In the weekly update from my placement agency, some encouraging news (even with no referrals yet this month):
In the past week, the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) in Addis Ababa announced proposed plans to implement changes in their processing of adoption cases.This announcement has incited much concern in the adoption community, as these changes could significantly impact the processing of adoption cases by limiting the number of cases reviewed and approved by MOWCYA. Despite this announcement, WHFC is hearing from our Director in-country, Dr. T, that at this time, NO final decision has been made by the Ethiopian government and no changes have been implemented.The discussions about how to continue serving the vulnerable children in Ethiopia through inter-country adoption are still ongoing at the highest levels of government, with many different suggestions and view points being considered.
Since the release of MOWCYA’s announcement last week, a tremendous advocacy effort has been put forth by various stakeholders, such as the US Department of State, Joint Council on International Children’s Services, adoption service providers and agency representatives, including our own Dr. T. Their position has been that the number of adoption cases approved by the Ethiopian government should directly correspond to the number of Ethiopian children in need of families, and not be determined arbitrarily in a way that does not take into account the needs of children.We are happy to report that so far, the advocacy efforts of these stakeholders have been successful.As of today, we understand that the initial plan to significantly limit the number of cases processed by MOWCYA has not been enacted, and there seems to be advocacy within MOWCYA to continue processing pending cases in a timely way.
Although we are happy for this good news today, we recognize that the government is still making decisions about the best process for future adoptions from Ethiopia.The government has expressed a need to cap the number of cases processed daily, in order to ensure that government officials have the time to review and evaluate each individual case thoroughly and properly.We know that the government continues to consider proposals that involve some limitation on the processing of adoption cases and we remain hopeful that a proposed limitation would not impact families or children as negatively as has been reported.WHFC supports MOWCYA in their efforts, and encourages them to continue work in the best interest of the Ethiopian children in their care.