Pull out the tissues for this one – new regulations designed to keep virulent strains of tuberculosis out of the country has caught a Virginia family hoping to adopt a four-year-old girl from China in its quagmire.
Harper Yue Ye already loves her new mom and dad. But she’s still in China, and her parents in Virginia don’t know when – if ever – they can get her home to the states.
According to the Washington Post, Harper’s visa has been blocked by the federal government. The CDC has been working to block TB patients over two since 2007 with plans to roll out the regulations in phases (they’re also testing for HIV, STDs and more). Regulations specific to kids from China were last to be phased in. They went into affect on July 1 of this year – just as Jay Scruggs and wife Candace Litchford were falling in love with Harper and trying to make a family.
The CDC says its new rules are in line with the World Health Organization and the Stop TB Partnership, and they’ll help reduce TB rates in this country with no new infections. Studies have shown that westernized countries where TB rates are traditionally low are seeing significant spikes because of the immigrant population.
But doctors have criticized the inclusion of children in its regulations because they are less likely to be contagious. One expert told the Post that kids catch TB from adults, not the other way around.
And while TB can be cured, it’s a lengthy process – not to mention more difficult in an orphanage setting. Scruggs and Litchford are back home in the states in a holding pattern now, terrified that their new daughter won’t trust them after they left her for months so her treatment could be completed, her visa OK’d by the U.S. government.
Unlike adult immigrants, children are more likely to come into a family with the means to provide healthcare and to help them achieve a cure. With sub-standard care expected in orphanage situations – specifically those in many of the countries where Americans go to adopt – is it fair to include kids in this regulation?
Image: Washington Post