Star Tribune: “Broken promises”

Broken promises

The collapse of a New Hope adoption agency has putin limbo some Minnesota familieswaitingforchildren around the world. It also highlights the uncertainties and perils in international adoption.
Perched on the coffee table of Terry and Barb Sonnentag’s Monticello home is a book of photos devoted to a child they may never see again.

Willy, a 5-year-old Kenyan, grins brightly in one of the pictures. He is atop Terry’s shoulders, ready to leave an orphanage for life with his new American family.

But two weeks after Terry Sonnentag landed in Kenya in December to plan Willy’s departure, the family’s dream fell apart.

The lawyer retained in Kenya by Reaching Arms International, an adoption agency in New Hope orchestrating the adoption, turned out not to be a lawyer. Soon after, Kenyan officials informed Sonnentag that he had to stay six months to complete an adoption, not the three weeks he had been told. Then came the crushing blow: Reaching Arms didn’t even have the credentials to do Kenyan adoptions.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

2 thoughts

  1. Two things unrelated to this story that this brings to mind for me:
    1. I am curious how internation adoption became so popular in Minnesota. I don’t know the Twin Cities well, but my wife worked at the Mayo Clinic at one time, and judging from the people I know there, it doesn’t make sense.
    2. How am I ever going to resolve how embarassed reading these things is getting to be and the fact that I am an adoptive parent myself? I can’t regret being a father to my sons, yet…

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