Snag in Nepali Adoptions to U.S.

By: Jessica Dealy Email
By: Jessica Dealy Email

"He told his caretakers that he loved us, which was, now, quite hard to hear," said Mississippi State University professor, Dr. Michael Brown of the child he and his wife want to adopt..

Jet-lagged and emotionally drained, Karyn and Mike Brown sit in what they believed would be their adopted son's new room. Now, the room acts as a daily reminder of what they were forced to leave a half a world away.

"I have to tell you boarding that plane to come home without him was the hardest thing I have ever had to do," said Karyn Brown.

The couple, both in their early forties and successful at their jobs teaching at Mississippi State University, have exhausted every possible resource to start a family.

After 14 years the Browns turned to Tupelo's New Beginnings Adoption Agency, filing paperwork for both domestic and international adoption.

"The U.S. government allows you to choose an international country, but only one," said Michael. "So we chose Nepal, simply for the reason that the kids there tend to be very healthy. They don't have a lot of fetal alcohol syndrome. We understood that it was an easy government to work with."

And the Nepali government proved to be just that. One hot July afternoon, the Browns received a phone call they waited on for three years.

"To get the news we we're matched, it was strange because I wanted to be excited but yet you see so many stories," said Karyn. "I wanted to be cautious but then I let caution go to the wind and I got excited."

The couple boarded a plane to fly across the world and pick up their three and a half year old son, a process that normally takes six days. While aboard the plane they heard the United States had abruptly frozen all Nepal adoptions into the U.S.

"Our government offered us no proof to any corruption, but just cited that they felt like children were being stolen and sold in Nepal," Michael said.

An accusation that meant every orphan in Nepal had to prove they were indeed homeless and without parents before the U.S. would grant the child a VISA.

Michael and Karyn spent five weeks attempting to prove their son was indeed an orphan, citing that he was found in a market when he was four and a half days old. While the couple has police reports and newspaper clippings from the event, the U.S. Embassy in Nepal said that was not proof enough.

"What our government wants to know is, they want to find the people that found him and they want to ask questions," said Michael. "And that's fine except Nepal is a third world country and these investigators go out, they flash their U.S. credentials and they tell people we want to ask you about a baby child. It would scare me if a U.S. official came up and flashed credentials and asked me questions. Of course they're going to say, 'I don't know anything about this', because they're frightened. So we're stuck. We can't get the information we need from these people."

The Browns' adoption case has now been sent to New Delhi where a judgment will be passed, the verdict of which will confirm or deny the reunion of a boy and the couple that spent five short weeks answering to the title of Mom and Dad.

"The hardest part on me is thinking of that child who is wondering where his Mom and Dad are."

To see the broadcast version of this story, go to the video box on the right side of the home page and click on Nepal Adoption under section 1.

In Part 2, Newscenter 11 talks with the adoption agency that helped match the Browns and eleven other couples in the same situation. We also speak with Sen. Roger Wicker about this situation.

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  • by Anonymous on Sep 25, 2010 at 12:22 PM
    My thoughts and prayers are with this family- parents and son.
  • by Carol Location: Seattle on Sep 23, 2010 at 11:28 AM
    My heart breaks for this family. I hope the U.S. embassy in New Delhi overturns the NOID. I must comment on the bias in this article, however. The reporter makes statements that make the U.S. government sound as if it denies adoptions on a whim. I adopted from Nepal. I visited the country twice. I've read their adoption laws. I can say without any hesitation, it is a very corrupt system. I still have concerns about my own adoption. Most European countries and Canada have already banned international adoptions from Nepal. The U.S. was the last of the bunch to close the gate. I hope Nepal straightens out their system. It's a lovely country, and there are many kids who need families. Unfortunately, the collective system of international adoption creates opportunities for fraud. I hope this family brings their son home.
  • by Bill Location: Iowa on Sep 23, 2010 at 06:35 AM
    To 'An American'- are you really this ignorant? Did you read the story, did you watch the story? You have no business even commenting, I am surprised you can even figure out how to post on here with that intelligence level of yours. I wouldn't expect a response from this couple, if that is what you are trying to instigate? Its mind over matter, they don't mind...because people like you just don't matter. Meridian...get a hobby.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 23, 2010 at 06:22 AM
    to meridian...shame, shame on you..karyn and michael brown deserve a child..if any couple does..its them..and the beauty of college (if you even went) is the fact that you DON'T have to be in class in the middle of the works w/your schedule! ___
  • by BJ on Sep 22, 2010 at 09:38 PM
    My goodness, "Meridian", you have no idea what this teacher's class schedule is or what day the interview was done. It could have been on the weekend, on a lunch break, etc. Come on. You want to be hateful so badly that you come up with a crack about him not doing his work? Get a life, please.
  • by Anonymous Location: Starkville on Sep 22, 2010 at 09:29 PM
    To "Meridian" and "An American": You know NOTHING of this couple, the excellence they show in their jobs everyday, or the struggle they have gone through to simply give a child a loving home. Shame on you for your hurtful, mean-spirited comments.
  • by Meridian Location: Meridian on Sep 22, 2010 at 08:23 PM
    It is the middle of the day.... Why is the "professor" not at work?
  • by Robert Location: Dayton on Sep 22, 2010 at 08:19 PM
    What "An American" does not know is that the system for adoption in the US is so screwed up it makes it allmost imposssible to adopt domestically. Most states require foster to adopt and that is not a good option for most. I feel for your story we sat waiting for our match to receive the news that the US Gov. has chosen to suspend adoptions. This after a 2 1/2 year process and delays finally some movement in Nepal and the door is slammed shut. Your pain must be great I can not imagine. Our Daughter who was to be between 5 and 6 years old is there now waiting for a Mom and Dad... our 7 year old calls her Madison Grace :) ... All who disagree with this policy need to write and call your congress rep. and Senators to get this addressed and reversed...
  • by Jose Location: Spain on Sep 22, 2010 at 08:09 AM
    I am sorry to hear about your story. However,I live in Nepal and know that children homes are full of childern with parents or someone who could care for them there. Therare many ways they trick parents or get hold of kids for adoption. as long as popel kep adopting here, more and more children will keep filling children homes as the profit made by orphanage owners and government officials involved in the processs is too tempting for them. I wished all countries took US initiative, so in a few years we would know for sure who is really an orphan, and which are the NGO s realy caring for them and not just making business with them. I wished all prospective parents knew about all this before they got engage in the process of adoption.
  • by An American Location: Meridian on Sep 22, 2010 at 07:35 AM
    How about adopting kids from YOUR country instead of adopting from 3rd world countries, try taking care of your own countries problems first, you friggin idiots!!!
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