Why Are So Many Orphans Trapped In The Congo?

The Democratic Republic of Congo has suffered the loss of millions of lives, and as a consequence more than 4 million children are orphaned.

Instability and violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo has created millions of orphans. Many people around the world have been moved by the plight of these innocent victims and some have reached out to adopt these children. These adoptions, however, have raised concerns for the Congolese government and, in response, they suspended the issuance of exit permits for these children. This means that even children who have been legally adopted are unable to leave the country.

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The exit permit suspension affected any adoptions that were approved on or after September 25, 2013. In some cases, families who have legally adopted a child in the Congo have waited since then, unable to bring their child home for nearly two years. Some people have dealt with this through visits and Skype sessions, others have stayed in the DRC to be with their children. The Congolese Ministry of Interior and Security instituted the suspension citing concerns about the welfare of these children once they move to their new homes.

As of now, according to the New York Times, this suspension has kept 1,100 adopted children from their families in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. An additional 400 children had their adoptions to Americans halted mid-process. It has been reported that in June, the U.S. State Department informed anxious parents that they started a commission to look over pending cases in an attempt to speed up this seemingly stagnant process.

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Read more about adoptions in the Congo:

U.S. News and World Report: After 2 years of frustration, waiting families hope halt in Congo adoptions is about to end

New York Times: Congolese Children, Adopted Years Ago, May Soon Be Permitted to Travel to New Homes