House and Senate lawmakers pressed the Congolese government to speed up processing American adoptions.
In a Thursday letter to Democratic Republic of the Congo President Joseph Kabila Kabange and Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo, 171 members of Congress requested the government expedite the adoption process for Congolese children with health risks. They also asked the Congolese government to issue exit permits for adoptions approved before Sept. 25, 2013.
The lawmakers also said that the delays had caused distress for children awaiting to be permitted to leave the Congo.
"The unexpected delay in the completion of these adoptions has resulted in over 460 children continuing to languish in institutions without the care of a permanent family," the lawmakers added.
They further noted that many of the American families adopting Congolese children had to wait in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republican of the Congo, for their applications to be approved. Those people subsequently had encountered financial and career costs.
The letter was spearheaded by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption. Sens. Mary LandrieuMary Landrieu oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Republican announces bid for Vitter’s seat MORE (D-La.) and James InhofeJames InhofeEPA proposes climate rule incentives despite court hold GOP chairman: EPA could ‘restructure every industrial sector’ GOP in disarray over Trump furor MORE (R-Okla.) as well as Reps. Michele BachmannMichele BachmannFalwell faces flak for posing with Trump in front of Playboy The Trail 2016: On faith and the economy Michele Bachmann to advise Trump on evangelical issues MORE (R-Minn.) and Karen BassKaren BassMeet the Democrat at center of party platform tug of war Amateur theatrics: An insult to Africa 'Veep' star lobbies to end human trafficking MORE (D-Calif.) are the coalition's co-chairmen.
The Congolese government had suspended issuing exit permit letters due to recent concerns about fraud and corruption in the adoption process.