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.

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“While we work together to ensure that all Congolese children are protected, we hope you will consider allowing the hundreds of American families who have legally completed the adoption process to move forward," they wrote.

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 Loretta LandrieuLobbying world Former New Orleans mayor: It's not my 'intention' to run for president Dems grasp for way to stop Trump's Supreme Court pick MORE (D-La.) and James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeAllies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump On The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration Trump to sign border deal, declare national emergency MORE (R-Okla.) as well as Reps. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannGillibrand becomes latest candidate scrutinized for how she eats on campaign trail Trump will give State of Union to sea of opponents Yes, condemn Roseanne, but ignoring others is true hypocrisy MORE (R-Minn.) and Karen BassKaren Ruth BassWhitaker takes grilling from House lawmakers Congressional Black Caucus leaders call on Northam to resign Congressional Black Caucus faces tough decision on Harris, Booker 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.