International Adoption Update – The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Adoption STAR International Adoption Coordinator Meg Montgomery shares important news affecting families interested in adopting a child from the DRC.
Almost 2 years ago, the Congolese government informed the U.S. Embassy that they would no longer issue exit permits for children of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This was a restriction that was initially expected to last about a year. However, we’ve recently learned that this restriction will now remain effective indefinitely.

Not yet party to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, it is understood that the government of the DRC is currently investigating their own adoption procedures for children of the DRC in relation to international adoption.

The suspension of these exit permits includes all children of the DRC, including some that have already been legally adopted (where both the Congolese courts and the U.S. Embassy have approved the adoptions) by American families from the DRC.

Since the exit permits that are being withheld are an imperative piece of paperwork needed by children traveling to the United States from the DRC, many of the children whose families had completed their adoptions in the DRC are still waiting to be joined together permanently.

In response to the hundreds of families impacted by the suspension, efforts have been made on the part of the U.S. government to urge the government of the DRC to resume international adoptions.

For the time being, the U.S. Department of State has asked all adoption agencies to cease referring new DRC adoption cases for U.S. prospective adoptive parents and strongly recommends against initiating an adoption in the DRC.

Hopefully soon we will see a resolution for the orphaned children of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and an ethical adoption program in the DRC if that is in the best interest of the children. Democratic Republic of the Congo