Bruce Braley asks Iowans to help resume DRC adoptions
Written by Shelley Russell, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -
U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley has written an open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging him to make halted international adoptions from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a priority -- and he wants Iowans to sign on.
Braley is calling on Iowans to pressure Kerry to solve this issue after a family in his district, Michael and Erin Peat, had the adoption process of their two children suspended as they were getting ready to bring their children home to Dubuque.
“I want the State Department and the Congolese government to understand that this is an issue that people care deeply about throughout our entire state,” Braley said in a written statement Friday. “Iowa stands behind the Peats and hundreds of other families that are being kept apart from their children -- and I’m going to continue doing everything I can to keep up the pressure until this issue is resolved.”
Braley is asking Iowans to co-sign his letter to Secretary Kerry on his website at braley.house.gov.
“No child should be denied a loving home because of bureaucratic paperwork,” the letter states.
Earlier this week, the State Department announced that the Congolese government would issue a total of 62 "exit letters" -- 15 of which would be issued to American families.
In a statement, Braley said the overwhelming majority of U.S. families have received no update from the Congolese government and their adoptions remain in limbo.
Approximately 460 families have had their adoptions suspended, but the Peats are one of only about 50 families that have had it occur at such a late stage in the process.
They were granted their adoption visa by the United States. However, the DRC suddenly refused to issue exit letters, which is the final step allowing families to bring their children to the United States.
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