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.
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:
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.