Southern Tier Woman Fights Adoption Ban

Written By: Asha McKenzie
Southern Tier Woman Fights Adoption Ban

ELMIRA HEIGHTS (WENY) -- One Human Right's group is calling on Washington to lift a ban on intercountry adoptions in Nepal.
     The group, Both Ends Burning met with leaders in Washington, DC last week, fighting to open adoption between American Families and Nepali orphans.
     Sharyln Keegan of Elmira Heights says joined the advocacy group, in Washington DC because of her special ties to Nepal.
     "When we realized on that same day of adoption, that I  could not, would not get a visa for her that I would have to go without her it was one of the most difficult days to go through," said Keegan.
     Keegan adopted six year old Junu in December 2010 in Nepal, when she was three years old.
     But when Keegan was ready to take her daughter home to the Southern Tier, she was told she couldn't.
     That's because a US Department of State investigation halted adoptions in Nepal, due to unreliable documentation.
     The US had difficulty determining whether the children were orphans under US law.
     Junu spent six weeks in an orphanage while Sharyln fought to prove her new daughter's orphan status - costing upwards of $70,000.
     And she's not alone -  the US Embassy completed 62 other cases - costing each family an average of $25,000.
     "I guess you never know what journey you're on in life, but i wouldn't change it," said Keegan.
     After investigating for 82 days, the US Embassy found there was no evidence of fraud.
     And on April 2, 2011, Sharyln was able to bring Junu home, but an adoption suspension in Nepal remains in place.
     Now human right's group, Both Ends Burning is looking to end it, and give those children homes.

     To learn more about Both Ends Burning's Mission, visit their website.