I've been posting (whenever I can get to a computer) the updates that our on our agencies website so that our friends and families can stay up to date on the adoption processes in Ethiopia. We have some amazing people in our lives that we know have been right there along side of us for the past two years and who want more than anything for us to bring home our newest little miracle.
Here's the newest update as of March 11:
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) held a conference call today, March 11, 2011, to share information about the news that came last week indicating that the Ethiopian government would begin limiting the number of adoption cases being processed from 50 to 5 per day.
The call today covered many of the same points that have been shared with waiting families over the last several days. Here is what we learned:
The decreased processing of cases was set to start on March 10, and it appears that it has been put into effect.
The reason given for implementing the reduction was for the Ministry, with its limited resources, to improve its screening of each case while devoting time to other priorities.
DOS does not have information about what proportion of the cases processed each day will be match approvals (which happens prior to the court hearing) or final approvals (which happens after the court hearing). DOS is working to get clarification.
DOS estimates that between 800-1000 cases are currently in-process. It is not clear what “in-process” means. As of Jan 2011, DOS estimated that as of January, 2011, over 3000 I-600A cases have been filed for an adoption from Ethiopia.
A very preliminary and rough estimate by the DOS is that families could be delayed up to a year. CHSFS tentatively interprets this to be a 1-year delay for families who have already accepted a referral and notes that the potential delay will likely be influenced by where a family is in the process between referral acceptance and Ethiopian court final written approval. It is unclear how this may impact families who are waiting for a referral. CHSFS is cautiously waiting for more information on what this will officially mean for families with referral and without referral.
DOS was able to confirm that the current Minister of Adoptions is being removed from the post effective next week. DOS is unsure how this will affect processing.
DOS has heard that international entities/organizations have offered to provide technical assistance to the Ethiopian government.
The officials from the U.S. Embassy plan to meet with officials from the Ethiopian government on Monday. DOS will post additional information on its website as an alert.
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