Yesterday, May 13, the U.S. Department of State, Office of Children's Issues* posted an alert on their website regarding adoptions from Ethiopia. The alert notifies prospective adoptive parents that the Ethiopian First Instance Court has temporarily stopped accepting adoption cases involving abandoned children from orphanages in Addis Ababa, citing concern over a recent increase in the number of abandonment cases being presented from those orphanages.
CHSFS would like to reassure you that we do not anticipate this decision to directly impact families adopting through the CHSFS Ethiopia Program.
Currently, children being placed through the Ethiopia Program at CHSFS are being cared for at orphanages in the Southern Region and Oromiya Region. Additionally, most of the children being placed through CHSFS have been found to be legally free for adoption through relinquishment by a sole-surviving parent.
CHSFS strongly believes that every concern regarding the ethics of adoption practices must be taken seriously, and we respect the Ethiopian First Instance Court for swiftly taking steps to look into this situation. We are confident that the Ethiopian First Instance Court will take whatever steps it feels are necessary to ensure that children, birth families, and adoptive families are protected from suspicious practices. CHSFS-ET staff are monitoring the situation, and we will notify families of pertainent developments.
If you have questions or concerns regarding this alert, we encourage you to contact your case specialist.
The Ethiopia Team
*The Office of Children's Issues is the office within the Department of State which serves as the U.S. central authority for international adoptions.