exposing the dark side of adoption
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Joint visit to Rwanda


As part of Joint Council’s International Relations Initiative, Joint Council President Tom DiFilipo, Scott Brown and Frank Garrott, respectively Vice-President and President of Joint Council Member Organization The Gladney Center, Eric Munyemana, of Friends of Rwanda and in collaboration with Saddleback Church, also conducted an advocacy trip to Rwanda on June 30 through July 4, 2008.

The delegation met with numerous government officials including Dr. Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, Minister of Family and Gender Promotion along with a variety of church and civil leaders.  Through the week long visit, the delegation learned of the many accomplishments of the Rwanda government on behalf of its people and the over 1 million orphans in Rwanda.  The delegation also presented considerable information on international children’s services and significant role ethical intercountry adoption has as a key element in finding loving families for children in need.  
In meetings with various Rwandan ministries it can be reported that the Rwandan government is in favor of ethical intercountry adoption as an appropriate option for its many orphans.  The government is currently seeking to secure adequate laws and regulations which will provide needed protections for children, regulate a very small number of child welfare organizations engaged in intercountry adoption (perhaps only two or three organizations) and increase its capacity to facilitate children’s services including ethical intercountry adoption.
Joint Council honored the sensitivities of the Rwandan government and chose a small delegation given the government’s ongoing concerns related to intercountry adoption and their desire to currently limit the number of service providers seeking to partner with Rwanda in serving children. We urge all child welfare organizations seeking new adoption programs and potential adoptive parents seeking to adopt, to similarly honor the Rwandan government’s efforts. We strongly request that you provide Rwanda the needed time to properly expand its child welfare system before seeking to establish a program in Rwanda.  Please know that as Joint Council continues its partnership with the Rwandan government, we will advise you accordingly.
2008 Jul 4