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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!