Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The System is Broken

I was offline for a bit while I regrouped after the news of last week, and a lot of negativity and fear that was coming into my inbox.  With permission, I am posting some news from Mike and Karyn, the couple who, after spending roughly 6 weeks in Nepal, had to return home without their child.  They are still fighting for justice, and this is what we are up against.  Number 18 is particularly disturbing.

Embassy Meeting From Sept. 10th

The following are the questions and responses during the embassy meeting. Included in the meeting were Karyn and Michael Brown, our agency representative (from America), Clay Adler the embassy consular, and April (an embassy adoption worker). The meeting takes place in a small room with a glass partition. The conversation is done through microphone and speakers.

After being told our case was being sent to New Delhi, we asked a number of questions and made a few statements. Below are the questions, statements, and responses. All responses are from Clay Adler. We are still working through our notes so there may be some additions to this post later.

1. Brown's: When will the case be physically sent to New Delhi? Response: It has already been sent.

2. Brown's: How long do expect it will take to receive a decision from New Delhi? Response: I would expect two to three months.

3. Brown's: What is the role of the embassy here in Nepal with New Delhi now that the case has been forwarded to them? Response: We have no further role in the investigation and the decision will be made at New Delhi.

4. Brown's: What if New Delhi wants more information, will you (embassy) provide it? Response: No. The burden of proof is on the petitioner and that is you (the Brown's). If they want more information you will need to do your own investigation.

5. Brown's: Can we have or see a copy of the investigation report? Response: No it could compromise the investigation.

6. Brown's: Did you not just tell us that the investigation is over or at least your role in? If New Delhi wants more information how would we know where to start? Response: (no response given).

7. Browns: Can you tell us what type of fraud you found in our case? Response: We did not uncover any fraud in your case, we just could not prove that there is no fraud.

8. Brown's: So you found no fraud yet you are passing the case to New Delhi. Response: It fits the pattern of not being able to verify the documents.

9. Brown's: How do you attempt to verify the documents? Response: We try and find the people who found the child and ask them questions. Kathmandu is a tight community everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

10. Brown's: What does that mean? Response: The documents say that your child was found in a certain location, we will go there and ask people, shop keepers, families, if they saw anything and what they know about it.

11. Brown's: Do you think that people are scared to talk to American officials about things such as abandoned children? Response: That is probably true, but we need to verify the story, we can't be worried about people being scared.

12. Brown's: So you are going to leave 80 children in their orphanages because you can't find a person who will tell you they saw the abandonment and swear that it is true? Response: We are trying to protect you (the Brown's) wouldn't it be worse if a parent who was looking for their child showed up at your door in America and wanted their child back?

13. Brown's: How many times has that happened? How many times as a Nepali parent came to the U.S. Looking for their child? Response: (no response given).

14. Brown's: Emails said that the pipeline people would be treated with the same process as before but it appears it has changed. Response: Nothing has changed every case was and is investigated.

15. Brown's: How many cases where sent to New Delhi prior to August 6th? Response: (no response given).

16. Brown's Representative: It sounds like you are going to shut down adoptions from Nepal. Response: We shut it down on August 6th.

17. Consular: I know how you feel, when I go to the orphanages I like the kids too. Brown's Response: You don't know how we feel. This is the only chance our child has. He is 3 ½ years old, don't you think if someone was looking for him, they would have found him by now or at least made a big enough stink that people where aware they were looking for him? Response: (no response given).

18. Consular: A lot of Senators called and e-mailed us about your case. This was a great burden on us and interrupted our progress in the investigations.

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