had severe medical issues, include birth defects that required urgent medical attention.

Despite political upheaval that consumed the country last year, Kyrgyzstan managed to put into place new processes and guidelines to allow foreign adoptions. Kyrgyz officials say their intent was to reorganize the adoption process, and institute stricter controls in an effort to protect children from trafficking, abuse and exploitation.

Damira Niyazalieva, a Kyrgyz lawmaker explained, “We needed to put a specific, state body in charge of international adoption, to control the whole process from the very beginning."

The Social Welfare Ministry has been tasked with acting as a central “clearing house” for foreign adoption. That’s marks a major change from the past, when foreign-based adoption agencies would have direct contact with Kyrgyz orphanages. Now, all agencies will go through the Ministry to process inter-country adoptions and the country will permit no direct contact by agencies with orphanages or orphans.

The plan is for the Ministry to create a bank of children eligible for adoption. Agencies will apply to the Ministry on behalf of prospective parents, and the Ministry will do the matching between child and parents, after background checks are conducted on prospective parents.

American families interested in proceeding with applications for adoption in Kyrgyzstan should be aware that, although many lawmakers have advocated that the country sign The Hague Treaty, it has not been ratified yet. Additionally, finalization of the law lifting the moratorium is expected to take three months.

As for the “Kyrgyz 65,” the U.S. government indicated that it will make an exception and grant these families the necessary paperwork to bring their children home and finalize their adoptions, despite the fact that these adoptions were processed without adherence to the Hague guidelines.

This will mark an important break from the State Department’s prior stance, which remains in place in all other non-Hague countries, which holds that these standards are mandatory for inter-country adoptions for Americans.

Andrea is an adoptive mother and a journalist. She is at work on a book, "The Red Thread," a collection of stories told by families united through adoption. She is also owner of Media Branding International, a public relations/media consulting firm.


Friday, May 13, 2011

three myths about international adoptions

Three myths about international adoptions
And how is the situation really
Erica Marat | Washington Friday, May 13, 2011

In 1992, triplet baby girls enrolled in one of the orphanages in Astrakhan. One girl soon died, two others had injuries. "They are not tenants," - returned a verdict doctors. Nevertheless, the girls were to adopt an American family, grew, learned, and today one of the sisters - the artist.

Somewhat different fate of two sisters in Pskov in the year. Eight-eleven-Kate and Natasha (the children's names changed) decided not to move to the U.S. after they intimidate schoolteachers. "You arrive and you will cut it, kill, and so forth - that talked a girl", - says Dmitry Fasolyak, a consultant who works with international adoption agencies in the U.S.. The sisters eventually written waiver, despite the fact that they have already met with their adoptive parents and their aunt, acting as guardian, fully supports the idea that girls living in the U.S..

The incident took place in Pskov, after a year ago has been returned to Russia seven Artem Saveliev, adopted by a young American Torrie Hansen. Artem flew to Russia alone, without adult supervision. If there was a note from the foster mother with a request to take the child back.

After the incident with Artem Russia has suspended international adoptions. For the resumption of the United States and Russia should sign a bilateral agreement. A similar situation exists in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where international adoption is temporarily suspended. In Azerbaijan and Belarus, international adoption is prohibited. Georgia allows foreigners to adopt children with disabilities only.

Authorities and the public in these countries are concerned that child care is bad, they grow in the alien culture and may even become victims of transplant organs. Nevertheless, the number of orphaned and abandoned children in these countries in the thousands. The vast majority of them live in orphanages.

"All the above arguments one can give one explanation - nationalism," - says Tom DiFilipo, chairman of the Joint Council of the International Save the Children, who studied the condition of children raised in orphanages post-Soviet countries. According to him, the authorities of these countries consider the norm to raise children in orphanages instead establish a system of adoption. But few people realize that after two years in an orphanage children lag far behind in the mental and physical disabilities from their peers raised in the families, he added.

Especially the United States gained notoriety because the Americans are leading the world in adoption of children from abroad - every year American families adopt up to 120,000 children, of whom more than 30,000 from other countries. Usually such arguments are without any evidence or granting organizations of international adoption the opportunity to express their opinions. Voice of America "examines each argument separately.

"Over the adoptive parents of children bullied"

Arguments about what over foster children being bullied, often used by those who adamantly opposed to international adoption. The basis for such views is the statistics. Since 1991 more than 60,000 foster children in 1916 died as a result of domestic violence.

However, few know that the fate of graduates of Russian orphanages is composed as follows: 10 persons life be arranged only at one, four fall into the jail, four sopyutsya and one committed suicide.

American experts note that in the U.S. abuse of children in foster care is much rarer than in "normal" families. This is because the adoption agency conducted a thorough screening of prospective adoptive parents.

Physical abuse is common in children's homes. Anna Kirei, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a few years ago was a volunteer at one of the orphanages in Bishkek. Anna tells how, during the day children walk, she saw that one of the girls took a snail in his mouth. Kirei asked her to spit out the snail. Instead, the girl sat down and covered her head with both hands. "She thought I was going to hit her for it" - says Kirei.

Foster families must be prepared to ensure that children are mentally or physically unwell. Often, children who spent the first five years of living in orphanages, diagnosed reactive attachment disorder. "A child or strikes all around, whether it be foster parents or strangers, or fail to develop an emotional attachment to anybody," - says an expert from the Social Security Agency United States, on condition of anonymity.

Several U.S. organizations, helping American couples to adopt foreign children, warn that even if a child falls from an orphanage in a loving family - still no guarantee that it will be easier, and it quickly gets used to it. The adoption process is accompanied by numerous stressful for both the child and for new parents.
But such cases are a minority. Basically adaptation goes smoothly, because foster families willing to all sorts of difficulties when adopting a child from another country. In the case of surprises they can always contact the adoption agency for help and advice.

