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Ten days into March, and already 2 Alerts (Nepal and Swaziland) and a Notice on Ethiopia from the State Department

Yet still more Alerts and notices from the U.S. State Department concerning Intercountry adoptions.

Ongoing corruption and falsified paperwork in Nepal, a suspension, pending a review of adoptions from Swaziland, and child buying and selling, errrr “media reports alleging direct recruitment” in Ethiopia.

Nepal Alert

Caution About Pursuing an Adoption in Nepal March 4, 2010

The U.S. Department of State strongly discourages prospective adoptive parents from choosing Nepal as a country from which to adopt due to grave concerns about the reliability of Nepal’s adoption system and the accuracy of the information in children’s official files. The Department also strongly discourages adoption service providers from accepting new applications for adoption from Nepal until reforms are made, and to be vigilant about operating in an ethical manner under the current adoption system.

the Alert continues (emphasis original to the document):

The Hague Conference on Private International Law recently released a report on its Intercountry Adoption Technical Assistance Program, based on a visit by a delegate from the Hague Conference’s Permanent Bureau to Nepal in November 2009 ( This report is the result of an independent analysis of Nepal’s intercountry adoption system under the new Terms and Conditions put in place in 2008. The report details a number of weaknesses in Nepal’s current adoption system, including the falsification of documents, improper financial gain, and lack of a child protection system.

Based on our own observations and experience with adoption cases in Nepal, the U.S. Department of State shares many of the concerns outlined in the Hague report. In one of the first cases processed by the Government of Nepal after the revision of the Terms and Conditions, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu found that the adopted child was not a true orphan and that her birth parents were actively searching for her.

We encourage parents who have filed an application with the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) in Nepal, but have not yet been matched with a child or received an Adoption Decree issued by the Government of Nepal, to consider a change of countries. The Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), allow one change of country to be made in connection with one’s I-600A application without fee. A request to change countries should be made in writing to the USCIS Field Office where the I-600A was originally filed. (Any subsequent request for a change of country would require a fee.)

Swaziland Alert

Adoption Alert March 1, 2010

On February 24, 2010, the Deputy Prime Minister of Swaziland informed the U.S. Embassy in Mbabane that it will not process intercountry adoptions cases while the Department of Social Welfare completes a review of its adoption procedures. Only cases that were already with the Swaziland High Court will be processed during the review. The U.S. Embassy in Mbabane has not been provided with an expected completion date of the review.

Ethiopia Notice

Change in Processing Timeline for Adoption Cases March 5, 2010

The Department of State shares families’ concerns about recent media reports alleging direct recruitment of children from birth parents by adoption service providers or their employees. In response to these reports, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa has implemented some changes to adoption visa processing.

Oh you mean pesky little allegations like this or this about the apparent lies offered up by Christian World Adoption Agency.

Child buying and selling apparently only merits a mere “Notice” (as opposed to an alert.)

Naturally, these promises of an education, of families of origin being able to regain their children, etc should be all too familiar to anyone paying attention to the Haitian adoption mess. It’s the standard pitch. This is what inter-country adoption relies upon to extract kids.

Naturally the CBS piece is more concerned with the families who adopted the kids, not the families left behind.

The Notice continues:

If families have concerns about their adoption, we ask that they share this information with the Embassy, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case. The Embassy takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously.

The best way to contact the Embassy is by email at Please include your name, your child’s name, your adoption agency, the date of the adoption (month and year), and, if possible, the immigrant visa case number for your child’s case (this number begins with the letters ADD followed several numbers and can be found on any document sent to you by the National Visa Center). Please let us know if we have your permission to share concerns about your specific case with Ethiopian government officials.

We strongly encourage you to register any complaint that you may have about an adoption agency in the following ways:

*You may file a complaint with the state licensing authority where your adoption agency is licensed and conducts business. The Child Welfare Information Gateway, which is maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services, provides such a list at the link below:

*You may also file a report with the state’s Better Business Bureau. Following is the link to the Better Business Bureau’s website where you may file a complaint on-line:

*If your agency is a Hague-accredited adoption service provider, you are encouraged to file a complaint on the Hague Complaint Registry located at the link below. This information will be used by the accrediting entities to evaluate the agency in connection with the renewal of its accreditation status.

The U.S. Embassy continues to work with the Government of Ethiopia to ensure that appropriate safeguards exist to protect prospective adoptive children, their birth parents, and prospective adoptive parents. Please continue to monitor for updated information.

Just how bad have adoptions out of Ethiopia gotten?

Bad enough that one of the industry trade lobbies, the Joint Council of International Children’s Services (JCICS) has decided to supress its own internal report on the situation in Ethiopia. (Note that JCICS is not and should never be described as a “watchdog” as the industry is by definition, unable to “watchdog” itself.)

Christian World Adoption belongs to both of the major trade lobbies. It is both a National Council for Adoption (NCFA) and Joint Council member agency.

Readers may also want to read across to the CWA page taking note of for example, the agency’s political connections:

Our director was former president and liaison between the JCICS and the U.S. Congress concerning adoption legislation.

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