Iowa lawmakers urge Congolese officials to let children go home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa lawmakers urge Congolese officials to let children go home

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Lawmakers are responding to dozens of families who have legally adopted children that are stuck in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Thousands of letters were sent to lawmakers after KWWL aired a story last week about the Peat family in Dubuque.

The Peats have legally adopted two children from the DRC, but neither of them can come home because government officials in the DRC have suspended issuing exit letters -- a required document for children to legally leave the country they were born in.

Lawmakers confirm approximately 460 families in the United States are impacted by the adoption standstill.

About 50 of those families have already finalized the adoptions of their children, including the Peat family in Dubuque.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, who represents the Peat's part of the state, wrote, "I want the Congolese government to understand that this is causing families like the Peats significant pain and hardship. This is affecting hundreds of families throughout the country, and hundreds of children in need of loving homes, and we need to work to get it quickly resolved."

Braley is among dozens of lawmakers, including U.S. Sens. Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin, who sent a letter on Thursday to the Congolese president and prime minister urging them to allow hundreds of suspended adoptions to move forward.

The letter can be read in its entirety by clicking here.

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