"Cultivating bodies"

The Russian blogosphere is often flit article that the orphans had been adopted from the former Soviet countries, are used as organ donors. "On the black market in human organs the heart is 160 thousand dollars. The liver is 60 to 150 thousand. The pancreas is estimated at 45,000 dollars. Kidney - 10 thousand. Foreskin of a boy - of 20 000 green. For 5 years in the country disappeared 150,000 children "- writes the author of one of these blogs.

Although official sources, these data do not confirm the fear that children will use the bodies, deeply rooted in the view of officials and the public in some post-Soviet mills. "I heard that our children use for kidney transplantation", - shares with "Voice of America politician from Kyrgyzstan, who requested anonymity.

Voice of America asked for a comment to the anesthetist from Arizona Teresa Edwards. According to her, the purchase of human organs in the U.S. - is illegal. For organ transplantation requires the consent of the donor or his family in case of death of the donor. In addition, the tissue donor and recipient must be compatible, which is detected by sophisticated tests. Some patients wait decades before they find a suitable organs.

Teresa Edwards has more than two years waiting for the foster daughter of Kyrgyzstan. She has repeatedly had to deal with suspicions that the American parents of children trafficked abroad as donor organs.

"Cases of organ transplantation in children in the United States are extremely rare," - she said. Most children serve as bone marrow donors for leukemia treatment for someone in the family. However, more often, children are recipients of organs from adult donors. For example, in certain diseases of the biological parents can give a child a part of his liver.

Among doctors there is a code of ethics not to harm and not engage in illegal organ transplants continues to Teresa Edwards. "There are times when the doctors come to patients who were transplanted organs in developing countries", - she said. In such situations, if a doctor there is doubt the legality of the operation, the doctor refuses to provide their services. If a doctor found guilty of violating their professional code, it denied a license.

"To do organ transplants in the U.S. illegally is simply not profitable from a commercial point of view," - said Edwards. That the cost of medicines and medical personnel ready to work illegally, paid off, you need to make every year hundreds of operations that would have cost to patients at least 20 000 dollars, it counts. Patients also need post-operative observation that after the illegal organ transplants they can not get from conventional doctors ... "It's hard to imagine such a market in the U.S." - concludes the doctor.

"Orphans should be raised in a spirit of national culture"

In Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union often heard the opinion that, giving children for international adoption, the state deprives them of the opportunity to know their own culture and language.

Sure, some children are adopted by foreigners are losing part of their native culture, leaving abroad, recognizes Dmitry Fasolyak. Children generally learn about their traditions of festivals and clubs, which they organize the adoptive parents.

"Many families go to the Russian Orthodox Church, Russian cooked meals and help children to retain Russian" - the director of the American adoption agency Linda Perilsteyn. Some families celebrate Christmas and Easter, watching Russian performances.

Much depends on the family - some parents try to teach children their native language and culture. Other families pay less attention to such matters. Nevertheless, most families tell children about their native country, and even carry them home, said Fasolyak.

But there are other cases. "Some children associate the Russian language with the language of violence and are trying to forget it", - says Dmitry Fasolyak. For these children a change of atmosphere after moving to a new country can forget about the fact that they had been abused in orphanages.

A society without children's homes?

For some Americans who have adopted children from the former USSR, it was important to adopt a child from a country where children are just in children's homes rather than in foster care.

Not surprisingly, these parents are fundamentally opposed to education of children in orphanages. In the U.S. there is no children's homes. American parents wishing to adopt infants, must stand in line. They are thoroughly tested before they are permitted to adopt a child. "There were times that the adoptive families were denied adoption because twenty years ago, they smoked marijuana or something stolen in the store", - said Fasolyak.

According to Teresa Edwards, in the early 1990's, American families adopt children mainly from Eastern Europe. In particular, Poland, Romania and the Baltic countries. However, as these economies develop, reduce the number of abandoned children and the increased number of local families willing to adopt. Today in these countries, foster care is almost completely replaced the orphanage.

"The ultimate goal of any state should be a complete deliverance from the children's homes" - Teresa Edwards said. Many studies have shown that the best place for raising a child is family, agrees Tom DiFilipo.
Other materials about events in the CIS countries, see the heading "Commonwealth and regions"

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Kyrgyz-65" in the fight for their children

Alley Ayman with her parents and older brother Josh, Dzhoelton, Tennessee, USA.


Gүlayym Ashakeeva

In Kyrgyzstan, the ban on international adoption. The main innovation - the government takes responsibility for the fate of these children.

May 6, Kyrgyz President Otunbayeva signed into law on amendment of the Family Code.

The moratorium on adoptions of Kyrgyz orphans by foreign nationals was introduced in 2008. Since then, 65 American families lived in anticipation of permission for something to take to her adopted children from Kyrgyzstan.

Alley: «I'm from Kyrgyzstan»

3-year-old Ellie lives in a small American town with his parents Mary and Kevin, and his older brother Josh.

Maria - photographer, devoted to her creative work and family. Kevin - a geologist working in the field of innovation. Josh goes to school, he's a great game of American football.

Alley Ayman Kevin Lattem: «I'm from Kyrgyzstan», Dzhoelton, Tennessee, April 15, 2011

3 years ago the American family went overseas in distant Kyrgyzstan to adopt a Kyrgyz girl chubby Ayman Alley. Then they do not even suspect, through the difficulties they have to go ...

"I'm from Kyrgyzstan" (I am from Kyrgyzstan) - I hear on the other end perky voice.

After greeting me by phone in English, Ellie asked me my name. I had the: "Ellie, I am also of the Kyrgyz Republic" and begin to talk in Kyrgyz.

Few listened to me, the girl handed the receiver to the mother.

