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Updated July 31, 2014 — The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) announced that effective September 25, 2013, intercountry adoptions from the DRC are suspended for a period of one year, including the issuance of exit permits to adopted Congolese nationals to allow them to leave the country.
The DRC requires Congolese nationals subject to an intercountry adoption to obtain an exit permit in order for them to leave the country to travel to their adoptive parents’ country of residence. Congolese nationals who have been adopted in the DRC by Canadian citizens will not be issued exit permits and will not be able to leave the country.
Canada has made representations to the Congolese authorities on behalf of the families affected. Canada is not alone in this; all countries involved in intercountry adoptions with the DRC are impacted by the Congolese government’s decision.
Recently, the Government of Canada received official confirmation from the Congolese General Direction of Migration that even if families obtained a signed Bordereau d’adoption from a Congolese tribunal prior to September 25, 2013, the adopted person will not be granted an exit permit unless an immigration or citizenship decision had also been made on their application by the receiving country prior to that date.
In light of this, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) 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 DRC has expressed concerns about the integrity of its intercountry adoption program. Canada must ensure that all intercountry adoptions are based on the best interests of the child, in accordance with national and international obligations and respects the DRC’s efforts to ensure the integrity of its intercountry adoption program.
The Government of Canada, through CIC, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development and the Canadian Embassy in Kinshasa, will continue to monitor this issue closely and liaise with the appropriate authorities. We will also keep provincial/territorial Central Adoption Authorities updated as any new information becomes available.
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