The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has reported as of September 12, 2012, the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs in Ethiopia has temporarily suspended adoption services to two adoption service providers located in the U.S. This adds to the increasing difficulties and frustration experienced by parents trying to adopt from Ethiopia and/or Africa.
Adopting from Ethiopia has become increasingly more difficult over the past couple of years with additional regulations and longer wait times for referrals and the process in general. This is obviously very sad for those orphaned children in Ethiopia who desperately need a forever family.
Families looking to adopt a child from Africa do have another option by choosing to adopt from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our program in Congo opened in 2009 and since has become one of our most popular international adoption programs. For families who have completed the process so far, I am told a variety of reasons why they chose Congo and why they liked the program. Here are the top ten reasons cited by families who have chosen to adopt from the Democratic Republic of Congo and expand their families through adoption:
- Referral times are short (usually 2-4 months depending on gender/age request).
- Process time from start to finish is less than most other programs (most bring children home in under 14 months).
- Infants and young children are available at referral time.
- Singles can adopt.
- The Democratic Republic of Congo has a huge need for adoptive families (5 million orphaned children in DRC).
- Dossier is less complicated than other country programs.
- Updates on referred children (usually every 6-8 weeks).
- Sibling groups are available and parents are allowed to adopt two unrelated children.
- Interim Care of your referred child (MLJ provides foster care in lieu of orphanage care).
- In country staff to assist you while you are in country.
Every adoptive parent comes to the adoption process for different reasons. Whatever the reasoning is, the most substantial in Congo is the number of abandoned children in this country in need of homes and forever families. Of additional importance is the support for our adoptive families from our foreign and domestic staff. For any country program to be a success, both teams need to be knowledgeable and have a passion for children. MLJ Adoptions is blessed to have a great staff both domestically and foreign.
If your heart is telling you to adopt from Africa, adoptive families should consider the Democratic Republic of Congo as an alternative to Ethiopia.
For more information about MLJ Adoptions’ international adoption programs, please click here.