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.


Joni said...

Dear Dawn & Joe,

It was wonderful to read your blog and see that you did go to Washington to meet with the Ambassador. I know it was a very long drive and a very long day for you both. I am so proud of you for carrying this message to the Ambassador and being the voice for so many PAPs. Your conversation with the Ambassador allows him to see the true impact on the parents. I am so proud of you.

Brass Ovaries said...

I'm proud of you too. And very happy with your report on the phone privately that at least one government is taking the problem of international adoption fraud this seriously.

I'm just sorry you had to experience this heartache. You and all the other PAPs who put their faith in an agency only to walk away with empty arms. It takes real guts to do what the fraud victims do to bring attention to the issues and make things change.