WASHINGTON, DC — H.E. François Balumuene, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the United States, announced today that the DRC government has approved the adoption of an additional 37 Congolese children to American families. This action follows the approval of 241 applications in two tranches last month and and the approval of more than 70 cases in November – for a total of more than 340 cases approved in the past five months.

“I am pleased that after a concerted effort by multiple agencies, our government has resolved these cases and has ensured that more Congolese children can be united with loving adoptive parents and families,” said Ambassador Balumuene.

In addition to the approval of these adoptions, today’s actions included the approval of over 150 adoptions by families from other nations.

Ambassador Balumuene noted, “The review of pending cases is ongoing, and is part of a determined effort by our government to resolve all of these matters in a timely manner. We also intend to establish new procedures for future adoptions that adhere to the highest standards so that our children are welcomed into safe and loving homes.”

The DRC placed a moratorium on international adoptions in 2013 due to domestic and international adoption law violations after concerns were raised about the adoption of Congolese children without their parents’ consent and the qualifications of adoptive families.

The government has completed the preparation of draft legislation that, if approved by parliament, will establish new procedures for individuals seeking to adopt eligible Congolese children in the future. This legislation is intended to improve verification, oversight and administrative functions to ensure that children in need of new homes will be able to receive the love and care they need from qualified adoptive parents from other countries. This draft legislation will be submitted to parliament.

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