November 13, 2008
The Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s Affairs now requires additional documentation for adoption cases in which a living birth parent or parents has/have abandoned their child to an orphanage. The regional social affairs bureau must now authenticate the letter issued by the local Kebele court that acknowledges the abandonment.
This requirement was implemented in response to reported instances in which fraudulent letters were obtained from Kebeles. The new requirement will result in a more secure process because it requires an in-depth investigation by the Bureau of Social Affairs. This requirement is permanent and it is expected that it will eventually be incorporated into the Family Code.
This new requirement may contribute to delays in the processing of cases in which living birth parents have abandoned a child. PAPs and agencies should be aware of possible delays, and cooperate with this new requirement so that all intercountry adoptions are completed in a legal and ethical manner.