So, maybe you knew, maybe you didn't know, that in Ethiopia the courts close each year for the rainy season. This year they will close from August 8 until the beginning of October. Here is the info my agency provided about how the court closure will affect adoptive families. Keep in mind that I am currently waiting to be matched to a child. Once matched, my paperwork will be submitted to the Ethiopian Court. They will approve me and I will legally become my new daughter's mother. From the time that I "pass court" it will be approximately 3 weeks until I travel to Ethiopia for the Embassy date.
How will the courts closing during the rainy season affect me?
After a family officially accepts a child referral, our in-country representatives will submit the family's dossier to the courts. If the family is approved by the courts before they close for the rainy season, then the family is able to travel to pick up their child (even if the courts are closed). The U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia will still be open during the rainy season, so the family will be able to pick up their child's visa. However, if the family is unable to get a court date before the courts close for the rainy season, then they will need to wait until the courts reopen in October before their dossier can be submitted. It is expected that the courts will have a back log of files when they reopen.
For those families who have accepted a child referral during the rainy season, Gladney's in-country staff will provide families with updates on the child they have accepted while waiting for the courts to reopen.
Will Gladney stop making child referrals during the rainy season?
Gladney will continue to provide families with child referrals even during the rainy season. If the family decides to accept their child referral during the rainy season, the family must wait until the courts reopen in October before their dossier can be submitted to the courts. We are unsure of how long it will take for courts to issue a court date when they reopen as we can expect some backlog.