Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ethiopia Cutting Back International Adoption by 90%

From Voice of America:
Ethiopia is cutting back by as much as 90 percent the number of inter-country adoptions it will allow, as part of an effort to clean up a system rife with fraud and corruption. Adoption agencies and children’s advocates are concerned the cutbacks will leave many Ethiopian orphans without the last-resort option of an adoptive home abroad.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs has issued a directive saying it will process a maximum of five inter-country adoptions a day, effective March 10. Currently, the ministry is processing up to 50 cases a day, about half of them to the United States.

A copy of the directive provided to VOA says the reduction of up to 90 percent in cases will allow closer scrutiny of documents used to verify a child’s orphan status.

Ministry spokesman Abiy Ephrem says the action was taken in response to indications of widespread fraud in the adoption process.

7 comments:

Sandy said...

I am very pleased to hear this.

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Anonymous said...

Honestly, who is not aware that inter-country adoption with this country is plagued with fraud and corruption? It's another Guatemala-- and same arguement-- what about the orphans? I get that, but you can't cure cancer w/ a bunch of band-aides.

Anonymous said...

Well, families seeking to adopt from there seem to be unaware of the issues. This blog is a particularly passionate one:

http://intothefieldsofthefatherless.blogspot.com/2011/03/ethiopia-adoption.html
"Basically saying that adoptions are going to be cut by 90% in Ethiopia..as corruption is taken care of, etc...blah, blah, blah...."

Blah, blah, blah. Is there any doubt why corrupt programs continue when waiting families display this kind of contempt for people seeking to reform?

This Side of the Skies said...

Hi. I just discovered Adoption Talk and am now a follower. I adopted a child from China in 2004 and blog a bit on This Side of the Skies. I appreciate your thought-provoking and well-written posts, especially useful for those of us raising a child of China. I look forward to reading more. Stacy

Sharon said...

As the mom of two children adopted from Ethiopia, I'm doubtful that this particular remedy is going to solve the problem. When we adopted our kids in 2007, only 7 US agencies were licensed to operate there. Within 2 years, there were dozens -- there was no way appropriate oversight could be given. It's baffling that the Ethiopian govt allowed it to mushroom in this way.

I'd feel more encouraged if they were revoking some agency licenses. In these situations the foreign consulates tend to see patterns in paperwork that arouse suspicion -- no doubt they've communicated their concerns about particular agencies/orphanages to Ehtiopian officials, which would be the place to focus scrutiny.

In the majority of relinquishment cases, adoptive parents meet the birth family. There are many, many "open" adoptions from Ethiopia. I believe the greatest concern is with abandonment cases. This is where the US Embassy has focused its scrutiny, and it would seem reasonable for the Ethiopian officials to do the same. This seems like a knee jerk reaction for PR purposes vs. a strategic approach to the actual problem.

Jessica said...

Sharon, thank you for making these excellent points:

"I'd feel more encouraged if they were revoking some agency licenses. In these situations the foreign consulates tend to see patterns in paperwork that arouse suspicion... which would be the place to focus scrutiny."

And:

"This seems like a knee jerk reaction for PR purposes vs. a strategic approach to the actual problem."

Well-said.