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|Braley Meets with Erin Peat of Dubuque about Stalled Congolese Adoptions|
|News Releases - General Info|
|Written by Kirsten Hartman|
|Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:03|
Congressman discusses issue faced by hundreds of U.S. families encountering needless delays in adoptions from the Congolese government
Washington, D.C. –Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today met with Erin Peat of Dubuque to discuss stalled adoptions between American families and their children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Erin and her husband Michael Peat legally adopted two children from the DRC, however in the final stage of their lengthy adoption process, the DRC issued a moratorium on the ‘exit letters’ necessary to finalize their adoptions and bring their children home to the United States.
Braley also met with families from Clear Lake, Bettendorf, and West Des Moines who all face similar delays.
“Meeting with Erin and hearing first-hand about the red tape separating her family makes the issue even more important to me,” Braley said. “I cannot imagine being separated from my three children, and I will continue doing everything possible to ensure families like Erin’s are reunited as quickly as possible.”
Last month, the State Department announced that the Congolese government would issue a total of 62 ‘exit letters’—15 of which would be issued to American families—but the overwhelming majority of U.S. families have received no update from the Congolese government and their adoptions remain in limbo.
Approximately 460 families have had their adoptions suspended, but the Peats are one of only about 50 families that have had it occur at such a late stage in the process. They were granted their adoption visa by the United States. However, the DRC suddenly refused to issue exit letters, which is the final step allowing families to bring their children to the United States.
Braley has written the Congolese Prime Minister, the Congolese Ambassador to the United States, and Secretary of State John Kerry calling for a resolution to this issue.
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