For a group of prospective North American parents whose attempts to adopt Kyrgyzstani children wound up on the wrong side of a 2009 moratorium on foreign adoptions, the last four years have been a harrowing education in the cut and thrust of Kyrgyz politics. The lifting of the moratorium last year offered the group – sometimes known as the “Kyrgyz 65” – hope, but recent corruption scandals appear to have brought the whole process to a grinding halt once again.
Gabrielle Shimkus, whose hoped-for son Azamat, now four, is one of the original 65 cases, shed “tears of joy” when the ban was lifted in May 2011, and further tears when the first of the long-stalled adoptions was completed this summer. But members of the group, who together lobby the Kyrgyz government, have had plenty of other reasons to cry over the years. A new ban on the work of all accredited international adoption agencies in Kyrgyzstan has given the remaining prospective parents a sickly feeling of déjà vu.
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Chris Rickleton is a Bishkek-based journalist.