News Brief: Ethiopia Passes Law Banning Intercountry Adoption

Following a suspension of intercountry adoption in April 2017, Ethiopia passed formal legislation banning intercountry adoption in January 2018.

Ethiopia passed a law banning intercountry adoption in January 2018

On January 9, 2018, Ethiopia passed legislation formally banning intercountry adoption. This news follows an April 2017 suspension of the country’s program, and the October 2017 announcement that it planned to end its intercountry adoption program. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) does not yet know how the Ethiopian government will process pending cases.

Ethiopia’s state news agency has said that the ban will “enable children to grow up in Ethiopian culture, custom, social values and practices of their birth place.”

Since 1999, more than 15,000 children have been adopted from Ethiopia by U.S. families. The annual total reached a high of 2,511 children adopted in 2010, and had been falling in recent years. In 2016, 182 children were adopted.

If you are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia, please stay in close contact with your agency and monitor adoption.state.gov to stay up to date.

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