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February 4, 2014 — The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has announced that effective September 25, 2013, intercountry adoptions from the DRC are suspended for a period of one year, including the issuance of exit authorizations to adopted children to leave the country. This suspension does not apply to relativeFootnote * adoptions.
The DRC requires Congolese children subject to an intercountry adoption to obtain an exit permit in order for them to leave the country to travel to Canada. Due to this suspension, individuals who have been adopted in the DRC by Canadian citizens will not be issued an exit authorization and will not be able to leave the country.
In light of this decision, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has asked the provincial/territorial Central Adoption Authorities to advise adoption agencies and families that prospective adoptive parents should not travel to the DRC as they will not be permitted to leave the country with their adopted child for the foreseeable future.
The Government of Canada must ensure that all intercountry adoptions are based on the best interests of the child, in accordance with national and international obligations. In order for an intercountry adoption to take place, the Government of Canada requires proof that biological parents have given their free and informed consent to an adoption, and that related processes respect the laws of both the state of origin of the child and the receiving country.
The Government of Canada will continue to monitor the situation and will keep provincial as well as territorial Central Adoption Authorities updated as any new information becomes available.
We understand that prospective adoptive parents are anxious to learn about the status of their intercountry adoption cases and encourage them to contact their adoption agency and/or the central adoption authority in their province or territory for updates as they become available.
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