Saturday, October 25, 2008


This is just bizarre. Absolutely bizarre. There is no discussion as to why they are issuing this statement but they did. The JCICS are advising prospective adoptive parents to not take their prospective adoptee out in public while in Ethiopia.

The first comment that stands out to me is the "non black comment." That is just totally weird. To read this advisory, it makes a person wonder what are we trying to hide. Resist Racism gives a very excellent commentary on the statement itself. It makes someone wonder why are we hiding over there. Are we doing something illegal as Ethiopia is new up and coming country of choice?

They came up with this list of principles to be abided by while in country in Ethiopia. The guidelines are something else that have alarm bells going off in my head as I think of the adoptive parents going to this country.


  1. All Due care must be given to demonstrate cultural sensitivities towards the country, people and government of Ethiopia.
  2. Full recognition of the questions, concerns, curiosities and suspicions must be given to the Government of Ethiopia and its citizens.
  3. It is recognized that adopting an Ethiopian child is a privilege of giving bestowed by the citizens and government of Ethiopia.
  4. It is recognized that every Ethiopian child has a right to a family - every family does not have an inherent right to an Ethiopian child.
  5. Actions and behaviors which may not appear offensive to U. S. adoptive parents, may in fact be extremely offensive to Ethiopian society.
  6. Actions and behaviors seen as culturally insensitive damage the institution of intercountry adoption and thereby limit opportunities for children in need to find a family.
  7. Actions and behaviors seen as culturally insensitive significantly contribute to the possible elimination of intercountry adoption in Ethiopia and thereby eliminate the right of every Ethiopian child to a safe, permanent, and loving family.
What this tells me - is leave the entitlement at home in the United States. It also says behave yourselves or you will cause the shutdown of our money making ability in international adoption. It also tells me that the government of Ethiopia is saying that we are watching you Americans and making sure that you are not doing anything unethical with our children.

The guidelines are sending serious red flags to me because of the profit that adoption agencies will gain.

  1. Adoption service providers will incorporate these principles and guidelines into their contractual or policy relationships with potential adoptive families.
  2. Adoption service providers will disclose the contractual or policy limitations related to cultural sensitivities to all prospective adoptive parents.
  3. Prior to taking custody of their adopted Ethiopian child, adoptive families may reside in a hotel during their stay
a. It is recommended that adoptive families utilize Ethiopian Guest Houses or a lodging facility operated by an adoption service provider during their entire stay in Ethiopia.

b. Adoptive families who have not take full custody of their adopted Ethiopia child may chose to utilize a hotel. In such cases the adoptive parents may visit their adopted Ethiopian child daily at the child care center.

4. Upon taking custody of their adopted Ethiopian child, adoptive parents will utilize Ethiopian Guest Houses or a lodging facility by an adoption agency service provider.

5. Adoptive families will refrain from in country travel with their adopted Ethiopian child. Exceptions to this are limited to the visa appointment at the U. S. Embassy, other adoption related events, and an emergency situation.

6. Adoptive families will refrain from pressuring their adoption agency provider or in country staff to violate these principles, guidelines and/ or agency policies representing these principles and guidelines.

First and foremost, my husband even said that it sounds like they are stealing children. Second, I see with the hotel requirements alone the potential for serious corruption. I can see adoptive parents being charged double and triple charges for their hotel stay. As Resist Racism suggests, nothing done in secrecy is ever a good thing. What this tells me is that the Ethiopian Government is on to adoption agencies around the world. They are not going to allow children to be stolen from their families.

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