WASHINGTON, DC — H.E. François Balumuene, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Ambassador to the United States, released the following statement today regarding actions being taken by the DRC government to update and improve procedures associated with international adoptions from the DRC.

“I am pleased that our government is taking steps to address both pending international adoption cases and the adoption process going forward.”

“The government has completed its review of all international adoption applications that have been pending since the establishment of a moratorium in 2013 on the approval of such cases.”

“Adoptive parents will be informed of decisions made on these cases by their respective embassies soon.”

“I recognize that the period during which our government reviewed these cases has been trying and difficult for the families involved, and trust they will be comforted by a resolution of this matter.”

“The government has also 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, where consideration of the measure is expected to take place this March.”

The DRC established 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.

In November 2015, the government announced the completion of its review of certain pending cases, and issued exit permits for approximately 70 children to adoptive parents.

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