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Nobody's Child: Adopted at 3 months from India, 30 year old becomes global orphan

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prasad1

Well-known member
She's nobody's child. Orphaned at birth and losing her adoptive mother at eight was rough enough. But stateless at 17 after being disenfranchised and disowned by both her adopted country and the country of her birth -- how much more cruel can the world be, except of course to punish her with debilitating multiple sclerosis when she is fighting a pitiless legal system?


In a heart-breaking case that reveals the remorseless nature of governments, bureaucracies, and the judicial system, Kairi Abha Shepherd, now 30, who was adopted from Kolkata when she was only three months old by an American single mother from Utah, has been ordered to be deported to India, a country she has never lived in or visited.


Shorn of technicalities, the complicated case boils down to this: Kairi's mother Erlene, an American do-gooder who adopted 11 children from across the world, many of them with disabilities, did not complete the paperwork and other formalities that would have made the India-born child a US citizen, before she (the single mother) died of cancer when the adopted child was only eight.


Still, Kairi might have navigated the system with the help of her siblings and her mother's friends and come out unscathed. But at 17, she was arrested and convicted of felony check forgery to fuel a drug habit. That brought her under the shadow of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 that allowed deportations of legal permanent residents convicted of non-violent crimes. In 2004, Kairi was convicted on forgery charges, a crime of ''moral turpitude'' that was covered under the 1996 Act for deportation even after she served a prison sentence.


Soon the bureaucracy, procedures, and technicalities took over. Kairi's lawyers produced a birth certificate, legal adoption papers, and documentation to show that she qualified for citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 and won favourable rulings from an immigration judge. But government prosecutors returned to show that she missed qualifying for the Child Citizenship Act by a few months and appealed the immigration judge's ruling.


Earlier this month, Judge Scott Matheson of the 10th circuit court, in a 23-page decision, wrote the court simply didn't have jurisdiction over determining Shepherd's legal status, a ruling that virtually upheld the federal government's right to remove her from the country.


''She just fell between the cracks,'' Kairi's attorney Alan Smith, who is working pro-bono on the case, told TOI in an interview. ''In my 30 years of legal practice, I have never seen anything like this.''


Smith and a group of lawyers who have volunteered to represent Kairi are now conferring about appealing to the US Supreme Court in the 45-day window before US immigration officials begin deportation proceedings. Not that either process will be easy.


Immigration authorities must first determine whether the country of origin will admit the person being returned, and there is no word from New Delhi yet on that. Besides, Smith and his team are also petitioning authorities to hold her removal in abeyance in light of her medical condition.


''We want authorities to hold back deportation proceedings till we exhaust all legal avenues." Smith said. ''Our biggest fear is that she might find it hard to survive in India with her multiple sclerosis condition with no support.''


Currently incommunicado fearing imminent deportation, Kairi is in touch with her attorneys over phone and email. She's a global orphan.
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
Might be she is been harassed and tortured by authorities like this probably because she is not accepting to be a plaything in their hands, to satisfy their whims and fancy.

Too sad!!!!!
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
Might be she is been harassed and tortured by authorities like this probably because she is not accepting to be a plaything in their hands, to satisfy their whims and fancy.

Too sad!!!!!

I agree that she ran faul of the "rule of law" of the land. The rule is inflexible, and they threw the book at her. Yes very sad, in every which way you see it. The US system of deporting legal immigrant caught in the system, to appear strong on illegal immigrant is misguided at best.

I do not condone her behavior, but she paid her price for the deed, she is being doubly punished, in addition to jail term she is being deported.
 
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sarang

Well-known member
There is no guarantee that india will give her citizen status. She too will not be interested in coming to india, an unknown land and culture for her. Even if she comes, she will be exploited depending which ngo offers to adopt her.
 

Iyyarooraan

Well-known member
The govt apathy, rules and regulations, local people's acceptance, etc. apart, I have seen a few young women adopt children from orphanage and leave them in the care of aged in-laws. I have also seen Angelina Jolie carrying her adopted children on her hips and shoulders and on her boy-friends shoulders, and taking care of them. I am afraid in such cases we are short of those western characters.
 

Subhalakshmi

Active member
What a shame, how could once she was adopted legally, US can throw her out, there are so many murderers who get away, escaping the legal system with money they throw.. and this poor lady, just because she was arrested for a comparatively minor offense, is being harassed.. first of all it is the duty of a parent to provide her proper care and in this case this is the tragedy.. I sympathize with this child.. so sad..
 
