Monday, July 12, 2010

New Court Process and Requirements

We would like to thank all families for their patience while waiting for this information. We are yet to have an IAN family travel for court so the information we have been given is not based on our personal experience. We have heard from our staff in Ethiopia and know that the following is true regarding the new court process.

1. There will be two separate court dates, one for the birth family/guardian and another for the adoptive family. The birth family will have the first court date. If the biological parent or guardian does not appear, they will be given a 2nd appointment. We do not know if this will delay the adoptive parents scheduled court date. Approximately 20-30 days after the birth parents/guardians court date, the adoptive families will have their court date. The reasoning for having two separate court dates seems to be to keep the birth and adoptive families from meeting. Both parents will be required to travel for court.

2. The following documents are required to open the file to get a court date. 

a. Birth certificate (new)
This has not been a requirement until now. Birth certificates were required after the court approved the case and prior to the embassy interview. The districts/kebeles will issue the birth certificates, which is a new system. Until now, we have received the birth certificates after passing court.
b. Photos of birth parents or guardians (new)
This is now going to be required to be attached with the social history of the child when the file is opened at court. Previous to the new regulation, only the child’s photo was required.
c. A copy of the families passport (new)
This has not been required in the past. It will now be a part of the families Dossier.
d. Translated medical of the child.
e. Translated homestudy.

How will this change the adoption timeline?

We do expect the wait time to increase with these changes and new requirements. The Ethiopian process has changed and it will take time for them to become familiar with these new regulations. We expect some delays in getting the birth certificates and family photos. We also expect an increased wait time because there will be two separate dates for birth and adoptive families.
We hope this is helpful and thank you again for your patience. We will keep you posted as the new process continues to develop.

Court Closure Date

The courts will be closing in Ethiopia from August 9th until the end of September. MOWA and the embassy will be open during this time.

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