Ethiopia

August 30, 2013

Notice: This adoption notice serves as a reminder of the implementation of the Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) program

This adoption notice serves as a reminder of the implementation of the Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) program in Ethiopia.  This notice also provides clarification to questions received regarding transition cases. 

On June 3, the Department of State published an adoption notice announcing that effective September 1, 2013, the Government of Ethiopia will require all adoption cases filed on behalf of U.S. prospective adoptive parents with the Ethiopian courts to undergo the U.S. PAIR process.  Please see the U.S. Department of State’s Ethiopia country information sheet and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy memorandum for details.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) confirmed to the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa that 70 cases with open applications were still pending with the Federal First Instance Court (FFIC) as of the annual court closure on August 14 will be treated as pre-PAIR cases and not be subject to the PAIR requirement, even if they are completed after September 1.  These are cases where:

  • the first court hearing took place prior to the August 14 court closure and the prospective adoptive parents are waiting for the second court hearing to be scheduled, or have received court dates for October.  No PAIR letter will be required for these cases.
  • the prospective adoptive parents have received and accepted referrals and filed applications with the court prior to the August 14 closure date, but are waiting for first and second hearings to be scheduled.  No PAIR letter will be required for these cases.
  • the court filing was accepted by FFIC administrative staff during the court recess following the August 14 closure but before the September 1, 2013 implementation date for the PAIR program.  No PAIR letter will be required for these cases.

If you have further questions as to whether your case falls into these categories, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at askci@state.gov.