End Suspension of Cambodian Adoptions sign now

To President Bush, all members of Congress, and our other elected or appointed officials:

Saturday, December 21st, marked the one year anniversary of the INS Suspension of Cambodian adoptions. We urge you to limit that suspension to one year only. The suspension was a mistake from the first day and should have been lifted long ago.

In the year that this suspension has been in place, approximately 64,000 children under the age of five have died in Cambodia. No one knows how many of those children could have been saved had there been room in an orphanage for them, or a family in America able to adopt them.

The reason given for implementing this suspension was suspicion of child trafficking and other adoption fraud. While we fully support all efforts to root out corruption wherever it exists in international adoption, this suspension was not the way to do so. In shutting down all adoptions the INS has effectively punished the victims, namely the innocent orphans in Cambodia and the American families hoping to adopt them. In just the past year, adoption fraud and child trafficking has been documented in China, Guatemala, Mexico, Russia, Vietnam and the United States of America. None of those countries was shut down by the INS or any other U.S. government agency. In addition, this stated goal blatantly contradicts our own governments regulations. In the Department of States Foreign Affairs Manual (posted at: http://www.foia.state.gov/masterdocs/09fam/0942021N.pdf on the Freedom of Information Act portion of the DOS website) section 42.21 states:

anti-fraud efforts must be balanced with the mandate to provide service to U.S. citizens and the need to be sensitive to the victims of fraud. Effective anti-fraud programs for orphan cases involve efforts beyond normal immigrant visa processing. They often focus on procedures and pre-screening techniques which limit the vulnerability of the visa process to fraud, but which do not unnecessarily delay processing for other cases and avoid, to the extent possible, further hardship for fraud victims.

In his testimony before the House Committee on International Relations on May 22nd of this year, then-Commissioner Ziglar announced a pilot program called the Adjudicate Orphan Status First Initiative. According to Mr. Ziglar, prior to the Hague Convention being implemented and for non-signatory states, we are exploring ways to offer a voluntary service to prospective adoptive parents who are thinking about adopting in certain countries, in essence, to adjudicate orphan first. Unfortunately, since his announcement in May, no effort has been made to make this program available to families wishing to adopt from Cambodia. Instead of simply lifting the suspension and implementing this new program, the INS has repeatedly expanded their so-called humanitarian initiative to include more and more families who were in the process of adopting from Cambodia at the time the suspension was instituted. While these families are overjoyed at the opportunity to complete their adoptions, the system of expanding categories is neither time nor cost effective and falls far short of being a satisfactory solution. What of the countless families who had not filed their I600as before December 21st 2001? Many families have previously adopted from Cambodia and now wish to adopt again. They are prohibited from doing so because of this suspension. In addition, many others feel called to adopt from Cambodia for the first time but can not because of this suspension.



In the meantime, thousands of children are suffering needlessly in Cambodia. The funds from international adoptions pay to feed those children. Orphanages are built and expanded with adoption funds. Hospitals and other humanitarian projects are funded with money from international adoptions. Hundreds or even thousands of Cambodian orphans could find forever families in America if the suspension were lifted.



We do not condone any form of child trafficking or corruption anywhere in the international adoption process. We encourage the INS to complete its investigations and make arrests where they are warranted. In the meantime, we urge you to stop punishing the victims. Lift the INS suspension immediately.






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Latest Signatures

  • 11 December 20151000. Dawn C
    I support this petition
  • 01 December 2015999. Dory H
    Wilmette, Illinois, mother of Cambodian born son
  • 24 November 2015998. James F
    I support this petition
  • 22 November 2015997. Eva Ashgreenlawnnewy
    I support this petition
  • 16 November 2015996. Cyndee B
    I support this petition
  • 15 November 2015995. Deborah C
    I support this petition
  • 14 November 2015994. Wendy B
    Please help to end this nightmare suspension so that these children can have a chance at life.
  • 10 November 2015993. Lisa N
    NY
  • 05 November 2015992. Katie H
    В
  • 02 November 2015991. Lisa Z
    I support this petition
  • 02 November 2015990. Sandra A
    I support this petition
  • 26 October 2015989. Jeffrey L
    I support this petition
  • 20 October 2015988. Susan B
    I am a proud adoptive mother of Cambodian children!
  • 20 October 2015987. Ericka B
    I support this petition
  • 07 October 2015986. James T
    I support this petition
  • 07 October 2015985. Tally R
    Carbondale, IL
  • 07 October 2015984. Christine Mb
    I support this petition
  • 02 October 2015983. Ashley M
    PLEASE END THIS SUSPENSION! These children need us!
  • 13 September 2015982. Jennifer C
    I am a 23 year old single woman very anxious to be a mom, I will be applying to adopt at 24, hoping to be a mother by 25. I hope this can be resolved soon for the childrens sake. They are the ones truely suffering here.
  • 05 September 2015981. Tonya M
    I support this petition
  • 03 September 2015980. Russell M
    I support this petition
  • 02 September 2015979. Cynthia V
    Please expedite the investigation and end the suspension.
  • 29 August 2015978. Pat F
    ASAP PLEASE
  • 22 August 2015977. Margaret P
    Rochester, New York
  • 15 August 2015976. Jennifer H
    I support this petition
  • 12 August 2015975. Lynne M
    I support this petition
  • 09 August 2015974. Melissa M
    To the members of Congress: Stopping the process of adoption of any orphan, whether in Cambodia or elsewhere in the world, is sentencing them to a slow,painful,and miserable death sentence. Think about this when you put your children to bed tonight.

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Information

Rosalyn PenaBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
President Bush, members of Congress, and all appointed or elected Federal officials

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