In 2008, Ethiopia was the 4th most popular international adoption program among Michigan adoptive families. In 2009, the program is expected to increase it's ranking because of recent problems with adoptions from Guatemala. Many hopeful adoptive families switched to the Ethiopia program after the Guatemala program stopped processing new cases earlier this year.
Despite its recent success, the Ethiopia program has both pros and cons just like any other adoption program.
1.) Ethiopian adoption is one of the most affordable international programs.
2.) The Ethiopian government only requires families to make one trip to Ethiopia.
3.) Ethiopian adoptions to date have been relatively stable, with somewhat predictable time frames for families. The average adoption takes about a year after the paperwork (dossier) has arrived in Ethiopia.
4.) The guidelines for potential families are more lenient than many other international programs. For example, the prospective parents only have to be 25 to be eligible to adopt.
1.) Children most readily available for adoption are older children and those who have tested positive for HIV.
2.) Trips to Ethiopia can be very intense for traveling families because of severe poverty in the region.
3.) Courts in Ethiopia close down for several weeks during a rainy season that occurs late in the summer, causing delays for many families waiting for their adoptions to be presented to the court.
4.) Children undergo health screenings by physicians before placement, but additional medical information can be difficult to obtain.