1,300 Iowans join Braley in plea to resume DRC adoptions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

1,300 Iowans join Braley in plea to resume DRC adoptions

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) - More than 1,300 people have signed an open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging him to make the halted international adoptions from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a priority, a spokesman from U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley's office said.

Last month, Braley called on Iowans to pressure Kerry to solve this issue after a family in his district, Michael and Erin Peat of Dubuque, had the adoption process of their two legally-adopted children suspended as they were getting ready to bring them home.

"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. "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."

The suspension of adoptions from the DRC came after Congolese government officials suspended the issuance of "exit letters" -- a document required for legally-adopted children to leave the country.

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.

Braley continues to ask Iowans to co-sign his letter to Sec. Kerry on his website at braley.house.gov.

Last month, the State Department announced Congolese government officials would issue a total of 62 "exit letters" -- 15 of which would be issued to American families.

In a statement, however, Braley said the overwhelming majority of U.S. families have received no update from the Congolese government and their adoptions remain in limbo.

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