On April 21, 2017 all international adoptions in Ethiopia were suspended indefinitely. More than 200 U.S. families have been suffering in limbo, unable to to bring home the children they are adopting.

On behalf of these families, 122 Members of Congress signed a letter reaching out to Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. The letter states their understanding that the Ethiopian government can change future adoption laws however they see fit, but ask for expedited resolution of the open cases between our countries. Most families have already formed attachments and bonded with one another. Terminating those relationships could have unnecessarily devastating consequences for those involved. About 30 families whose adoptions were completed at Federal First Instance Court have reached the end of the adoption process, but because of the suspension can’t get the required visa to leave with the child. Many of those children must return to orphanages even though the adoptive parents are legally responsible for their well-being.

The U.S. has a good history with the Ethiopian government, and we would like for that to continue. The letter was led by Senator Todd Young (R-IN) and the co-chairs of the Senate’s Adoption Caucas, Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), as well as Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI).

Read the personal stories of different families who have been affected. You can find the Orens’ story here and the Swiftneys’ story here.