U.S. Families Learn Truth About Adopted Cambodian Children

Despite the pain the families involved in the adoptions expressed to "20/20," Galindo said she feels she was simply helping children. "If I could even save one child from the fate of being in a pedophile ring or ending up on the street sniffing glue, then everything I've done is worth it just for one child. And I have done that for hundreds of children. Hundreds," she said. Nearly two dozen adoptive families offered video testimony to the court, insisting Galindo has been made a scapegoat for a foreign adoption system riddled with corruption.

And if the Cambodian women weren't forced to give up their children, were the adoptions perhaps in the children's best interest? Maskew told Vargas, "If Bill Gates came to your door tomorrow and said, 'I can give your kid everything you can't,' would you hand your child over to him? That isn't what makes families."

Goff wants to know if her daughter, now 4 years old, was a true orphan or a victim of baby trafficking. So with only fragments of information, "20/20" was able to track down her daughter's birth parents. Both of her daughter's biological parents had died of AIDS. Her paternal grandmother gave her up for adoption when her son become very ill and couldn't care for the baby.

The grandmother says she never received money from the orphanage.

Goff was saddened but relieved. "I feel bad for the grandmother. But at least I know it was done out of love, and that Lauryn didn't purchase my daughter," she said.

Moratorium Leaves Children Vulnerable

Since 2001, the United States and other countries, responding to trafficking allegations, have imposed a moratorium on all adoptions out of Cambodia.

Dr. Nancy Hendrie, who runs the Sharing Foundation, says the effect has been devastating for true Cambodian orphans awaiting homes. "I think for many children all over Cambodia, it has almost been a death sentence. There are children who deserve homes who probably will never have homes," she said.

Maskew acknowledges the moratorium's negative consequences. "I think for children, moratoriums are damaging. But sometimes they're the only thing that keeps more damage from happening," she said.

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