Maria tells which way they had to go for today's happiness:

- In January 2008 we began the process of adoption. Alley was born in late March of that year, so we started all preparations before her birth. In late May, went to Tokmok orphanage, we first met Ellie. For two weeks, three of them with her ​​husband and son every day we drove from Bishkek to Tokmok to see the little Ellie.

The second time we arrived in Kyrgyzstan in October to have to take Ellie home. A total of 10 months we have managed to arrange everything and bring the little girl. We are very fortunate that we were able to adopt her before the introduction in Kyrgyzstan moratorium on international adoption.
You know yourself, how many families now can not take away the foster children, because everything slowed down. The children remain in orphanages.

"Kyrgyz-65" in anticipation of children

Since 2008, 65 American families are making every effort to pick up foster children from Kyrgyzstan.

"We already know the name" Kyrgyz-65 "," say Frank and Gabrielle Shimkus, foster parents Azamat from Bishkek's home.

- 65 families, gathering all the required documents in Kyrgyzstan, were only waiting for a court decision. But with the introduction of the moratorium, we found ourselves in gridlock. Since then, over the past three years, 65 families are fighting for the right to take their foster children. We are in business days doing that. Sometimes communicate with each other, does not stop correspondence.

By working together, negotiating with the Kyrgyz government, and in ourselves - with our governmental authorities. Sometimes hold meetings by telephone.

Many of these children, serious health problems. All of them can be cured on its feet. Of the 65 children two died. If they had been with foster parents, this would have happened " - says the mother of Azamat Gabriel.

Azamat (Aidan Josiah-Azamat Shimkus) in June is 3 years old.

Azamat (Aidan Josiah-Azamat Shimkus) is still in Bishkek orphanage. January 2011

Currently, he is in Bishkek orphanage. In Azamat congenital malformations in the face.

Recently, Gabriel, putting all their efforts in America, managed to organize the operation Azamat by German doctors, who arrived in Bishkek.

As soon as Azamat will be in the United States, American doctors will continue the operation.

In 2008, when Frank and Gabriel stayed only a month to pick up Azamat, a ban on the export of children.

Since then, the family had already appeared two daughters, the eldest of whom "can not wait Azamat" says Gabriel.

And in the room Azamat now 2 years forlornly waiting for his master's crib.

According to the deputy Jogorku Keңesha Damir Niyazalievoy 95% of children awaiting adoption, there are various diseases:

- Our citizens do not take these sick children. For example, who wants to take the baby with syphilis? Furthermore, among these children, there are those who need very expensive operations overseas.

Adoption: a responsible, difficult, expensive

For Americans, the adoption of a child from another country - it is very responsible, complex and expensive solution. First of all, American family, reshivshayasya so, contact one of the agencies on adoption of children from abroad and fills special documents.

Must provide an official letter from the police, a letter from the bank's financial position, results of medical examination, the response from friends and the whole pile of papers ...

During the month, the agency verifies the application and documents provided by the family.

Only if all information is confirmed, the agency officials visited the family to see the living conditions and talk to the neighbors. At the same time, their personal dossiers being tested at the FBI, and every family member passes fingerprints.

Only after this adoption agency children from abroad began to work with Kyrgyzstan on the proposal. On average, this period may take up to six months. If approved, the family is sent to Kyrgyzstan.

In Kyrgyzstan, American parents are "new vitality to school: a different language, traditions and customs, norms of behavior, communication with local authorities and officials.

Nazgүl, in 2005-06, he worked as a translator for an American family and assisted in the removal of two disabled children, tells how to Kyrgyz officials are cashing in on this:

- The process lasted from September to July next year, which is very long. While in Kyrgyzstan, I helped them in adopting a child, and I know I had to spend a lot of money. First, the representative of the regional administration and an official from the Ministry of Education asked for money for their services. In addition to officially paid money, we had to "pay" another 3 thousand dollars. I remember it exactly.

Azattyk: Who were transferred to the 3 thousand dollars? How many people got the money?

- There was a man of the regional administration, which coordinates the activities of children. This man was our contactee. He said he gave the money to me, and we will share. I know exactly what was another man from the ministry, and 3 or 4 people shared the money.

Now give the floor to Mary, mother of Ellie. My question about how much cost the adoption, she responds:

- In general, the whole process cost us 53 thousand dollars. Yes, this amount includes expenditures made ​​in the USA. Adoption itself is worth 20 thousand dollars. Part of the money went on the trip. The first time went to Kyrgyzstan, three; second trip to join us my friend. Each time, as in Kyrgyzstan, stayed for two weeks in a hotel. We can say that 15,000 is gone, basically, on a trip. Agency paid 15 thousand. The remaining 23-24 thousand dollars spent in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Observation of foster children

In 2008, due to serious violations of the law on adoption of children by foreign citizens has been declared a moratorium. But it should be noted that to date has not been brought any criminal case on those grounds.

Kyrgyz society often hears and sees in the Russian media reports that foster children abroad are exposed to violence, and their organs sold.

In conversation with me, Gabriel, American mother Azamat from Bishkek, does not hide his surprise from the fact that the Kyrgyz people believe such rumors.

- For us, these children are more expensive than us. We want them to grow not at the orphanage, which will affect the rest of their lives, isolating them from society, and that they grew up in a family with parents. God is my witness, I am very ready to give your body Azamat. For this child I am ready to do everything in my power - in a trembling voice said Gabriel.

In America, families who adopted children from abroad, is constantly under the supervision of social work agencies, schools, where a child is in, as well as neighbors.

Aibek Ismailov, a member of the board of directors of the association "The Future of Kyrgyz children in Virginia, said that the Kyrgyz authorities could easily be monitored for foster children.

- I talked to the guys from the Consular Service of the Kyrgyz Embassy. Their duties are to oversee the foster children from Kyrgyzstan for their lives. They call for families to learn how and what, if the child is older - talking to himself. Sometimes visit families to see everything with my own eyes. It's all part of the functions of consular service.

