"I will not leave you as orphans..." - John 14:18


The question has been posed - how is it ensured that the children being adopted from Ethiopia are being obtained and adopted ethically?  The issue is coming into question as a result of the recent decision by the Ethiopian government to potentially reduce international adoptions citing concerns pertaining to potential corruption within the international adoption system within Ethiopia.  

The Joint Council on International Children's Services, a non-profit organization whose mission is "to advocate for, and protect the right of every child to a safe, permanent and loving family," immediately initiated an emergency campaign in order to advocate for the millions of orphans who would be left with little or no chance at obtaining a forever family.  In the petition, Joint Council said:
"The Ministry’s plan to reduce intercountry adoption by 90% is a tragic, unnecessary and a disproportionate reaction to concerns of isolated abuses in the intercountry adoption process. 

We support the Ministry’s goal of ensuring ethical adoptions that serve the best interest of children and serve all vulnerable children & families. 
We respectfully urge the Ministry to consider the overwhelmingly positive, ethical and legal services provided to children and families through intercountry adoption. Rather than eliminate the right of Ethiopian children to a permanent family, we encourage the Ministry to accept the partnerships offered by governments, NGOs, and foundations. 
Such partnerships could increase the Ministry’s capacity to regulate service providers, further ensure ethical adoptions and expand services to more families and children.
We, respectfully urge the Ministry of Women’s, Children's and Youth Affairs to reconsider its plan and to partner with governments, NGOs and foundations to achieve their goals and avoid the coming tragedy for children and families."
Now, the concern here is "isolated abuses in the intercountry adoption process."  What does this mean?  From our understanding, it seems as though there were concerns that some agencies were obtaining children to refer to potential adoptive parents through less than upstanding methods.  There are reports of cases where biological parents were coerced to give up their parental rights, etc.  

Many organizations are currently at work to improve the international adoption system to ensure that corruption is eradicated!  Travis and I are not in this to simply adopt a child regardless of the means.  We are committed to ensuring that any child that we adopt is truly and ethically deemed an orphan.  That being said, though we already had confidence in our agency's ethics, we posed the question once again after the recent upheaval.  And we are once again more than satisfied with their answer, and we are confident that our adoption will be conducted in a worthy manner!   

To let you in on it a little bit...our agency, All God's Children International (AGCI), has always operated above reproach.  The policies and procedures that they have had and will continue to have include double checking all the information that has been presented to them about each and every child they place BEFORE they make a referral of a child to prospective parents.  This includes traveling, if necessary, to conduct interviews with anyone involved, including birth parents, extended family, other villagers, etc.  

Truly, AGCI takes this seriously. AGCI is a non-profit and "is an orphan care ministry dedicated to rescuing and caring for children around the world by providing the shelter, care and love that every child deserves."  They are primarily a ministry, accountable to God, and are focused on taking care of the fatherless in this world - part of that mission allows them to process adoptions.  They are committed to ensuring that each and every adoption is conducted with the utmost ethical standards!

The international adoption climate within Ethiopia is one that is currently changing, hopefully for the better.  The Ethiopian government, the US Department of State, the US Embassy, as well as many, many other respectable agencies are committed to doing right by the almost 5 million Ethiopian orphans! But ultimately, God is in control, and I pray that His will be done for these many orphans, for their birth parents and their family, for the country of Ethiopia, and for prospective adoptive parents.