Ethiopia: US Dept of State Adoption Alert

January 13, 2011

The U.S. Dept of State, Office of Children’s Issues has issued the following Adoption Alert regarding Ethiopia.  The full text of the alert is below.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa announces a change in its adoption visa case intake and appointment scheduling process.

As of January 24, 2011, adoption service providers (ASPs) may bring all cases ready for Embassy appointments to the consular section on a weekly basis (this is a change from the previous biweekly schedule).  Once the Embassy receives an adoption case, screens it, and determines that the case is complete and ready for interview, the Embassy will inform the ASP via email.  The ASP, working together with adoptive families, will then select a date for the immigrant visa interview.  This new procedure may reduce the wait time for an Embassy appointment in many cases.

Adoptive parents should be aware that in all adoption visa cases worldwide, an I-604 (Determination on Child for Adoption, sometimes referred to as “orphan investigation”) must be completed in connection with every I-600 application to ensure that the true facts surrounding a child’s relinquishment or abandonment are stated and that the child meets the definition of an orphan under U.S. immigration law.  Depending on the circumstances of the case, this investigation may take up to several weeks or even months to complete before a case is determined to be ready for an immigrant visa interview.   Note that the final decision on the case is made after the adoption visa interview.

Adoptive parents and adoption agencies are reminded that the Embassy does not guarantee an appointment date until the screening and investigation process is complete.  Families should not travel until their agency has received affirmative confirmation that the case is ready for interview, which the Embassy will provide no sooner than 48 hours after case submission.

The Embassy’s Adoptions Unit can be reached at consadoptionaddis@state.gov.

Please continue to monitor http://adoption.state.gov/ for updated information as it becomes available.

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