DearColleague.us

Letter

From: The Honorable Collin C. Peterson
Sent By: natalie.winters@mail.house.gov
Date: 4/11/2014

Become an Original Cosponsor

Resume International Adoptions in DRC

Dear Colleague:

I invite you to join me and cosponsor a House Resolution addressing the suspension of exit permit issuances for adopted children in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

As you know, adoptions from the Democratic Republic of Congo were effectively suspended in September 2013. The Congolese Immigration Authorities informed the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa that they would no longer be issuing exit permits to adopted children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents. This was indicated to be on a temporary basis, but to this day, intercountry adoptions remain barred from moving forward. The State Department has been engaged in a dialogue with the Congolese government, but we still have no indication when or if adoptions will resume. It is clear to me that further action is required.

According to UNICEF, over four million orphans are estimated to be living in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Violent armed conflicts have disrupted generations of families since the mid-1990s, and the AIDS epidemic alone has orphaned millions of children. Many of these children now find themselves trapped in the system and unable to join their adoptive families in the United States and elsewhere who are waiting to provide a loving home.

As a world leader, the United States has a responsibility to act. The interminable plight of these children is unacceptable.

This legislation affirms the right of all children to a permanent, loving family. It strongly urges the Congolese government to reconsider this harmful policy and resume the issuance of exit permit issuances to adopted children, making sure to prioritize the processing of those adoptions that were initiated during the period of suspension.

Join me in sending this message to the Congolese government. If you would like to become an original cosponsor or obtain more information, please contact Natalie Winters at natalie.winters@mail.house.gov

Sincerely,

Collin C. Peterson
Member of Congress