Blue Skies and Yellow Fields

Statements on the "Ukrainian Orphan Crisis"
And "A History Lesson."

A Caution Against Potential Child Traffickers: Throughout history, it has been a habit for adoption facilitators to flock war-torn nations, gather and label children as if “orphans waiting to be adopted” and expedite them to foreign territories. To the detriment of mothers, fathers, and communities, the word “orphan” in adoption law has been expanded to include children of single or poverty-stricken parents. This means that almost any child is at risk of being labeled an orphan and legally processed for overseas adoption—even yours.

 

You might have read the newspaper article from the Seattle Times on Pastor Matt Shea who is in Poland and already claiming ownership of more than 60 Ukrainian “orphans.”

In the effort to protect children from being permanently torn from their Ukrainian families, the public must all be aware of Pastor Matt Shea’s past in the state of Washington. The FBI found that the former state representative and congressman “participated in an act of domestic terrorism against the United States,” and in the planning of “three armed conflicts of political violence” to seize control of a wildlife refuge in Oregon, and other intentions in Nevada, and Idaho. He has been linked to Christian Extremist Movements to place him as a governmental leader in a radical “intent on killing non-Christian males if they did not agree to follow fundamentalist biblical law….” The pastor is also known for the distribution of a four-page manifesto titled “Biblical Basis for War”. Pastor Shea was suspended from the State House Republican Caucus in 2019 After an FBI investigation but refused to resign. He started his own church called On Fire Ministries after serving as a previous senior pastor of Covenant Church of Spokane, Washington, for less than a year.

 

In Poland, Pastor Shea claimed to be working for Loving Families and Homes for Orphans, a nonprofit group registered in 2018, which hosts Ukrainian “orphans” in America with the intent to... Click Here for the FULL POST

Rev. Dr. Janine Vance

Against Child Trafficking in the USA | Fundraising & Awareness

Adoption Truth and Transparency Worldwide Information Network (ATTWIN)

Adoptionland: from Orphans to Activists | Adoption History 101: An Orphan’s Research

You can help previous victims, survivors, parents and adult-adoptees searching for relatives by donating to or attending the Adoption Trafficking Awareness Symposium. Register at Eventbrite or go to ACT USA’s Donation page.  

 

 

Live outside of the US? Give the gift of a Search and Reunion Scholarship for adult adoptees directly to info@againstchildtrafficking.org

Ukraine - Ministry of Social Policy Statement on Intercountry Adoption:

“The National Social Service is not currently considering cases and is not providing consent and/or permits for the adoption of children by foreigners or by citizens of Ukraine who reside beyond its borders. Because of active hostilities, it is impossible to ensure high-quality verification of documents of foreign citizens who have expressed a desire to adopt a child, to ensure contact between the prospective adoptive parent and the child, to establish the child’s opinion regarding adoption by precisely this person, to obtain findings and the consent of interested parties (parents, institutions in which the children lived, guardianship and trusteeship bodies, etc.).

Without such verification and preliminary work there is a great risk that the child could fall into the hands of fraudsters, persons who would not ensure the child’s rights and best interests, or human traffickers.

The policy of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees with respect to adoption is that children who are evacuated to other countries as a result of an emergency situation, including children who are granted refugee status in the territory of other countries, cannot be adopted because the majority of them are not orphans or do not have official authoritative confirmation to that effect.

Such children require appropriate temporary care for possible reunification with [their] families in the future rather than adoption.

In addition, adoption must not be carried out if:

there is hope of successfully finding and reuniting families in the best interests of the child, and

a reasonable period of time has not yet passed (usually at least two years) during which all possible steps were taken to find the parents or other surviving family members.

Countries of origin of such children and countries of their temporary residence must make all possible efforts to find the family members of such children before they can be considered eligible for adoption.

This is stipulated by the national legislation of Ukraine that pertains to intercountry adoption.” 

