FTIA-ROTIA-AAA and the Axis of Evil
On September 27, 2006, Families Thru International Adoption potentate Keith Wallace repeatedly testified, under oath, before the United States Congress that he “didn’t have much information” about Masha Allen’s adoption even though he had been “invited here today to provide the committee with all the information I have about the adoption of Mr. Mancuso.”
A close comparison of Wallace’s spoken and written testimony, however, reveals that he left out a lot of unqualified praise for Jeannene Smith. Here’s what Wallace says in his written testimony:
FTIA’s working relationship with Ms. Smith was interesting, to say the least. Ms. Smith is very industrious and very intelligent. It was partially through her urging that FTIA developed some of its foreign adoption programs. Even if I had done research in starting a new program, Ms. Smith would always have additional and helpful information. I even traveled with Ms. Smith several times when starting a new program.
I was contacted by Ms. Smith in the second half of 1996. Ms. Smith asked if she could work with FTIA. I contracted with Ms. Smith to work as a northeast regional coordinator for FTIA.
. . .
During this period, I even wrote a letter of recommendation to the New Jersey licensing authority on her behalf. I had concluded that she could not work for FTIA, but I knew she was smart so I thought maybe she can run her own agency.
FTIA’s “Russian facilitator,” Serguei Dymtchenko, remains an important but overlooked figure in the Axis of Evil which ultimately developed and which links all the major players in Masha’s adoption. Again, according to Wallace’s written testimony:
Mr. Mancuso submitted his original dossier to Ms. Smith, but FTIA never received his original dossier. If Evansville had received an original dossier, we would have record of (1) receiving it, (2) reviewing it, (3) sending it to one of the Russian coordinators/facilitators we worked with at the time.
According to Jeannene Smith’s sworn Congressional testimony: “everything that was done was with Mr. Wallace’s authorization. Every bit of literature, every bit of information that was disseminated.” Clearly either Smith or Wallace or both are lying. That much should shock no one.
And who exactly was FTIA’s “Russian coordinator/facilitator . . . at the time?” Not surprisingly it was the exact same person who was ROTIA’s Russian coordinator/facilitator at the time, Serguei Dymtchenko.
Here’s Dymtchenko’s sworn Congressional testimony:
Jeannene Smith introduced me to Keith Wallace and that meeting took place in her home office in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and I started working with FTIA.
What is shocking, however, is a news report dated February 10, 2003, which details FTIA’s then-ongoing relationship with Serguei Dymtchenko in Azerbaijan.
FTIA representative Sergey Donchenko, residing in the United States, told Echo that his organization has undergone all the required registration stages–the cabinet, and the justice, education, health, and foreign ministries. Donchenko also stated that the legal basis of international adoption is regulated bilaterally–by both the U.S. and Azeri sides. “Kasimova must be aware of our organization’s activities, since she was present at an event arranged at the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan with the participation of FTIA representatives,” he said.
The news article continues:
One of the main questions that remains unanswered is why the adoption of Azeri children by U.S. citizens should involve huge expenses totaling $22,920, with $11,110 spent in Azerbaijan itself. The chair of the Children’s Rights Defense League, Yusif Bekirov, said that Azeri law presumes the adoption procedure will be totally free and charged, “This phenomenon could only be explained by corruption among the officials dealing with adoption issues.” He is particularly outraged by the orphanage donations, which are supposed to be an act of free will, but in Azerbaijan they are deemed a mandatory procedure in order to be able to proceed with an adoption application.
$omething about the money part of all thi$ $omehow $eem$ familiar and provide$ yet another crucial link or at lea$t and overriding motivational factor.
Unfortunately, Masha was not the only bungled adoption involving Dymtchenko and his harem. This post, entitled our adoption nightmare further details the relationship between ROTIA’s eventual executive director, Marlene Seamans-Conn (who also testified before Congress), and Dymtchenko’s 2001 joint venture and PA licensed international adoption agency American Adoptions Abroad (AAA). Readers might remember Seamans-Conn as the sister of renowned naturist Toni Egbert discussed previously in this blog.
