Looking back, we can now say that 2013 was a dark year thanks in part to a series of high-profile cases involving adoptive parents and less-than honorable actions. As you may remember, a Reuters journalist uncovered a ring of adoptive parents who were giving up their children using online sites like Facebook. Because the new families were not vetted by adoption agencies, some children were relocated to unsafe homes where they suffered atrocities like abuse and neglect.
It’s in part because of these cases that some countries, including the Republic of Congo, suspended exit permits on children adopted by families in other countries. Unfortunately, the suspension put hundreds of families in a sort of legal limbo, which has taken years to sort out. For some families, the battle still continues as foreign ambassadors try their best to negotiate with Congolese leaders.
For a family in Virginia, the more than two-year wait is over; and in a matter of months, they will welcome two Congolese children into their home as their adopted children. Like hundreds of other families, the Virginia family was prevented from taking their legally adopted children home because of the exit permit suspension. They received a letter recently, though, stating their wait was finally over.
Though reports of this case, one of which appears in the Washington Post, do not indicate if any families in Maryland are waiting for any adopted Congolese children, the report does indicate that some 1,200 families, roughly a third of which are American, have been waiting for the Congo government to release restrictions. The hope is that more children will be released in the months to come, bringing a long and arduous adoption process to a happy close.
Sources: The Washington Post, “After two-year wait, Va. family can finally bring home adopted children,” Julie Zauzmer, Feb. 22, 2016
France 24 News, “Blocked adoptions in DR Congo: ‘It’s like our children are in prison’,” Aug. 18, 2016