U.S. Families Learn Truth About Adopted Cambodian Children

But when these adoptive parents arrived, eager to meet the child they had only seen in pictures, they sensed something was wrong.

Rauschenberger said she was rushed straight from the airport to the orphanage, and then brusquely given the child. "They ran out to the car with my son in the nanny's arms and just handed him to me. And they told me just to get in the car and go to the hotel," she recalled.

Mosley had a similar story. "You're whisked in and whisked out of places," she said. "If you want to get home with your child, then just do as you're told and question nothing."

Parents passed the days waiting in hotel rooms for their babies' exit visas and for Galindo to show up to collect, in cash, what she called an orphanage donation fee.

'I Have Another Mother's Baby'

Galindo directed some families back to the orphanage if they wanted more information about their child. At Sam's orphanage, Rauschenberger was told Sam's mother had relinquished him because she had five other children and no husband.

But on the paperwork Galindo had given her just before they left the country, Sam's birth parents were listed as "unknown." Rauschenberger thought it was odd, but she believed that Sam was a legitimately abandoned child and left Cambodia with him.

Then last year, Rauschenberger read a newspaper article that described a guilt-ridden birth mother in Cambodia who told how she was coerced into giving up her baby boy, and she realized the boy referred to in the article was her adopted son, Sam.

"At first, you know, it's almost like your blood runs cold. So I have another mother's baby, that I didn't mean to have. I have the worst-case scenario," Rauschenberger said.

Rauschenberger struggles with feelings of guilt over the adoption, "I think that I was part of a process that I'm not proud of," she said.

Despite Reservations, Americans Take Children

Goff became suspicious when the documents of her 16-month-old child showed the birth parents as "unknown." But at the orphanage, she was shocked to learn that for a price she could look into a book of records that contained photos of children and the names of mothers and fathers. Goff saw more details about her daughter's background in the book -- names of her parents and the village where she was from. Goff took her concerns to the U.S. Embassy. But, despite the appearance of fraud, an official cleared Goff and her new daughter to leave Cambodia.

Goff acknowledged she had reservations. "It's like being split in two. You want to be a mother, but you don't want to do something wrong," Goff said. "When you look in the eyes of a child that you think needs to have a parent, and you want to be a parent so very badly again, you can't separate the heart strings."

'Baby Recruiters' Approach Villagers for Children

"20/20" visited Liang Kout, a remote and desperately poor border village, to learn more. Villagers there told "20/20" that reports of babies being mysteriously abandoned were false. Instead, they had been sold to an orphanage funded by Galindo in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. The children were located by what U.S. authorities call "baby recruiters," who offer young mothers cash for their children -- often as little as $15.

"20/20" spoke with one of the recruiters, Chea Kim, who said she brought about six children to the Phnom Penh orphanage.

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