Briefing on Briefing on Joint USCIS/State Adoption Site Visit to Ethiopia

I guess the glass is still half full


In spite of the fact that the Ethiopian government itself believes inter-country adoption from their country is a huge mess, UCICS and the Department of State come out with these conclusion:

  • USCIS and State support the continuation of the intercountry adoption program in Ethiopia while also seeking to address specific problems and concerns.
  • Procedural changes will protect the integrity of ?the adoption process while providing better safeguards for and children
  • ASPs need to take more responsibility for ensuring due diligence and careful case preparation.
  • The USG will continue to refine the analysis of adoption case information at U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa as a tool to help guard against unethical or fraudulent practices.

Seems completely a Joint Council-style approach. Since when have procedural changes made any difference. Wasn't there a call for procedural change in Vietnam and Guatemala too?


Complete pro-adoption drivel.

Look also at the statements:

Half of the children are over the age of 2 ?at time of interview. as opposed to: More than half of the children are under the age of 2.


Children over 5 represent nearly a quarter of the caseload. as opposted to: Children over 5 represent in only 22 percent of the case load.


How do you spell...?

Message to all PAPs in process of adopting from Ethiopia:

Q: How do you spell corruption in Ethiopian adoptions?

A: G-U-A-T-E-M-A-L-A

Familiar process...

I went to bring my child home from Guatemala when he was 2 months old... went home without him but he was brought to me when he was 3 months old. 

All this to say:  After that (22 years ago), the government of Guatemala would go along for about 10 months before shutting down adoptions through November and December, changing rules and laws and steps within the adoption process.  Then they would go forward, and adoptions would resume.  I have friends who waited 2 and 3 years to bring the children to the states.  IMO, this is what will happen in other countries like Ethiopia: slow it down, change some laws and requirements, BUT NEVER shut it down completely.  And as long as PAP's are willing to wait it out, adoption will go on in the same ole way.  You just can not cover s--t up and think it will stop the stink...


"crisis pregnancy" turns "crisis adoption story"

Here's a new news nibble to digest.... try not to heave, or throw-up,because the politics, (and "special interests"), within Adoptionland are like no other:

This was supposed to be one of the happiest weeks of their lives. Their new, 17-month-old child, Joe, was waiting for them in China. Their other son, Henry, was eager to see his brother, who will share his bedroom.

Instead, Andy and Erin Pratt spent anxious days and late nights watching news reports and rearranging travel plans while the surreal drama in Washington, D.C., interrupted their plans for a new addition to the family. A lot of things can go wrong and stall an international adoption, but the Pratts never imagined the reason for their problem: The government was about to close for business.

"I called my travel agent and said I might have to cancel my trip to China because the government might shut down," said Andy.

The agent was confused: "The Chinese government is shutting down?" she asked.

"No," said Andy. "Ours."

The Pratts weren't alone. According to Amy Brendmoen of Children's Home Society and Family Services, at least three Minnesota families were in flux because of the threatened shutdown. One family left Friday evening, hoping for the best.

"We were to leave on Thursday, and we have an appointment at the U.S. Embassy to get our son's visa on April 20," Andy Pratt wrote to me in an e-mail during the week. The Pratts "have been working on this adoption for well over a year, and are all amped to go and meet our child, and are now denied due to the failure of government to do one of its most basic tasks,'' he added. "My wife and I have been staying up late trying to rearrange plane tickets, and have been almost paralyzed all day trying to find news on this shutdown. This is something that should be one of the greatest moments in our lives, but instead is filled with anxiety and anger."

The common perception is that a shutdown mostly means some bureaucrats get a few days off, but the Pratts are evidence that government action, or inaction, can affect the lives of real people.

The Pratts know international adoptions can be stressful. They adopted Henry, now 4 1/2, from Guatemala in 2006. Guatemala has now suspended adoptions, and there is a long wait for children from China. The Pratts were able to adopt Joe because he has special needs. But their timing has been hard to believe.

They had a hold on plane tickets for Saturday and waited until the last moment Thursday night, hoping the budget negotiations between President Obama and Republican leaders would be resolved.

With the sides still deadlocked, the Pratts cancelled their tickets late Thursday. Friday night, a deal was struck in Washington, but it was too late for the Pratts. By Saturday, they were trying to rebook flights and rooms, but a large convention in the Chinese city where the adoption will take place has taken up hotel rooms and made prices skyrocket.

"The last government shutdown lasted more than 20 days, so if we just leave, it was possible I'd have to come back home to work before we got our son," said Andy. Each meeting to finalize the adoption was predicated upon the previous one, so one missed meeting can mean a series of glitches that would be exacerbated in China.

I asked Andy what he does for a living. He's a lawyer. He specializes in -- drum roll -- government finance.

So, while the politicians played games in the nation's capital, a future American named Joe waited in China and a kid named Henry waited in St. Paul for a new buddy, roommate and brother.

"It's hard to explain [the delay] to him," said Andy. "But he's ecstatic. He's going to teach him how to play baseball and ride a bike. It will be great to have these two kids from opposite sides of the Earth here together. And we'll have a lot of stories to tell him when he gets older".

[From: A crisis only for bureaucrats? Ask the growing family on hold, April 9, 2011 ]



Um...the government did not shut down. Seriously people, this is the all time greatest excuse I have ever heard, hopefully there is "something" missing in this story???

It never dawned on them to call DOS and ask what if? Lord forbid that they stayed extra days in their child's birth country.

So where is Part Deux? What happens now? They CAN reschedule their US Embassy appt.

Shaking my head....this is so sad on so many levels....sigh.

The only ones???

Like this hasn't happened to most of us???  Why now, make this a big deal???  I could tell you some horror stories that didn't get front page headlines; but it did get Holt's attention when they spent hours in contact with Vietnam telling them to spend ALL the overseas fees on getting my paperwork done over there; since the country was shutting down (AND IT DID!) in one week!  HA!  TRY GOING IT ALONE ON CHRISTMAS IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY THAT DIDN'T EXPECT YOU TO SHOW UP!  Sheesh!  These people need to grow a couple....


Shut down?!?

In this day and age, shut down Visa and Passport processing?  Are the leaders of America INSANE?

Nope.  Clever as foxes, actually.

Although I for one wouldn't mind watching a few government employees get shut-down for a while....  we, the people with a moral compass, could use the break.


And besides that, the uproar over the USA butting into the lives of China about human rights.  China calls us hypocrites: race, government, and adoption are just three things I can think of that we do not put a high enough standard on, but require other countries to fit a tight definition of fair.

"On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for Ai's release and criticized China for what she said was a deteriorating human rights situation in the first part of 2011."

"Clinton made the remarks while announcing the release of the U.S. State Department's annual assessment of human rights around the world. It said China stepped up restrictions on critics and tightened control of civil society in 2010 by limiting freedom of speech and Internet access."

"China blasted back at Washington on Saturday with a statement on the Foreign Ministry's website saying the U.S. should reflect more on its own domestic rights abuses."

"The U.S. should stop interfering in other country's internal affairs with this human rights report," ministry spokesman Hong Lei was quoted as saying."


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