I have been away from my emails and groups for some time and I'm just catching up. Seems like I've missed a lot and my heart is saddened by the latest news on Liberia's front. Please read what Donna from Acres of Hope has shared with us:
* The consular is requiring adoption agency's to make an appointment for a pre-visa interview. That can only be done on a certain day and only for a couple hours that day. After the petition has been filed; the consular requires 3 weeks to conduct a mandatory I-604-Determination on Child for Adoption.
-Due to security concerns; the consular staff is requiring that agency's bring in the relinquishing birth parent for an interview with the consular. Families within the city will be required to come in as well. Furthermore, DNA testing will be required for all cases which consular staff cannot determine parentage by interview.
-Adoption providers can drop off documents pertaining to adoptions on Thursdays from 2-4:00pm.
-Adoptive parents should not schedule return flights to the U.S. until the consular provides the date a visa will be issued. Parents cannot meet with the consular unless they have a visa interview which can only be Thursdays from 2-4.
*The embassy gets its directions from the state dept. in Washington. They don't want to stop adoptions. They just want to slow them down to such a point that parents will be discouraged and not adopt from this country. They are now considering requiring parents to stay in country for a month. If the agency cannot locate the parent to your child then they will not issue a visa.
Parents need to be VERY concerned and get involved now. We need families to write letters. Use statistics. Child Institutional care is not what is best for kids no matter what country. They want the kids to be kept here (what kind of culture is an orphanage?) yet we just read last week how they are closing orphanages and returning kids to parents who cannot care for them. Letters need to be written reminding the state dept of the Geneva convention- a child's right to be adopted. This goes far beyond clothes, food, medicine, and education for kids. Institutional care is not the answer. Patty (AoH director) is making plans to go to the embassy early next week with other people.
We know that 70% of kids in private foster care in the U.S, alone end up in prison. And that is in the U.S.! What is this doing to the children in Liberia? Realize that this affects everyone adopting. No one is left out. This will cause the cost of adoptions to rise again as it will take so much more longer for the kids to come home. Families whose kids are home- take action. Don't think that because your children are home you can breathe a sigh a relief. You have an obligation to get involved for your adopted children's sake. This is their home country and many more children need your help.
My 2 cents- UNICEF is a driving force. They fund the social services department of Liberia. They are convincing them that adoption is big business and all these kids are going to leave the country. I hope this stirs everyone into action.
I know I will be taking action to do what I can. Even if you may not be adopting from Liberia, you too can help us families that are! Please, please, please help us out!!!
Katy has posted about this as well, and if you scroll down she tells how it will affect the children in Liberia. This really breaks my heart and I want you to join me in PRAYING for Liberia, for the orphans and for those in power to change these new rules.