We were told that no matter what adoption agency we were using, put “FTIA” where the form asked for the name of your agency. When I started to say that our agency was American Adoptions Abroad, he [Dymtchenko] stopped me before I could finish, and he repeated what he had just said. I did as I was told since just a few weeks before my trip we had received a letter and forms from Marlene stating that FTIA and AAA had formed a cooperative relationship in order for AAA to operate as an accredited agency in Russia. Serguei Dymtchenko is also the same Rostov facilitator used by Families Thru International Adoption (FTIA), located in Evansville, IN. Before receiving notification of this cooperative relationship from our agency, we had never even heard of FTIA. It was now clear that American Adoptions Abroad did not have their own accreditation from the Russian government; they were using FTIA’s accreditation.
More on this adoption nightmare from the RipOff Report dated February 19, 2003:
We’re posting this because of our frustration in dealing with two adoption agencies we have signed contracts with: American Adoptions Abroad (AAA) and Families Thru International Adoption (FTIA).
For over nine months now we’ve been trying to negotiate a settlement from a failed adoption we experienced in late April 2002.
After we posted our story to The Adoption Guide we were contacted by an attorney representing AAA ordering us to cease and desist from further postings and demanding we retract our post.
We were forced to hire an attorney as well, but negotiations have gone nowhere. We have also contacted numerous government agencies and regulatory authorities with equally discouraging results.
. . .
Just prior to the referral trip, we were required to sign a new contract with AAA/FTIA, which ironically came just a couple of days after we paid nearly $9,400 to the private company of AAA’s International Program Director, Serguei Dymtchenko.
AAA’s executive director, Marlene Seamans-Conn, misled us about a number of things, among them the Russian accreditation status of American Adoptions Abroad and the number of adoptions the agency had performed.
AAA used the accreditation, the facilitators, and the in-country staff of Families Thru International Adoption.
After we filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection, one of FTIA’s interpreters signed an affidavit regarding his role in our failed adoption experience where he states that he is employed in the Branch Office of FTIA in Russia.
We’ve read in several instances that this type of “umbrella” arrangement between accredited and unaccredited agencies is an illegal practice according to Russian adoption law.
After our story was posted on The Adoption Guide web site, we were contacted by FTIA’s executive director, Keith Wallace.
He stated that he would speak to Serguei Dymtchenko, who also happens to be the Russian facilitator for FTIA, and see if he would return our money.
Needless to say, our money was never returned, and we didn’t hear from Mr. Wallace again until he discovered that prospective FTIA families were contacting us regarding our experience with his agency.
The whole thing began to smell even worse when we were told by the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services that in 1998 FTIA was operating in the state of New Jersey without a license.
FTIA was given a chance to become licensed, but a year later FTIA was still unlicensed and was asked to close its NJ office.
Before Marlene Seamans-Conn started her own agency, she was working for another agency in New Jersey for which Serguei Dymtchenko also facilitated Russian adoptions.
Whenever payments were required for our adoption, we were always asked to send the money to either the home address of Ms. Seamans-Conn in Sewell, NJ, or to the home address of Serguei Dymtchenko in Toms River, NJ, but our payments to Mr. Dymtchenko were required to be marked payable to his own company, TJS.
We’ve also been told about Mr. Dymtchenko’s involvement with another family’s adoption nightmare where he was working for Adrienne Lewis of the now defunct Global adoption agency, which was shut down by state authorities in CA and LA where she was licensed.
. . .
The fact that there are agencies out there, AAA being one, that don’t even have a social worker on staff is beyond belief.
Mike & Patty
So there it is folks: ROTIA<->Dymtchenko<->FTIA<->Dymtchenko<->AAA<->ROTIA. A story which begins and ends with ROTIA, with Dymtchenko and FTIA right smack in the middle.