Adoption Update: Orphanages Closing in Haiti, Ethiopia

November is International (and National) Adoption Month

Occasionally, I am on the international government boards and follow legislation updates and facility closures, so  here are three international adoptions to update for your files this month. The Ethiopia orphanage changes are especially unnerving!

Haitian authorities have closed an orphanage outside the capital following complaints of neglect and abuse from U.S. missionaries working in the troubled country.

Officials with a Haitian child welfare agency say the Son of God orphanage has been closed permanently. Child welfare official Diem Pierre says the children will be taken by UNICEF to other group homes. The closure was an unusually strong move in a country where child welfare laws are rarely enforced. Inspectors found that children at the home were living in unsanitary conditions and were malnourished.

Ethiopian government officials confirmed the closure of several orphanages in the Southern Nations state due to revocation of the orphanages’ operational licenses. Each orphanage in Ethiopia receives an operational license that the Charities and Societies Administration administers and monitors to ensure compliance with Ethiopian regulations. Regional officials have confirmed that the affected childrens’ case files are currently being reviewed on a case by case basis by regional Ministry of Women’s Affairs offices. Here are some confirmed closures:

  1. SOS Infants Ethiopia (Arbaminch, Dila and Awassa branches)
  2. Gelgella Integrated Orphans (Tercha and Durame branches)
  3. Bethzatha Children’s Home Association (Sodo, Hosaena, Dila, Haidya, Durame, and Hawassa branches)
  4. Ethio Vision Development and Charities (Dila and Hawassa branches)
  5. Special Mission for Community Based Development (Hosaina branch)
  6. Initiative Ethiopia Child and Family Support (Hawassa branch)
  7. Resurrection Orphanage (Hosaina branch)

The State Department on Adoption in the Ukraine is resuming processing international adoption applications. However, SDA  informed the embassy that the new amendment to the Family Code is now in effect. This requires orphans to be registered on the central adoption registry for one year and to be at least five years old before they are eligible for inter-country adoption. The amendment exempts children with certain special needs, relative adoptions, and sibling adoptions. Please note that the Ukrainian government is in the process of updating the definition of special needs, a process which by law should be completed by the end of this month.

In cases already underway with international adoptions and where adoptive parents have already been approved by the SDA to adopt a particular child, these age demands will be waived. Basically, you can’t adopt a kid from the Ukraine until she is five years old or older now.

If you hear breaking adoption news, fill me in here and I will double-check and pass it on!

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