Familiarity with the historical homeland

American families who have adopted children from abroad, often tell their foster children about their homeland.

Americans tell their children to "Kyrgyz roots" of Kyrgyzstan, using multimedia techniques. USA.Who left 3 years ago in America Ellie prepares next year to come to Kyrgyzstan with her parents.

- I want to make photos of Kyrgyzstan. This is my professional interest. And Ellie, I think, to learn more about their country, it will be better understood.

Even now, despite her age, we're talking Ellie, that she was born in Kyrgyzstan, and she understands what Kyrgyzstan.

Every two months, she meets with his Kyrgyz friends. I myself know that this wonderful country of Kyrgyzstan, - says mother Mary Alley.

Our history we would like to complete the string of letters written to the birthday Ellie and posted on the Homepage of Mary.

"... somewhere, back in Kyrgyzstan, on this day, March 29, your mother probably remembers how she gave you 3 years ago. I hope that her mother's heart must have felt, with some tenderness, I love this child, what an amazing life she lived, and I thank the heavens for what they gave us such a gift. I would like to see your mother and tell her most about this ... "

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Moratorium on international adoptions in Kyrgyzstan may soon be lifted

Moratorium on international adoptions in Kyrgyzstan may soon be lifted
Parliament has approved amendments to the Family Code, all for the president and government
Erica Marat Friday, April 15, 2011
Photo VOA

On Thursday, April 14 the Kyrgyz parliament approved a bill on amending the Family Code of the country, which would eliminate the two-year moratorium on international adoptions. Now turn to the president of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva and government. In that case, if she would sign the law and the government will their amendment, the moratorium will be formally withdrawn, and 65 U.S. families waiting for their adoptive children from Kyrgyzstan will be able to complete the adoption process.Recall that international adoptions were suspended in February 2009 by former Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Igor Chudinov. As wrote the Voice of America, since American adoptive families and the U.S. State Department attempted to persuade the Kyrgyz side to bring the adoption process to the end.During the moratorium two children adopted by American parents have died - presumably due to the lack of adequate medical care.President Otunbayeva supports lifting the moratorium, she is aware of the trials, which had to deal with foster families in the U.S.. "I get letters from all 65 families on their page Facebook», - said the president of one of the adoptive families during a visit to Washington in March. However, it also noted that while the parliament does not adopt the amendments to the legislation, its ability to influence the process are limited.Foster families and Kyrgyz politicians look to the future with cautious optimism. According to the deputy Damir Niyazalievoy that throughout this time, advocated the abolition of the moratorium, the moratorium a year ago was almost canceled after a similar law of the Family Code passed by Parliament and was sent to the signing of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.However, a few days later, April 7, 2010, Bakiyev was overthrown by a mass demonstrations, and the process of lifting the moratorium "depends" for another year. "As such, the moratorium on international adoptions was not. There were gaps in the Family Code, which was not spelled out who controls the process of international adoption ", - told VOA Niyazalieva.Under the new law, coordinating and monitoring role in the international adoption takes the Ministry of Social Protection in Kyrgyzstan. Among the deputies Shirin Aitmatov has played a special role in the adoption of amendments to the Family Code. She persuaded the parliament to consider the bill is not in one but in two readings on April 14. During the first reading in parliament in early April Aitmatov noted opponents of lifting the moratorium on the deteriorating health of foster children, and urged everyone to endorse the bill as soon as possible.Damir Niyazalieva notes that supporters of lifting the moratorium failed to win the resistance of some MPs. In general, she said, the government and the parliament there is a serious support for the resumption of international adoptions.However, according to Natalia Utesheva, a representative of the Youth Human Rights Group, which monitors the process of lifting the moratorium in Kyrgyzstan lack of political leadership and political will to complete its withdrawal. "In conditions of instability in Kyrgyzstan, where all are at risk, no one takes responsibility for such a decision, after which they can point the finger and blame" selling "children" - commented Utesheva.Social protection of children in the U.S.Some Kyrgyz politicians and the public fear that foreign adoptive children may be victims of domestic violence. However, according to the Joint Council of the International Save the Children, Violence against children in foster care is much rarer than in "normal" families as adoptive families are thoroughly tested before they destroy adopt a child.

The prevention of child abuse in the United States is engaged in the State Agency for Supervision of children and family (Child and Family Service Agency). The agency has a hotline to which anyone can call and leave information about the facts of child abuse. This may be a relative, neighbor, teacher or just a passerby, who witnessed the disturbing event. Moreover, teachers, nurses, doctors and others who directly communicate with children are required to report all the facts and suspicions of child abuse.

In turn, the agency enters the data into a computer program based on their results and conclude on the risks faced by the child. Special workers react to the received messages within 24-48 hours. They meet with your child to determine on the spot - there is a need to isolate him from his parents for safety, or start with the parents of special educational activities.

