ADOPTION HALT: Families Waiting For Their Children

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Waiting and worrying, hundreds of US families want answers on what needs to be done so they can bring their adopted children home.

The Democratic Republic of Congo stopped issuing exit letters for all adoptions in September. This halted the adoption process for hundreds of families including families that are legally considered the child’s parents.

According the U.S. Department of State this moratorium of all international adoptions is due to the DRC’s “concerns over reports that children adopted from the Democratic Republic of the Congo may be either abused by adoptive families or adopted by a second set of parents once in their receiving countries" and reports of fraudulently obtained documentation.

Parents Katie and Ryan Ong have legally adopted two-year-old Moses. Their last name is on his birth certificate. But because the DRC is not issuing any new exit letters at this time, his parents cannot take him outside of the country.

The organization “Both Ends Burning” works to protect and advocate for the rights of orphaned children. Earlier this week the organization posted an online petition asking U.S. leaders to do more. So far it has nearly 100,000 signatures. “I think it was just when the U.S. Department of State couldn’t even tell us how many families were affected, that we became pretty appalled and decided that we were going to step forward and do our very best to make sure these kids got home to their families,” said “Both Ends Burning” general council Kelly Dempsey.

Dempsey says data suggests that many orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo do not live beyond their fifth birthday.

You can check out the petition here.


  • Thomas Offal

    This article fails to mention that:

    – Americans are not entitled to adopt Congolese kids (it’s a privilege that DRC can revoke for any or no reason at all)
    – DRC is a sovereign nation and thus entitled to not issue exit permits to its citizens for any (or no) reason at all
    – Adopted on paper kids are presently Congolese citizens ONLY (they don’t become US citizens til they step onto US soil

    The reason DRC stopped issuing exit permits is because of corruption and falsified paperwork, in addition to the (mis)treatment of DRC kids in the US by adoptive US parents.

    Potential adoptive parents are spending upswards of $35k to adopt and $600/month in “foster care fees” on the DRC kids they’re hoping to adopt — in a country where the per capita income is the princlely sum of $368/year. The money well-intentioned but woefully misguided folks are spending is what CREATES faux orphans — so much money that it becomes an incentive to TRAFFIC kids into international adoption!!

    The PAPs cite the that DRC is very poor, can’t provide basics like water to its citizens and has so few social services that theyre basically non-existent as a reason to expedite the issuance of exit permits… failing to notice that the PRACTICALLY non-existant Congolese social services are the ones responsible for verifyign that each an every kid is truly an orphan in neeed of a new foreign family!

  • Lily

    John Dean, how many American kids have you adopted ? If none, how are YOU helping American orphans? Are Americans more deserving of families than children from other countries? We all need to find a way to help people- maybe you should try to find yours.

    Ong family- Praying your family is together soon!

    • Thomas

      Lily – I help US parentless kids (not necessarily orphans) by helping their first families get the support they need in order to keep and care for their own beloved kids.

      Of course, American kids are no more deserving of families than children from overseas! American kids are entitled to raise their own, beloved biological kids just as much as parents overseas are entitled to raise their own, beloved biological kids. In the US, there are laws in place in prevent well-intentioned individuals from snatching a kid who HAS parents/extended family, sneaking them out of the country and raising them as their own.

      In DRC? Congolese kids do NOT yet have those basic protections! There are American adoptive parents who BRAG about having taken their now-adopted Congolese kid to the United States WITHOUT the mandatory DGM exit permit! They literally adopted TRAFFICKED KIDS! They’re PROUD of themselves for having done so, just read the comments here:

    • Thomas


      You would be up in arms (and justifiably so!) if, say, rich Swiss banking family snatched a very poor American kid (living with their biological family, but, say dependent on food stamps and maybe a Section 8 housing voucher), smuggled them out of the country and then raised that kid as their own, bragging about having “rescued” the kid from a life in small, crowded apartment shared with their single dad and three siblings… in order to give them a “better” life in Switzerland, where wealthy Swiss family owned a huge house (each kid had their own bedroom and bathroom, with a maid to clean several times a week; no shared bedrooms like with Biodad!), fed the kid only gourmet organic food (none of the non-organic apples and mac & cheese Biodad fed them in the US) and took them on exotic, educational trips during school breaks (instead of staying with Biomom or maybe going camping in a nearby state park in the US).

      How, exactly, is it snatching a Congolese kid from their poor-but-loving Congolese family to give them a “better” life any life any different? Should the hypothetical rich Swiss family get to keep the US kid from a poor-but-loving family so they can have a “better” life???

  • Heart breaking

    It is a sad state of affairs that there are more unwanted children than there are families looking for children.

    I have never adopted a child. I had also been of the opinion that you should look in the US first. Then some friends of ours adopted a baby here, brought her home from the hospital. Six months later, the biological father’s family showed up. They wanted the baby. After a battle, my friends gave up the little girl. They didn’t want to put her through years of legal battles, not knowing who her family was going to be.

    Perhaps if we fixed the welfare system in our country, there wouldn’t be so many unwanted kids here. Yes, some of those kids have ‘families’, but the only thing the children are wanted for is to increase the welfare check.
    I realize there are a lot of people out there that are on welfare because they truly need it to survive, maybe to get through a divorce, or death of a bread winner. Those people are not having another baby every 12-24 months either. If you are on welfare, you should have to have mandatory drug screening, and, for women, you should have to get the birth control shot. Scream that I am invading your rights all you want. When you asked me and my family to support you and your children, you gave up the right to take drugs and have drug-addicted children as quickly as you could.

    We can’t control what other countries do, but, here in the US. we need to take the stigma out of birth control and make it readily available to those willing to use it. You are not going to stop people from having sex It is one of our most basic drives/instincts.

    You can say that it goes against some people’s religions to use birth control. (technically it does mine too). but, it also goes against my religion to have sex for any reason other than pro-creation. So….if you aren’t trying to have another child, you shouldn’t be having sex. If you are, even though it’s against your religion, you should also be able to go against your religion to avoid having a child that you do not want. I don’t believe ANY God wants to see a child born into poverty, starvation, abuse, etc.

  • William Denison

    The first words these proud parents should teach their kids is “Human trafficking”.

  • RoccoB

    Liberal white guilt is always good for $40-50,000 in adoption shake down fees from these 3rd world countries.

    • William Denison

      The child is brought to a free country to grow up never knowing freedom but rather the crushing weight of being a member of a cult.

      • What planet do you live on?

        so…only cult members adopt children? You are a sad, pathetic and lonely man, aren’t you William Denison?

    • Thomas

      Actually, the $40-50K pays for the corruption, for the TRAFFICKING of DRC kids WITH FAMILIES into international adoption for PROFIT!

  • Katie C.

    Prayers for the Ong family and all families like them that are simply trying give a child a love and a family. The first commenter is copying and pasting the same weak arguments everywhere DRC adoptions are mentioned…the rest of you? I hope that if your comments really come from a place of concern for children, you will find a way to turn that concern into an action of love.

  • Mary R

    Those of you who are being critical need to understand that not all adoptive families can be lumped together. This family has no need to adopt. They want to adopt to do something to help, to make a difference. Not just to talk about doing something, but to actually do it. This is not a wealthy family. They have made financial sacrifices that most of you would not be willing to make in order to adopt this child.

    They have researched carefully the agency that they are working with because there ARE those in the DRC that do take children from their families in order to profit. But not every agency is corrupt. Not every child is a “faux” orphan. Some desperately need a home and a family.

    How do I know this? Katie is my daughter. And I am VERY proud of her and Ryan!

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