Hoosiers fighting Ethiopian adoption ban

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Some Hoosier families are fighting to bring their children home from Ethiopia after the country banned foreign adoptions.

A spokesperson for the Ethiopian embassy cited reasoning as the safety of children and encouraging local adoption. However, it's left some Indiana families in the midst of the adoption process unable to bring their children home.

"I just can't get past the thought that these kids literally  have no future or no hope if something doesn't give soon," an Indiana man who asked to remain anonymous said.

He said they were matched with a little girl about two years ago, but he said they keep hitting road blocks in securing a document needed to complete the adoption process. He said they've been told about a dozen times it was ready, but to no avail. Now with a ban on out of country adoptions, he said his daughter's future is at stake.

"We visited with her, bonded with her, we've seen the conditions in the orphanage where she's living," he said.

The parent said they recently visited Ethiopia, but again returned back to Indiana without their daughter.

In Washington, D.C. Senator Todd Young said his office is working tirelessly on the issue. He said they're making calls, will send letters and that he met with the Ethiopian ambassador earlier in the year.

"We're gonna continue to emphasize to the Ethiopian government that if they want to have strong and positive relations with the United States of America, which is very much in their interest, they need to work with us to every degree possible to resolve issues like this," Sen. Young said.

His office said two Hoosier families have been unable to bring their children home, while a third was successful recently.

Last year, another family saw success too. The Oren's were able to bring home their son after Ethiopia suspended foreign adoptions while they were in-country to get him.

"The door was shutting when we were getting Genene out and I hope it's not completely shut right now," Jon Oren said.

Now months after bringing Genene Oren, 4, home, the Oren's said they're settling into life with their whole family under one roof.

"He's very outgoing and laid back at the same time, loves to laugh," Rachael Oren said. "We're really blessed."

But they haven't forgotten the panic and exhaustion they felt while in situations similar to other Hoosiers today.

"We feel very deeply for those still left in process," Rachael Oren said.

The Hoosier man still waiting to bring his daughter home says what they do now is keep praying.

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