Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Orson Mozes Captured


I realize it is hard for the media to keep all of our children and time periods straight, but the ten days spent bonding with our child only refers to the time we spent with Stas. Stephen was the third child and we spent a month bonding with him.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A TRULY Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!

Click on the title of this post to read the newspaper article. Orson is FINALLY in JAIL!!!!!!! A tip was called into America's Most Wanted and they arrested him today in Miami. This is truly a VERY, VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Article on Lawsuit Against Main Street Adoptions

Click on the title of this post and it will take you to the article about the lawsuit against Main Street Adoptions. Joni Fixel is the attorney handling the case :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Video on Orson Mozes


Friday, December 26, 2008

More Orson Mozes Press: Naples News

One of ‘America’s Most Wanted’ may have slipped through Collier’s legal system

By RYAN MILLSOriginally published 05:46 p.m., December 26, 2008Updated 05:46 p.m., December 26, 2008

NAPLES — Authorities are investigating whether a fugitive featured on the television program “America’s Most Wanted” was arrested in Collier County in November, but then bonded out and slipped away before anyone knew his true identity.

Norma Hansen, a criminal investigator for the district attorney’s office in Santa Barbara, Calif., said she has evidence that 57-year-old Orson Mozes, who is wanted in California on 62 counts of theft by false pretenses for running an international adoption scam, was arrested in Collier County on Nov. 15 using the alias “Jack Rose.” The Florida Highway Patrol made the arrest.
Rose was charged with possession of a forged or stolen driver license and driving without a license, but posted an $8,000 bond and skipped town before his court appearance.

Hansen said Mozes was then arrested twice in Miami-Dade County, in mid-December using the alias Jerry Brosse, but bonded out and slipped away each time.

“Our sheriff’s department’s warrants bureau got a call from the Miami-Dade warrants bureau saying, ‘We had this guy in custody on the 21st, but he bailed out,’” Hansen said.

The aliases “Jack Rose” and “Jerry Brosse” are showing up on Mozes’ criminal history, Hansen said.

A warrant for Mozes’ arrest was signed on April 1, in Santa Barbara. According to an affidavit, Mozes operated an international adoption agency, Adoption International Program, from his California mansion.
He told prospective parents that he could “hold” children for them in foreign countries, primarily Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Russia. The prospective parents then sent the agency a fee, generally between $7,000 and $11,000, to “hold” the child, the affidavit said.

After paying, a majority of the parents were told “Your child is no longer available,” reports said. On at least 10 occasions Mozes promised the same child to multiple adoptive parents, investigators said.

The affidavit lists 62 victims with an estimated loss of more than $1 million.
Paula Cade, a paralegal for the Michigan law firm handling the civil lawsuit against Adoption International Program, said Mozes was illegally posting photos of Kazakhstan children on Web sites.

“Somebody would see child number 47 and they’d say ‘I want to adopt child 47,’” Cade said. “Six or seven people wanted to adopt child 47, and Orson took money from all these people.”

Mozes “disappeared” in June 2007, according to the affidavit. His ex-wife told authorities he took $500,000 at the time he “took off.”

He was featured on America’s Most Wanted in August.

“We had no idea where he was, if he was even still alive,” Hansen said.
Around 6 p.m. on Nov. 14, Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Roberto Castilla pulled over a white, four-door Mazda traveling at 85 mph in a 70 mph zone in the westbound lanes of Interstate 75 near the Collier toll plaza, according to an arrest report.

The driver handed Castilla a California license with the name “Jack Rose.” He said he was “heading to Tampa to see his girlfriend’s father,” reports said.
The license didn’t check out, however, coming back to a Manruque Bucio Torres. When asked for another form of identification, the driver handed over a Social Security card that also didn’t check out, coming back to a Miguel Rico, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

The driver was arrested and booked into the Collier County jail.
He posted bond and was released instead of appearing before a judge. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to show at his Dec. 8 court date.
“We had no control over the FHP establishing a bond for him,” said Jim Williams, chief of investigations for the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. “If the trooper established a bond for him, as soon as he is able to make that bond ... he’s free to go.”

Williams said the Sheriff’s Office does not set bond for charges a driver is arrested on, instead requiring an appearance before a judge to buy time to determine the driver’s identity.

When reached on his cell phone Friday, Florida Highway Patrol spokesman, Lt. Chris Miller, said he was unaware of the arrest. He said it would only be second guessing to say how Castilla identified the driver of the Mazda.

“If the arresting officer felt like he had identified that individual, then he would go by the bond schedule,” Miller said, referring to standard bond procedures.
Williams said he believes the Mazda driver’s fingerprints were run through the Sheriff’s Office’s computer databases, and were not flagged. He said the Sheriff’s Office is working with state and federal authorities to determine if Jack Rose is, in fact, Orson Mozes.

“It potentially could be,” Williams said. “He’s got numerous AKAs, but we need to have confirmation of fingerprints from the FBI that it is who we think it is.”
Because Mozes’ previous arrest record is from the 1970s, authorities said it is possible his fingerprints are not in automated databases.

“How did they let him bond out without determining who he really was?” Cade asked. “That’s what bothers me about this. That’s what bothers a lot of my clients, too.”

Anyone with information about Orson Mozes’ whereabouts is asked to contact their local authorities, or America’s Most Wanted confidential hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV.

Orson Mozes Arrested in Florida - and RELEASED - TWICE!!!

Crime Tracker Alert: Most Wanted Criminal in SWFL?
Posted: Dec 24, 2008 9:44 PM EST
Dec 24, 2008 09:44 PM EST
Updated: Dec 26, 2008 8:09 AM EST
Dec 26, 2008 08:09 AM EST

On Fox's "America's Most Wanted," John Walsh tracks fugitives. But not everyone is brought to justice, like Orson Mozes. He's wanted in Santa Barbara County, California for running an adoption scam and stealing at least a million dollars from dozens of innocent people.

"I don't think any words could give it justice," says Dawn DeLorenzo of New Jersey. She says she's one of Mozes' victims. "We first came into contact with Orson Mozes when we decided in April of 2006, after a few unsuccessful fertility treatments, to look into adoption," explains DeLorenzo. Dawn and her husband say they gave Mozes' agency over $26,000 in fees to adopt three orphans overseas in Kazakhstan. The couple went abroad and spent thousands more, but never got their money's worth. The adoptions fell through and so did their dreams. "You start imagining your future together with that child," laments DeLorenzo.

So where is Orson Mozes? "He's most likely somewhere in Florida," says Criminal Investigator Norma Hansen of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office. More Specifically, he could be somewhere in South Florida or Southwest Florida. "Up until a couple of days ago we weren't even really sure if he was alive or still in the country," explains Hansen. Using the alias "Jack Rose," Hansen discovered Mozes was arrested in Collier County in November for having a fake driver's license and fake social security number. Despite his felony warrant in Santa Barbara County, he was able to bond out and walk the streets. Hansen says she doesn't know how he was able to slip through the fingers of law enforcement. "Not being law enforcement in Florida, I don't know what the procedure is before someone's released- if they check their fingerprints."
Investigator Hansen also found out Mozes was arrested just last Sunday in Miami for petty theft. Just like Collier County he was able to bond out of jail.
Hansen says, "It's very frustrating for me, but more so for all the victims."

As for Dawn DeLorenzo, she has mixed feelings. She explains, "We're very happy to know that he's still in the country. (But) disappointed that for some reason he was allowed to go. I don't know what happened there- who dropped the ball, but I'm sure that they're going to get him."

If you see Orson Mozes or know his whereabouts, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office wants you to call police immediately. He is not considered armed or dangerous. He is considered a flight risk.

Posted By: Rosemary Connors
rconnors@fox4now.com

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lisa Novak GUILTY: A Victory for All PAPs & APs

This is a true victory for all PAPs (and APs) who were lied to, mistreated, and victimized by their adoption agency. I believe the message is becoming loud and clear: You cannot use orphans to bilk people of their money, their dreams, and their sanity! This woman deserves EVERYTHING that is happening to her ~ and more! I think there are many more guilty verdicts in the future!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jury Begins Deliberations in Novak Trial (Claar Foundation)

By Heath Urie (Contact)
Originally published 08:00 a.m., December 9, 2008 Updated 01:46 p.m., December 9, 2008

The fate of a former Erie trustee accused of stealing money from prospective parents who used her former Boulder-based adoption agency is now in the hands of a jury.

