Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ethiopia Adoptions - Please Pray!!!

Last week, some news began circulating about Ethiopia making some drastic changes to its adoption program. There's been lots of speculation as to what's going to happen and while we've yet to see how things will officially pan out, it does look like there will be some big changes coming.

Here's an update we received today from our agency and the latest information they've received from the Joint Council.

"Statement on the Pending Reduction of Intercountry Adoption in Ethiopia

Last week the Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs announced their intention to reduce intercountry adoptions by 90% beginning March 10, 2011. The Ministry’s plan for a dramatic reduction is apparently based on two primary issues; 1) the assumption that corruption in intercountry adoption is systemic and rampant and 2) the Ministry’s resources should be focused on the children for whom intercountry adoption is not an option. Without further announcements by the Government of Ethiopia, it is our understanding that the Ministry’s plan will be initiated this week.

The Ministry’s plan is a tragic, unnecessary and disproportionate reaction to concerns of isolated abuses in the adoption process and fails to reflect the overwhelmingly positive, ethical and legal services provided to children and families through intercountry adoption. Rather than eliminate the right of Ethiopian children to a permanent family, we encourage the Ministry to accept the partnerships offered by governments, NGOs, and foundations. Such partnerships could increase the Ministry’s capacity to regulate service providers and further ensure ethical adoptions.

The Ministry’s plan, which calls for the processing of only five adoption cases per work day, will result not only in systemic and lasting damage to a large sector of social services, but will have an immediate impact on the lives and futures of children. Moving from over 4,000 adoptions per year to less than 500 will result in thousands of children languishing in under-regulated and poorly resourced institutions for years. For those children who are currently institutionalized and legally available for adoption, the Ministry’s plan will increase their time languishing in institutions for up to 7-years.

Joint Council respectfully urges the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs to reconsider their plan and to partner with governments, NGOs and foundations to achieve their goals and avoid the coming tragedy for children and families. "

This isn't just a change that would affect OUR agency. This is ALL adoptions in Ethiopia.

We've been blessed with an agency that has been doing a great job in keeping us as informed as possible but it's all still a little big to try and wrap our minds around. Mostly, we're not trying to. It's alot of sitting back and waiting to see what happens. We believe with our entire hearts God's brought us to be where we are right now in our adoption journey and we believe He'll continue to walk in front of us.

But can we please ask for your prayers in all of this?

Without a doubt, we desire any and all adoptions to be carried out with integrity and honesty. Yet the changes Ethiopia is proposing will dramatically affect countless orphans who currently reside in orphanages, the countless families praying them home, and many families who are just beinning to consider adoption. We want HIS will in all of this.

Here's what we can do.

1. PRAY. pray. pray. For the children, the birth families, for child advocates and agencies, for the government, and adoptive families in all the different stages of adoption. It's a lot to process.

2. The Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS) has put a “Call to Action” in place.

Sign the petition to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi – and pass it on!

If you have adopted from Ethiopia, please send them up to 3 photos and 50 words or less with what you would like the Ministry to know about your child – they'll compile the information and send a book to the Ministry of Woman’s Affairs. Send your photos and stories to by Sunday, March 12, 2011 to be included. Please note that sending photos and stories gives Joint Council unrestricted right to use the information you provide.

3) Share…Please send this Call to Action to family members, other adoptive parents, and everyone you know!

As we've read the information we can, I've thought a lot of John 14:27.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

It can be easy to run ahead with the "what if's" and the uncertainty in front of us. And yet God.

He has walked with us this far, stands by us now, and goes before us. And today, we're choosing to trust in a faithfulness that is bigger than the decisions of any court.


Amy said...

So sorry to hear this. I am praying with you. xoxo

mom Bahr said...

With GOD all things are possible...trusting Him to go with you in this journey, and praying for those precious babies needing a family to love them and lead them to Heaven. love & prayers, mom

Holli said...

WE ARE PRAYING!!! I pray for the children that will have to wait longer for families, the mothers/families that our making the hard decisions to place their children in the orphanages and for GODS WILL TO BE DONE.