Kazakhstan: Update on Intercountry Adoptions

March 25, 2008

On Monday, March 24th, Joint Council met with Kazakhstan Ambassador to the United States Erlan Idrissov and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michelle Bond. The meeting addressed the Ambassador’s concerns regarding adoptions between the United States and Kazakhstan and confirmed the ongoing review of all adoptions cases currently at the Kazakhstan Embassy in Washington D.C. The Ambassador kindly detailed Kazakhstan’s efforts to ensure that intercountry adoptions are in the best interest of each child and conducted within an ethical and legal framework. He also expressed Kazakhstan’s efforts to utilize the tenets of the Hague Convention in both current and future laws.

Joint Council is pleased to report that at the conclusion of the meeting, the Ambassador confirmed that the temporary suspension of dossier processing by the Embassy is lifted and dossier’s meeting all necessary criteria will be processed. Dossiers not meeting the criteria will be held at the Embassy until all issues and concerns are successfully resolved. The Ambassador also confirmed that a review of all adoption service providers and family dossiers is ongoing and will remain in effect until further notice. During this review period, adoption service providers and potential adoptive parents should expect ongoing delays in processing times. No specific time line for the processing of dossiers is currently available.

It remains Joint Council’s understanding that in adoption cases where the dossier has already been processed by the Kazakhstan Embassy and forward to Astana are not affected by the review process noted above.

The Kazakhstan Embassy, U.S. Department of State and Joint Council have agreed to work collaboratively over the coming weeks to ensure that the goal of ethical, legal adoptions under the tenets of the Hague Convention are met in a timely fashion and in the best interest of each child. Joint Council hopes to meet with Consular Chief Almat Aidarbekov in the coming days to discuss specific issues related to child welfare in the U.S. and Kazakhstan.

Joint Council extends our sincere thanks and appreciation to Ambassador Idrissov and Deputy Assistant Secretary Bond for their efforts on behalf of the children we serve. We also applaud Ambassador Idrissov’s commitment to ethical child welfare and to ensuring a safe, loving and permanent family for every child.

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