Lisa Novak, 48, began her trial on multiple theft and fraud charges last Monday. The trial was expected to last up to 12 days, however Novak's defense attorney, Lance Goff, did not call any witnesses and both sides were able to rest their cases on Monday.

Novak did not take the stand in her own defense. Her attorney told jurors that Novak's company policy was clear that fees from prospective parents were not refundable.

Prosecutor Michael Foote began his closing arguments Tuesday by telling the jury that the trial has been "sad."

“This trial was a sad one to sit through for many different reasons," he said. "It was sad to see someone like Lisa Novak stoop so low on so many occasions. It was sad to see so many of her clients betrayed."

Foote said Novak lied to clients.

“All they wanted to do was to bring a child into their family," he said. "Instead, they had to deal with Ms. Novak who was deceptive and manipulative all the way.”

Foote said Novak was the "president, CEO and accountant" of Claar Foundation, and that she was responsible for the decisions of the company.

Novak cannot hide behind a "corporate shield," he said.
Foote told the jury that Novak took her clients' money to sustain her own paycheck, knowing she could not return it or deliver on promises to hopeful families.

“Ms. Novak refuses to take responsibility for that manipulation," Foote said.

"Somebody needs to stand up and tell Ms. Novak this is wrong.”

“She won't do it herself. Ladies and gentlemen, that someone, is you.”

Novak's attorney, Lance Goff, began to deliver his closing arguments shortly after 12:20 p.m.

“This is a business failure case," Goff told the jury. “Every business that fails will be left with creditors. Every one of the complainants in this case is a creditor or potential creditor of Claar Foundation.”

Goff said all the clients who signed on with Novak's former company agreed to certain policies, including that refunding money was never an option.

“Claar Foundation's fee policy is very clear," Goff said. "All fees paid are for services rendered and are non-refundable.”

The panel of jurors were sent to deliberate Novak's fate beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Novak faces nine counts of theft and one count of fraud by check.

Novak is suspected of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from parents hoping to adopt children from other countries. Her former Boulder-based Claar Foundation is at the center of the allegations, with prosecutors saying she used the foundation to help settle a lawsuit brought by her brother.

Focus on Children Defendants to Plead Guilty

By Pamela Manson
The Salt Lake Tribune
December 09, 2009

Former operators and employees of a Wellsville adoption agency accused of fraud in connection with the adoptions of Samoan children are expected to enter guilty pleas in the case.

In a hearing Tuesday afternoon before U.S. District Judge David Sam in Salt Lake City, a prosecutor and defense attorneys for the Focus on Children defendants say they are working out the final details on plea deals for five of the seven defendants in the case.

The judge scheduled hearings for Jan. 6, when plea negotiations are expected to be complete. Four defendants -- Karen Banks, Scott Banks, Coleen Bartlett and Karalee Thornock -- are slated to enter guilty pleas at a morning hearing. The fifth defendant, Dan Wakefield, will appear at an afternoon hearing.

The U.S. government has been unable to extradite the other two defendants, Samoan citizens Tagaloa Ieti and Julie Tuiletufuga, and they are not part of these negotiations.

The lawyers involved in the case declined to give details of the plea agreements.
A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City issued a 135-count indictment in 2007 charging the defendants with fraud and immigration violations.

The indictment claimed the Focus on Children workers duped parents in Samoa into giving the agency their children, falsely saying they would return to them when they turned 18.

In addition, prospective adoptive parents in the United States allegedly were falsely told that the youngsters were orphans.

U.S. immigration laws required the children to be orphans, defined as abandoned by both parents or left with one parent who cannot provide care.
The alleged conspiracy involved about 80 children.

The defendants all pleaded not guilty. Lawyers for the Bankses, who operated Focus on Children, said four of Samoa's most prestigious attorneys had given sworn affidavits describing how Samoan birth parents were repeatedly told they were giving up legal rights to their children and should not expect to see them again.

Focus on Children ceased operations in Utah in the summer of 2007.
pmanson@sltrib.com

Monday, December 8, 2008

America's Most Wanted Airing Sat. 1/3/2009

So, the America's Most Wanted piece about Orson will air on Saturday, January 3rd at 9/8 C on FOX. You have to check your local listings to see what channel it shows on in your area. God willing, someone will know where the scumbag is and call in.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sue Hedberg ~ More Scum in the International Adoption Pond

Oviedo agency faces multiple complaints
By Amanda Welch December 03, 2008

OVIEDO - Minnesota couple Mike and Lesley Harmoning spent an emotionally draining five years trying to have a child before they decided to adopt.
In September 2007 they chose Celebrate Children International, a Christian international adoption agency in Oviedo, to handle the adoption. Harmoning said everything ran like clockwork - at first.

By January 2007 they were sent pictures of their newborn daughter Daphne, a Guatemalan infant. By March, they had visited Daphne in her home country, and in April, the adoption was reviewed by the Guatemalan attorney general's office, the Procuradur a General de la Nacion, or PGN.

But then Harmoning found out there were problems. They were told by CCI that their case had been sent back later that month, but that the corrections were made and their case was re-submitted to the PGN in May.

In e-mails Harmoning kept from CCI, the adoption agency told her the case had been rejected from PGN again in June. And then again in August. And again in September. When October came around with no word from CCI, Harmoning said she began to wonder.

"It was really just like this gut instinct that something's not right here," she said. "They're not being up front with me. They're not sharing information without me asking."

It took nearly a year from the first time Mike and Lesley Harmoning saw pictures of their daughter Daphne before the adoption was finalized. And they're not the only couple to complain about how Oviedo CCI handled their case.

During October last year, the Florida Department of Children and Families' central region licensing office received 10 other anonymous complaints about CCI. They were taken by DCF's lead licensing specialist, Amy Hammett, and obtained by the Chronicle through a public records request.

Besides the Harmonings, three other families from the file have confirmed their documented stories with the Chronicle, but wanted to remain anonymous.
Hammett conducted investigations at CCI's office on Oct. 26 and Oct. 30 of last year. She interviewed CCI's director, Sue Hedberg, to address complaints about the length of the adoption process, the contractual restraints, Hedberg's income, and the use of psychological evaluations as scare tactics to force inquisitive clientele to quiet down.

Because the complainants requested anonymity, Hammett said she had to rely heavily on her interviews with CCI director Sue Hedberg. The result was one-sided findings that were almost wholly attributed to Hedberg. Hammett did recommend that CCI improve its record keeping and communication with clientele.

The Harmoning family filed a complaint against CCI after a series of events. Because of the contract they signed with the agency, the only contact the Harmonings had up to that point was with CCI.

CCI's adoption contract does not allow adopting parents to contact anyone overseas without the adoption agency's consent. This restraint, the contract explained, was to prevent miscommunications and inaccurate information from crossing borders.

Harmoning said she called the PGN anyway and was told that the case had not been re-submitted since May.

In e-mails, she confronted CCI with this information. The adoption agency's e-mailed response admonished Harmoning for breaching contract, warning her that because of her "anger," that, "there may be some extra steps warranted before completing this adoption."

CCI's contract also allowed the agency to request extra measures at its discretion, such as parenting classes and psychological evaluations.
"That's when I was devastated," she said. "I'm thinking, 'Something is wrong with my case ... I don't know when my daughter is coming home.'"

So the Harmonings hired an independent organization to check on their case. In an e-mail sent to the Harmonings on Oct. 15, 2007, the organization, Adoption Supervisors, confirmed that the case had not been re-submitted to the PGN since May.

That month, Harmoning filed her complaint against CCI with DCF, becoming one of the 10 that sparked the investigation.

The extent to which DCF can control adoption agencies relies on Florida statutes and DCF administrative code, which address virtually nothing about international adoption and is being updated for the first time in 15 years.
DCF spokeswoman Sarrah Troncoso said DCF hopes to make Florida compliant with the Hague Adoption Convention, which set standards to prevent human trafficking, abuse, pay-offs and profiting in international adoption.

