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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dear Dick,

Today I wrote a letter to the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney. Boy, if that's not stepping out of my box, I don't know what is. After all, what does a plain ol' soccer mom have to tell the VP of the USA about?
Let me tell ya!
This week there is a group of families that will be meeting with Vice President Cheney in hopes of working towards a resolution. Our letter and many others from families just like us will be included. We hope that he will listen and look into what is currently going on with the USCIS and the US DOS in VietNam. We need for our government to stop assuming that every adoption is corrupt and needs to be investigated. What happened to the thought of innocent until proven guilty? In the USA we have legal ways to investigate crimes or unethical situations. US officials can't just barge into a hospital unannounced and ask to see a official records! Yet USCIS officials are doing exactly this. It is no wonder Vietnamese officials take offense and are refusing to cooperate with these investigations. This is only one example of the inappropriate way our officials are conducting their investigations. The actions of the United States government in the VietNam is an embarrassment to US citizens. I am ashamed by the conduct of officials that claim to represent a country I'm so proud to be a part of. Papa and I both forwarded letters to our reps, including AZ Senators McCain and Kyle. But now we're moving on to the the Vice President! Someone above the US government authorities in VN needs to step in to oversee the unbecoming conduct of these US officials.
Here are some excepts for my letter to Dick. I tried to focus on the issues of the stalemate of the hospital investigations in HCMC and how special need's children, like our beautiful little man, are forced to unnecessarily languish in orphanages while their disabilities are compounding as time passes. I have substituded "Little Man" with his real name below.

March 25, 2008

Currently, we have been matched with a special need's baby boy from HCMC, who was born in the Tu Du OBGYN Hospital. His name is "Little Man." Currently he is in an orphanage in HCMC. This beautiful baby was born with a deformity. Our doctor in the United States firmly states that it is the best interest of this baby to come to the United States as soon as possible for treatment of his condition. Each week that passes without continued treatment for "Little Man" leads to additional difficulties in correcting his special need and possible disabilities that may last his lifetime.

"Little Man" and children are being held captive to this process not due to fraud, but due to poor diplomacy and apathy towards children born in the Tu Du maternity hospital from our government officials in VietNam. We do believe it important for the USCIS to protect the orphans of VietNam by conducting investigations when there are suspicions of fraud. But the USCIS MUST respect Vietnamese authorities and conduct these investigations using the agreed upon protocol. We are confident that the majority of cases from the Tu Du hospital are above board and that these children are legitimate orphans as the Vietnamese government has already declared, yet all PAPs and orphans are being penalized. Children are being forced to languish in orphanages unnecessarily. The USCIS is demanding "unencumbered" independent investigations from this hospital (and investigations in other provinces) while no other country involved in international adoptions with the United States allows this. It is an unreasonable demand for the USCIS to make and beyond normal diplomacy.

We agree that both sides have made errors, the Vietnamese authorities have failed to prevent adoption corruption in a minority of cases. However the DOS has compounded the problem by not following agreed upon protocol and disrespecting the DIA, provincial officials, and hospitals administrators. The USCIS should lead by example and follow the guidelines that it originally agreed to.

Unless the US government finds a solution to the above problem, "Little Man" and many other babies that had the unfortunate circumstance of being born and abandoned in the Tu Du hospital, will be forced to unnecessarily languish in an orphanage and possibly never come home to a forever family. The children caught in the middle deserve due diligence.

We urge you to please address and correct the problem. The USCIS officials in VietNam should not be able to single handedly stop all adoptions proceeding from the Tu Du OBGYN Hospital without just cause. The USCIS must be required to follow the investigative protocol and need supervision to ensure that they do. Cases must not be presumed guilty or fraudulent until proven innocent.

Please help us bring "Little Man" home to the United States as soon as possible to undergo treatment for his special needs before additional lasting and debilitating affects take place.
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