Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Good News, The Bad News, The News

The Bad news...Ethiopia to cut Foreign Adoptions by up to 90 Percent. We had heard speculations a couple weeks ago about things changing in Ethiopia. You're always warned when you start international adoption that the country or agency could close when you're right in the middle of it. It was never something I worried about and didn't think would happen. Thankfully it hasn't happened but some things are changing. When we first read the article above it was a little shocking and did bring forth some emotion. We had lots of people asking us what this meant and if the door had been closed to our adoption. Our initial reaction to the article was thankfulness that we already have a court date but came with questions of how long we would have to wait for our boys. After researching for information we have found that hopefully all the news and changes in Ethiopia will not affect us at all. The following is hopefully some helpful information to help you understand more about all of the commotion in Ethiopia. It all has to do with an agency called MOWA:

"The Adoption Team in the Children and Youth Affairs Office (CYAO) operating under the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) is the primary adoption authority in Ethiopia. MOWA has responsibility for all activities regarding children in Ethiopia, including welfare, foster care, domestic adoption, international adoption and investigation of neglect and abuse. When an orphaned or abandoned child comes into the custody of the Ethiopian government, the police and MOWA create the child's dossier."

"Upon completion of an international adoption from Ethiopia, MOWA prepares a request to the city of Addis Ababa for the issuance of a new birth certificate, in addition to a request to the Office of Security, Immigration and Refugee affairs for an Ethiopia passport for the adopted child in his/her new name. Both of these are best facilitated if the requests are hand-carried to the relevant offices. The U.S. Embassy needs both the new birth certificate and the passport to complete the child's U.S. immigrant visa application process."

MOWA is responsible for reviewing each individual case and sending a letter to the court system for approval. We've known cases that have not passed and it is usually because there is no letter from MOWA. The cases pass contingent upon receiving the letter. Therefore when we heard they had been writing 50 letters a day and we're going to take it down to 5 that's why we thought our case would be delayed and we would have to wait a long time for our boys.

Yesterday we read some really GOOD NEWS about the situation in this blog The WayFarer. After the announcement was made to only write 5 letters a day the director and other employees have been terminated. They have now completed their staff changes and are focusing their attention on the approx. 800 cases of current families waiting on their children. Thankfully we are in those 800 cases. It was also helpful to read a week ago in court every single case passed. I don't know if that's ever happened. Also MOWA are no longer limiting the number of letters being processed and have written up to 25 in a day. This is Great News. All of this turmoil may be helping us and hopefully will be improving Ethiopian Adoption all together. It seems to my limited knowledge that they are cleaning it up and hopefully making it more efficient in the long run. The sad thing is we have already heard of families that did not have referrals that have had to end their journey of adopting through Ethiopia. We will continue to pray for these families as they deal with the loss and confusion of what to do next. We should also pray for the leaders in Ethiopia making decisions regarding the lives of 5 million orphans and the families longing to bring them home.

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