In January of this year, Guatemala stopped all new adoptions to the U.S. indefinitely because the U.S. is not compliant with the Hague Convention.
There is no entity that oversees the adoptions from beginning to end. Instead, various agencies, such as DCF, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy, assume responsibility for different parts of the process.

The broken-up system has thus become prone to children falling through the cracks, as with Maria Fernanda and her younger sister, Ana Christina.
Earlier this year, an anonymous complainant accused CCI of nearly adopting out the two girls, who had been stolen from their mother, according to Guatemalan press and the complainant's account.

The girls had since been given back to their mother, but the complaint spurred a second investigation of CCI on April 14. Hammett found that the girls were the Guatemalan government's responsibility, but that CCI had once again been negligent in record keeping and communication.

Although DCF controls licensing for Florida adoption agencies, Hammett said there was not enough evidence to warrant suspending or revoking CCI's license.
But if DCF adopts standards set by the Hague Convention, CCI could be shut down.

The state department designated an independent organization, the Council on Accreditation, to determine which U.S. adoption agencies are compliant with the Hague Convention. Of the more than 200 adoption agencies that the COA has thus examined, only 18 were denied accreditation, COA president and CEO Richard Klarberg said.

CCI was denied in May. The COA was not able to release the details of CCI's denial, but Klarberg said agencies are denied when there is "clear and convincing" evidence that they have violated conditions set by the Hague convention, regarding the adoptability of children.

If DCF requires international adoption agencies to be Hague-accredited, then non-accredited agencies, such as CCI, will have to cease international adoptions.
CCI has facilitated 1,200 adoptions, Hedberg said.

During a September phone interview, Hedberg was aggravated with the complaints and the accreditation denial. She said that the government exerting more control over international adoptions will deprive needy children of homes in the U.S.

"I know we are doing a wonderful thing," Hedberg said.

DCF is currently reviewing its code and hopes to propose changes to a reform committee in January, spokeswoman Troncoso said.

Its Central Florida licensing office is now investigating another CCI complaint about money mismanagement.

Daphne has been at home in Minnesota for almost a year, but Lesley Harmoning no longer communicates with CCI. She still believes she was lied to during those five months last year.

"Sue [Hedberg] to this day will not say that's how it happened," Harmoning said. "She tells me my case was in there the whole time, and I'm wrong about this."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!



Tuesday, November 25, 2008

State Accuses Commonwealth Adoptions of Fraud

State accuses Tucson adoption agency of fraud
Attorney general alleges $215,000 in unpaid refunds; Commonwealth says it's been working with families

By Dale Quinn
arizona daily star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 11.19.2008

The state accused a Tucson-based international adoption agency of consumer fraud Tuesday, claiming in a lawsuit the company failed to refund nearly $215,000 to adopting families.

Commonwealth Adoptions International Inc. shut down earlier this year after it was denied the accreditation required by many countries to place children with foreign families.

Families who had already begun the adoption process, some of whom paid thousands of dollars, were denied repayment, documents filed in Pima County Superior Court show.

Commonwealth President Marina Mayhew, Director of Operations Dawn Hill and board members Jim Sellers, James Mayhew, Dan Bish and William Hundelang are each named in the lawsuit.

Mayhew said in an e-mail that Commonwealth was surprised by the accusation and that the company has been working with families so they wouldn't be affected by the closure.

According to the complaint filed by Attorney General Terry Goddard, Commonwealth engaged in a pattern of misrepresentation and deceptive practices when it offered domestic and foreign adoption services to families.

The company entered contracts with families and claimed it would provide adoption services in exchange for fees. Instead, Commonwealth pooled the money, using cash paid by one set of parents to pay for other families' adoptions, the lawsuit says.

More than 20 families asked for refunds when Commonwealth failed to provide those services, but after going out of business the agency said the money had already been used for other families' adoptions, according to the attorney general.

In the e-mail, Mayhew said she hadn't seen the complaint.

The agency learned in July that it had been denied accreditation required by the Hague Convention — a treaty that governs international adoptions, signed by the United States and nearly 75 other countries. The aim of the treaty, which went into effect April 1, is to prevent the illegal trafficking of children and to ensure that international adoption is in the best interest of the child.

"We have been working on transitioning families to other adoption professionals since that time," Mayhew said. "At present, out of 340 families in process at the time of (the) closing announcement, the overwhelming majority have been transferred to other adoption agencies without interruption or having to pay additional fees."

The agency has sought consultation from a bankruptcy attorney but has postponed filing for Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, Mayhew said. The company put off filing so its volunteer staffers could continue transitioning families to other agencies, she said. Commonwealth had been in business for 15 years and successfully processed more than 2,000 adoptions, Mayhew said.
Commonwealth had offices in Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as in Tucson at 1585 E. River Road.

● Contact reporter Dale Quinn at 573-4197 or dquinn@azstarnet.com

Saturday, November 22, 2008

PAPs Let Daughter Go After Suspicious DNA Results

Please click on the title of this post to read the story.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

They All Fall Down...

Adoption Agency Called A Brazen Fraud

DETROIT (CN) - Six couples say Main Street Adoption Services, of Lancaster, Pa., took them for more than $250,000 and never delivered any of the babies they promised. Some plaintiffs say they flew to Guatemala, and were put off with lies and misrepresentations. The 12 plaintiffs - six couples - also sued Main Street CEO Nina Heller, director Bob McClenaghan, and agent Marcia Del Carpio. All of them misrepresent themselves as experts in international adoptions, the plaintiffs say.Most of the plaintiffs say they contacted the defendants or were contacted by them defendants through the Web site precious.org. They claim the defendants run Main Street as a "brazen criminal activity," knowing they face "little to no threat of civil action by the adoptive parents because of the constant threat of the Defendant MS stopping any adoption that is currently in the system." They accuse the defendants of fraud, extortion, soliciting bribery and RICO violations. They are represented in Federal Court by Joni Fixel of East Lansing. Click on the title of this post to read the lawsuit.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Project Oz - One of Far Too Many Unscrupulous Adoption Agencies

Empty wallets, empty cribs for parents of failed international adoptions
BEN MOOK
Daily Record Assistant Business Editor
October 19, 2008 7:22 PM