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prasad1

prasad1

Well-known member
What a shame, how could once she was adopted legally, US can throw her out, there are so many murderers who get away, escaping the legal system with money they throw.. and this poor lady, just because she was arrested for a comparatively minor offense, is being harassed.. first of all it is the duty of a parent to provide her proper care and in this case this is the tragedy.. I sympathize with this child.. so sad..

Which parent? The biological parents died, the first adoptive mother died, the second mother too passed away before getting her paperwork done.
 

Subhalakshmi

Active member
Which parent? The biological parents died, the first adoptive mother died, the second mother too passed away before getting her paperwork done.


Until 17 years, where was this girl growing up.. how come the parent did not do anything for this child, it was her responsibility right.. or the other mother who took care of her later.. I am not talking about the biological parents who passed on.. IN any case, she is a child who fell through the cracks..

It was the responsibility of the adopted mother(s) ... What is the purpose of adoption if you are unable to provide the basics for the child that is all was my anguish....
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
Until 17 years, where was this girl growing up.. how come the parent did not do anything for this child, it was her responsibility right.. or the other mother who took care of her later.. I am not talking about the biological parents who passed on.. IN any case, she is a child who fell through the cracks..

It was the responsibility of the adopted mother(s) ... What is the purpose of adoption if you are unable to provide the basics for the child that is all was my anguish....


Very well said Shmt. Subhalakshmi,

What for the girl has been adopted??? To feed her mother by getting herself exploited?? That's all?? At least the mother who took care of her later can not do something good in return for the child??? If not, then how can she be called as a mother?? She can be nothing BUT like a irresponsible and mean partner in a business.

OR is that all her adopted mothers were too ignorant about the US immigration laws OR is that the girl was not willing to have the paper work done?? What's the reason??

The girl is so miss fortunate to have been subjected to irresponsibility and exploitation, right from her birth..

So sad!!!!!!


 

Subhalakshmi

Active member
Americans are usually very responsible when the adopt a child, i have seen many cases and know that they truly care for the child as much as they do for their own.. but at the same time, in this case, the both the mothers were victims of bad times looks like and this woman/child got the wrong end of the deal.. it is irony when I see many children who are adopted have much better lives.. how did this one fall off grace.. just kismet or karma. or her luck paavaam.. i do feel bad for her.. I know first hand what it is to be an adopted child because I was adopted not once but twice by two different families and i had no papers or anything, but again in India anything goes.. I don't have anything from anyone, but i had lot of affection from both my dads and moms.. so I was a very lucky girl :) more later on that...
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
...I know first hand what it is to be an adopted child because I was adopted not once but twice by two different families and i had no papers or anything, but again in India anything goes.. I don't have anything from anyone, but i had lot of affection from both my dads and moms.. so I was a very lucky girl :) more later on that...

Shmt.Subhalakshmi,

If you can feel comfortable, please share with us. To be frank, I am eagerly waiting for your narration. Not to have "Ooru Vambu" BUT to understand more about human life and what all happens in this world.

I know there exists Good and Bad. It is my wish to get to know about all.
 

mahakavi

Active member
In a heart-breaking case that reveals the remorseless nature of governments, bureaucracies, and the judicial system, Kairi Abha Shepherd, now 30, who was adopted from Kolkata when she was only three months old by an American single mother from Utah, has been ordered to be deported to India, a country she has never lived in or visited.



Immigration authorities must first determine whether the country of origin will admit the person being returned, and there is no word from New Delhi yet on that. Besides, Smith and his team are also petitioning authorities to hold her removal in abeyance in light of her medical condition.



Currently incommunicado fearing imminent deportation, Kairi is in touch with her attorneys over phone and email. She's a global orphan.

It is really sad that this woman finds herself in this situation. Some of it is her own making. But the law is the law unless the lawyers can find technical errors in the proceedings. It is strange that the entire State Department will go to bat for the blind activist from China and get him into the US to the irritation of the Chinese government. Sure it was a high-profile drama for the US. In this case this Kairi does not present any advantage to the US government. So she is left to hang dry. Now, India cannot refuse to accept her. She was born there and there is a birth certificate to prove it. But that is no reason for the Immigration department to deport her for such a minor crime. I hope the pro bono lawyers are successful in appealing to the Supreme Court and win.
 

C RAVI

Well-known member
Thanks a lot for your detailed narration Shmt.Subhalakshmi. Yes!!! Indeed you are very lucky and am happy for that.

The part of the quote that I have highlighted above, has touched my heart!!!. I share the same opinion.

"To be happy with what we have as our own and not to be happy with what we could grab from others"
 
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