Article | May 27, 2012 – 1:03pm | By Tejinder Singh
Washington DC – Kairi Abha Shepherd responded to questions from India America Today through a mutual connection; below are her unedited answers. Kairi, like her foreign-born siblings, was raised a Mormon. None of them were granted US citizenship, which raises the question as to why the Mormon church community did not step in to provide the necessary assistance.
Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who is a Mormon himself, and has served as a Ward Bishop and a Stake President in the church, has also not come forward to provide any advice or intervention.
Is the family that adopted Kairi Mormon?
Her adopting mother, Erlene Shepherd, was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). The children were raised as Mormons.
How many kids total did they adopt?
Total children, including Kairi, were 8, all adopted.
If not all from India, where else from?
Three of the 8 adopted children were from United States, 3 (including twins) were adopted from Thailand, and 2 (including Kairi) were from India. Kairi is the youngest of all 8. One of the 8, the other adoptee from India, a brother, died before Kairi was adopted.
If they adopted more kids than just Kairi, what is the legal status of the others?
None of the foreign adoptees have achieved US Citizenship. The 3 US children of course were citizens by virtue of birth in US.
Did her mother leave any money in Kairi’s name or how did she survive all these years? Was she ever on the dole — I mean social security — government support?
Her mother did not leave her any money. She was raised by one of the US born sisters until age 14 and then by one of the US born brothers until she graduated high school. She believes that these two siblings may have received whatever small social security benefits accrued to her as a result of mother’s death, as “child support,” was she never received any of this money personally.