After their youngest daughter went off to college, Elizabeth and Thomas Rozenbroek decided to make one more addition to the family, paying $25,000 to adopt an 8-year-old Guatemalan girl recommended to them by the owner of an adoption agency. The adoption, facilitated by Project Oz Adoptions Inc., was finalized in December 2005. However, within a few months, the child began to exhibit signs of severe aggression — choking the family dog and attempting to gouge out its eyes, breaking windows and even pulling a knife on a family member. By the time the girl had turned 10, she had been hospitalized for a host of psychiatric problems and police had been called to the Rozenbroek’s Calvert County home no fewer than five times due to the child’s behavior. “It’s just not a good situation, obviously, but it’s what we’re faced with,” Elizabeth Rozenbroek said. “She’s so violent and, as horrible as it is to say, I can’t trust her in the home. So, we have a child who we’ve legally adopted who has been in psychiatric care now more than she’s been in our home.” The child is in long-term residential care now, and the couple (who split up due to stresses from the adoption, Elizabeth Rozenbroek said) have little contact with her outside of a few hours of visitation allowed intermittently and at the discretion of the facility. The Rozenbroeks are among the plaintiffs in a civil racketeering lawsuit against Project Oz and its owner, Kerry Palakanis, filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt. The Rozenbroeks contend that Kerry Palakanis never told them about the child’s psychiatric problems or the fact that she had been removed from her original adoptive parents’ home in California because of severe aggressive behavior toward a sibling. A novel approach As an international adoption “facilitator,” Project Oz’s purpose is to put potential parents in touch with the birth mother, an orphanage or other agency to find an adoptable child. The agency is then paid to guide the paperwork through the complex, time-consuming process. For an additional fee, they would take parents to the child’s home country for required visits before adoption. The plaintiffs claim that Palakanis preyed on desperate parents and fleeced them for thousands of dollars in fees with little or no effort put into completing the adoptions of mostly Guatemalan children. “You have heartbroken families with empty bank accounts and empty cribs,” said Joni Fixel, the East Lansing, Mich., co-counsel representing the families with Gary Huggins of Gaithersburg. “What we have are families who are just devastated financially and emotionally.” In their civil lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the plaintiffs paint a picture of threats, extortion and lies during the adoption process. A civil RICO lawsuit is similar to the criminal version made famous by prosecutions against mob figures. With a civil RICO case, however, a criminal conviction is not necessary and treble damages are possible. Barbara McArtney, a New York attorney and board member of Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform, said suing under civil RICO was a novel approach that many advocates of adoption reform were keeping an eye on to see if it is successful. “With civil RICO, it is untested at this point,” McArtney said. “But, right now, parents have no recourse when they get screwed over. It’s just this weird little niche that doesn’t fit anywhere in the law.” Repeated attempts to contact Palakanis were unsuccessful. Robert L Ferguson Jr., with Ferguson, Schetelich & Ballew P.A. in Baltimore, is representing her. Ferguson declined to comment on the case, but said his client planned to respond to the allegations and fight the lawsuit. Incomplete adoptions The Rozenbroeks’ story is just one of eight the complaint sets forth. Andrea and Christopher Campo hired Project Oz to facilitate a Guatemalan adoption in May 2006, a few years after losing their infant daughter. Shortly after contracting with Project Oz, the Campos learned they could adopt a three-day-old Guatemalan girl, Esther, as soon as the necessary paperwork cleared. According to court filings, that never happened. Now, nearly two-and-a-half years later, the Campos have no idea where their daughter is, and have spent not only the original $25,000 fee to Project Oz but an additional $25,000 or so in efforts to complete the adoption. “It’s a sad story that started this, and it hasn’t gotten any better since,” Campo said. “Suddenly, there’s nobody, we’re left here alone, and our child is floating around in Guatemala somewhere and we don’t even know how she is doing.” The Campos have not given up hope, but Andrea said they realize the odds are stacked against them and they have few options left. “Here you think you’ve paid for professional assistance, and next thing you know it’s dumped back in your lap,” Andrea Campo said. “Now we’re looking at international immigration and adoption law on our own. And, what do I know about international adoption law?” Another plaintiff, Theresa Prosper, claims she hired Project Oz to facilitate a Guatemalan adoption in 2006. After completing a home study and signing a required statement that as a single mother she was heterosexual, she soon received notice that she could adopt a two-week-old girl, Geneva. As what was supposed to be a six-month process dragged on, Prosper started asking questions on Internet chat rooms about Project Oz. That, she claims, brought down the wrath of Palakanis, who suddenly started making demands such as requiring parental counseling. “I had already raised three children to adulthood,” the 42-year-old Prosper said. “Now, all of a sudden, after I post something, I need counseling on how to be a mom?” Prosper claims that after reaching a dead-end with Palakanis and Project Oz, she had to hire additional specialists in Guatemala to complete the adoption. Shortly after Geneva’s second birthday in September, the adoption was completed and Prosper was reunited with the daughter she first met when she was only a few weeks old. “It’s been an emotional roller coaster,” Prosper said. “And, now I want [Palakanis] to pay for what she’s done. She has taken from people desperate for a family, who have spent their last dime to bring a child home.” A multibillion dollar industry The case highlights the nebulous world of international adoptions, a multibillion dollar industry fraught with potential problems for parents. “I wish I could say I’d never heard of things like this,” Towson lawyer Carolyn Thaler said. “But I’ve heard it enough that it’s frightening.” Thaler is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, an association that works to reform adoption laws. While not involved in the lawsuit, she said it can be tough for prospective parents to vet agencies and facilitators on their own. The adoption process itself can be difficult because parents invest so much time, money and emotion in the child that agencies can wield that to their advantage. “People get in a position where they’re almost blackmailed,” Thaler said. “They’re afraid if they open their mouth and speak out that they might be left empty-handed.” “A lot of people just don’t really know where to go,” added Huggins, co-counsel on the case against Project Oz. “And these agencies are very good at making these people feel like they are the ones who messed it up.” Huggins, of Huggins and Huggins Law, said he expects the case could grow further and might end up as a class-action lawsuit. He said it could also lead to other lawsuits against agencies which have operated the same way. “There are charlatans out there and a lot of them know how to play the game,” Huggins said. “How many [Project] Ozs are out there? That’s the big question.” “I don’t know yet how deep this goes,” he added, “but I’m confident this thing has legs.” Raising questions The Maryland Department of Human Resources, the licensing body for adoption agencies, is also named in the lawsuit. The parents claim the state was negligent, since it licensed and re-licensed Palakanis despite the fact she had filed for bankruptcy in 1996 in Maryland, was involved with an agency that had its license revoked in Pennsylvania and was the subject of a civil breach of contract lawsuit in Prince George’s County in 2006 that ended in binding arbitration. “If Maryland had done their background checks, it would have raised questions about whether or not [Palakanis] should be trusted with tens of thousands of dollars,” said Fixel, the Michigan lawyer. “If they’re not going to bother even checking, then why have licenses?” The state has filed a motion to dismiss, claiming sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment and the Maryland Tort Claims Act, among other grounds. It also notes that the state’s role in licensing agencies does not make it responsible for the licensee’s actions, or create a duty to specific individuals who deal with the licensee. In an e-mail response to questions about the licensing, DHR spokeswoman Paula Tolson said all agencies undergo a comprehensive application and review process that includes a look at business practices, the staff’s qualifications and criminal background checks. Tolson said the two-year renewal process mirrors the original process. First licensed in 2003 in Calvert County by the Maryland Department of Human Resources, Project Oz grew over the next few years to add satellite offices in Pennsylvania, Illinois and North Carolina. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency, Project Oz was required to file income statements with the IRS. From its inception through 2006 (the last year it filed), Project Oz reported working with more than a thousand clients while collecting millions of dollars in fees. Project Oz’s average adoption fee was around $25,000, which McArtney, the New York reform advocate, said was in line with the industry average. The agency earned a reported $1.8 million in revenue during 2006, and $4.5 million between 2002 and 2005, according to its filings. According to the IRS form, Palakanis was paid $65,000 in 2006 as the CEO of Project Oz. In 2005, she earned $122,000. Today, Project Oz has ceased to exist. The final chapter in its five-year existence came on Sept. 19, when the state of North Carolina revoked the license of its sole remaining office. Palakanis herself resigned in July 2007, although a later investigation determined she didn’t turn over all her files or the agency’s checkbook until the end of the year. The agency’s board of directors closed the Calvert County office in August 2007 and moved Project Oz’s headquarters to Concord, N.C. Amy Davis, a North Carolina adoption attorney, took over as executive director. About that same time, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services started receiving complaints about Palakanis and initiated an investigation. In February, North Carolina notified Project Oz it was revoking its license for “serious” violations of licensure rules. Davis, who had stepped down briefly but returned by December 2007, appealed the decision and tried to correct the deficiencies, according to North Carolina authorities. Last month, both sides agreed to close the agency, which by that time had a mere $4,000 in the bank and dozens of prospective parents with adoptions pending, the lawsuit says. In revoking Project Oz’s license, North Carolina cited “extensive evidence of mismanagement of the agency” by Palakanis along with a number of regulatory violations. But, because of Davis’ efforts to keep the agency afloat, they barred her from opening a new child-placing agency in the state for just one year instead of the maximum of five years. Davis declined to be interviewed for this story. Caveat emptor Even with state oversight, prospective parents are largely left to their own devices to figure out where to turn and how much to pay. The Maryland Department of Human Resources makes it clear on its adoption Web page that it has no control over agencies’ fees. “All private agencies charge a fee for their services,” the department says on its Web site. “There is no limit on the amount an agency may charge.” The U.S. State Department also cautions parents about the risks associated with adoption. “It is buyer beware to some extent,” said William Bistransky, a representative of the State Department’s Office of Children’s Issues. On the State Department’s Web site, the “Frequently Asked Questions” section goes into greater detail. “The State Department has received a growing number of complaints concerning adoption facilitators operating in various countries. Licensing of agents and facilitators is done in accordance with local law,” the FAQ says. “Unfortunately, not all foreign governments require that agents and facilitators be licensed,” the site says. “Accordingly, it can be difficult to hold facilitators accountable for fraud, malfeasance, or other bad practices in general.” Stephen J. Cullen, a principal at Miles & Stockbridge P.C., agreed that in general, in his experience, the business of international adoptions is fraught with corruption and fraud. “It’s absolutely outrageous what’s been going on,” Cullen said. “These are parents who are desperate to help a child and you have people preying on them and charging exorbitant fees, if not using extortionist tactics as well.” Cullen represented a California woman who sued Project Oz in Prince George’s County in 2006. The case was settled in binding arbitration; Cullen declined to comment on the case and is precluded from discussing it and Project Oz as part of the agreement. Court records, though, indicate that Cullen’s client alleged she hired Project Oz in March 2005, paid them $25,845, and received a letter in August 2005 terminating the agreement due to “lack of communication and cooperation.” The Guatemalan adoption was never completed, according to the original complaint in the court’s file. Hague Adoption Convention Bistransky said the implementation of an internationally agreed-upon set of standards will add more layers of protection for parents and children involved in cross-border adoptions. The standards, known as the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (or the Hague Adoption Convention), were officially adopted in the U.S. in April. Since then, international adoption agencies need “Hague” accreditation to bring children back from countries, such as Guatemala, that adhere to the convention. While the Department of State does not perform the actual accreditation — it is done through either of two independent entities — it does believe the changes will be beneficial. Complaints and compliance issues are handled by the accrediting agencies, which the State Department’s Bistransky said would add another layer of protection for customers that did not exist before. “I think this will go a long way to prevent these unscrupulous activities,” he said. “We’ve gone from buyer beware to a system where you still have to do that, but there are more safeguards in place.” Even with the Hague changes, though, McArtney is afraid there will continue to be problems. In addition to her advocacy work, the New York lawyer is the director of Graham’s Gift Children’s Foundation, primarily a home-study agency that does not do child placements — although at one point McArtney considered getting into that field. “The problem is, you have these agencies — some who go in with the best of intentions — and they see the money you can make and just can’t back out,” she said. “It’s an unmonitored money flow left and right.”

