15 Congolese adoptions resume in U.S. after public pressure - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

15 Congolese adoptions resume in U.S. after public pressure

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The Peat family of Dubuque worries about whether they can bring their adopted children home from the DRC. The Peat family of Dubuque worries about whether they can bring their adopted children home from the DRC.
DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Iowa families in the process of adopting children from one African country have reason to be hopeful this week.

Families attempting to adopt from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were hopeful their pleas for help were being heard after months of pressuring government officials to lift a suspension of exit letters, a document required for their legally adopted children to leave the DRC.

Lawmakers believe there are approximately 460 families in the U.S. -- at least a dozen of them in Iowa -- that are impacted by the adoption standstill.

On Tuesday, the State Department issued a release stating Congolese officials planned to issue exit permits for 62 children but others "must wait for new laws."

The statement can be read in its entirety here: http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_alerts_notices.php?alert_notice_type=alerts&alert_notice_file=democratic_republic_of_congo_7

According to the release, the issuance of exit permits impacts 15 families in the U.S..

However, the Peat family in Dubuque had not received any notification Tuesday evening about whether its family was among those able to bring their children home from the DRC.

"The fact that the Congolese government has begun issuing exit visas for some of these families is a positive step, but the overwhelming majority of families still find their children blocked by senseless red tape," said U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, who represents the Peat family's district in Dubuque. "There are hundreds of families like the Peats who've had their families effectively pulled apart -- and this won't be over until all of them are given the chance to reunite with their legally adopted children. Now's the time to keep up the pressure, not to declare victory."

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