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).


  1. International Adoption Net confirms the two trip rule stating it will go into affect in Mid-May.

  2. Our agency is reporting it takes effect end of May.

  3. CHS sent out a letter that court must take place BEFORE that date. Submitted for court isn't enough per their letter.

  4. our agency says 1 parent can attend court and use a POA for the other parent

  5. Is there any "official" ruling yet? Do you have to pass court before then? Apply for a date by then? When will anyone know? The day we have to travel? Yikes. Just hoping for more information.