(CBS) Citing "concerns about recent media reports," the U.S. Department of State has made a key change to the process of adopting Ethiopian orphans to the U.S.
The Embassy in Addis Ababa now requires an I-604 or so-called "orphan investigation" into the background and status of every child in the process of getting a visa to come to the US with an adoptive family.
Until now that investigation was at the discretion of consular officers on the ground. The new rule change will likely add several weeks and in some cases months to the adoption process in Ethiopia which takes US families on average about nine months to complete.
Dated March 5, the memo said, “The Department of State shares families’ concerns about recent media reports alleging direct recruitment of children from birth parents by adoption service providers or their employees.”
CBS News reported on February 15th the complaints of several families against Christian World Adoption, a South-Carolina based agency involved in adoptions in Ethiopia. The Bradshaw family, among them, claimed local employees of the agency had been involved in recruiting their children even paying their biological father.
ABC Australia produced an in depth piece on Christian World Adoption and the Bradshaw family that aired March 2.