U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
November 24, 2009
The Kyrgyz government stopped processing all intercountry adoptions in October 2008 due to reports of corruption and fraud in the adoption process. The Kyrgyz authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into these allegations.
At present, the Kyrgyz government is not processing any adoption cases, including at least 65 adoptions by American families that were already in progress when the halt was announced. The Department of State (the Department) has urged the Kyrgyz government to complete its criminal investigation and resolve the pending cases so that eligible children can be placed in permanent homes. Many families have been waiting for over a year to complete their adoptions, and many of the children have serious medical problems. The Department has repeated this message to Kyrgyz officials in Washington and through U.S. Embassy Bishkek. Department officials raised the pending adoptions in a November 12 meeting with the Kyrgyz Ambassador to the United States, and with the Kyrgyz Foreign Minister during his visit to Washington on October 5.
The Department also raised the visibility of this issue, and addressed questions and concerns expressed by Kyrgyz officials and shared by some Kyrgyz citizens, through outreach programs. A U.S. adoption expert visited the Kyrgyz Republic in June to share her knowledge with Kyrgyz officials, nongovernmental organizations, journalists, and others. In May, the Department sponsored an adoption-themed study tour to the United States for three senior Kyrgyz officials. During the trip, the Kyrgyz officials met with representatives of the families with pending cases as well as some Kyrgyz children who had been adopted by Americans. In addition to these efforts, we have encouraged the Kyrgyz government to strengthen safeguards in the adoption process and eventually accede to the Hague Adoption Convention.
The Kyrgyz Parliament is considering a draft bill to reform the adoption process. It is unclear, however, if or when legislation will be passed to allow the completion of the pending cases and the processing of new ones. On November 13, the Kyrgyz Parliament held a closed hearing on intercountry adoption at which experts made presentations. It is our understanding that after the hearing Parliament decided to extend the deadline for government agencies to continue research on the subject. Parliament plans to hold another hearing on adoption by the end of February 2010. We will continue to engage the Kyrgyz government on this issue and will provide updates on this site as new information becomes available.
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.