The twins’ mom is HIV+ and has TB. She hasn’t been able to care for the twins and the family was basically letting them starve. Survival of the fittest is definitely a part of life in Uganda and with the health issues that both the mom and babies had, I think the mindset was “if they live, they live. If they don’t, we have two fewer mouths to feed.” They aren’t totally heartless though and on August 10th brought the babies to the orphanage to be seen by the pediatric residents. They have been there since then except for a couple days they spent at the hospital because of diarrhea. Unofficially, the orphanage has custody of them and they have talked to the mother a couple times since then. She is still unwell and unable to take care of them. We asked Isaac and Susan, the couple who runs the orphanage, about the babies’ father. They think he has HIV, but are unsure where he is or of his health status.
In order for them to be adopted, both parents, if still alive, have to relinquish rights to their children. Though many parents are willing to give children to an orphanage, rarely do they legally relinquish rights to their children. Once they do relinquish the rights, we have heard it is not difficult to obtain legal guardianship if you have the right lawyer. If you do have guardianship, you are free to travel to the States with the understanding you’ll complete the adoption in the States.
I have fallen in love with these babies and have contemplated trying to get legal guardianship of these babies, making the process of adoption (for me or someone else) much easier. But, at this point, I don’t think that is a wise decision, as they are twins and their parents haven’t given over their rights.
So, if anyone wants to seriously consider adopting them, I’ll see what I can do from my end to obtain guardianship and bring them to the States!
We know their mom is HIV+, but we don’t know about them, so we’re hoping to get them tested this week and we’ll know next month. We are also concerned that she might have some neuro issues, possibly cerebral palsy. She has some infant reflexes that are still present and she doesn’t have much muscle tone in her limbs. We’re hoping to take her to Kampala at some point to see a neurologist.
On a different note, the orphanage can’t afford to buy formula for them, so we’re buying it with help from you! If you would like to help us buy formula until they are 6 months old and can be switched to cow’s milk, email me and and I’ll tell you how to help.
We’re planning on going to visit them tomorrow! I’ll update you as to how they are!