Update on Ethiopia and Adoption

Yesterday, I posted on Facebook that there were some decisions being made in Ethiopia about international adoption. After posting for prayers, we waited to hear from our adoption agency. Today we final received word on what was happening. This is the information we received from our adoption agency.

Over the weekend in Ethiopia a multiday meeting was held by the House of Representatives along with MOWCYA (Ministry of Women Children and Youth Affairs) officials. Around 400 people were present.  A research paper prepared by MOWCYA in conjunction with Parliament was presented regarding issues of sexual harassment, drug abuse and adoption within Ethiopia.  After the presentation, those in attendance were divided into six groups to discuss and respond to 15 questions.  Seven of the 15 questions were directly related to adoption. Our adoption agency is in the process of translating the research paper and questions.  Each group had a mixed representation of parliament officials, MOWCYA officials, Court President and officials, NGOs, adoption agency representatives, teachers, and public attendees.  Our adoption agency's in-country director was at the meeting, and she was working with one of the groups.

The groups met for hours, and finally had one person from each group share what they discussed.  Regarding adoption issues, it was noted that many Parliament officials involved strongly lobbied for the closure of international adoption while many of the groups encouraged a greater focus on domestic adoption while continuing international adoption as a good option for children. The speaker of the House of Representatives stated that government officials were shown to have had conflicts of interest leading to corruption and did not speak positively regarding international adoption.  In closing he noted that a strategic plan would be provided after 10 business days.
  
Discussions of Ethiopia “shutting down to international adoption are not new.  Nevertheless, this is a crucial time in Ethiopia regarding the direction of international adoption.  Ethiopia is a country that values their children and has been historically very supportive of international adoption. While the prevention of corruption and safe guards on behalf of children are critically important and reform is needed, adoption is a very politically charged issue within Ethiopia. Several government officials continue to be greatly supportive of international adoption and recognize that numerous children are in great need of a permanent family.  

Our adoption agency is supposed to hold a conference call on Thursday to try to give us as much information that they have learned from now until then. I am very grateful that our agency is very much involved and doing everything they can. I have a feeling that we won't know much more until the plan from the Ethiopian government is shared. Yes, I am concerned that this could even slow the process down even more, but until we know for sure we will just wait and pray. Jeffrey and I refuse to be fearful and get sick over all of this. Many people in our current situation are freaking out and panicking, but we know that it won't change anything.

Please join us in praying for the Ethiopia officials and the children of Ethiopia.

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