Why were those countries closing?

Recently my mom asked me WHY are all of these countries closing to the US. First Guatemala, then Russia, Nepal and Rwanda (and many other countries have had changes in their policies as well).

Well, on the surface level I am sure that Satan HATES adoption because of its clear picture of the gospel, and because God calls us to care for those in need and Satan wants to ruin God's plans!

Then again, from my social work perspective, adoption should be proceeded in a child-centered way, and ethics need to be a priority!! So situations where families reject legally adopted children, or adopted children aren't really orphans- there needs to be investigation and best practice policies established!!!

Here is my (personal) opinion, and what I, with my limited internet research, am finding regarding the recent closures. All italicized words are quotes, and I did my best to link to my research.

Nepal suspended adoptions for "abandoned children" because there was the possibility of unethical things happening. Allegedly, kids were being put up for adoption and their families were looking for them. This wasn't the case for EVERY child, but enough situations in which there needed to be firmer policies put in place to make sure orphaned children really are orphaned, and not exploited kids who are sold.

The official statement says "To the best of our knowledge, all other countries that had been processing adoption cases from Nepal have stopped accepting new cases due to a lack of confidence that children presented as orphans are actually eligible for intercountry adoption."
Read the official reports here and here.


Rwanda temporarily closed because it is going to now become a part of the "Hague Convention" (which means a lot more paperwork/reworded paperwork that adoptive families have to do), and because they also needed to restructure their adoption program. They also are extremely understaffed so they are way behind in matching children with families. Rwanda looks a lot more positive in opening back up at some point soon, and they will process all dossiers (paperwork) that are dated August 31, 2010 which means that "official" waiting families (like us) will still be matched with children.

The official statement says: "Effective August 31, 2010,the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MGFP) in Rwanda is temporarily suspending all new applications for intercountry adoptions so they can prepare for accession to the Hague Convention. MGFP announced that applications from prospective adoption parents already received by the Ministry or any Rwandan Embassy before the above mentioned date will be processed. More information will be provided as updates are received from the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda."

Read official reports here.

What is the Hague Convention?
"Question: What Is the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption?
Answer:The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption is an international agreement between participating countries on best adoption procedures. These procedures have basically two goals in mind:
  • The best interest of children are considered with each intercountry adoption.
  • The prevention of abduction, exploitation, sale, or trafficking of children.

The guidelines and procedures that are set forth in the Hague Convention are also for the protection of birth families, as well as adoptive families. Part of the Convention's guidelines ensures that one Central Authority is in place in each country so that adoptive parents get the most accurate information regarding adoption. The Department of State is the U.S. Central Authority for the Convention. According to the State Department's Web site, implementing the principles of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption is the State Department's top priority at this time. They hope that the U.S. will be a Hague Convention country by late 2007 or early 2008."

Source found here.

Although Ethiopia is not a Hague country, AGCI requires that we fill out our paperwork according to Hague standards.

Regarding the Ethiopian Process
One of the AGCI Caseworkers just returned from Ethiopia, and noted:
"When traveling to the South [of Ethiopia] especially, I was struck by the difficulty involved in completing the relinquishment or abandonment process for a child, a process that happens before AGCI or any other agency can even consider advocating for the placement of a child with an adoptive family. To give you a little background information, when a case is being processed for relinquishment or abandonment, there are essentially 3 main entities involved. The first is the Kebele, a part of the government that actually has to process the legal documents and officially approve a child for placement. The second is the birth family member currently caring for the child. Lastly, there is the social worker through a government affiliated orphanage who is actually communicating with the birth family. The Social workers role includes, helping them complete the necessary paperwork to submit to the Kebele for relinquishment and asking all those “right questions” to be sure that the birth family is truthful about their living circumstances, age of the child, medical information, social history, etc."

"Even after that point though when AGCI or another agency is assigned a child for placement, the process is not quite done. Due to the increasing scrutiny by the US Embassy and media attention on adoptions in Ethiopia, it has become increasingly important for agencies to also follow up on the details of each case to confirm the information is true, check for any discrepancies in information, and be sure all viable facts are known and presented as accurately as possible. This means even after a child is assigned to AGCI there may still be discrepancies to correct or further information to clarify or be gathered before we can refer a child. Finally, once these facts are confirmed by our staff we are able to officially place a child with their forever family and jump into the court process. All in all, this entire abandonment or relinquishment process can be anywhere from a few days to many, many months depending on all the variables involved in each case."

If International Adoption is so Unpredictable, Why Do it??
But if the uncertainty of adoption scares you, think about this: if we KNOW that God has called us to care for the orphans, and you are feeling a tug to adopt, are you really going to let FEAR hold you back? Even if we don't see our plans come to fruition, wouldn't it be better to answer to God and say that you answered his call obediently, no matter the outcome?

"If the LORD delights in a man's way,

he makes his steps firm;

though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand. "

Psalm 37: 23-24

I hope you found this helpful and informative!

To find out information on lots of other countries & adoption updates, click here.
(Please note that italicized words in this post are quotes, the rest is of my opinion/research.)


  1. My husband and I were talking about this the other day, about the possibility of Ethiopia closing before we bring our daughter home. It used to really scare me, but he was talking about how much this process has already changed him and grown him and grown us closer together. It's given us such a vision of God's love for us and the love we need to have for orphans. And he's so right. This process has changed me so much already. It would be worth the $15,000 we've already invested. We would just start over again from another country and continue on :)


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