Updated on March 9: We have heard definitively from the US Embassy in Addis Ababa that the current changes in Ethiopia will NOT affect IAN at this time.
We know that many of you are very concerned about the recent news regarding Embassy appointments in Ethiopia. It is always IAN’s goal to keep families fully up to date, but sometimes information is unclear and needs to be sorted through. We have been in contact with the US Embassy in Addis and with our in-country facilitator, and this is what we know of the situation:
The I-604 form is not new, but has always been done in every case. The in-country facilitator generally submits it at the time of your embassy appointment. What is new is that now specific cases will be more thoroughly investigated.
Right now the investigations are only for specific agencies and specific orphanages, not everyone. IAN does not appear to be among the agencies, nor does Sele Enat appear to be among the orphanages that will have their I-604 applications investigated at this time. Therefore, IAN does not expect a change in the time between court approval and embassy appointment.
If in the future these changes do impact IAN, the time frame for embassy appointments does not appear to be significantly impacted. IAN has always followed the policy of insisting families wait for embassy confirmation before travel is confirmed. Now all agencies will be following that policy. The impact we see will be in the amount of notice families receives to plan their travel.
Please be aware that these changes are clearly an assurance that your adoption has been done correctly and ethically. It is very reassuring that the US embassy has moved swiftly and surely in addressing any concerns of improper adoption practice. Although no one wants to see increased wait times until travel, those few weeks are certainly worth it for the health of the program and the children.
We understand your concern and fears in this situation, and we appreciate your patience as we continue to actively pursue additional information and answers. In the interest in getting the information out as quickly as possible, please check the IAN news and updates blog for updates: www.adoptian.blogspot.com. Please contact your coordinator directly if you have further questions.