Following are our notes from the Department of State Office of Children’s Issues conference call regarding Ethiopian adoptions conducted earlier today. These notes do not represent nor are they in any way attributable to the Department of State or US Citizenship and Immigration Services. We are providing the notes with respect to those who could not participate in the conference.
We extend our thanks to the Department of State for conducting the conference call and to US Citizenship and Immigration Services for their participation and contributions.
The Department of State is Actively Involved
The Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs announced a reduction in the processing of intercountry adoption cases from 50 per day to 5 per day, effective March 10, 2011.
The Department of State is actively involved in discussions with the Government of Ethiopia, other governments and stakeholders.
A coalition of countries is preparing a proposal to assist the Ministry increase its capacity.
Embassy suggested that children with special need’s cases should not be delayed.
The US Embassy officials have a scheduled meeting with the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs for Monday, March 14, 2011.
There are areas of concern related to intercountry adoption, however the reduction is disproportionate.
Currently there are no implementation guidelines for in-process cases.
For adoption cases registered with the Ethiopian court, the best estimate is a one-year delay.
The staff change at the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs has been confirmed as taking effect the week of March 13, 2011. The impact this will have on adoption cases is not known.
It is estimated that between 800-1,000 adoption cases are currently on the docket of Ethiopian courts.