Wednesday, May 6, 2009

UPDATE: Kyrgyzstan

This from JCICS:

It is Joint Council's understanding from discussions with the U.S. Dept of State, Office of Children's Issues that a number of arrests have been made in Kyrgyzstan in connection to intercountry adoptions. It is also our understanding that key Kyrgyz officials have confirmed the arrests of at least one adoption coordinator. Joint Council is currently working to confirm the arrests of at least two other coordinators. The latest information indicates that some of the illegal activity under investigation involve intercountry adoptions for children matched with U.S. citizen adoptive parents, including the creation of fraudulent paperwork for the purposes of intercountry adoption. Joint Council is currently working to confirm the charges and the extent of investigations. It is unknown at this time how this will affect the 65 pending cases.

In response to the current developments in Kyrgyzstan Joint Council is currently advocating with the U.S. Dept of State, Office of Children's Issues for a conference call for families who are matched with a referral. Given the limited schedule of the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan this week we do not anticipate this call occurring until late in the week of May 11th or during the week of May 18th.

Further, Joint Council has at this time decided it is necessary to suspend the current campaign of waiting child stories and the U.S. congressional campaign until further information is available on the investigations, charges, arrests and extent of illegal activities. At this time we respectfully request that prospective adoptive parents with referrals not take drastic advocacy measures for their case or the 65 pending cases. In conversations with government officials it is apparent that aggressive advocacy efforts at this time may simply be counterproductive. In order to ensure that advocacy efforts are strategic and directed at the appropriate officials and within an effective context, it is necessary to see how the investigations are resolved in Kyrgyzstan. Joint Council is greatly saddened by these recent events and offers our continued support to all families. We will continue to advocate for the children of Kyrgyzstan and the processing of legal, ethical intercountry adoptions from Kyrgyzstan with the strongest of commitments. Joint Council will also continue to update Member Organizations, adoptive families and all key stakeholders as the situation develops.

Thank you for your continued support of Joint Council and the children we all serve.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

One of Many Updates....Sort of

This is an edit of a post from an agency very active in Kyrgyzstan. They are kind enough to keep people updated on what is happening (or at least what they know).

The Parliament did not discuss adoption this week. Next week is holidays, so if they meet they may not discuss adoption. The following week they are back on schedule and we expect they will issue their decision. The MOE is clearly operating with the belief that they will give a green light to completing adoptions in process; they indicate that it will take about a month to catch up with the matched waiting families. We do not know if they will then continue to make referrals to other families, or if the Embassy will accept new dossiers, or what. Hopefuly all of the above. The investigations continue. Most in-country coordinators have been called in for questioning. A couple judges have been unseated. They continue to raise those bizarre questions about "Why do foreign families want Kyrgyz orphans?" We've heard that family stories and photos have been helpful at debunking myths and allaying fears. The US Embassy is actively engaging the Kyrgyz officials to resolve the impasse. I don't know how many more times I can bear saying "one more week" or you can bear hearing it, but we are still stuck.