Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ethiopia: Gelgela Orphange

This past weekend, PEAR was forwarded a letter from the US Embassy in Addis to US Adoption Service Providers. We understand that some, but not all agencies have informed their clients of the letter and new USE scrutiny of cases involving the Gelgela Orphanage. We believe it is important for adopting and adoptive families to have this information so we have chosen to reprint the letter here:

Dear adoption agencies,

Recently, the U.S. Embassy has implemented several changes to the adoption visa process, including conducting significant additional review of each case and field investigations. In light of our findings, and recent serious allegations and news reports involving Ethiopian adoptions, we will require additional time to process each case from any agency in which the child was processed through Gelgela orphanage.

Effective immediately, the Embassy will require 8 weeks' processing time for each adoption visa case in which the child was processed through Gelgela orphanage. This means that families will not receive an immigrant visa appointment until 8 weeks after the complete case file is submitted to the Embassy. We will not accept incomplete case files in these cases under any circumstances. It is the agency's responsibility to plan family travel accordingly. Cases that have already been submitted will continue to be processed as previously scheduled.

For cases already scheduled (for which the Embassy already has the case file), those parents should expect potentially lengthy delays in the processing of cases involving children from Gelgela orphanage.


Adoption Unit
U.S. Embassy
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

PEAR put a call out to various organizations and individuals requesting a list of agencies that refer children from Gelgela. The European NGO, ACT (Against Child Trafficking - http://againstchildtrafficking.org/), provided us with the following list which they compiled from public records:

United States:
Bethany (partners with FTIA ) ***
Christian World Adoption
America World Adoption


Ray of Hope


Eltern fur Afrika

*PEAR has unconfirmed information that Choices in Canada runs their program as a partner with CAFAC - families currently using Choices are advised to consult with them concerning this.

**Please note that Werelderkinderen closed their Ethiopia program due to inconsistencies and unreliability of background information provided about Ethiopian children. http://www.rnw.nl/africa/article/netherlands-freezes-adoption-process-ethiopia EDITED NOTE 3/23/2010 1:56 pm EST: Netherlands agencies Stichting Afrika and Vereniging Wereldkinderen will resume Ethiopian Adoptions per press release of Febriuary 18, 2010 see: http://english.justitie.nl/currenttopics/pressreleases/archives-2010/100218no-reconsideration-of-adoptions-from-ethiopia.aspx?cp=35&cs=1578 for details.

***According to Keith Wallace of FTIA, FTIA has never worked with not placed children from Gelgela

If you are a PAP working with one of the above agencies and you have not been notified about the USE process, please contact your agency for clarification on the orphanage used and any applicability the above notice has to your case. US adoptive parents who have completed an adoption of a child from Gelgela Orphanage and have concerns about the veracity of their child's history should contact the USE in Addis Ababa at: ConsAdoptionAddis@state.gov

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.


Shadley said...

Bethany has discontinued their relationship with Gelgela.

PEAR said...

Do you know when they discontinued that relationship?

Bethany Taylor said...

AWAA discontinued their relationship with Gelgela in 2009.