Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Changes for Ethiopia adoptions

I was made aware of this info regarding Ethiopia adoptions. This is all from
Parents For Ethical Adoption Reform blog

You will see below the mention of all adoptive parents now having to be at their child's court date which will more than likely require a second trip to Ethiopia in order to bring your child home.

Also, there is mention of several orphanages that have been shut down after investigation. I am looking into whether my son's orphanage is one of them. It has the same name....hmmm??

Keep in mind that all of these changes are to better protect the children in Ethiopia that are getting adopted.


Bureau of Consular Affairs

Office of Children’s Issues

Adoption Processing at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa

April 13, 2010

The Federal First Instance Court of Ethiopia has announced that as of May 9, 2010, adoptive parents must appear at the federal court hearing for their adoptive child in order for the adoption to be approved. This new requirement will affect all pending and new adoption cases that have not yet been presented to the court. If there are two adoptive parents but only one parent can attend the hearing, the attending parent must have a power of attorney from the other. However, please note that if only one parent meets the adoptive child before the court date, the child will qualify for an IR-4, not an IR-3 visa (which means that the child will not become a U.S. citizen upon entry to the United States).

In addition, the Government of Ethiopia recently announced that they have revoked the licenses of nine orphanages in different regions of the country. Those orphanages are:

  • Adera child orphanage
  • Agar Lewegen orphanage
  • Almaz orphanage
  • Biruh Zemen orphanage
  • Bitania orphanage
  • Help for the Needy orphanage
  • Holy Savior orphanage
  • Kunket orphanage
  • Tsega orphanage

The Government has informed the Embassy that all children in those orphanages have been moved to accredited orphanages, and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs has stated that those children should still be available to be matched for international adoption. Prospective adoptive parents should contact their agency or the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) if they wish to confirm that the child with whom they were already matched is still available for adoption. When contacting MOWA, be sure to include the name of the child, the orphanage name and the adoption agency’s name.

Adoptive parents should be aware that in all adoption visa cases worldwide, an I-604 (Determination on Child for Adoption, sometimes referred to as “orphan investigation”) must be completed in connection with every I-600 application. Depending on the circumstances of the case, this investigation may take up to several weeks or even months to complete. Therefore, adoptive parents should not plan to travel to Ethiopia until they have confirmed with their adoption agency that their visa interview appointment has been confirmed. Adoptive parents should be aware that at any point that a consular officer encounters information that indicates that a child’s history may be different than documented, the consular officer is obligated to investigate the case further until it can be confirmed that the child meets the definition of “orphan” under U.S. immigration law.

The Embassy's Adoptions Unit can be reached at adoptionsaddis@state.gov.

Please continue to monitor http://adoption.state.gov/ for updated information as it becomes available.



  1. What are your thoughts on this? I have been following your personal blog since you brought your son home. We are a CWA family waiting for a referral. I know I am a complete stranger but i am so wanting to hear you thoughts.

  2. Hi Kimber,
    Thanks for writing. I have many different thoughts on it. As far as CWA, we sailed right through with them. I did not like their policy of not being allowed to meet the child's birth family, which is something I arranged on my own on my next trip. I believe that rule will be done away with now especially since you now have to show up at court. As far as the orphanage that my son came from, we had our questions....not so much with my son's birth families story but there was one of his friends that got adopted and his story did not add up, as far as how he was put in the orphanage. I don't know how CWA chooses the orphanages they use or if they have any way of knowing how the children got there or not. I believe that with the new investigation and new changes that a lot of this will be resolved, which I think is ultimately for the protection of the kids....which is a good thing.

    Thanks for asking my thoughts. I hope you get your referrals soon. Just make sure you are straight up asking them how long they anticipate the wait to be now with all this going on.