Ethiopia (MNN) ― The window for adopting from Ethiopia may be closing, even as the country was poised to take over China as the #1 country of origin for foreign adoptees in the United States.
In an effort to remake the system and clean up the fraud, Ethiopia is cutting back by as much as 90% the number of inter-country adoptions it will allow.
The government says it will process a maximum of five inter-country adoptions a day, a far cry from the 50 cases it used to process. This effort will significantly lengthen the adoption process for children waiting for their forever families.
Bethany Christian Services Ethiopia staff confirms that since March 10, per their new policy, Ethiopia's Ministry of Women's, Children's and Youth Affairs has reviewed only five cases per day. The U.S. team is diligently working through staff in Ethiopia to address the current issue.
In the meantime, they're focusing on strengthening their year-old alternative to foster care programs in Ethiopia.Their mission calls them to demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by providing the family services needed to ensure success. They are focused on making decisions that are biblically consistent within this context.
However, Bethany's Ethiopia staff is also faced with the concerns raised by child welfare experts regarding institutional care for orphans. Bethany's team notes that children raised in institutions tend to lose all contact with their families and social/cultural background. When children age out of institutional care, they often face great difficulties integrating into society due to deprivation of learning normal life skills that children develop while growing up in a family.
Because of these limitations, Bethany Christian Services formed a consortium with four other groups aimed at de-institutionalizing the kids who are in their foster care programs.
In 2010, the government of Oromia in Ethiopia and Kingdom Vision International, a child welfare agency in Nazareth, Ethiopia, signed a partnership agreement with Bethany Christian Services to de-institutionalize the children. The Adama Evangelical Church Fellowship of Nazareth also agreed to provide foster families for the children coming out of institutional care.
Bethany Christian Services provided training of foster families and case workers and are supervising foster families through case management. When families complete the training, the government of Oromia will license them.
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