Sunday, December 20, 2009

Adoptees Sent Back Because of Alleged Visa Fraud

The U.S. has set another precedent based on the Hague in sending two sisters: Komal and Shallu back to India, three years after being adopted by a Minnesota couple.

The couple was told the girls were 12 and 15. The older girl displayed disruptive, acting out, angry behavior and the mother thought she seemed older than 15 so took her to doctors to test her theory. She alleges that the girls are 15 and 21 and based on that and that the agency committed fraud, the girls were sent back. Full story here.

Obviously, had she been more obedient, this would not have happened. Was this a terminated adoption because the children didn't "bond" and behave as expected?

It is most interesting that when the U.S. adoptive parents are pressing the issue and unhappy with their "goods" they received - perhaps not as represented -  the government steps in and calls it VISA FRAUD!  Yet the Government does nothing when the complaints are coming from the parents whose children were stolen!
Note that in both cases, fraudulent Visas may have been issued. 

This case was decided based on age testing which is far less conclusive that the DNA testing to confirm or deny kidnappings. 

Recently, at the Practising Law Center conference, I heard Pat O'Brien of "You Gotta Beleive!" an organization advocating for aging-out "emancipated" foster kids. Pat tries to find them families. He said many of the families he interviews say of their foster kids "I would keep Johnny forever" as a foster child but are reluctant to adopt.  The litmus test he uses to test their commitment is asking them:
What can your child to to stop being a member of your family?  REAL parents, know the answer is absolutely nothing!  Even if one of your children were hurting other of your children (not claimed in this case), you'd get him the help he needed but you'd never get rid of him entirely!

The Melichars are suing the adoption agency for $50,000.

Are they really the wounded parties here?  If it is true that the girls were much odler than claimed, the girls say they were told to lie. The agency denies it, of course.


Steve said...

A number of thoughts are provoked by this article.

Justice is clearly not a two way street.

The thin line between trafficking and "adoption" certainly has been obscured here.

I can't help but wonder when I see cases like this if there is more that makes it different, and therefore flagged, than the behavior of the children. Did the girls start in the system to be placed with a different "family" with different intentions?

Even if it was an "innocent" series of mistakes and greed motivated system abuses, it should be punished as if these girls were being trafficked for slavery or unthinkable. Because there is absolutely no legal difference.

Maybe the State department's quick call of Visa Fraud was because the realization that it may have been something much worse.

AdoptAuthor said...

Hmmm...thanks for your thoughts. I certainly agree that justice is not a two way street and much of adoption internationally is trafficking.

I know one thing. Had these girls met their new [choke] "forever" family pleased, no matter what their age, they would NOT have been sent back! This family found a loophole to get rid of an unhappy, unruly child - and her sister. Others who adopt internationally and wind up with kids they claim "do not bond" or have "disorders" are not so lucky! They often need to pay to place the kids in group homes or "ranches" or find someone to take them off their hands.

And them suing the agency is the icing on the cake!

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