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Christen Brown's Pathetic Attempt to Dismiss Case

Christen Brown's attorney filed a Motion to Dismiss - thankfully, but not surprisingly, it was denied. This woman is a character! She wants people to believe that she had "nothing" to do with AIP in spite of the fact that she is the EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of the corporation and the fact that Orson Mozes could not have operated an adoption agency with her - as she was the one with the credentials to get licensed. Even if we fell for the pathetic excuse that she "had no clue" what Orson was doing...last time I checked - ignorance was not an excuse for breaking the law. Orson Mozes would not have been capable of defrauding numerous victims if it were not for the actions of Christen Brown.

It is laughable that she holds herself out to be "altruistic" in her efforts to salvage the company after Orson "disappeared". In an effort to conjure up sympathy , her attorney, describes her "selfless" efforts to keep the company afloat by investing her "own" money. We should have pity that she spent money to "attempt" to hold off a deluge of lawsuits by investing "her own money" in her own company? Boo-hoo. And all while living in her shabby little 3.5 million dollar house. Poor, poor Christen. PLEASE!

My biggest question is this: Why is she so unhelpful in the investigation to find her husband if she is suffering so much over his actions? Would you be a pretty pissed off woman if your husband truly robbed you and left you holding the bag? And yet, she has been described by the DA's office as being less than helpful. Do you mean to tell me that she has NO WAY of tracking down her husband - the father of her child? Once again - PLEASE!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Waiting Angels Lawsuit: New Pleadings

The Amended Complaint can be read HERE. The Answer to the Amended Complaint can be read HERE.

Adoption News You Can Use

New legal pleadings for Adoption International Program (Orson Mozes, Christen Brown and Kevin Anderson) and Project Oz (Kerry Palakanis) have been uploaded to Scribd.com. These are all official court records and thus public. Dawn gets the honor of explaining what happened in court RE: AIP.

In other news, Masha Allen has filed a law suit against the agencies involved in her adoption by a pedophile. At this time, I have not downloaded the pleadings from PACER, but hope to obtain copies soon. http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-njdce/case_no-1:2008cv04614/case_id-220087/. I wish Masha the best.

AIP pleadings:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/6111009/AIP-SJ-order1-091508

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6110994/AIP-Response-MTD-082208

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6110977/AIP-Motion-to-Dismiss

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6110964/AIP-Amended-Complaint-Part-1-062008

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6110953/AIP-Amended-Complaint-Part-2-062008

Project Oz Civil RICO complaint:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/6111162/POZ-Civil-RICO-Complaint-Filed

RE: Project Oz - be prepared to cry as you read this complaint.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Article in Conceive Magazine

The fall 2008 issue of Conceive Magazine just hit the stands. If you click the title of this post you can read the article that we were interviewed for. Joni is quoted as well as Maria Fullana-Jornet and her husband Carlos Iudica. My husband thinks it makes us sound like idiots. I think it is a good article. What do you guys think?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Interesting Article in USA Today

If you click the title of this post it will take you to the article. I am always amazed by the readers' comments. People are so judgemental, especially when it comes to adoption! Would you ever think of telling a person when they should get pregnant or who they should have a child with? NO! Yet, strangers feel it is acceptable to tell PAPs where they should adopt from and openly share their opinions about all aspects of their journey to parenthood.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Adoption Blessings Worldwide Documents

All of the documents relevant to Adoption Blessings Worldwide, owned by Tedi Hedstrom (as well as her former company, Tedi Bear Adoptions) can be viewed HERE.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

THANK YOU ALL!

We are amazed and feel so blessed by the outpouring of support! We can't thank you all enough. This enables us to move toward being "paper-ready" by getting our home study updated and to reapply for our I171h and get our fingerprints. This is truly an act of faith as we have no idea what the future holds. We feel incredibly blessed by all of your support!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reaching Out for Help...

Joe and I were not ready to share this information until now and our hand is being forced somewhat by need. During our meeting with the Ambassador and Head of the Consular Dept. we were told that Stephen and his brother would be available for adoption in the near future. We found out today that they are free and clear for adoption immediately. While we would not have to redo our entire dossier, we would have to update our home study and reapply for the I171h. This is a HUGE leap of faith for us as we are not being promised anything - they cannot hold the boys for us and there are still MANY questions which they are seeking answers for us.
However, to even get the ball rolling costs money that we do not have. As I have shared before - we have lost over $75,000.00 due to the crimes of Orson Mozes. We do not even have available credit or we would use that. We are reaching out to the adoption and blog community for help. We do not know what will come, but we feel God is at work in our lives as well as Stephen and his brother's lives right now. We are taking a HUGE risk by allowing our hearts and minds to even consider this possibility. Our wounds are hardly healed and we may have our hearts torn apart again. But our love for Stephen is, and always, remains. He is our son. He will always have a place in our hearts...and it will be a true miracle and for God's glory if he is finally able to come home. Would you consider helping us and being a part of this journey of faith?


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust: Adoption Blessings Worldwide (Tedi Hedstrom) To Surrender License


Another one bites the dust: Tedi Hedstrom, owner of Adoption Blessings Worldwide, is surrendering her Georgia license on July 31st. Her attorney stated:

In a statement released by her attorney, Rick Rumrell, Hedstrom says she's been "....praying that God give her direction in regards to the future...with Adoption Blessings Worldwide.... It is with great regret that Adoption Blessings Worldwide and Tedi Hedstrom will be formally closing its doors to adoption services."

Hopefully, this will be the end (permanently) of Tedi Hedstrom. This is the second time she has had to surrender her license. The first time she was forced to surrender her Florida license after numerous DCH violations and complaints from PAPs. You can see and read about her former violations and read all of the Cease and Desist notices and press at the Cribs and Crimes Scribd Page HERE. The most recent DCH Statement of Deficiencies (June 2008) can be read HERE.

Other documents of interest are the Annual Re-licensure Study conducted in 2006 and again in 2007.

Joni Fixel, the attorney representing the victims of Adoption International Program, Inc. (Orson Mozes, Christen Brown, and Kevin Anderson) as well as the attorney who handled the case against Waiting Angels , is representing the victims of Adoption Blessings Worldwide. You can contact her at http://www.fixellawoffices.com/ if you have any questions or feel you may be the victim of a fraudulent adoption.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fall 2008 Conceive Magazine

I did an interview for the fall 2008 issue of Conceive Magazine that will be on the stands soon. The article is about avoiding adoption scams. Hopefully, those who read it will avoid the heartache that far too many of us have endured. Choosing a reputable agency is key. Unfortunately, sometimes the information comes too late and once they have your money you are committed to the point where it would be difficult to walk away.


