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,


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