Friday, March 18, 2011

Ethiopia Adoption Processing Update

This week, the US State Department held a conference call with adoption officials from both the US and Ethiopia to outline current and future adoption processing from Ethiopia.  At this point, MOWA (the Ministry of Womens Affairs) in Ethiopia are still processing adoptions at a rate of 5 per day officially.  However, unofficially, the rate of adoption processing is closer to 20 per day.  Now, 20 is certainly better than 5, but a whole lot less than 50.  Our agency estimates that MOWA will process current cases in progress (people with referrals) over the next 2-3 months.  Beyond that is anyone's guess.

How will this affect our adoption?  We are not even on the waiting list, so this will affect it significantly.  According to the State Department:  "Calculations based on rough estimates of cases in progress (keep in mind, we are not even close to being 'a case in progress') indicate delays of one year or more." 

Working to end fraudulent cases in adoption is critical.  It is encouraging that the Ethiopian government is taking direct action to prevent fraud or illegal activities in adoption.  Having a questionable adoption would be heartbreaking and is just...unthinkable.  We absolutely support the Ethiopian government in working towards offering stable, legal and ethical adoptions, and using international adoption as a last resort.

Yet we still need to do right by our future family, and I'm not entirely sure that waiting indefinitely in a program that is undergoing significant (albeit, potentially positive) change is the best idea for us.  We have fallen in love with Ethiopia, and picture our future with an Ethiopian child.  So our hearts are breaking a little (ok, a lot) that this change is happening.  Other programs are prohibitively expensive, so we may not have a choice but to wait.  And wait. And wait.  I feel like I'm back in IVF world--making huge decisions without knowing if anything is going to work out--if MOWA says 5 a day, but they are processing 20, does that mean we should just chill and see what happens?  But there haven't been referrals in months, and it doesn't sound like there will be for months, but maybe this is just a hitch?  What to do?  We, frankly, have no idea. 

We are hopeful things will change (of course, hoping people have to give their children up makes us horrible, awful, selfish people, but that's a post for another day--or maybe not), and that the future will once again be bright and happy and full of babies!  In the meantime, I'll end this depressing post with a picture of Goose the Cat, looking pensive:


  1. I'm sorry you are caught in this. Of course we all want the most ethical transparent adoptions...but frankly in a country where the average life expectancy is 48-54 and frankly many impoverished kids do not live beyond age 5, they must keep working to place available children with loving families with brighter futures. They must. The 2500-3,000 adoptions from Ethiopia to the US do not even come close to 'solving' the crisis that exitsts over there, but it will help a few of the children.
    I'm hoping things will get worked out sooner rather than later.

  2. I can't believe this. It's like a nightmare we can't wake up from. Amy xxxx