Ms. Hansen,
You are not alone. Many parents who have put their hearts and families on the line to bring home an older child from another country, have found themselves duped by the only people they had to trust–orphanages and the adoption agencies they work with. The only people who really know– and have the opportunity to know– your prospective child’s mental and physical health are those that purport to take care of him every day in the country you are adopting from, and those adoption agencies here who are supposed to ensure the information given to you about your child is accurate and as complete as is available. If those people fail you, you are lost, because you do not have the information you need to make sound choices about who you wish to make part of your family.
The United States, while purporting to adopt stringent standards pursuant to the Hague Convention regarding the rights of intercountry adoptive parents and prospective children, has failed to fully investigate intercountry adoptions on a case by case basis, and have failed to enforce their own rules regarding intercountry adoption. While families here are put through rigorous evaluations to ensure they are suitable parents for the children they seek to adopt, the agencies and their affiliated orphanages in other countries are not as meticulously inspected or evaluated. Tragically, there are too many stories like your own, Ms. Hansen, about the fraudulent withholding of critical information regarding a child’s mental or medical condition that causes the adoptive family to find itself completely unprepared for what awaits them.
I hope that because of your story and others, this country will take up its duty to fully investigate all intercountry adoptions so that no family or child has to go through this type of ordeal again– and that the agencies are held accountable when they go wrong.
Francesca Gianuario
Goyette & Associates Inc. Attorneys at Law Office