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October 13, 2007

A weekend call to action

Since UNICEF has been protecting Director Veneman and not tansferring calls to her or to her voicemail from the switchboard, then here may be a more creative way to get through while they are closed.

Phone Call: The issue that Unicef needs to clarify clearly are "does UNICEF support the grandfathering of all cases in process as of the effective date of any new law in Guatemala (cases would be processed under the current adoption system)?"; and "what do they mean by "due process" in their statement?" Due process has a very different meaning than grandfathering.

To leave a message on the voice mail of the Executive Director (Veneman) you should:

1. dial the switchboard 212-326-7000

2. Listen to the recording, and choose 1 to use the "dial a name feature"

3. Type in 8363626# (which are the numbers for the letters Veneman)

4. You should hear a voice mail outgoing message for the office of the Executive Director.

5. Leave your message at the beep.

Fax: Ask the same questions, in your own words, by fax. Unicef's fax number is 212 326 7758.

Posted by Kevin at October 13, 2007 10:46 AM
Comments

Ha! I just posted this info on the forum about 30 min ago!

Let's keep up the good fight!

Chrissy

Posted by: Chrissy at October 13, 2007 11:29 AM

I got through to the receptionist on Thursday and she gave me another number to call for UNICEF US. I called that number and got a voicemail that said that UNICEF is now advocating for in process cases to continue. Did anyone else hear this too?? Unfortunately, I left the number at work.

Posted by: shannon at October 13, 2007 12:18 PM

I got that same information on Thursday from Max Gebhardt (UNICEF US funds ...something or another) also. Hopefully, they are being truthful and are indeed pushing for/or supporting a "grandfather clause". I think at this point if they do not support the in process cases they will be subject to way too much critism.

Posted by: Annie at October 13, 2007 03:11 PM

Shannon,

Last week I sent an email to Max Gebhardt of Program Services for the UNICEF US Fund. I received a reply on Thursday, Oct 1l, and this is what he said: "UNICEF is also concerned about children in the process of adoption. UNICEF supports the transitory clause that will be included in the law which is being discussed by Guatemalan Congress. This clause specifically refers to cases in process or the the "grandfathering" of cases."

That sounds to me as if UNICEF is now advocating for the completion of in-process cases.

Posted by: Adoptive grandmother at October 13, 2007 03:32 PM

Shannon,

Last week I sent an email to Max Gebhardt of Program Services for the UNICEF US Fund. I received a reply on Thursday, Oct 1l, and this is what he said: "UNICEF is also concerned about children in the process of adoption. UNICEF supports the transitory clause that will be included in the law which is being discussed by Guatemalan Congress. This clause specifically refers to cases in process or the the "grandfathering" of cases."

That sounds to me as if UNICEF is now advocating for the completion of in-process cases.

Posted by: Adoptive grandmother at October 13, 2007 03:32 PM

Thanks Kevin,

Brilliant, I was able to leave a nice message and leave her my phone number and email address to respond, I also told her we appreciated that they have amended their statement but we need further clarification of "due process". etc.

Here is Ann Veneman's email address in case any of you missed my post of it on another thread:

aveneman@unicef.org

She has not responded to any emails, that I know of, but I think she gets them and its a nice way to attach our children's faces to our messages.

Now, lets make sure we fill up her vm this weekend. Talk fast, as you have a limited amount of time to leave the message before getting cut off.

Posted by: Melissa at October 13, 2007 03:35 PM

It only took a moment or two of time to leave a message, a very easy thing to do to contribute!

Posted by: Meghan at October 13, 2007 03:58 PM

I am disgusted that Venman is hiding during this time with out any public statement. SHE was appointed by the president. I actually called the newspaper and television stations in Veneman's hometown trying to ask them to contact her. They seem unintersted in the plight of 5000 American Families trying to bring their children home. If anyone else has any ideas please post

Posted by: shawn c at October 13, 2007 04:01 PM

I am disgusted that Venman is hiding during this time with out any public statement. SHE was appointed by the president. I actually called the newspaper and television stations in Veneman's hometown trying to ask them to contact her. They seem unintersted in the plight of 5000 American Families trying to bring their children home. If anyone else has any ideas please post

Posted by: shawn c at October 13, 2007 04:01 PM

Thank you for this information; I left a message this morning although became a bit emotional at the conclusion as I just cannot imagine that we won't be able to bring our son home.
I am praying for all of us and most especially our children as well as those of the future.

