More Concerns In Ethiopia


In November the U.S. State Department announced that The Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia suspended the adoption services of two U.S. adoption agencies as a result of reported abuse of children placed with adoptive families. This all follows further changes and restrictions put into place in Ethiopia for adoptive families essentially creating longer wait times and a more challenging adoption process. Additionally, following allegations of recruitment of children from birth parents by some adoption agencies in Ethiopia, the U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa has reported its increased scrutiny of review of adoption documents and I604 investigations, before approving orphan visas. The embassy in Addis Ababa is committed to ensuring that all adoptions in Ethiopia are performed ethically and in compliance with U.S and Ethiopian adoption laws.

Families wanting to adopt from Africa, more specifically from Ethiopia, are finding the process more restrictive, longer and frustrating. Indeed there are many children in need in Ethiopia, but there are also many in children in need all across Africa. For those families drawn to adopting from Africa, a logical choice is to consider adopting from Democratic Republic of Congo.

While the current political unrest in DRC frightens some prospective families, the fact remains that unrest in Congo has been a factor since we opened our Congo adoption program in 2009 and something that we have always experienced. This political unrest has been a determining factor, among many others, that has resulted in an estimated five million orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo finding themselves without families and homes. The orphan crisis in DRC is staggering and devastating; these children desperately need forever families. As the poorest country on Earth, children residing in orphanages in Congo are at risk of illness, disease, malnutrition and even death.

Every child in Africa deserves a forever family; they all deserve to be loved, receive proper nutrition and medical care. Every child in Africa deserves these basic human rights as well, whether from Ethiopia, Congo, or Nigeria. If you are considering adopting and find the process too challenging, we urge you to take a look at a child in need in the Democratic Republic of Congo. One of these children may one day change the world. Let’s give as many of these children as we can a chance.

Photo used with permission.

For more information about MLJ Adoptions’ international adoption programs, please click here.

Sonja Brown works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Samoa. Sonja is also proud to work directly with our Individualized Country Program families who are adopting from countries where no adoption service providers currently operate.