Monday, May 18, 2009

JCICS Conference Call

Today, May 18th, the Joint Council of International Children's Services had a meeting discussing the investigation in Addis Ababa.

They've not updated their website as of now, but this is from IAN:
All of IAN’s Ethiopian Program Coordinators took part in a conference call today with the Joint Council on International Children’s Services and approximately 15 other agencies working in Ethiopia.

The main focus of the conference call was to clarify the current status of adoption in Ethiopia particularly as it pertains to the cases of abandonment in Addis. At this time Ethiopia is suspending abandonment cases in Addis only and not cases for children who have been abandoned in other areas of Ethiopia. The court in Ethiopia recently discovered the abandonment of 16 children to one 1 police officer all at the same time; these children were then placed with 4-5 orphanages. None of these children were placed at Sele Enat, the orphanage where IAN’s children are placed. Because of the fear of possible unethical conduct and illegal practices, IAN strongly supports the Ethiopian governments investigation of these cases.

Other news from the conference call is that the Ethiopian government is expecting at least a 20% increase in international adoptions over the next year and that Ethiopia’s focus will be on maintaining it’s current level of adoptions instead of increasing adoptions over the next year; that there is a strong need for more adoptions of older children (over 4) and children with special needs; and that U.S. agencies are contributing to services for children in Ethiopia through not only international adoption, but also through health, education and other human service needs.

Note: Sele Enat is mentioned above as not having any of the 15-17 suspicious cases. There has been talk of Enat Alem, which was involved in an investigation last summer, being one where at least some of these suspect cases are from. If anyone has any other information on orphanages that may or may not be involved in the investigation, please comment or email me at This does NOT mean that any agency who uses Enat Alem (or any other suspected orphanage) has done anything unethical. The hope is that they will soon start allowing adoptions of non-suspect abandonment cases to go through, so any collective info we can gather is helpful. Thanks!

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