Friday, September 27, 2013

Fraudulent Document

Recently, we received an anonymous message from an adoptive parent, currently in process. This parent noticed that one of the documents VOTO/GHRM provided them (the "Minutes of Adoption") stated that the family appeared in Montrouis, in court and signed a document before the judge. They also noticed that the date on the Minutes of Adoption document was dated before the family had been in contact with Heather Elyse regarding adoption of the said child. The family asked a few other families about the document and realized each family's documents all said the same thing - that they had all appeared before the judge in court in Montrouis and signed this document, which of course, they did not. The family wanted to make sure this document was correct, so they emailed USCIS in Port au Prince asking them about the document and made sure USCIS knew they were not present. This was (in part) USCIS's response:

"Thank you for informing USCIS that you did not appear before the tribunal of peace of Montrouis to sign legal documents in connection with your adoption. The attachment you forwarded refers to the minutes of adoption, a vital legal document in the process.  The minutes of adoption does indicate that you appeared before the Judge of Montrouis on XXXXXX XX, 2012 to sign the adoption consent for the child XXXXXXXX XX XXXX.  This document also indicates that the biological parents appeared to sign the adoption consent.  The fact that you admitted that you did not appear to sign this consent, brings into question whether the biological parents of XXXXXXXX XX XXXX actually appeared to sign the consent on XXXXXX XX, 2012. (emphasis added)

USCIS is unable to consider the minutes of adoption in your case as a valid document, as it contains false or misleading information.  USCIS suggest that you consult your adoption processor to have the adoption consent  properly redone.  This implies that you would either travel to Haiti for your physical appearance before the Judge or provide a power of attorney to a proxy to have him/her appear on your behalf before the judge.  (We note in that case, your new minutes of adoption will clearly state that the proxy appeared on your behalf rather than you appeared yourselves).

In addition to a new minutes of adoption, you will need to have a new adoption decree from the civil court and a new adoption certificate."

We feel it is important to get this information out to the other families in process due to the fact that USCIS has notified multiple families within this organization that theirs is fraudulent as well. Our biggest concern regarding this fraudulent document is the fact that USCIS stated they question whether or not the birth parents were there to consent to their children being adopted.

We want to make it clear that this is not an "us against you" movement geared towards the adoptive families that are still in process with VOTO/GHRM. One of the goals of the Speak Out blog is to come alongside the other adoptive families and support them through the rest of their process

This document was done very early on in the adoption process and every family has this document no matter what stage of adoption they are in. We don't know how USCIS is going to handle this, but we wanted to post for the benefit of all families involved. In our experience the document cannot be done by a lawyer or individual, it must be redone by a licensed creche (Giving Hope Rescue Mission is not currently licensed.) Please feel free to email us with questions or concerns about your documents or your process. In our opinion every adoption must follow the legal steps outlined both by the country of origin and USCIS. 

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys and are unable to provide legal advice, but we can refer you to knowledgeable resources. None of this should be considered legal advice!