Kyrgyzstan – The First Two Days

10 02 2010

The following is a brief update on Joint Council’s advocacy mission to Kyrgyzstan.

Through Monday and Tuesday, we met with 6 Members of the Kyrgyz Parliament, the Department of Child Protection, the Ministry of Education and Mr. Azinidin Kurmanov, Speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament.

Tom DiFilipo with (from righ to left) Ms. Damira Niyazaliava Member of Parliament, Mr. Zaindin Kurmanov Speaker of the Parliament, Elayna (translator)

During all meetings, we sought clarification on the process by which the Kyrgyz government is revising their child protection system, the lifting of the moratorium on intercountry adoption and the government’s permanency programs and systems.  Joint Council, along with Teresa Edwards, Suzanne Boutilier and Lisa Brotherton strongly advocated for the resolution of the current review of intercountry adoption, the lifting of the suspension on all adoptions and the immediate finalization of pending adoptions.

It was universally stated during all meetings, that the Krygyz Ministries and Parliament support the implementation of a new child protection system including intercountry adoption.   The officials used these meetings as an opportunity to resolve some outstanding issues of concern such as post-placement reporting, motivation to adoption, citizenship and U.S. child protection systems for Kyrgyz children.  Joint Council extends its appreciation for the opportunity to address these issues and for the official’s obvious concern for Krygyz children and the families seeking to adopt.

Based on our discussions, it is our understanding that the Kyrgyz government will present its findings on the review of child protection systems (including a draft of a new child protection law) and present these finding to the Parliament on February 15, 2010.  The Parliament will then review the report and either submit modifications to the government or schedule a vote on the new child protection law.  It is Joint Council’s expectation, based on our current understanding, that full implementation of the new child protection system, including the processing of intercountry adoption, will occur sometime in August.  Details of the new systems, the Ministries responsible for specific functions and the functional process will not be known or announced until after February 15.

While specifics are not yet known, the Krygyz child protection system will include a database of all children under the custody of the state,  family preservation and reunification programs, the promotion of domestic adoption and the utilization of intercountry adoption.  The principles of the Hague Convention on Intercountry adoption are being used in the development of these programs despite Kyrgyzstan not being a signatory to the Convention.  Joint Council has respectfully offered a partnership with the Krygyz government in implementing these principles and its new child protection system.

Joint Council continues to call upon the Krygyz government to immediately lift the adoption suspension on all pending adoptions based on the best interest of those Krygyz children who continue to languish in institutions.  As part of this advocacy, Joint Council’s Summary Report on the Bucharest Early Childhood Intervention Study was presented to all government officials as further evidence of the debilitating effects of institutionalization.

The significant and undue delays in concluding the review of past child protection systems combined with the lengthy process of establishing a new system is clearly not in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Kyrgyzstan is a signatory.   Additionally, the principles of the Hague Convention and its accompanying Guide To Good Practice, call for the timely implementation of permanency planning for each child.  Given the Krygyz government’s desire to incorporate Hauge principles into its child protection system, Joint Council encourages the Krygyz government to use timely permanency planning and permit the immediate  finalization of pending adoptions.

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4 responses

10 02 2010
Heidi Reitz

I really enjoy reading your blog that highlights some of the important work that you do. It would be wonderful if you could add shareware to your blog posts to make it easier for readers/supporters like me to share Joint Council posts on our various social media outlets. I know you are on Facebook but there is so much more out there.

10 02 2010
Jayne Schooler

I would love to get acquainted. We work in Krygyzstan and are getting ready to return in four weeks. We will be there until late May. We work in child welfare with government officials, train social workers and orphanage workers. We are also piloting a foster care program in the region. I am also an international authror trainer/consultant in adoption and foster care.

Would you contact me at my email…jayeschool@aol.com

our website jayeschooler.come

10 02 2010
Tony & Lisa

God bless you! And thanks again for being such amazing advocates for us!

11 02 2010
Angela Sharp

I am one of the waiting parents and would like to thank you for this advocacy trip to Kyrgyzstan. I feel very hopeful that I will be reunited with my daughter who is at the Bishkek baby house soon because of your effort. I also am greatful for Lisa, Teresa and Suzanne also. Please keep up the good work.

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