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Kazakhstan-born adopted children leave American Ranch for Kids

24 june 2013, 19:12
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Photo courtesy of wordpress.com
Photo courtesy of wordpress.com
Only two children from Kazakhstan lived at the Ranch for Kids in Montana, U.S. and both of them have gone back to their parents, the Ranch’s Executive Director Joice Sterkel wrote in an e-mail to Tengrinews.kz. The Ranch’s representatives provided no further information on the kids however. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan authorities are still waiting for an official reply of the U.S. on children adopted from Kazakhstan staying at the Ranch for Kids.

Kazakhstan raised the issue to the American Ranch in July 2012. The camp was created to help American families that find it difficult to manage their children, including adopted children. The camp for youth who are experiencing emotional, behavioral, or learning problems and who have a history of failing in academic, social, moral, or emotional development at home or in less structured traditional settings is located in Montana near the Canadian border. The license of the camp was suspended back in 2010. Montana Private Industry Council terminated the license of Ranch for Kids for several violations. After that its owner Joyce Sterkel appealed the regulator’s decision in court and the company was re-registered as a religious organization.

Russia is applying effort to close down the ranch. Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry and the Commission for Children's Rights Protection of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science sent an official request to the American authorities in relation to the ranch. “We have received no answer and no information. In this relation we are not going to resume adoption practices with the U.S. until we receive a reply from this country in line with the Hague Convention and the international obligations it undertook,” the Commission’s chairwoman Raissa Sher said on June 11, 2013.

Adoptions of Kazakhstan kids by Americans were suspended because “last July it turned out that 2 of our kids were staying at the ranch. This ranch is similar to our schools for children with deviant behavior," Raissa Sher said.

According to the Ministry of Education and Science, almost 9 thousand children have been adopted by foreign citizens since 1999. 37 foreign adoption agencies are currently operating in Kazakhstan. They are responsible for reporting on the condition of the adopted children.


By Alisher Akhmetov

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