Are there children available for adoption in Ethiopia? There are over five million orphans! Why is the wait so long when there are so many children who need loving families?
I have wanted to post something addressing this for a while now but couldn't decide if it would benefit or discourage adoptive families. In the end, i decided it would be "unjust" to put it lightly, for me not to share what i see on the ground.
Are there children who are orphaned and need homes? Yes. Are there children who are adoptable? Not too many, at least not right now. Let me explain why.
One reaseon is there are over fifty licensed child placing agencies operating in Ethiopia (at least 20 of these agencies are based in the US). Surely that shouldn't be a problem when there are so many orphans? Not true. While there are many agencies, serving many adoptive families and ready to place a child as soon as he or she enters an orphange, there are simply not many children who are ready to be placed. You may have recently gone to Ethiopia and visited orphanages overflowing with children. Most of them are not paper ready. But even those who are not paper ready are older children. You will not find too many available infants.
The relicensing of many agencies (after a few months of standstill) may be seen as a good sign for adoptions from Ethiopia. Here is the problem however, the process of declaring a child an orphan and adoptable has changed. This means that you will not see many infants who are ready to be placed. So the realtly in Ethiopia right now is there are many agencies but not enough infants who can be placed.
My sincere advice to families;
1. Please be willing to wait. I understand how painful it could be. But when there are not that many adoptable children , it simply means orphanages and agencies are not able to meet demand. This opens a door for corruption. It will cease to be about best interest of children. I hate to use a market analysis however, imagine what happens when demand rises but what is being demanded is few. There simply are not many infants. To keep the integrity of adoptions in Ethiopia, families must be willing to wait so that there are no orphans created to meet demand.
2. Consider adopting a special needs or older child (3 to 5 are not older children in Ethiopia as there is as much demand for children in that age range). There is always a child in this catagory.
However, if any adoptive family wants their baby girl right this minute. The family must be willing to accept that their demand is driving adoption in Ethiopia in the very wrong direction. Unless more children become available, i urge families to understand that, while there is nothing wrong to wanting to adopt an infant, they have to be willing to wait. Because i know the last thing you want, is to learn that an orphan was created or bartered to meet demand.
Anyone who knows me (or knows about me) also knows i support adoption, an adoption that is child centered and not centered to meeting the demands of the ever popular, Ethiopian adoption.