One of the things that Ambassador Idrissov (Kazakhstan) was concerned about was how to determine which agencies are "good" and which are not. Does anyone know how Russia determines who is "approved" to facilitate adoptions in their country?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Productive Meeting With Ambassador Idrissov

Joe and I were invited to meet with Ambassador Idrissov yesterday in Washington, DC. It was a long drive, but worth it. It was a very productive meeting. Ambassador Idrissov, as one could imagine, is very proud of his country and heritage. He does not want crooks like Nigmat and other unscrupulous coordinators to mar the image of his country. There are many people in Kazakhstan who care deeply for the orphans that are unfortunately not in the spotlight. He is dedicated to making changes and rooting out these incidences of corruption.

He is very concerned with the amount of money that agencies are charging American parents because it is not in line with the actual costs of an adoption in Kazakhstan. One of the major problems in the United States (which is the only country that Kazakhstan has these problems with) is that the U.S. does not have one governing regulating body. In all other European countries there is a centralized system and private adoption agencies do not exist.

Since the Ambassador obviously cannot change how the American adoption system works he has the difficult challenge of discerning which agencies are "above board" and which are not. The key to that is transparency. This is indeed a difficult task as some of the very agencies charging inordinate amounts are Hague accredited!

Also present at the meeting was Almat Aidarbekov, Head of the Consular Section. Almat was very cordial and sympathetic to the process that American parents go through in order to adopt. He was able to provide us with factual information about Stephen and his baby brother. Joe and I are not ready to make any public statements about this information, but promise to share as soon as we feel comfortable.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Meeting with Ambassador Erlan A. Idrissov

Well, Joe thinks I am crazy, but I am going to drive to Washington, DC and meet with Ambassador Idrissov on Thursday morning. They can only spare a half an hour so I am not quite sure what can be accomplished in such limited time, but for me it is something I have to do to gain closure.

We got the same answers over and over and over again about our son, Stephen and while I have no idea if the Ambassador has any new details to offer I am willing to go this one last "mile" so to speak for closure.

One of my MAIN concerns is that Nigmat is still making millions off babies ~ which means the director of the baby house and someone in the MOE is also being paid off. If the only thing that comes out of this meaning is a commitment on the Ambassador's part to stopping Nigmat I will be glad. Jail time for Nigmat would be glorious!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I Am More Than My Infertility

Marina Lombardo, the co-author of I Am More Than My Infertility posted about our blog (click the title of this post to read it.) I just finished reading her book and it is a MUST read for anyone dealing with the challenges of infertility. You can purchase the book on Amazon or you can purchase it directly through their website at http://www.iammore.net/. Marina Lombardo writes a column called Emotionally Speaking for Conceive Magazine which she describes on her website:

My column in Conceive Magazine is a place to share your stories, ask your questions, and learn from one another’s experiences. Wherever you are on your journey, you have only to reach out to realize you have lots of company. As women, one of our greatest strengths lies in our willingness to share our stories, connect with others…and marvel at how the threads of our experiences bind and connect us all. Let “Emotionally Speaking“ be a place for you to reach out, and a reminder that doing so is an essential part of this truly transformational journey.

It is such a blessing that infertility is an issue that therapists like Marina are devoting their practice and expertise to. Perhaps adoption loss will soon be an area of practice in the field that will help guide adoptive parents through the stages of grief of this unique loss.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

OMG! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!

I am totally freaking out right now! I have been e-mailing and snail mailing the Dr. Phil show for a year now...and WE GOT A CALL THAT THEY ARE INTERESTED IN OUR STORY! OMG!

Are You Drowning in Paper Clutter?

I normally don't write about products, but I absolutely LOVE this scanner! It scans things in a snap (hence the name - lol) and instantly converts it to a PDF. You can scan and organize all of your paperwork sooo easily! I just scanned all of our taxes for the last several years and organized them by year in their own "file cabinet" just for taxes. I am scan happy now and I am determined to get all of my paperwork scanned and organized this summer. I purchased mine for just over $250.00 on eBay.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bloggers Unite to Confront AP

This is an important issue in the blogosphere and if you are a blogger you should take notice. The Associated Press has issued take-down notices for several blog posts that quoted their articles (even though credit was given and it was directly quoted.) They are unconcerned with fair use and are looking to charge up to $12.50 per word for bloggers who quote their articles! Please read more about this and sign the petition.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Reply from Embassy...

Dear Mr. and Mrs. De Lorenzo,

First of all, many thanks for your recent letters. As I mentioned before, your situation and similar cases, being of course very sad and regrettable, is a source of valuable information for the Embassy in our efforts to identify and eliminate weak points of the adoption process.

I would like to note, however, that you seem to misunderstand some of our messages.

The Embassy is working on the “adoption reform” at our end i.e. in the US. That is to say – we are trying to make sure that prospective parents have easy and transparent access to proper information on the adoption process, that the US adoption agencies allow no unscrupulous practices in their work with Kazakhstan and serve their clients in an effective manner, and that the Embassy itself is an effective body serving the best interests of, first and foremost, our kids and their parents.
There are our colleagues, professionally dealing with adoption issues, children protection and anticorruption struggle, who are doing their best to make the adoption process on the ground, ie in Kazakhstan (which is fairly good today, I will give you some examples below) even better.
My email related to your blog was also misunderstood, I believe I should have better explained my thoughts. From your letters we understood that you had a very negative experience in Kazakhstan and you of course would like to share your impressions with other parents-to-be. That is your inalienable right, of course, and my letter was not in any way related to that issue. What disappointed me personally was your reference to our efforts as “lip service”. We have just started the improvement process and all its results are yet to be seen and I believe it is at least unfair to refer to it at this initial stage as nothing more than words.

Besides, thank you for your questions below. Some of them are quite reasonable, whereas some of your messages look like an attempt to put additional pressure on us. We made it very clear in the news bulletin that we will not yield to any kind of pressure and will keep on improving the process according to our own vision. It was my personal intention to explain to you our efforts as your letter was the only critical response to the news bulletin, however we will carry on improving the adoption process in the best interests of children and parents, with or without your support. The government and its agencies, which deal with adoption on a day-to-day basis, understand all the challenges and problems, and see opportunities for improvement much better than any external observer.

Yesterday you mentioned that you had no confirmation of the receipt of your letter from our office, yes we never waste time on just confirming the receipt of letters – we WORK on them and then get back to senders with results in hand. Those who prefer to check if their correspondence is delivered, just send us emails themselves and we confirm it that way.

As far as your particular case is concerned we hope to receive info from Kazakhstan quite soon, and then we will set up a meeting when Ambassador’s schedule permits. If you can send us copies of your court papers, please do so. The more info we have in hand, the better.

Just to show you that adoption in Kazakhstan can be a pleasant experience, and it usually is, let me use just a couple of extracts from the emails that we started receiving from American parents after the release of the bulletin (no names, of course).

“My wife and I have tremendous respect for the adoption system in Kazakhstan, it is truly unique in its emphasis on ensuring a healthy transition for the child, as well as significant gratitude for the caregivers who looked after our daughter in the first two years of her life… We would appreciate any opportunity to give back to the country we have come to love and feel grateful to”.

“If it wasn't for Kazakhstan, I wouldn't have my much-loved daughter. Once I traveled to Kazakhstan, the coordinator …was great. After my glowing experience with the agency, coordinator and country, … have decided to adopt from Kazakhstan”

Best regards as ever,

Zhanbolat

Our Letter to the Embassy

June 27, 2008

Dear Mr. Zhanbolat Ussenov:

In your recent e-mail you requested our support for the efforts being made toward a more transparent adoption process in Kazakhstan. While we applaud the Kazakhstan government for these beginning steps in limiting the corruption in the adoption process, we feel it has come too late to help the adoption of our sons. However, we are committed to our goal in educating prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) and being a catalyst for the end of corruption within the Kazakhstan adoption process. In an effort to demonstrate our support I have created a new blog titled KIN: Kazakhstan Information Network at www.kazinfonet.blogspot.com. It is our hope that this blog will provide prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) with clear, concise, and factual information about the adoption process in Kazakhstan from a neutral party.