Posted by: CEF at October 14, 2007 10:37 AM

There has been little reason to laugh of late. As such, I thought it important to point out that spellchecker questions the name "Veneman" and suggests "enema" as an alternative, as well as venom.

Posted by: Rosanne Cowen at October 14, 2007 06:01 PM

I left a message too~ thanks for giving us the info Kevin!

Posted by: ShannonK at October 14, 2007 09:21 PM

The following is the contents of an email that I received from Unicef. It says UNICEF is suppporting the grandfather clause.

The email is as follows:

For more than 60 years, UNICEF has been the world’s leading international children’s organization, working in more than 150 countries to address the ongoing issues that affect why kids are dying. UNICEF provides lifesaving nutrition, clean water, education, protection and emergency response saving more young lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. While millions of children continue to die every year of preventable causes like dehydration, upper respiratory infections and measles, UNICEF, with the support of partnering organizations and donors alike, has the global experience, resources and reach to give children the best hope of survival.

Thank you for contacting the US Fund for UNICEF. We would like to take some time to address your concerns regarding UNICEF’s policy on international adoptions.


UNICEF supports an amendment to the law which would guarantee that due process is given to outstanding cases. UNICEF is also concerned about children in the process of adoption. UNICEF supports the transitory clause that will be included in the law which is being discussed by Guatemalan Congress. This clause specifically refers to cases in process or the "grandfathering of cases."


UNICEF has no role in the regulation of adoptions. Our responsibility is to protect the rights of every child who is up for adoption. We also believe that children should remain within their extended families or communities, whenever possible.

Once more, thank you for expressing your concerns and desire to learn more about UNICEF and its work.

Respectfully,

Max Gebhardt
Program Services
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
MGebhardt@unicefusa.org

Posted by: cheryl at October 15, 2007 02:19 AM

When you call, fax or email...don't forget to stress that it isn't just the in process adoptions they need to support, but the well being of ALL the children and mother's of Guatemala who have been left without options in the shadow of the new legislation. UNICEF got the law passed, now they need to be a part of a real solution for the future of these kids.

Posted by: Nancy at October 15, 2007 03:24 AM

I just tried calling UNICEF with the above directions (Monday, Oct 15 at noon). The switchboard answered and directed me to a recording saying I should send my inquires to another number - this number was not Ann Veneman.
Have they caught on??

Posted by: Lisa at October 15, 2007 12:04 PM

I just tried calling UNICEF with the above directions (Monday, Oct 15 at noon). The switchboard answered and directed me to a recording saying I should send my inquires to another number - this number was not Ann Veneman.
Have they caught on??

Posted by: Lisa at October 15, 2007 12:04 PM

Seems to me that we could also fill up here voicemail box every night as well ... I assume that the switchboard is shut down in the evening?

Posted by: Paul at October 15, 2007 03:20 PM

Rosanne, that is funny :)

Posted by: erinberry at October 15, 2007 08:53 PM

I left a message over the weekend too. Did she ever reply to anyone? She certainly didn't call me back.

Posted by: KBA at October 16, 2007 08:44 AM

I left a message over the weekend too.....and didn't get a returned call. Did she call anyone back?

Posted by: KBA at October 16, 2007 08:45 AM

No not me and I have been waiting right by my phone LOL

Posted by: Nancy at October 16, 2007 09:05 PM

In case you haven't, pls. refer to the JCICS 10/15 update urging us to contact Congress to sign to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption letters to President Berger and Ann Veneman to be delivered on 10/26. Another push...

Posted by: Janet J at October 17, 2007 09:26 PM

Your "call to action" must have worked, because I tried to call several times over the weekend. All I ever got was a busy signal.

Posted by: Gregg at October 18, 2007 02:53 PM

I've called Ms. Veneman's voicemail after hours before and have had no problem getting through, so I called and left another message tonight. Its 8:15 on friday, October 20th,and it worked like a charm. Ann Veneman's voicemail came on after several rings. I did note, it now says "you have reached the voicemail box of the "Executive Director"...but not her name, however, it was Ms. Veneman's voice.

I had a short conversation with her on October 2nd in her Ivory Tower, she was without a formal press statement at that time and could not answer any of my questions.

Point being, her voicemail is working, its the weekend, again, lets leave her some well thought out messages. We need to keep the pressure on UNICEF.

Posted by: Melissa at October 20, 2007 09:21 PM
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