Cambodian adoptee child finally allowed to join Kiwi family

Published:  3 Jul at 6 PM
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A seven-year old Cambodian girl adopted by a New Zealand family has finally been allowed into the country after an intervention by NZ immigration minister Nikki Kaye.

Jendah Dyer, 7, a sufferer from development delay disorder, was adopted by Grahame and Kathryn Dyer two years ago. The New Zealand-born couple had applied for citizenship for their adopted daughter, but their request was denied by the Department of Internal Affairs on the grounds that it did not recognise Cambodian adoptions which had taken place before 2012.

Jendah’s adoptive parents had been employed in Cambodia as aid workers at the time of her adoption in 2011, but were forced to return to New Zealand with their son and daughter Sam, 11, and Carla, 13 when Mr Dyer’s father died. Mrs Dyer has remained in Phnom Penh with Jendah as the child was not granted a visa.

According to a previous report, Jendah’s medical condition was the reason why her visa was refused, with the decision based on the cost of care and treatment if and when necessary. Following an intervention by Associate Immigration Minister Nikki Kaye, Jendah has been granted a temporary stay in New Zealand for a period of nine months.

Mrs Dyer told reporters the family is thrilled that they now have nine months to regularise Jendah’s immigration status, saying they will take advice on permanent residency versus another try at citizenship. The family is overjoyed to be together again after an emotional reunion at Auckland Airport.
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