The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Court Procedures Update

Just kidding. Apparently I'm not leaving you just yet. I was made aware of this blog, via a solid US agency this morning and I couldn't let it go.

You see, I am an uber-details person. So, I need more than just a paragraph detailing why the significant (!) slow down in referrals. I'm not content with status quo. And, because this is an Ethiopian Federal thing it won't pertain solely to those holding a red, white, and blue flag. It implicates us all folks.

I think it's important to glean as much info as we can and while there can often be a fine line (thread bare fine line, actually) between truth, rumour, and hypothesis, I also feel it is up to us to discern what is the truth. These are our children, after all.

Walk away with what you wish, but it gave me a glimmer of a smile this morning...simply because now I know a teeny bit more. This being so close thing isn't an easy one to swallow...not that I would change it for the world but it's still excruciatingly hard...and I realize I'm not even near the very start of the line.
(underlined comments are from the blog poster...enabling additional explanation for anything that is fuzzy)

  • The court now requires birth certificates issued by districts/kebeles (local areas of government in cities/village around the country - something along the lines of our Secretary of State office system) when the cases are submitted to court. This was not a requirement until now (previously birth certificates were not required until after the court approved the case, in preparation for the Embassy interview). The districts/kebeles are not used to (or prepared/having the capacity/experience in) issuing birth certificates. Hence, this is something new that they have started to practice after the regulation was made publicized (and therefore will take them some time to "ramp up" to get things moving along at a quicker pace).
  • In addition, photo of birth parents or guardians is required to be attached along with the child photo and should be attached on the document that has the life history of the child when we open files at court. Formerly, only the child’s photo was required to be attached. This is not a requirement for abandoned cases. (Thus getting the birth parents/guardians photos is another step in the process that will take time - getting these photos may (or may not) be easy, convenient, financially difficult - there are many possible barriers that could impede families from being able to do this quickly.)
  • The Court schedules two court dates for one case...for the birth and adoptive families respectively. They are approximately 20-30 days in separation to prevent the two parties from meeting at this stage in the process.
  • Yes, this will delay the pace of adoptions and referrals will slow until the local government offices become more accustomed to the new regulation(s).

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