Intercountry Adoption Under Conditions of Martial Law – A Clarification from the Ministry of Social Policy

Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, published March 13, 2022, at 22:19

A History Lesson from the "Korean Orphan Crisis." What You Need to Know: Upon entering the US Embassy, Harry Holt’s Korean assistant, David Kim, was nervous in the mid-1950s. His hands clutched two suitcases stuffed with visa applications for children to be processed for adoption. After the much-needed approval, the Korean children would finally meet their American parents who had already received their photo and paid the fees set up by the Holts. David Kim needed to somehow convince the newly assigned vice-consul at the US Embassy to approve the applications, but the new government official assigned to the task was known for being “strict” and following the law. Mr. Kim was nervous because he had a working relationship with the former vice-consul and the last two batches of applications had been smoothly given stamps of approval, allowing for two airplane loads of children to be exported. 

 

By this time, photos of “happy families with their newly adopted children from Korea ran in newspapers and monthly magazines. With the increased publicity, more mothers relinquish their children to us for adoption. Our orphanage is overflowing and we were again desperate for more space.”  The Korean mothers were made to feel comfortable and the hard work paid off. “We processed nearly 100 adoption cases. We had a new vice-consul at the US Embassy handling all our pending cases.”

At this point in his life, David Kim, more than a mere trainee and interpreter, had become a devoted assistant of Harry Holt, a fellow fundamentalist Christian, and he worried the new vice-consul would not endorse the next batch of applications. The consulate “made many demands when we apply for visas. He emphasize that if he was responsible for issuing the visas, he would operate in strict accordance with the laws.”

The prospect of not being able to fill orders would cause Harry and his wife, a farming couple, and married first cousins. To Mr. Kim’s awe, Harry Holt, a mountain of a man in comparison, appeared at the US Embassy to assist with ensuring the approvals. While David Kim stayed behind, he watched his boss march into the government office. The large American entered that day determined to get the bulging suitcases full of applications immediately approved.

“A few minutes later I heard a thundering noise coming from the consular section. It sounded like an explosion! Suddenly the office became completely quiet. You could hear a pin drop.”  

“The consulate office door opens and Mr. Holt slowly walked out nursing a bleeding fist. Astonished, I gave him a handkerchief to stop the bleeding and asked what happened? He did not answer. He appeared somewhat agitated and murmured to himself, “wise guy!”

Kim later learned that Mr. Holt got upset and tried to punch the Korean man in the face. “luckily, the vice-consul retreated and Harry missed him, but his fist landed in a thick ashtray on the desk, exploding it into several pieces, sending ashes and cigarette butts flying everywhere. His hand bled from the broken glass.”

David Kim could not believe what he had learned. “Mr. Holt is incapable of doing that! He is too kind and humble.”

While Mr. Holt was perceived as a “terrifying man,” the assistant interpreted his boss’s demeanor as an “indomitable spirit that would never surrender to injustice.” The Korean man compared Harry Holt to cowboys in western movies where the “good guy” protects the weak.

Later Harry chuckled about the incident: “people trying to exercise their two-bit authority.“ He did not like the vice consul’s “arrogance and disrespect” against his determination to fulfill a dream. Mr. Kim was impressed. “Mr. Holt was not afraid of government officials.”

To David Kim’s surprise, a new vice-consul soon replaced the strict one. And Holt’s assistant was treated “cordially and respectfully by the consular staff.  Furthermore, the new [replacement] vice-consul was very kind and said he would be happy to help us any way he could.” Mr. Kim was impressed. “Thereafter, The US Embassy always provided excellent service for our children. I understood how Mr. Holt became a successful businessman. He could do things no ordinary men could do! Over the next few weeks, the embassy issued us nearly 100 visas.”

... Click Here for the Full Post

Statement from US State Department:

The most recent US State Department email update, as of March 25th on Ukraine’s status, announced that adoptions are not possible at this time or in the near future:

 

“The majority of children living in orphanages in Ukraine are not orphans.  Most have parents and families who have placed them in orphanages for economic reasons or for assistance with a child’s special needs. It can be extremely difficult during crises to determine whether children who appear to be orphans are truly eligible for adoption and immigration under U.S. laws. Children may be temporarily separated from their family, and their parents or other caregivers may be looking for them. Families may make the difficult choice to send children on their own or in the care of non-family members in order to achieve their safety. When a child’s parents have died, other relatives may be willing and able to care for them.”  ~Statement by the Department of State’s Special Advisor for Children’s Issues