All of IAN’s Ethiopian Program Coordinators took part in a conference call today with the Joint Council on International Children’s Services and approximately 15 other agencies working in Ethiopia.
The main focus of the conference call was to clarify the current status of adoption in Ethiopia particularly as it pertains to the cases of abandonment in Addis. At this time Ethiopia is suspending abandonment cases in Addis only and not cases for children who have been abandoned in other areas of Ethiopia. The court in Ethiopia recently discovered the abandonment of 16 children to one 1 police officer all at the same time; these children were then placed with 4-5 orphanages. None of these children were placed at Sele Enat, the orphanage where IAN’s children are placed. Because of the fear of possible unethical conduct and illegal practices, IAN strongly supports the Ethiopian governments investigation of these cases.
Other news from the conference call is that the Ethiopian government is expecting at least a 20% increase in international adoptions over the next year and that Ethiopia’s focus will be on maintaining it’s current level of adoptions instead of increasing adoptions over the next year; that there is a strong need for more adoptions of older children (over 4) and children with special needs; and that U.S. agencies are contributing to services for children in Ethiopia through not only international adoption, but also through health, education and other human service needs.