Letter to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn - Senators Blunt, Klobuchar, Young Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter to Ethiopian Prime Minister on Adoptions


By:  Maria Cantwell Patty Murray Mike Lee Orrin Hatch John Cornyn Tim Scott Lindsey Graham Jeff Merkley Ron Wyden James Lankford Jim Inhofe Rob Portman Sherrod Brown Kirsten Gillibrand Bob Menendez Jeanne Shaheen Heidi Heitkamp John Hoeven Thom Tillis Richard Burr Steve Daines Thad Cochran Claire McCaskill Al Franken Amy Klobuchar Gary Peters Chris Van Hollen, Jr. Bill Cassidy Rand Paul Mitch McConnell Jerry Moran Todd Young Joe Donnelly, Sr. Tammy Duckworth Chuck Grassley David Perdue Johnny Isakson Marco Rubio Bill Nelson, Sr. Chris Coons Michael Bennet Dianne Feinstein Tom Cotton John Boozman Luther Strange III Richard Shelby Barbara Comstock Don Beyer, Jr. Mia Love Steve Cohen David Kustoff Marsha Blackburn Scott DesJarlais Phil Roe Ryan Costello Mike Kelly Peter DeFazio Greg Walden Suzanne Bonamici Bill Johnson Sean Maloney Dan Donovan, Jr. Pete King Kevin Cramer David Rouzer Roger Wicker Billy Long Tom Emmer Keith Ellison Jason Lewis Brenda Lawrence Tim Walberg Fred Upton Justin Amash Bill Huizenga Anthony Brown Ed Markey Jim McGovern James Comer, Jr. André Carson Luke Messer Susan Brooks Todd Rokita Jim Banks Jackie Walorski Rick Allen Barry Loudermilk Jody Hice Hank Johnson, Jr. Sanford Bishop, Jr. Tom Rooney John Rutherford Lisa Blunt Rochester Ed Perlmutter Doug Lamborn Jared Polis Ed Royce Zoe Lofgren Mike Thompson Doug LaMalfa Trent Franks Bruce Westerman Steve Womack French Hill Terri Sewell Gary Palmer Mo Brooks Robert Aderholt Mike Rogers Roy Blunt
Date: Dec. 6, 2017
Location: Washington, DC

Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn,

We write to express our gratitude for the actions your government has taken in response to our letter on May 26, 2017, regarding intercountry adoptions. Thanks to your government's cooperation, many children have been united with loving adoptive families. With gratitude for your previous efforts, we seek your continued assistance with the remaining cases in which American families have pending adoptions in various phases of completion. We feel strongly that any case involving an Ethiopian child matched with an adoptive family should be allowed to continue to completion under the Revised Family Code of 2000. With expeditious resolution of this issue, it is our hope that the bilateral relationship between our two countries can deepen further.

We continue to understand the Ethiopian government's decision regarding future adoption policy. However, according to the U.S. Department of State, there are more than 200 cases in which American families have pending adoptions in various phases of completion. We believe that Ethiopia's pursuit of new adoption legislation must not prevent children who have already been matched with adoptive families from having the opportunity to complete their adoptions according to the law under which they were initiated.

We share your government's concern for the security and welfare of children. Children often form important emotional bonds with the adoptive families with whom they have been "matched." We fear that failing to allow these prospective adoptive parents to complete their adoption processes will impose additional suffering on these children. This is why we remain resolute in our desire to work with you to resolve this situation.

Thank you for your continued attention to this important matter. Our two governments have demonstrated the ability to work cooperatively on a variety of issues. We hope that this issue continues to be among them. We trust that you will work closely with the Department of State to establish a way to unite these children with their adoptive families.

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