Our continued support is contingent upon a face to face meeting in the very near future. We hope to communicate positive news during upcoming media interviews regarding the efforts being taken by the Kazakhstan government to protect the rights of all members of the adoption triad. Some questions that we have after reading the press release are:

What monitoring procedures does the Kazakhstan government have in place for weeding out greedy orphanage directors who play God with innocent children’s lives?

Where is the transparency of the steps in the adoption process? Are PAPs made aware of the waiting period where family members can come back to take the child from unsuspecting adoptive parents?

What process does the government have to ensure that PAPs won’t be asked to pay “extra fees” and that type of corruption will be eliminated?
Where or what is the process of monitoring the orphanages so our children are not left homeless and helpless in the orphanages?

Is there a process to investigate individual adoptions to look at unique situations that would allow for an appeal process to complete adoptions where money has been paid to these orphanage directors who refuse to allow the adoption to complete?
Is there a process to ensure that no government officials are financially tied to unscrupulous agencies from any country? What are the punishments for those found to be profiting from failed or false adoptions?

Is the Kazakhstan government willing to post a list of agencies that they have found to use unscrupulous procedures in adoption? What is the mechanism for preventing these agencies from working again in country?

Is the Kazakhstan government willing to speak to those PAPs who have paid money to people in Kazakhstan but had to leave their children behind? Are they willing to help us complete these adoptions which are in the best interest of the children and their future?

We are aware that there are changes needed in the United States to move toward a centralized system, but the current system in Kazakhstan doesn’t appear to be in the best interest of the children. We are glad to hear of changes being made to the current Laws on Family and Marriage and are interested in hearing about the proposed changes.

We also believe that the Kazakhstan government misunderstands how the current adoption process in Kazakhstan provides fertile ground for the exploitation of children and corruption on both sides.

Joe and I look forward to meeting with the Ambassador in Washington, D.C. and hope that we can have these questions answered or assist in the proper reform of the adoption process in Kazakhstan. Please be aware that this communication will be posted on our blogs as we have a loyal following of PAPs and parents who have completed adoptions in Kazakhstan who share our concerns.

Yours truly,
Dawn and Joe De Lorenzo

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bravo Dawn and Jeff Jarema!



Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Kazakhstan Government Paying LIP SERVICE

This recent bulletin issued by the Kazak government enrages me. Here it is and I respond to the points that I have a major contention with:

Special Issue No 7, June 20, 2008
Information Note on International Adoption from Kazakhstan

The Government of Kazakhstan is committed to monitoring the process of international adoption in Kazakhstan as well as keeping a close eye on the living conditions of adopted Kazakh children abroad. How about monitoring their own orphanages where there are greedy orphanage directors playing God with innocent children's lives?

Kazakhstan considers adoption to be one of the best forms of tutelage for children who for any reason lack parental care, although the priority is given to biological parents or, in their absence, to child's relatives. If a child cannot be adopted by its relatives, adoption by Kazakhstan citizens is the next preferred option. And if that is also not possible, only then can a Kazakh child be adopted by foreign families. As the economic well-being in Kazakhstan continues to grow, the number of domestic adoptions in the country is increasing, whereas the number of international adoptions is falling correspondingly. Since the Marriage and Family Code was enacted in 1999, 30,184 children have been adopted in Kazakhstan; of that number 23,012 children have been adopted by Kazakhstan citizens, 6,791 by foreign citizens and 281 by relatives from abroad. The United States is by far the most popular destination for adopted children from Kazakhstan (in 2000-2007 American families adopted more than 5,000 Kazakh kids, with highest number of US adoptions in2004). In 2007 Embassy of Kazakhstan to the US registered 515 American families intending to adopt Kazakh children.

The Consular Section of the Embassy of Kazakhstan closely monitors the international adoption in Kazakhstan by US citizens as well as the living conditions of Kazakh kids. The step-by-step process of international adoption in Kazakhstan is briefly as follows: Future parents wishing to adopt a Kazakh child contract with a duly licensed agency to collect all the required documents and prepare a dossier which should be submitted to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Kazakhstan. Having checked and verified all the documents (which takes up to one month) the Embassy sends the dossier to the Foreign Ministry where the processing procedures also last for about a month. Afterwards, the dossier goes to the Education Ministry which, after another month-long procedure, passes it to proper regional agencies (Education Departments and orphanages) and their review of the dossier takes up to one month. Having received a positive feedback from the regional agencies the Embassy issues a special visa for parents-to-be (visa category – private, purpose of travel – adoption). Such a visa can be issued only by invitation of Kazakhstan's Education Ministry or a regional Education Department. Traveling to Kazakhstan for adoption purposes with any other kind of visa (e.g. tourist, business) is strictly prohibited. All in all, processing of a dossier in proper Kazakh agencies can take up to 5 months.

In Kazakhstan, prospective adoptive parents must personally choose their future child and spend at least two weeks with him/her to get to know each other closer and learn the child's personality and habits. The final decision on adoption of a child is then taken by a Kazakh court based on the application submitted by the prospective parents. Adoption cases are considered by courts on an ad hoc basis in accordance with Kazakhstan's civil procedural law. After a proper court order is issued, a registrar's office and migration police issue the adoption and birth certificates and a Kazakh passport for the adopted child. This is quite an understatement of the exact process in country. There is NO mention of the waiting period after the court approves the adoption - the period of time when your child can be ripped away from you!

Fees payable to Kazakh agencies in the course of the adoption process are as follows: The Consular Section of the Embassy charges up to $180 per dossier for consular registration (issuing a certificate to confirm registration, attesting translation and documents in the dossier). State agencies in Kazakhstan charge no fee for dossier processing. Without the extra "fees" I doubt ANY paperwork would be processed - everyone in the adoption process there is in it for the money and knows that American parents will pay whatever is asked to have their child! There could be some expenses for issuing the power of attorney for the parents' representative in Kazakhstan; consular fee for a new passport for the adopted child as well as the registration fee at the Consular Department of the Foreign Ministry (all in all, about 12,000 tenges or $100). Besides, there are also some legal expenses related to court proceedings, which are quite reasonable. Parents may make a voluntary financial donation to the orphanage if they choose to do so.

One of the main principles of adoption in Kazakhstan is the protection of the rights and interests of both adopted children and adopting parents. Sorry, but this is TOTAL BS in my opinion. They could have cared less about us - and if they cared so much for our sons they wouldn't be rotting away in orphanages! Kazakhstan recognizes the important role played in the adoption process by such facilitators as duly licensed adoption agencies, but firmly believes that these agencies have no right to make commercial profit through the genuinely noble and humane process of adoption. If they care so much they would have looked at our unique situation/circumstances and helped us get our sons! And what about the scum orphanage directors who take money?

According to Kazakh legislation, to adopt a child, foreign citizens are allowed to work with a representative (coordinator) in Kazakhstan, whose rights and obligations are defined by Kazakh laws.Our review of the current system of adoption of Kazakh children by American citizens has revealed a number of problems which may lead to violation of the humane principles of adoption. One of the main reasons for such a situation is that, unlike in other countries, in the United States there is no single authorized government agency which would oversee the entire process of adoption, including the control over annual reports on the living conditions of adopted children. They have a centralized system, but it is NOT set up with the best interests of the children in mind! The people who work within this system are pond scum who profit through coercion.

The main players on this field are numerous duly licensed private (not-for-profit) US adoption agencies. Usually, American citizens wishing to adopt Kazakh children refer to such adoption agencies for assistance and sign contracts with them. The Embassy has found out that in many cases parents pay upfront 50 percent of the overall agency fee only for preliminary consultations on a Kazakh adoption (in average, overall fees could be more than$25,000) and the most part of the sum is non-refundable. We have learned about some cases of unscrupulous behavior by some agencies. For example, there have been situations where parents had to collect and prepare all the necessary documents themselves and the agencies simply provided them with the list of documents for a dossier which is posted and easily accessible on the website of the Embassy of Kazakhstan. Ummm - this is what ALL the agencies do! I do not know of any agency that completes the paperwork for you unless it is for an additional fee.

