Archived Updates


December 2004:
A Seattle federal judge sentenced Lynn Devin of Seattle International Adoptions (SIA) on December 17th to six months of home detention for her role in brokering the adoptions of impoverished Cambodian children who were not orphans.  Federal prosecutors asked for a lenient sentence for Devin because she admitted guilt early in the case and aided in the investigation and prosecution of her sister.  She must also pay a $30,000 fine.

November 2004:
LAURYN GALINDO was sentenced to 18 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release, 300 hours of community service, and more than $60,000 dollars in restitution by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas S. Zilly for Conspiracy to Commit Visa Fraud and Conspiracy to Launder Money, and Structuring of Financial Transactions. In addition GALINDO is ordered to forfeit the proceeds of her crime to the government in the form of her home in Hawaii worth $1.4 million, and the value of her Jaguar (approx $25,000). In July of 2004 GALINDO admitted she organized the scheme whereby some Cambodian children were taken from their families and represented on immigration forms as orphans.


October 2004:
The Cambodia Daily reported in the October 18-22 edition that Maura Harty from the US State Department met with Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong in early October to negotiate reforms to the adoption system.  The Daily reports that it was agreed that the adoption of Cambodian children by US parents should be handled directly by the two governments and exclude third parties such as adoption agents.  In addition, Harty was said to have suggested that Cambodia collect a formal adoption fee.  Heid Bronke, US Embassy spokeswoman, reportedly said it was a routine trip and there was no indication that the suspension will be lifted soon.

June 23, 2004:
Lauryn Galindo has pleaded guilty to charges in a criminal information of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, conspiracy to launder money and the structuring of financial transactions. According to the Dept. of Justice, "With Galindo’s guilty plea, the case with respect to American citizens involved in the conspiracy has been effectively resolved. The government plans to take no action which would jeopardize the residency status of Cambodian children in the United States who were adopted through SIA."  To read the full statement see the US DOJ Press Release.

Related Articles:

"Hawaii woman pleads guilty to federal charges" -Associated Press, June 23, 2004
"2nd guilty plea in case of Cambodian baby adoptions" - Seattle PI, June 24, 2004
"Guilty plea in federal adoption fraud case" - Seattle Times, June 24, 2004

March 4, 2004:
According to a statement from the US Embassy in Cambodia,
"A team of officials from the Departments of State and Homeland Security is currently in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to gather information on the current state of adoptions in Cambodia.  The team will ascertain whether the Government of Cambodia has made sufficient efforts to approve adoption legislation and establish procedures that provide for adequate safeguards to protect the interests of children, birth parents and adoptive parents and eliminate opportunities for fraud and other abuses such as baby selling.  The team will meet with Cambodian Government officials, representatives of human rights and child protection NGOs, members of foreign diplomatic missions in Cambodia, as well as visit orphanages in and around the capital.

"This is a preliminary fact-finding mission, and will not make any decisions regarding the future of adoptions in Cambodia at this time.  Current information regarding the situation of children in Cambodia is needed in order to make informed policy decisions concerning adoptions, so that such policy meets the needs of children in need of permanent family placements."

January 2004:
The United States Attorney's office has made public indictments against Lynn Devin of Seattle International Adoptions (SIA) of Mercer Island, WA and her sister, facilitator Lauryn Galindo of Hawaii.  Ms. Devin has entered a guilty plea.  

For more information: 




(c) 2004