On May 15, 2010, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan announced that no new adoption dossiers (set of required documents) would be accepted due to Kazakhstan joining the Hague Convention, an international agreement to safeguard adoptions. On the upside, this will ultimately be a good thing for families, as the Hague Convention allows for greater transparency in the adoption process and aims to prevent child trafficking (although this is already very rare in
Prospective parents are told over and over again that there are no guarantees in adoption, that you must be prepared for possible forks on the road. As someone who experienced one of these "forks on the road" with our Colombian adoption, I can tell you, there is no preparing for the heartbreak one feels when hearing this kind of news. It is devastating. In the end, of course, we were very lucky to end up with our beautiful boy. You have no idea how lucky we REALLY were.
The truth of the matter is that, as you have seen in the recent case of the boy sent back to Russia, adoptions don't always have a happy ending. But in most cases, the problem is not the parent or the child. It is the process itself. Prospective parents are at the total mercy of their agencies, their in-country representatives, and the laws of the country they are adopting from, and things do not always turn out the way we hope they will.
While we were in
Barely a month after we returned home, the agency we worked with suddenly closed in the middle of a huge financial scandal, leaving hundreds and hundreds of families with no money to complete their adoptions and no idea of where they actually stood on their individual processes. For many, this was the end of the road, as they had used up all their funds hoping to adopt from this agency. Others who could afford to continue on were transferred to smaller agencies that they had never heard of and didn't trust. It was either stick with them or start the adoption process all over again. Several dozens of families started a class-action lawsuit against the agency hoping to at least receive some of their money back. The last I heard, the case has not yet been heard in court.
Then there are the worst-case-scenarios, those involving adoption fraud. Probably the most well-known of these cases was that against Orson Mozes, who ran an agency in
I'm not telling all these horror stories to dissuade anyone from adopting. On the contrary, I am a huge advocate for adoption and am committed to helping educate and encourage others to adopt. However, it is important not to go into an adoption with rose-colored glasses. Things do not always turn out the way we think they will.
Despite the seemingly insurmountable bumps on the road, most people DO end up with a happy ending, though. The single woman I mentioned earlier in my entry ended up switching agencies, starting over again, and is now mother to a gorgeous baby girl she adopted from another region in
She found her happy ending, as did we. Hopefully, all those other waiting families will find theirs as well.