For families desiring to adopt a child into their family, it is understandable that they would hope to fully trust one’s agency, lawyer or the child’s orphanage regarding details of their referral’s story. The unfortunate reality is, Uganda is a country marred with fraud and corruption. It is all too common that a child’s documentation (birth certificates, abandonment reports, family death certificates) can be obtained based on fraudulent information. It is always ultimately the adoptive family’s responsibility to ensure that they are not unknowingly engaging in illegal activity and that their adoptive child’s history is founded upon truth.
What are some common problems where fraud is at play? Someone may claim to be a child’s parent and release the child for adoption in the US without the birth parents knowing their child is being adopted. Or, unethical orphanages and adoption facilitators create death certificates as proof that children are orphans, when indeed they are not. In other cases, children “abandoned” do in fact have known relatives but documentation is obtained stating they were abandoned and any record of known relatives is destroyed or disregarded. Sadly, situations like these are not uncommon.
Thorough, objective verification of every child’s orphan status is critical to expose these lies and to prevent the illegal immigration of children. Even if it is found that a child is legitimately an adoptable orphan, a comprehensive orphan investigation is needed to substantiate this as reality.
Comprehensive orphan investigations performed independently from the orphanage and/or adoption agency confirms or denies the orphan’s story that was given at the time of adoption referral. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information about this service we provide to families.
Components of our comprehensive orphan investigations are listed below:
- Principles of the investigation are based on the definition of ‘orphan’ both according to USCIS and Uganda Law, ensuring the prospective adoptive child meets both criteria.
- In-depth analysis is performed on all submitted documents, as well as verification with the issuing government departments (i.e. the police and local councils).
- Site visits to locations within the geographical coverage of the child’s origin.
- Collection of sworn and notarized statements of all witnesses and those lending information to the child’s situation.
- Audio-visual and photographic coverage of efforts to verify the child’s orphan status.
- Endorsement of the orphan investigation report by the Uganda Commissioner for Children (under the Line Ministry) if applicable.
- All electronic files and a complete report bound and finished, useful not only to support the visa process, but for the adoptive child and family to refer to in the future should the child have questions with his or her identity.
Please be aware that this orphan investigation provides no guarantee to the outcome of one’s endeavor to secure an immigrant visa through the US Embassy for a Ugandan child.