In the U.S. there is no children's homes, instead of them wanting to families may be entitled to a temporary shelter to children. These rights are updated every two years and are given to those families who pass a special audit and training.It is important to note that the work of social workers of the Agency for Supervision of children and family do not differentiate between adopted children and own children.The situation in orphanages in KyrgyzstanThe monitoring results in orphanages Youth Human Rights Group and the Ombudsman showed numerous violations of the rights of children. In the course are "cruel and degrading treatment," the report said. Children are significantly lagging behind in mental, physical and social development than their peers raised in families.Particularly widespread abuse of children in a psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Bishkek, where more than 80% of children - orphans. "For the undesirable behavior of children of staff permanently tied to a battery, a chair or tied on the floor in a painful posture, seated on the floor, hands tied behind his back and his head placed between his knees" - said in a statement. As a result, the identification of cases of torture director of the hospital was fired.One of the volunteers of the orphanage in Bishkek, who asked not to be named, told VOA that the orphanage workers receive very little money (less than $ 100 per month) for the hard work. "The orphanage receives a lot of outside help, but this aid is often stolen" - she said. In the younger groups of 12-15 people, and diapers and clothes for children are often lacking. "Kids always go wet," - she says.Natalia Utesheva notes that the orphanage workers themselves often welcome the idea of ​​international adoption. "They're trying to help sick children, but they do not have opportunities" - she says. From their own powerlessness, they favor the resumption of international adoptions.It added that Kyrgyzstan does not exist today as the monitoring of local adoptions, as well as institutions where children are orphans. "From this perspective, the comparison is clearly not in favor of Kyrgyzstan", - underlines Utesheva.In just the last few years, more than 200 orphans in Kyrgyzstan have been adopted by foreigners. The number of adoptions by local families for the same period is several times lower. Often foreigners adopt sick children, residents of Kyrgyzstan mostly - healthy.

"Children's" questions for adults

"Children's" question for adults (Translated from Russian on

14/04/2011 - 16:36

Kyrgyz Adoption of orphans by foreign nationals - a matter of dispute and discussion. Today, MPs voted in the second and third reading of amendments to the Family Code, relating to adoption of children by foreign citizens of Kyrgyzstan. I recall that in 2009, our parliamentarians have introduced a moratorium on the adoption and execution of custody of the kiddies Kyrgyz orphanages for foreign nationals.Arguments, to which officials appealed, and was at that time not a lot. "They're taking our children and we know nothing about their fate! Suddenly, there they are beaten and even killed? "- Outraged officials. The Commission, created in 2008 found that the fate of 13 adopted children from abroad, the CD is no information. This provoked another wave of disturbances and, as a result, there was a moratorium.

Meanwhile, a U.S. citizen, Pamela Allen, who herself wanted to adopt a girl from Bishkek home baby, had already talked about what I find information about the allegedly pushed into obscurity children - no problem. That it is only through the Internet data tracked down the whereabouts of nine of them. But all attempts to explain the futility of the charges against the foreign adoptive parents were in vain.

American citizens also had to tackle this problem because about 60 children, who were awaiting adoption, and have already found their foreign parents, held hostage slaboobosnovannoy whims of parliament. Do not forget that most of these children have the disease, sometimes very serious. According to official figures, amongst those kids who came to the attention of foreign adoptive parents, two died without waiting for formal adoption by foreign nationals. And this is just data about the children who were under the scrutiny of U.S. prospective adoptive parents. And how many kids did not wait to be adopted by volunteers from abroad for two years of the moratorium? Have heard the stories themselves and educators in specialized children's homes, that children with serious illnesses are required for foreigners who are willing to do everything possible to ensure the child a decent life, but do not wait for paperwork, and slowly dying on the state-owned beds without seeing in this life is nothing but from the orphanage walls.

Foreign nationals who are preparing to become foster parents of Kyrgyz babies tend to be very diligent approach to the issue of receiving a child into their family. They thrash out all diagnoses kid, his mental and physical condition, obtain information about possible treatment and rehabilitation of the child uneasy. Our officials lose sight of the fact that foreign adoptive parents undergo training and testing, not only in our country, but also at home. All documents filed by foreign adoptive parents for permission to bring an adopted child in the country - are carefully checked there the bodies of trusteeship.

Do not forget that the adoption procedure with registration of all documents, transporting the child's treatment, the organization of everyday life is worth a lot of money. And guess some ignorant people that the Americans, Italians, Germans and others adopt our children to make fun of them - look silly.

A couple of months ago I happened to visit the House of baby and talk to his head. Of course, after the issue of supply of houses with everything you need, the first question was: "How often do adopt children?". Because among the inmates of the House babies, which contains over one hundred children, many children with severe diagnoses.

Then head complained that foreigners are not allowed to pick up those kids, they chose his family back in 2009. She described how these parents care about their potential children, call, finding out their fate, send gifts.

Long time activists of several non-governmental organizations and individual deputies struggled to a moratorium on adoptions was lifted. And this day was not far off. According to the parliamentarians, the full adoption of the amendment and the entry into force - a mere formality, since they have taken in the second and third readings.

MP Damir Niyazalieva shared with his joy at the successful adoption of the law:
- At the moment the law was passed in the second and third reading. Estesstvenno, I treat it positively. And I speak for the fact that children who go there are aware of their origin, their homeland. I saw with my own eyes, as Americans, for example, instill a love for Kyrgyzschstanu dear children, adoptees have. A child's birthday gift to give, which is linked to its homeland. And every day in front of the house raised two flags: the U.S. and Kyrgyz. Foster parents told the adopted children of Kyrgyzstan, on the history of our nation. They do not hide from their family did this child. The child thus has the opportunity to realize that he kyrgyz that he was from Kyrgyzstan. And perhaps, after growing up, he wants to return home. While we have a secret adoption, when no data for the child may not be distributed. Maybe, according to our mentality, it is correct. However, I saw that in the United States have special organizations involved in searching for biological parents sdetey orphans. And often they find it. And after this family adopt the child and his biological relatives perfectly communicate with each other.
- Who, under the new law will monitor data on adopted children?

- Before all the functions of gathering information, issuing permits for the adoption, tracing the fate of adopted children were assigned to different organs. Now, we offer all these features suggest to the Ministry of sotsozaschity. To lay all the responsibility for only one department. So it will be easier to organize incoming information.