It seems also that some adoption agencies are trying to make undue commercial profits by dealing with such routine matters as consular registration, documents translation and processing, and sometimes agencies even try to gain benefits from changing the region in Kazakhstan where a child is going to be adopted from. For instance, one agency put in its contract a $840 charge for consular registration with the Embassy of Kazakhstan, whereas the Consular Section of the Embassy charges no more than $180 for the registration (the Embassy does not charge American Parents any other fees). Besides, the contract says that the "family understands that fees related to the adoption process abroad might be changed and are out of Agency's control. Therefore, the Agency does not take responsibility for such changes and is not liable for additional expenses." Such a provision makes it possible for the agency to charge extra fees for alleged "fast-tracking" of adoption process in Kazakhstan. Kazak officials are also profiting from these extra fees!

Analysis of documents submitted by various agencies showed that some of them deliberately concealed invalid data and ill-validated documents in dossiers to speed up registration with the Consular Section of the Embassy. For instance, one dossier contained a forged copy of doctor's license; there were other forged documents. Some agencies even tried to use unethical methods to "fast-track" registration with the Consular Section. We also have learned that some agencies made attempts to "monopolize" the international adoption for US citizens in Kazakhstan and even threatened other agencies that if they did not start working under their aegis, these agencies' activity in Kazakhstan would be blocked through their coordinators on the ground. This points to the fact that there are corrupt people WITHIN the Kaz system profiting from unscrupulous American agencies.

We believe that the reason for all the above shortcomings and violations is the lack of transparency in the activity of a number of US adoption agencies as well as in the lack of knowledge by American parents about the adoption procedures in Kazakhstan, related fees and other expenses. So, no fault lies within their own country? Therefore, it seems that adoption of Kazakh kids by American parents may have become a source of undue commercial profits for some unscrupulous agents, who abuse the humane principles of adoption enshrined in The Hague Convention and Kazakh legislation.

Yet another negative aspect of the issue is that it mars Kazakhstan's image as some agencies use the parents' lack of knowledge to present adoption in Kazakhstan as a protracted and inefficient process full of red-tape and corruption; and request additional expenses on behalf of parents to "overcome" these obstacles. This is the statement that outraged me the most! They had the opportunity to assist our family and the didn't! THERE IS CORRUPTION and there is red-tape and corruption in their system! They could have and should have helped to rectify our situation rather than say "Oh well, you'll have to start all over again" or "just pick another child."

In other words, some agencies and their coordinators in Kazakhstan abuse parents' willingness to pay "any price" to adopt a child as soon as possible, and make undue profits. It is worth repeating here once again that there are no major fees to be paid to Kazakh government ministries or agencies in the process of adoption (except for the above consular and registration fees at the Embassy and the Foreign Ministry as well as minimal legal expenses). Therefore, the Embassy has begun considering certain measures to optimize and refine its work with US adoption agencies. These measures are aimed at protecting the rights and interests of Kazakh children and their adopting parents in the US as well as at maximizing the transparency of the adoption process and eliminating loopholes for making undue profits through the noble process of adoption. Great for PAPs in the future, but what about the ones already screwed and the children already left behind and doomed to a life of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse and prostitution?

In particular, we believe that these measures will help to optimize the number of US adoption agencies willing and able to work efficiently on behalf of American parents to adopt Kazakh kids. The main criteria for us to evaluate the agencies will be their ability to supply the Embassy with transparent information on the rules and procedures of their work with adopting parents, fees and tariffs involved, as well as their commitment to send to the Embassy regular post-adoption reports on adopted children until they reach the age of 18 as required by Kazakh law. We would like to emphasize that until the above complex work is completed the Embassy will continue as normal receiving and processing adoption documents from all agencies except for those that have seriously violated ethical norms. They should announce these agencies so the poor PAPs dealing with them now know they are screwed!

Authorities in Kazakhstan are also taking relevant steps to ensure transparency in the work of coordinators on the ground who represent the interests of American parents in the country and serve as their liaison with Kazakh government agencies involved in the adoption process. Efforts are being taken to create a databank of such coordinators. We would also like to announce that the Parliament of Kazakhstan is currently considering joining and ratifying the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. Kazakhstan is also drafting a new Family and Marriage Code which will also cover the issue of proper accreditation of foreign adoption agencies' branches in Kazakhstan. All these efforts will contribute to providing greater transparency, fairness and order in Kazakhstan's cooperation with foreign partners (including the US) on international adoption.

Our efforts are also aimed at eliminating the unacceptable and often unscrupulous practice of "fast-tracking" documents in various Kazakh agencies. We recognize that the adoption process is not swift but this is justified by the high responsibility of adoption decisions. We hope for understanding on behalf of parents and adoption agencies. As a matter of principle, the Embassy has briefed the US State Department, through Deputy Assistant Secretary for Overseas Citizens Service Ms. Michele Bond and Consular Affairs Bureau representative Mr. Gerry Fuller, as well as the Joint Council on International Children's Services on the situation around the adoption of Kazakh kids by American families. We are glad that a friendly dialogue and mutual understanding have been established with our American counterparts over this complicated issue. Interestingly, a number of agencies reacted to our efforts in a peculiar way. The Embassy has a copy of an email message that has been circulated by an agency to other agencies and parents stating that the Embassy is groundlessly stonewalling the process of adoption. The message was written in the form of an unambiguous instruction calling for maximum pressure on the Embassy through a wave of complaints to various US institutions, including US Embassy in Kazakhstan, Senators and Congressmen representing the districts where parents and their agents reside. The Embassy would like to point out that it won't yield to any kind of pressure and firmly intends to implement its plans on streamlining and improving the process of adoption in Kazakhstan by American parents.

The Embassy is fully open, however, to holding a face-to-face meeting with adopting parents and adoption agencies to jointly look for ways of providing maximum convenience for parents and full transparency of the adoption process. Ummm, we reached out to them at least a dozen times and they didn't even bother to return our calls or respond to our e-mails and letters! I can only conclude that this is lip service.

The Embassy would also welcome the creation of an association of American parents who have adopted kids from Kazakhstan. Such an association could be instrumental in assisting American parents to find better ways of building relations with their Kazakh kids during the post-adoption period and in many other ways. In its next Information Note on international adoption the Embassy will provide more information on adoption procedures as well as offer some practical advice on cooperation with US adoption agencies working in Kazakhstan and with their coordinators on the ground. We will also offer a set of transparent criteria for adoption agencies which will lay the basis for optimizing the list of most preferred agencies that could be recommended to all American parents intending to adopt children from Kazakhstan.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ammended Complaint Against AIP, Orson Mozes, Christen Brown, & Kevin Anderson

New victims were added to the lawsuit against Adoption International Program (AIP), Orson Mozes, Christen Brown, and Kevin Anderson. It is a large file, so the first half can be viewed and downloaded HERE. The second part can be viewed and downloaded HERE.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Orson Featured on America's Most Wanted Website!

I am so happy to announce that Orson is featured on the America's Most Wanted website! Click on the picture above to go to check it out! Joe and I pray that this helps bring Orson back to the United States to face the courts and pay for what he has done to so many. We are working with AMW on the next steps toward putting this on national TV.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Help Promote Cribs, Crimes, & Corruption...


Cribs, Crimes and Corruption at Blogged
You can help promote this blog and my others by rating this blog on Blogged. Thank you for all of your support!

WANTED: Orson Mozes

Orson will have his very own fugitive profile page on America's Most Wanted on Monday :)

I am pretty confident that Orson reads this blog as well as other victims' blogs. So, here is my message for you Orson: At least one of us kept our promise ~ I promised you that if you lied to us I would devote my life to making you pay. You are a COWARD. You WILL be brought to justice. Even if you never spend a day of your pathetic life in jail ~ you WILL answer for your deeds before the HIGHEST court.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

WHAT CAN WE DO????


This couple is from New York, so Hillary Clinton is the first contact that could be of assistance. PLEASE, let's begin with faxes and phone calls on their behalf: FAX NUMBER is 1-212-688-7444. Her staff liasons can be reached via phone at this number: 1 (212) 688-6262