Wednesday, May 13, 2009

From CHI:

Dear Families,

I know that many of you have concerns and anxiety regarding the information given in the update on last week concerning abandoned children in Addis Ababa. If you have any questions or just want to talk please contact your adoption consultant. We will be happy to walk you through what we know regarding this situation that you still may be concerned about. One question that I would like to address further is the concern that this issue will affect ALL abandoned children in Ethiopia. This is NOT the case. This will only concern children abandoned in Addis Ababa, until further notice.

We work with orphanages in the SE, Northern Ethiopia, and also in the surrounding counties of Addis Ababa.

That is how some families who had court dates on last week, and are adopting abandoned children, were approved, while others with court dates that same day adopting abandoned children were not. This situation only affects those abandoned children in Addis Ababa.

The earliest that I thought we would hear anything regarding this issue would be yesterday(Tuesday), however after multiple phone calls to the country, and the power outage, I was not able to make contact by phone or email. I did speak to our in country representative this morning however, and though it is still not known how the judge is going to process these cases of abandoned children, or what new procedures will be put in place, if any; our rep did mention that the abandonment cases that caused the stoppage of hearing abandonment cases is being investigated by the police and a decision will be made on how the court will process future cases once they receive the results of the investigation. Our representative is hopeful that we could hear something some time next week.

The judge did mention that depending on the decision that would be made, the agencies could appeal any decision and ask the MOWA (Ministry of Woman’s Affairs) to give their opinion for the children who already have families and court dates. Because we have so many families who have had court dates long before this situation actually came up in country, our rep is very hopeful that the MOWA and the court will recognize that for the sake of the children, and give a positive opinion regarding these cases and allow them to be heard.

We won’t know of course until after the investigation is complete.

Though this situation is very stressful for some families and causes some uncertainly and anxiety, we truly want to uphold the highest standards of ethics as it relates to this work, and whenever there are unethical acts taking place in a country (any country), at some point, some one is going to notice that and take action to correct it, and this is what is happening here. That’s how different rules and regulations come into place in international adoption. We certainly want to place as many children that need a home as we can, however, we want to ensure that everything is in order for all children that we place, and I’m sure you do as well.. I would think/hope that the judge’s decision would not take too terribly long. We’ll certainly keep you informed on anything additional that we find out. Again please let us know if you have any additional questions and know that our prayers are with those families who are waiting in limbo at this time for the judge’s decision. I encourage you to remain positive, as we are, and stay strong.

Blessings, Ethiopia Staff

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