Friday, May 8, 2009

From CHI:

Abandoned Child Issue

It has come to our attention that the Ethiopia Federal Court, as of this week, will not been hearing adoption cases of children who were abandoned in Addis Ababa, until futher notice. We had several families who had court dates scheduled for today who are being affected by this. Please know that this is not only affecting families with our agency,but for all agencies placing abandoned children from Addis Ababa, until further notice.

There was a case brought before the judge where a large number of children were presented as abandoned; there were many circumstances surrounding the children's paper work that made the judge suspicious,thus it was determined that the children were not in fact abandoned children at all. As a result, these adoptions were not allowed to go through. This was NOT Children's Hope families, and actually the name of the agency and those involved have not been released by the judge.

In our updates, we continually speak about ensuring ethical practices in adoption, for everyone involved in adoption. When something goes wrong in a country (in any country), it not only affects that agency, oroprhange, but many, and sometimes everyone involved in adoption in that country. That is the situation with the abandoned child issue that you may have heard families speaking about today. Everyone is not following the guideline of the Ethiopian Government and individuals are being made accountable.

We really do not have any information at this point regarding how long this decision will be in effect. The Judge in the Ethiopia Federal Court is making a decision regarding how the court will handle such cases. We will certainly keep you abreast of any information that we find of.

The Ethiopia team had a conference call with all of the families affected by this decision who had court dates scheduled for today. We elected to do that as there were 14 families with court dates today, our largest group at one time to date. We felt that it would be more effective and we could get information to each family in a more timely manner, and everyone would be hearing the same thing, if we had the mall on a call together. We certainly were hoping to give all the families the news that their adoption had been approved today and to discuss the process from here; however, unfortunately it turned out to be a call discussing why their adoption was not heard today.

We called families individually first to give them the news, as we didn't want them to here for the first time about their court date on the conference call, and asked families if they would not post any news about their court date until after our call with all of them. We certainly wanted them to hear the information from us first before they would post the information without really having details. We feel that that was in the best interest of the family regarding their personal adoption. We wanted to ensure that they had the information that WE would be presenting to them and that they would hear the news from us first and no one else, especially not from reading it on a blog . After the families received the information they were free to post as they'dl ike. The families also knew that this information would be in this weeks update for all families to be made aware of.

A few families did have their adoptions approved in the court today.These children were also abandoned; however, the children were not abandoned in Addis Ababa. Again the decision to not hear abandonment cases at this time only relates to children abandoned in Addis Ababa,not any of the surrounding areas.

The Judge in the Federal Court will determine what the next step will before all abandoned cases. We are hopeful that we will know something soon, however, no time frame has been given.

There are so many entities involved in presenting paperwork on the child that an agency would ultimately refer, that it is imperative that agencies, orphanages, facilitators, government offices, police officers,everyone involved in adoptions truly take a strong ethical stance for the sake of the children and international adoption.
I know that many of you will have additional questions. Please feel feel to contact your adoption consultant, or myself, and we'll be happy to
answer your questions.

We are believing for a favorable resolution, and our Ethiopia representative is very hopeful as well and he will be following this and of course going to the court to process other adoptions as well.

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