Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Responding to Senator/Rep. letters

I am sharing this post from another Nepal pipeline family's blog.   I met Chad, Celia and Karina while I was in Nepal and hope to see them upon my return.  Thank you for reading. Peace, Sharlyn

If you all have sent letters, you have probably received generic letters parroting the incorrect rhetoric from the US Embassy in Kathmandu. There has been NO fraud found in any of our cases.

Here is how to respond. Thanks!

Here is a template of facts for a letter:

Your reply to your own constituents was completely inaccurate as to the truth of the situation and I thought you should be aware of the facts so that you are better set to actually help your constituents who are in this very difficult situation.
Fact 1 - out of 63 investigations done by the US embassy in Kathmandu (they are now finished by the way), they found NO fraud, not one piece of evidence of fraud. This is by their OWN admission.
Fact 2 - that case you cite about parents looking for their biological child was 1 1/2 years ago. It was due to a once off fraudulent orphanage director. That orphanage was suspended and for a year after the US govt issued visas for all US cases for a year until the suspension.
Fact 3 - that was the ONLY case out of about all adoptions completed in two years that was found to be fraudulent
Fact 3 - 6 dead babies are delivered to the morgue every week due exposure from being abandoned. That's 300 a year. They are the tip of the iceberg as most abandoned babies do thankfully survive. In the 2 years since adoption reopened there have been less than 200 adoptions globally. There is no need to manufacture orphans, there are 750,000 of them living in Nepal right now. And 100 adoptions a year spread over the many orphanages is hardly an incentive to traffic children
Fact 4 - Most of the children affected by this erroneous US govt policy were abandoned when there WASN"T even an adoption program open in Nepal (ie during 2007/2008 when the adoption system was being reformed). These children are not babies, they've been in the orphanage for years
Fact 5 - The US embassy has given out 6 visas since the suspension. Most of these children were under 18 months old, so their abandonment was recent and easier to verify (actually when the current adoption program was already open). So why would the younger kids be truly abandoned (and they were abandoned when there was an adoption program running) and the older kids, not be, even though most were abandoned when they were newborns during the moratorium on adoption during 2007/2008.The only reason the paperwork is harder to verify for these children isn't because it is falsified, its' because the events were so long ago they are difficult to verify as they would be in any country
Fact 6 - All the families having to undergo the extreme hardship of doing their own investigations have found orphanage staff and police to be co-operative. They have found their children to be truly abandoned and many have been able to verify the paperwork. It was the insensitivity of the US staff to the ways of the Nepalese culture that resulted in poor investigation results. It wasn't due to some grand conspiracy about trafficking.
Fact 7 - There is child trafficking in Nepal for the sex trade and domestic slavery and the US government has confused this with trafficking for adoption of which there is NONE!
This has been verified by several NGO's working in Nepal for many many years.
Fact 8 - Birth Certificates are not fraudulent. The DOS have taken what is normal procedure but put it through the lense of their pre existing bias and deemed them "fabricated". In a sense they are but how else can an abandoned child get a birth certificate where the true data is unknown? It's not fair to single out Nepal paperwork in this fashion where the same thing happens in many countries, even the US. The US has a safe haven law in many states allowing babies to be "abandoned" at hospitals, fire stations etc. They then allow the "foundling birth certificate" to be created by hospitals allowing a "best guess" at the birthdate and with parentage unknown. Why then accuse the Nepalese of fabrication when they are simply following similar laws and procedures to allow an abandoned child to have a birth certificate.

In summary, when parents get the canned response such as yours it is infuriating to say the least given we know the TRUTH. And given the TRUTH it is an outrage that these families and most of all their children continue to suffer very severe emotional and financial hardships because of erroneous conclusions by the US govt supported by no proof of fraud whatsover.

Thank you

Here are some sources to corroborate the facts presented in my comments.

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