We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

Mixed messages on first family contact

My adoption agency has not given us any more information formally about post-adoption contact with birth families (or first families, the term we use with Bug and Giggle). However, a friend (the kind you only know online but really like anyway) talked to them and was told that post-adoption contact was suspended indefinitely. It wasn’t going to be a short-term thing.

Another woman with our agency reported getting caught in the middle of a visa nightmare. She has adopted her child through the Ethiopian court system (from abroad), but the US Embassy won’t issue an immigration visa because the child doesn’t qualify for orphan status (he or she has two living parents who apparently relinquished him or her). So the child and the adoptive mother, who have a legal relationship according to the Ethiopian courts, have never met… and it seems the US might not recognize this relationship ever. And it’s not clear what’s going to happen to this poor little kid caught in the middle of a big government mess.

So that seems like just the sort of horrifying situation we all imagined but hoped was only hypothetical. It is up to the agency to make sure that children whom they refer to families are eligible for US immigration, and so it’s no wonder the agency is reacting so seriously.

Yet, in the middle of all this, another adoptive family in Addis reported meeting their child’s first mother, a visit arranged by the agency in Ethiopia, who said that since none of the other agencies had stopped first family meetings, they wouldn’t either.

Are you confused? Me too. I’ll post any updates as I hear them.

(I should also add that I won’t be discussing any details of my kids’ first families out of respect for my kids’ privacy.)

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13 February 2008 - Posted by | adoption, ethiopia

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