What's Going On In DRC, An Update


drc adoption In late September of this year, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s immigration authority, DGM, issued a suspension notice of up to twelve months of exit permits of adopted children. Exit permits issued by DRC’s immigration authority allow Congolese children, adopted internationally, to leave DRC and travel home with adoptive parents. This suspension notice reportedly came on the heels of a high ranking Congolese official reading an article regarding “re-homing” and abuse of children adopted by U.S. families. Since this suspension notice was issued, the media has become a firestorm of misinformation and sensationalism regarding adoptions in Congo leaving many adoptive parents confused about what is going on in Congo and whether or not families can still adopt from this country.

To answer the many questions that agencies continue to field:

  • DGM issued a suspension notice of Exit Permits only on September 25, 2013, for adopted children
  • DGM issued a suspension that they would not provide exit permits to single adoptive parents; it is currently unclear how this effects single adoptive parents currently in process in DRC
  • Married adoptive parents with a Bordereau letter issued prior to September 25, 2013 would be granted exit permits
  • Exit permits have begun to be issued for families with a Bordereau letter issued prior to September 25, 2013
  • DRC is still accepting applications to adopt children in need by prospective adoptive parents
  • DRC Courts are still processing international adoptions
  • Agencies are still receiving referrals of children in need of forever families
  • The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa is proceeding with I604 investigations
  • The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa is still issuing Orphan Visas
  • DRC has not closed its doors to international adoption

While DGM currently has a stronghold on adoptive parents leaving the country with their adopted child or children, Congo has not closed its doors to prospective adoptive parents. DGM plays a role at the end of the adoption process and a role that allows the child to leave the country. To be clear, the role DGM plays has nothing to do with whether or not a child can or cannot be adopted. Only the Congolese Courts can approve a child to be adopted and they are allowed to do this through Congolese Law. As in most countries, in order for adoptions to stop, laws would need to be changed and changing laws is a complicated process that could ultimately take years to complete. Many agencies, government entities and NGO’s are working hard at bringing a resolution to the current DGM situation.

The sensationalism of media reports has sadly seemingly spurned this recent situation in DRC. Keeping in mind what is in the best interest of the children still in need of homes in DRC and worldwide should be the goal of everyone. The use of shock and awe in the media has no place when reporting on adoption and does only harm, which is why we do our best to provide you with the facts.

Photo Credit: IRIN Photos

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MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.