A few weeks after we got home, the U.S. Embassy in Liberia announced they would be changing the way visa's were given to Liberian children and basically slowing things down for adoptions. The reason: A new woman in charge named Alma. From my understanding Alma thought there were too many adoptions going on and the previous article shows some of the concerns. They now have stricter guidelines. You can only have your visa interview on Thursdays (your out of luck if you miss it, have to wait until the next week) Birth families have to come to the embassy to relinquish rights. The hardship this may cause is amazing, especially if its the rainy season and the family lives in the interior or several hours away. Also, if you are having your child adopted, who has the money to come to Monrovia. Other things like documents will be snail mailed instead of e-mailed is new protocal.
I must admit I don't understand it all but it sounds like more confusion and the inevitable more waiting. Some have said it will push things back three weeks. At one point families worried adoptions would stop. But since then we have seen Alma does have a heart. A few agencies have met with her and she has agreed to make some concessions. In one case she was not happy with documentation of a child but allowed the child to leave with their family because she didn't know what would happen to the child.
Yes, there are a lot of adoptions in Liberia. But there are also some good reasons for that. One, Liberia is one of a handful of countries that actually does international adoptions in Africa. Two, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. As a parent if you have the choice to have your child starve to death or go be with a family that has opportunity written all over it, isn't it a no brainer. It's all sad. Liberia needs a lot of help to allow parents to actually raise their children. I'm afraid that won't be happening for quite some time.