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Adoption agency Shut Down

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Joined: 10 Dec 2003
Posts: 22
Location: Memphis, Tennessee USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:34 pm    Post subject: Adoption agency Shut Down Reply with quote



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December 18, 2003 -- The agency Angelina Jolie used to adopt her baby son has been hit with federal charges that it bought kids from dirt-poor families in Cambodia for as little as $100.
Agents from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement shut down Seattle International Adoptions Inc. amid allegations the kids for whom they found homes were not orphans, but rather purchased from cash-strapped moms and dads.

Last week, Lynn Devin, who ran the agency, pleaded guilty in a Washington state federal court to conspiracy charges for falsely representing that the kids she handled had no parents.

Among the scores of people who went through her agency was the Oscar-winning actress, who in March 2002 adopted a baby boy from Cambodia

There is another article out there somewhere on it, I don't have time to find it right now. This whole thing sux....
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Location: Memphis, Tennessee USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i found the other article-

Feds claim adopted 'orphans' had parents
U.S. agents break up local agency dealing in Cambodia
Federal agents have dismantled a local adoption agency accused of brokering the adoption of Cambodian children who were not orphans -- in some cases with a payment of $100 to the birth mother.
An international investigation code named Operation Broken Hearts remains cloaked in secrecy. But last week, a 50-year-old Mercer Island woman pleaded guilty in federal court in Seattle to conspiracy charges for falsely representing that adopted children were orphans. Her plea agreement with prosecutors remains sealed.
Lynn Devin, who ran Seattle International Adoptions Inc. from her Mercer Island home, could not be reached for comment yesterday. She is not in federal custody while she awaits sentencing.
Neither is her sister, Lauryn Galindo, 52, who is also named in an indictment as the conspirator in Cambodia for the alleged adoption scheme. Galindo works as an adoption "facilitator" with many adoption agencies, including that of her sister. She had not been arrested as of last night.
It is unclear how many adoptions arranged by the sisters are at issue. Among the scores of Americans who have used the sisters' services is actress Angelina Jolie, Galindo said. Jolie, who was on a mission yesterday for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, could not be reached for comment.
Federal authorities said they didn't know or could not comment on whether U.S. parents who adopted the Cambodian children may have to give their babies up.
U.S. authorities have been concerned for some time about possible problems with Cambodian adoptions and suspended all adoptions by U.S. citizens in that country two years ago.
Galindo, reached yesterday at her home in Hanalei, Hawaii, said she had only just learned of the accusations against her and finds them incongruous.
Galindo claims the prince of Cambodia gave her "their gold medal of honor" for her work in national reconstruction. Galindo said she helped evacuate 19 children to new homes in America in the middle of a violent coup in 1997. That same year, glowing accounts of Galindo's work in Cambodia and that of her sister in finding good homes in the Northwest for the impoverished orphans appeared in The Seattle Times.

But court papers describe a conspiracy designed "to expedite the adoption process for Cambodian children to United States families and to enhance" the profits of Galindo and Devin.
Special agents from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division found that Galindo and Devin misled U.S. immigration authorities into believing the children were orphans and issuing them visas, according to charging documents.
Galindo wrote yesterday in an e-mail to families who have used her service, "I am dismayed that Lynn would plead guilty when there was no crime committed!"
She pointed out that the Cambodian government assigns children an arbitrary name and birth date upon entry to the orphanage and that no official identification documents are issued until they get a passport to leave the country. "I am at a loss as to how INS (U.S. immigration authorities) can claim that paperwork was submitted with fraudulent intent!"
Court records report an instance in January 1998 in which Galindo faxed to her sister from Cambodia the medical records of an adopted child. They contained the handwritten notation: "Father dead -- mother very poor."
In May 1998, Galindo told the adoptive parents to give the birth mother $100 and to donate $3,500 to the Kampong Speu orphanage that housed the child. That same day, Lynn Devin spoke from Seattle with the adoptive parent who was in Cambodia, according to court records. The adoptive mother told Devin she had been surprised to have met the parents and siblings of the adoptive child. Devin reassured the adoptive mother that Galindo had told her about their meeting and that it would be best for her to go ahead and bring the adoptive child to the United States.
The next day, Galindo allegedly completed an immigration form for the child falsely representing that the adoptive child had no parents, the court documents say.
Galindo and Devin were later charged by a superseding indictment that does not provide the details of the 1998 adoption. Devin pleaded guilty to charges contained in an agent's information of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and conspiracy to launder money.
Judy Mosley, a former Seattle International Adoptions client, last night cited the same problem with payments being made to the children's parents.
"Birth mothers were being paid $100, and we were being told that they were the nannies," she said from Saipan. "I have some friends who adopted through SIA, and this little boy (the friends adopted) was living out the back of the orphanage with his parents. We've got a set of photographs that actually proved it.
"You're told when the nanny brings the child to you, give the nanny $100 as a gesture of thanks." But the nanny is actually the mother, she said.
Federal criminal justice sources say the case turns in part on the legal definition of orphan under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.
The law defines a child as an orphan "because of the death or disappearance, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents, or for whom the sole or surviving parent is incapable of providing the proper care and has in writing irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption," one source said.
But in Cambodia, where children's bellies distend from starvation, such precise U.S. definitions become hazier, according to one Bellevue woman who witnessed the grinding poverty firsthand and came back with a little Cambodian child.
Molly Jester's adoption of 2 1/2-year-old Leah was facilitated by Galindo.
Jester's experience in Cambodia spurred her to return as a volunteer working with a group that provides free medical care. "We were able to verify that our adoption information was accurate on subsequent trips to Cambodia," said Jester.
"There is an estimated 50,000 kids living in Cambodian orphanages," she said. "And those are the lucky ones being fed who aren't starving on the streets or surviving in brothels. I think in the U.S. we don't understand how things are done over there.
"My concern is that with all this negative press, they are going to keep that country shut down to future adoptions which is a death sentence to those kids."
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Location: Memphis, Tennessee USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

see, the thing is that the only real way they could do that is if maddox's parents find the money to come to america, get a lawyer, file a lawsuit, and get a DNA test to prove he's theirs and get him back. so its a very little percentage of a chance, but still- that hovering over your head would worry anybody that loves their child.
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