Did not fail to speak out and the main defender of civil rights in our country Tursunbek Akun :
- I support lifting the moratorium on adoptions of orphans by foreign families. And I support the decision that the child was vaccinated cultural heritage of the country of his ancestors.
We were interested to know the views of those who previously advocated the introduction of a moratorium and actively resented the fact of adoption of our children by foreign nationals. However, it may be due to the fact that the amendments are almost made ​​to the Family Code, may be because enough time has passed, wanting to speak out against lifting the moratorium was not found. Two years ago, Tursunbai Bakir uulu said the press that he is against the adoption of foreign children in Kyrgyzstan. And today he said , that his words will simply misunderstood.

- I support the idea to allow foreigners to adopt children. But the only caveat: in the first place, in my opinion, it must be children with serious illnesses that are difficult to treat in our country. And more important also the fact: when a Kyrgyz citizens were divided into those who are permanently resident in the country and those who have some time living abroad. The first group to adopt children under the laws of our country, and the second offered to adopt a child under the laws of the country where he lives. I believe that it is fundamentally wrong. Can not be divided into groups of Kyrgyzstan. That the citizens of our republic, let the laws of our country will be common to them all.And so, for the happiness and health of children orphaned me for permission Kyrgyz adoption of orphans by foreigners.

Some time ago I've met with a well-known Russian TV presenter and foster mom Tatiana Sorokina . Subject of the meeting was a professional sense, but I could not ask her a question about her personal relationships to a ban on adoptions for foreigners. And then Sorokina uttered one amusing thought: "We always think of those children who are somehow affected by the foreign adoptive parents. But we forget - how many children live with their families and subjected to violence. And how many children are psychologically deformed in orphanages with no parental warmth. " Then the presenter called the ban a procedure "witch hunt". And do not agree with her ​​I could not. So glad of that effort fighters permit foreign adoptions succeed. Business for small - to bring the legislation in order and get it to work properly.

Ekaterina Ivanova.

Power and the post-Soviet orphanage: stories of orphans in Kyrgyzstan

Power and the post-Soviet orphanage: stories of
orphans in Kyrgyzstan

While the country has been experiencing political transformation, more than 60 children
waiting for their parents in the U.S.
Erica Marat Monday, April 11, 2011

One of the orphanages in Bishkek
Pamela Allen always carries a photo album Bermet, year-old girl orphaned in Bishkek.
Allen knows her only from the descriptions of the U.S. Agency for International
Adoptions. Acquainted with her adopted daughter has not yet been.

"I first saw the photo Bermet in September 2008, she was 15 weeks, and threw her
parents - says Allen. - I thought I could take her home before she turns six months. "
However, while Pamela Allen designed the process of adoption Bermet, former Prime
Minister of Kyrgyzstan Igor Chudinov instructed to stop adoptions by foreigners. In early
2009, Kyrgyz authorities revealed evidence of criminal practice in children's homes - it is
assumed that some children were taken out of the country on forged documents.
Allen and 65 other American families who are waiting for their adoptive children from
Kyrgyzstan, seeking cancellation of the moratorium for more than two years. Their
efforts have not yielded results.

During this time, Allen adopted by a U.S. girl named Emerson. "From beginning to end
adoption process took five months - she said. - I learned that her biological family chose
me as a foster mother for two weeks before her birthday ... I was present at birth, I cut off
the umbilical cord. "

Today, Emerson goes to private nursery in the suburbs of Washington, where she taught
Russian language. "The first day in nursery Emerson ate meatballs - Russian nurse
explained to me that this is a traditional food," - says Allen. She is already seeing tangible
difference in the development of two girls: Bermet started walking only in 2,5 years.
Emerson - when she was one year old.

When Allen first showed pictures Bermet, she noticed that the girl's thin limbs and
swollen abdomen - symptoms of malnutrition. "We Bermet very high forehead and head,
apparently from her health issues" - says she is.

Allen chose Kyrgyzstan by chance - in 2006, her sister adopted a boy from Kazakhstan,
and she was a witness of the process. "My heart was broken when I saw the children in
the orphanage," - says Allen.

During the stay of the disease died two kid, and not waiting for their American parents.
The exact causes of death in these children is unknown. Foster mother of one of them - a
pediatrician from Florida - the photographs determined that the child may have infected
with syphilis. She tried to convince workers of children's homes to conduct medical
check-up, but - in vain ...

Mutual misunderstanding

For two years, adoptive families from the United States trying to meet with all sorts of
politicians from Kyrgyzstan who come to visit Washington. Their main goal - to bring
the adoption process to the end.

"When Chudinov was in Washington, DC (September 2009 - EM), I asked him to reverse
his decision. He said he would consider the matter "- says Pamela Allen. She is
particularly remembered for soft warm hands and the officials; he said nice, soothing

However, after a visit to the U.S. Igor Chudinov the issue of lifting the moratorium has
not publicly raised.

Allen also talks about his meeting with deputies of the Kyrgyz Republic: "There were
meetings where we talked about their histories of women deputies. We cry together,
sympathized with each other, they promised us to provide all possible assistance. "
Since the introduction of a moratorium in Kyrgyzstan has changed the government and
the constitution, the country erupted in ethnic conflict. Today, the location Chudinov and
other members of the overthrown corrupt government of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev
is unknown. Came to power, the Parliament, whose primary task - the distribution of
rights and obligations between the rival factions.

The U.S. State Department is supporting the foster families in their attempts to persuade
the Kyrgyz authorities to allow them to bring the adoption process to the end. In response
to a request from the government of Kyrgyzstan has signed a memorandum of
understanding for Adoption (MOU), the State Department's special representative on
children Susan Jacobs visited Bishkek in September 2010 and February this year. She
presented a memorandum to the authorities, promising that the U.S. will closely monitor
the foster children of Kyrgyzstan after their arrival in the U.S.. However, the Kyrgyz
government on several occasions required to make further amendments to the text.
"The problem is that the Kyrgyz government requires a bilateral treaty with the United
States, but the U.S. did not enter into agreements of this kind. In return, the parties agreed
to sign the MOU, "- says Lisa Brozerton from California, which is also awaiting a foster
child from Kyrgyzstan. Brozerton closely monitoring the situation around the
moratorium, and frequently visits Bishkek.

