Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Update on Parents Attending Court-4/13 update

Several agencies confirm that a meeting to discuss the new rule change happened earlier today (Wednesday). At least 2 US agencies are reporting that the rule that parents must now be present for their prospective children's court hearings will go into affect on May 9, 2010. Any case filed for court by May 8th, regardless of when the court date actually is, will be exempt.

4/11 update:

A vast majority of US agencies have confirmed the new rule, with most stating May 9th as the effective date. At least 2 have stated that they are hopeful there will be a POA exception for families where only one parent can travel, but it seems nothing has been confirmed on that.

There is some discrepency on who will be exempt from the rule, with many saying that a case just needs to have their paperwork and court application submitted prior to the May 9th deadline, and with at least one agency saying a family will have needed to pass court before May 9th.

One agency has recently given a list of requirements for exemption. Before May 9th:
1) The family’s dossier must be in Ethiopia
2) The family must be USCIS approved and [this particular agency] must have a copy of the I-171-H on file
3) The family must have a referral
4) The child’s documents must be complete
5) Second medicals must have been done and approved
6) Child’s documents and family’s dossier must have been submitted to court

If your agency gives you any further clarification on this new rule, please feel free to post it in the comment section or email me. Thanks!

4/13 update
The US State Department has announced the new change in Ethiopian adoptions:
The Federal First Instance Court of Ethiopia has announced that as of May 9, 2010, adoptive parents must appear at the federal court hearing for their adoptive child in order for the adoption to be approved. This new requirement will affect all pending and new adoption cases that have not yet been presented to the court. If there are two adoptive parents but only one parent can attend the hearing, the attending parent must have a power of attorney from the other. However, please note that if only one parent meets the adoptive child before the court date, the child will qualify for an IR-4, not an IR-3 visa (which means that the child will not become a U.S. citizen upon entry to the United States).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gelgela Orphanage

PEAR has posted some very important information regarding Gelgela Orphanage.

(Some agencies passed this information on to their clients at the time of the latest State Department update.)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Parents now required to attend court

updated 3/31 11:30 am EST
As many of you know, an announcement was made today that adoptive parents are now required to be present at the court hearings of their prospective children. This has been verified so far by at least 7 US agencies. Several agencies are saying the change is due to the high number of families who choose not to bring their new children back home with them after passing court, despite the child being legally theirs. This new change is supposedly affective immediately, though there is some discrepancy on how this will affect cases with court dates already assigned. Some say it will and these dates will likely be postponed; one says it will not affect those with upcoming court dates.

*Additional info: It's believed that the parents will be required to testify in Ethiopian court that they are committed to the child and have a desire to adopt the child.

3/11 update
More conflicting information today. At least one agency reported that the sign/note indicating the change had been removed from the court, and a couple agencies have amended their announcements to say they aren't sure if or when the rule will go into effect. At least one US agency has stated that this information is just a false rumor, while at least two others have indicated that the rule is agency specific.

3/13 update
A family scheduled for court yesterday passed, and they say that several others from their agency have also passed since the announcement. The change is so far not effecting those with court dates already scheduled.

3/23 update
According to one US agency, any applications for court dates submitted prior to April 8th will be exempt from the new rule, regardless of when the actual court date takes place. For applications submitted to the court after April 8th, both parents will be required to attend the hearing in Ethiopia. They will give a statement to the court that they will adopt the referred child. If the court date gets postponed or the case does not pass for any reason, the adoptive parents will not be required to come back on the rescheduled date; their statement to the court will suffice.

3/24 update
One US agency is reporting that today a sign was posted at the court saying that the new rule of having families appear at court had been suspended, indefinitely. Another US agency says that the meeting to discuss the rule change has been postponed, not the rule itself.

3/30 update
At least 2 US agencies confirm that a meeting to discuss the two trip change was to take place today, Wednesday. If anyone has any information about the results of this meeting, please let us know!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

One US agency is saying that the new State department rule is currently only affecting children from one particular orphanage, and that the prospective parents of those children have been notified of the change to their process. If you are in process and have not been notified, they say the new change will probably not affect you.

*Note: The I-604 has been required for some time, with little impact on the adoption timeline.

Friday, March 5, 2010

State Department Adoption Notice

The United States has issued a statement regarding the I-604/orphan investigation of all children before an immigration visa can be issued. It is unclear at this time if they are requiring a more extensive investigation than what has been done previously.

Also, Australia has recently decided to lift their suspension on Ethiopia adoptions. Details here.