In 2008, responding to local rumors that foreigners were adopting babies to harvest their organs, the Kyrgyz government imposed a moratorium on international adoptions.I think there have been "organ donor" rumors about international adoption in all sending countries at one time or another. But I found interesting that people see the adoption tax credit and adoption subsidies as proof of a profit motive. Wonder how they'd react to all the "fundraising for my adoption" posts . . . .
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Since the collapse of Kurmanbek Bakiyev’s administration last spring, new officials have promised to lift the moratorium and allow the adoptions to proceed. But Minister of Social Protection Aygul Ryskulova, who served as Minister of Labor, Employment and Migration under the old regime, says the government is just too busy to deal with the adoptions. What’s more, concerns linger about the process and the Americans’ motivations. “The facts are still being investigated,” Ryskulova said of the motivations behind the original freeze. “During the last three years the Kyrgyz government found out the whereabouts of most of the children [who had been adopted prior to the ban]. Some of them were adopted by Israeli families, some by Germans, some of them by US parents. But we still don’t know where some children are. We don’t have an exact number of internationally adopted children, where they were sent, how they live now. We have to find out this information.”
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MP Shirin Aitmatova, who has pushed for the adoption process to be reformed, says , , , anyone wishing to help with reforms must combat the persistent rumors that foreigners are using the Kyrgyz children for profit. “There was fear that children could potentially be used as organ donors. Some people also assume that since American families that adopt receive certain financial benefits and tax breaks, they must be doing it less out of the goodness of their hearts and rather to supplement their income. Many unfounded ideas circulate in the local population regarding foreigners who express the wish to adopt local children,” Aitmatova explained.
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Yet it seems a knee-jerk fear remains a persistent challenge to any hopes for reform. A parliamentary deputy and former human rights ombudsman, MP Tursunbai Bakir uulu, says that Kyrgyz society is right to be concerned about how these children, often living in underfunded institutions in Kyrgyzstan, will be treated abroad. Without providing evidence, he told EurasiaNet.org: “There are so many stories in the world when adopted children were abused, humiliated, even killed. I don’t support international adoption."
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