Ethiopia sharply reduces pace of adoptions

By March 21, 2011

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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