Update: June 16, 2017
On June 16, 2017, the DOS issued an update to its previous adoption notice about the suspension of adoptions from Ethiopia on May 26, 2017 [PDF version].
The DOS explained that since June 1, 2017, Ethiopia's Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWA) has resumed issuing documents to allow some adopted children with Federal First Instance Court (FFIC) approval to commence their U.S. immigration processes. The children who were permitted to begin their U.S. immigration processes were able to obtain Ethiopian passports.
The DOS stated that it has not yet received information from the Ethiopian government about which additional cases it will allow to continue. Furthermore, the Ethiopian government has not, as of June 16, 2017, released an official statement on intercountry adoption from Ethiopia.
The DOS stated that it would continue to advocate for intercountry adoption from Ethiopia. However, due to the current uncertainty, the DOS encouraged prospective adoptive parents to consider other countries to adopt from.
The DOS will provide updates as they come available. We will update the site when the DOS updates the situation. Those with questions should consult with their Adoption Service Provider and with an experienced immigration attorney in intercountry adoption.
Update: May 22, 2017
On May 16, 2017, the United States Department of State (DOS) updated the situation regarding intercountry adoption cases from Ethiopia [link].
The Ethiopian Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWA) informed the U.S. Embassy Addis Adaba that it will resume processing of intercountry adoption cases. However, Ethiopia will only issue negative letters. The DOS explained that this will apply to all intercountry adoption cases, “regardless of their stage in the process or the nationality of the adoptive parents.”
The DOS noted that the Ethiopian government has yet to provide any formal communication regarding the April 21, 2017, suspension of intercountry adoptions.
The DOS explained that it has been trying to obtain information about the intercountry adoption situation from the Ethiopian government. However, it has thus far been unsuccessful.
The DOS stated that it will continue to seek information and advocate for intercountry adoption from Ethiopia. However, it advised prospective parents to consider adopting from other countries because of the uncertainty regarding intercountry adoptions from Ethiopia. The DOS encourages those with questions about their cases to contact their Adoption Service Provider and monitor the DOS website for updated information.
We will update this article with more information as it is reported.
May 7, 2017
On April 21, 2017, the Ethiopian Prime Minister's Office suspended intercountry adoptions. On May 2, 2017, the United States Department of State explained that it remained unclear as to the particulars of the suspension, including how long the intercountry adoption suspension would last [link]. The DOS explained that it was working with the relevant Ethiopian agencies to ascertain information about the suspension. Furthermore, the DOS is working to encourage the Ethiopian Government to allow continued processing of adoption cases that were in progress before April 21, 2017.
The DOS announced that on May 8, 2017, it will host a conference call for the U.S. adoption stakeholder community on the situation in Ethiopia [link].
We will update the site with more information about the intercountry adoption situation for Ethiopia as it becomes known.