In March, members of the Committee on Health, Social Policy, Labour and Migration of
the Kyrgyz parliament explained to the American Charitable Foundation for Adoption
"Saint Philomena" as follows: to cancel the moratorium should be in parliament to
approve a new draft of the Family Code and to obtain approval of the government (prime
minister and deputy prime minister).

"There are some positive changes - last week the parliament began to examine the Family
Code on first reading," - said Broz
erton. She hopes that the second and third reading will
be appointed in the near future.

The game of ping-pong
Few politicians in Kyrgyzstan knows that after two years of a child from an orphanage in
the former Soviet Union the United States is considered invalid. "In such cases, the
adoptive parents have to" catch up "child development", - told VOA Tom DiFilipo,
chairman of the Joint Council of the International Save the Children, who studied the
condition of children raised in orphanages post-Soviet countries.

This applies to nutrition, physical and mental development, the expert continues: "Almost
all children suffer from malnutrition, disease and mental disorders." According to him,
two of the dead child at the time of the moratorium - the ones who caught the attention of
adoptive parents. It is unknown how many children among those who have not been

Pamela Allen and President Otunbayeva
During the recent visit of President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva in Washington
Pamela Allen showed her pictures Bermet and asked if the president issued a decree to
cancel the moratorium. In response, Otunbayeva said she knew about the 65 families and
understands their situation, but lift the moratorium, unfortunately, not in her power. Much
depends on the parliament and government.

"It reminds me of a game of ping-pong, which loses only children - says Allen. -
Someone in Kyrgyzstan must finally decide on a heroic act and take responsibility for
these children. "

"Cultivating bodies and nationalism
Meanwhile, speculation about what is exported from Kyrgyzstan children are used as
donors of internal organs - one of the main arguments of some opponents of international
adoption in Kyrgyzstan.

"You hear a lot of stories about how to foster children being abused, humiliated, and even
killed. I am not in favor of the adoption of children by foreigners "- the words quoted
Kyrgyz MP Tursunbai Bakir uulu edition Eurasia Insight.

"While the myth that U.S. children are used to nurture bodies, so popular in Russia,
Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, we were not able to identify the source of this information" -
says Lisa Brozerton results of his research.

Tom DiFilipo results statistics on adoption of children from Russia by American families
over the past 15 years: from 50,000 adopted children as a result of domestic violence
killed 14.

"Undoubtedly, this is a sad figure, and unfortunately, despite all the thoroughness with
which the monitoring of foster families, the violence still takes place," - he said. Such
statistics in the post-Soviet countries do not.

"Violence against children - a fact of life" - continues DiFilipo. However, he stressed that
the U.S. abuse of children in foster care is much rarer than in "normal" families. This is
because the adoption agency conducted a thorough screening of prospective adoptive
parents. And when you consider that the inspection of parents wishing to adopt children,
it is much harder in the U.S. than in the former Soviet Union, the chances of a child get
into the hostile environment is minimal.

"We checked thoroughly - our financial position, our character, our past" - lists Pamela
Allen. According to her, as foster parents even require to make an evacuation plan in case
of fire in the house. Clearly, this requirement does not extend to "ordinary" families.
Lisa Brozerton says that in 2009 the Kyrgyz authorities were frightened when it was
discovered that the fate of 13 children adopted by foreign families, are not known. When
Brozerton requested a list of "lost" children, she was given 11 names. "For three days, a
simple Internet search, I found the location of 9 of them" - she said. As it turned out,
some adopted children live in Kyrgyzstan in the families of foreigners working in the
country. Others were taken to Israel and Switzerland, where they live in high-grade

Another popular explanation for the refusal of international adoption is such an argument:
children born in Kyrgyzstan should be educated on the basis of local traditions and know
their native language.

With this view agrees DiFilipo. He notes that the main task of foster families - to create
for foreign children on Wednesday, as similar as possible with the customs of their
homeland. "Before the adoption, the parents undergo special training, where they explain
the local culture and environment of their adopted children" - he says.

After the adoption of a child adoptive families continue to visit clubs and online forums
where they socialize with other families with children from the same country. American
families who have adopted children from Kyrgyzstan, Russia and other countries have
maintained close contacts with each other. "I have many friends from Kyrgyzstan", - says
Pamela Allen.

Total U.S. annually adopt about 100,000 children. Of these, 20 to 30 thousand - children
from abroad.

Orphans and criminals
According to Tom DiFilipo, for all this time in Kyrgyzstan was not punished a single
person, because of whose action has been declared a moratorium. "None of the
perpetrators are not jailed. The children remain in institutions ", - says DiFilipo.
On the disastrous state of children's homes indicates a report prepared by the Open
Society Institute in cooperation with the NGO "Youth Human Rights Group." Of their
study showed that the Kyrgyz government has "an effective, transparent system of
governance institutions for children deprived of family environment."

For example, the Ministry of Education and Science of Kyrgyzstan has provided
information on 50 institutions, while the National Statistical Committee - about 82
institutions, indicated in the report. However, summary data, all in Kyrgyzstan - 133
institutions where there are orphans.

"Children often suffer from hunger, as funds for their food or not enough, either they are
spent effectively, there is an acute shortage of feminine hygiene products, clothing and
footwear, often completely missing materials for development: children's books, toys.
Care agency staff often use various types of violence against inmates, "- said the report"
Youth Human Rights Group. "

Lack of love, family affection and stability in relations between workers and children's
homes - the main problem of any such institution, said Pamela Allen.
According to Lisa Brozerton, who previously worked in the social security system in the
U.S., even the first months of
are important to children: "Lying on the back without
motion and parental care in the first months of life, children can never make up for that
time in the future."

