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Adoption from Ethiopia is open, but ran into a roadblock in 2011. The Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs announced it would reduce the number of intercountry adoption cases processed, from 50 per work day down to five a day, starting Mar. 10, 2011.

Growth in the first decade of the 21st century was rapid. The number of children which Ethiopia sent abroad rose from 854 in 2003 to 4,506 in 2009. Year-by-year figures are available.

Adoptions to both the U.S. and Canada increased notably in 2007-2008. In the U.S. the numbers were 1,725 in 2008, vs. 1,255 in 2007.

In Canada the 135 Ethiopian children adopted into Canada in 2007 represented 74 more than the year before, an increase of 121%.

The rising number of orphans in Ethiopia resulting from HIV/AIDS and poverty has led to an increase in the number of children placed abroad. The number of Ethiopian children adopted internationally doubled from the previous year, to 1,400, with most children going to France, Australia, the United States and Ireland. In addition, the number of adoption agencies in the capital of Addis Ababa has doubled, to 30. [--Reuters AlertNet, "Ethiopia: Coping with Increasing Orphan Numbers through Adoption," Jan. 10, 2005]

A May 24, 2006 article in The Globe and Mail (Toronto), "Out of Africa, A Trickle of Orphans," stated that of the 53 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, international adoptions routinely take place only from Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Liberia, despite the millions of orphans across the continent. Some countries such as Nigeria and Sudan forbid adoption, while others, including Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, permit it but make the process so hard, for instance, by requiring adoptive parents to live in the country for several years, that international adoptions effectively do not occur. Most African cultures have traditionally relied on extended family and the community to care for children. Interest in Ethiopia has grown since actor Angelina Jolie adopted an Ethiopian baby girl in 2005. Roberta Galbraith, director of Manitoba-based CAFAC Intercountry Adoptions, said that as awareness of the relative ease of adopting from Ethiopia has grown, there has been a surge in interest. CAFAC now has 90 families in the process. An Ethiopian child can be adopted in about 18 months, at a cost of $15,000 to $20,000, including the legal process in Ethiopia and fostering for the child while that is under way.

In the Nov. 2, 2006 article "Madonna's Adoption in Malawi May Lead Others To Africa" The New York Sun reported that Americans are increasingly interested in adopting from Ethiopia and Liberia. Agency director Cheryl Carter-Shotts said that stars like Angelina Jolie, who took home an Ethiopian daughter last year, are spurring the rise in African adoption. Her agency, Americans for African Adoption, charges adoption fees of $4,500 for Liberia and $7,500 for Ethiopia, not including travel, significantly less than other countries.

Statistics on international adoptions to the U.S. from the U.S. State Department showed that Ethiopia made the top five for the first time, after China, Guatemala, Russia and Korea. Adoptions from Ethiopia rose 66% for fiscal 2006 (441 in FY05, to 732 in FY06). It was the only country in the top eight to show an increase over one year, also outpacing Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Liberia.

A Sept. 13, 2008 Toronto Star article "Doors closing on foreign adoptions" stated, "Some estimate that, because of AIDS and catastrophic drought, there may be 5 million Ethiopian orphans by 2010."

The Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs announced it would reduce the number of intercountry adoption cases processed, from 50 per work day down to five a day, starting Mar. 10, 2011.


For resources on Ethiopia adoption, see Adoption Resource Central, Country-specific Resources - Ethiopia.

See especially: Ethiopia Board - CAFAC International Adoption, Ethiopia FAQs. Also China and other countries. 110 members. Administrator is Shelley.

Find an agency for the country you've chosen: Agency Chooser,

Descriptions of agency programs are at Adoption Agencies,

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