While it’s still fresh in my mind, here’s a quick recap from our Rwanda program conference call this afternoon for those of you who may be interested. Those of you who are not in this process will likely find this way tedious, so read at your own risk.
The Gladney representative spent a week in Rwanda meeting with the Ministry and the Sisters at the orphanage and leading a conference about Hague and adoption in general…
- She emphasized in their meetings the importance of a child remaining in his/her biological family as the best option if possible and safe. There was much discussion surrounding domestic adoption (Rwandan families adoption Rwandan babies) as the next best option. Then comes inter-country adoptions… then obviously institutionalism as the last resort. As passionate as I am about inter-country adoptions, I would absolutely love to see domestic adoptions within Rwanda pick up!
- The Gladney representative really stressed that the Ministry is sincerely invested in and positive about adoption. They are working hard to get Hague implemented and have, indeed, recently hired two additional people to help review dossiers. Woohoo!
- There apparently was a good amount of discussion regarding criteria that the Ministry is considering setting in place for adoptions in the future. All countries have the freedom to choose who they will allow to adopt from their country, and there was talk of everything from marital requirements to health concerns such as smoking. Ultimately, they are very serious about wanting their babies in good families. They seem concerned about agencies misrepresenting adoptive parents through their home studies, etc. On the flip side, our representative stressed the importance of the Ministry accurately representing the children (including accurate and thorough medical reports, etc.).
- All Rwandan officials seem to be highly concerned about maintaining the integrity of governmental processes, including adoptions. They are serious about reviewing dossiers and the caseworker at the orphanage apparently puts much thought into matching children with families.
- The Sisters at the orphanage are very, very adamant about getting the children out of the orphanage and into families so that they can continue to accept more orphans. They are already overburdened and routinely have to turn babies away. We were reassured this afternoon that these nuns love these children and do the best they can with the resources they have.
- No new news on timelines. This particular source reports that they are working on approving dossiers, albeit slowly. She is optimistic that we will see things pick up in the next month or so. But haven’t be been hearing that for a while now? 🙂
Okay, Rwanda people (and other interested parties)- hope that helps some! 🙂