In spite of assurances to US families they would have an explanation for why they could not take their adoptive Cambodian children back to the US with them, the US Immigration and Naturalization Service had not provided the information Friday evening.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Karen Fleming of the US state of Pennsylvania said Friday.
The INS had completed their investigation into the cases of 11 children whom Cambodian officials have already awarded to the US families, and determined the children did not meet the US’s legal definition of orphans. But a full explanation, which the INS had promised to deliver, still had not arrived late Friday.
The parents, three sets of whom remain in Cambodia while they begin the appeals process in the US, are in limbo. While they have custody of the children under Cambodian law, the US will not grant visas for the children.
Cambodia is still one of the biggest sources of foreign adoptions in the US, with prospective parents paying up to $20,000 in fees to adopt a child.
US officials began investigating the 11 cases after Cambodian officials raided the Asian Orphans Association in search of children they said were illegally trafficked.
Cambodian authorities have since charged four AOA workers with violations of the anti-trafficking laws.