Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ethiopian Adoption Alert

As expected, the Department of State has issued the statement below on the changes in adoption processing in Ethiopia.  At this time, IAN staff in Ethiopia is confident the situation can be resolved quickly.  We will continue to monitor developments, including the DOS conference call this Friday, and will keep you up to date on developments. 

In the meantime, please consider visiting to sign JCICS's Emergency Campaign for Ethiopia petition.



Bureau of Consular Affairs

Office of Children’s Issues


Government of Ethiopia Plans Major Slow-Down in Adoption Processing

March 9, 2011

Citing the need to work on quality and focus on more important strategic issues, the Government of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) will reduce to a maximum of five the number of adoption cases it processes per day, effective March 10, 2011. Under Ethiopian adoption procedures, MOWCYA approves every match between prospective adoptive parents and an Ethiopian child before that case can be forwarded for a court hearing. The U.S. Embassy is working with Ethiopian government officials and adoption agencies to learn more about this change in procedures. We will continue to share information as it becomes available.

Given MOWCYA's current caseload, the U.S. Embassy anticipates that this change could result in an overall decline in case processing of some 90 percent. If this change is implemented as proposed, we expect, that parents who have begun the process of adopting from Ethiopia but have not yet been matched with a child could experience significant delays. It is not clear if this change in procedures would have any significant impact on cases in which MOWCYA has already approved matches.

Prospective adoptive parents should remain in close contact with their adoption service provider to obtain updates on individual cases.

The Embassy's Adoptions Unit can be reached at
Please continue to monitor for updated information as it becomes available.

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