Another American family, which also awaits lifting the moratorium, compares the post-
Soviet orphanage with a "human warehouses". There's no love and care of loved ones, no
one will embrace and learn to laugh. On the education of children in the spirit of local
culture and traditions of speech there.

"In orphanages children are dying, if not physically, then mentally" - shares his
experience of studying children's homes in the post-Tom DiFilipo.

We will fight to the end
Some Kyrgyz question arises - how did the adoptive parents desire and patience to wait
for children? To this Allen says: "This is my daughter, she was given to me from above. I
need it. "

When Lisa first saw the little Brozerton Nargiza, she gave her a promise that will take
care of her whole life. "I do not find me rest until he fulfill his promise to the child" - her

As long as the moratorium remains in force, Brozerton intends to travel to Kyrgyzstan
and to assist not only his adopted daughter, but also to other children. "In our house there
is a place for her, she's part of our family" - she added.

"If the moratorium is not canceled, then I'll wait until Bermet turn 16 years old, and her
release from the orphanage. I will come to Bishkek and inviting her to his family "-
promises Pamela Allen.

Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek Lawmakers Reluctant to Lift International Adoption Freeze

Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek Lawmakers Reluctant to Lift International Adoption Freeze

March 30, 2011 - 11:25am
Four-year-old Kaleb speaks English and likes to draw. He shows talent as a pianist and is learning how to read. He has even visited the Kyrgyzstan Embassy in Washington to meet officials from his native country.

Until he was eight months old, Kaleb was Kalychbek Baymyrzaev, an orphan in Kyrgyzstan. Scott and Kami DeBoer of Dayton, Ohio, adopted him in October 2007, just before Kyrgyzstan placed a moratorium on international adoptions. “Kaleb knows that he is adopted and that he was born in Kyrgyzstan,” Scott told

The first six months in America were difficult. “When we first met Kaleb, he was only 11 pounds. That is very tiny for an eight-month-old. He was not getting enough to eat. He was not sitting up or rolling. He had a lot of trouble sleeping and had night terrors. We kept reassuring him that we were there and after six months he was sleeping through the night. Later he began to smile,” said Kami.

Scott and Kami are waiting to adopt another Kyrgyz boy, Bakyt. When they met in February 2008, he was two months old; now he is over three. “We did not think it would take very long to bring him home. We will keep waiting for Bakyt,” Scott said. “He is a part of our family.”
In 2008, responding to local rumors that foreigners were adopting babies to harvest their organs, the Kyrgyz government imposed a moratorium on international adoptions. Since then, American families, including the DeBoers, have been waiting to bring home 65 children whose adoptions were in progress [4] when the freeze was announced. According to the Ministry of Social Protection, 30 of the 65 orphans have special health conditions and need regular treatment that is difficult to find in Kyrgyzstan. Two have died. Families in Kyrgyzstan have adopted only four.

Since the collapse of Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s administration [5] last spring, new officials have promised to lift the moratorium and allow the adoptions to proceed. But Minister of Social Protection Aygul Ryskulova, who served as Minister of Labor, Employment and Migration under the old regime, says the government is just too busy to deal with the adoptions. What’s more, concerns linger [6] about the process and the Americans’ motivations. “The facts are still being investigated,” Ryskulova said of the motivations behind the original freeze. “During the last three years the Kyrgyz government found out the whereabouts of most of the children [who had been adopted prior to the ban]. Some of them were adopted by Israeli families, some by Germans, some of them by US parents. But we still don’t know where some children are. We don’t have an exact number of internationally adopted children, where they were sent, how they live now. We have to find out this information.”

The United States has urged the new government to speed the investigation and lift the ban. In February, Ambassador Susan Jacobs, Special Advisor to the Office of Children's Issues in the State Department, traveled to Bishkek to assure local officials that Washington will regularly inform them about the adopted children's lives in the United States until they turn 18, according to local media reports.

MP Shirin Aitmatova, who has pushed for the adoption process to be reformed, says her colleagues in parliament have difficulties understanding the urgency of the issue, given the wide array of social and economic challenges [7] facing Kyrgyzstan.

Moreover, she says, anyone wishing to help with reforms must combat the persistent rumors that foreigners are using the Kyrgyz children for profit. “There was fear that children could potentially be used as organ donors. Some people also assume that since American families that adopt receive certain financial benefits and tax breaks, they must be doing it less out of the goodness of their hearts and rather to supplement their income. Many unfounded ideas circulate in the local population regarding foreigners who express the wish to adopt local children,” Aitmatova explained.

In 2007, Mala Tyler adopted a Kyrgyz boy, Beck, and brought him home to Concord, New Hampshire. She urges Bishkek to lift the moratorium, arguing that the delay only hurts the children. “If the Kyrgyz government has concerns about the welfare of the adopted children, then they need not look any further than the children who are already home. They are loved, they are cherished, they are happy. Relinquishing a child, whether by a parent or by a country, is surely not an easy decision -- certainly not to be taken lightly -- but these children have homes and parents and siblings waiting for them. They have a life full of love waiting for them,” Tyler said.

Yet it seems a knee-jerk fear remains a persistent challenge to any hopes for reform. A parliamentary deputy and former human rights ombudsman, MP Tursunbai Bakir uulu, says that Kyrgyz society is right to be concerned about how these children, often living in underfunded institutions in Kyrgyzstan, will be treated abroad. Without providing evidence, he told “There are so many stories in the world when adopted children were abused, humiliated, even killed. I don’t support international adoption."

Editor's note:
Beishe Bulan is the pseudonym for a Kyrgyz journalist.
· Beishe Bulan
· Kyrgyzstan
· International Adoptions
2010 © Eurasianet
Source URL: