March 28th, 2012
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626357_water_funI have news! This is such an exciting time for my friends because they have been MATCHED and are going to get their 18 month old child very soon. I have blogged about them in the past. They are a neat couple who are adopting from Uganda. Just a couple weeks ago, I noticed an invite popped up on my Facebook. Sometimes I read them, sometimes I don’t. I am so glad that I did. It was an invitation to a baby shower given in their honor. I love it. They already have five children at home but the people of their church and family wanted to celebrate with them- what a sweet gesture. I cannot wait until I can tell you that they are home with their new child in tow!


The good news is that this indicates movement on the adoption front in Uganda. If you are adopting from that area take heart- some people are getting processed. It seems that the wait can be so long and yet when the child comes home, time begins to fly.

I did read that all adoptions in Malawi have been stalled indefinitely “due to a national strike of judicial employees…” The notice states that all adoptions were halted on January 9, 2012 for rectify the situation. This could take awhile to amend because of the large backlog of civil and criminal cases that will be left in its wake. According to the notice, every backlogged case will take precedence over adoption cases. The United States government is recommending that prospective adoptive parents not travel to Malawi until the strike is over and a absolute court date is appointed to their case. If you are adopting from this country in Africa, direct contact with your adoption agency is the best source of information. They will be the first to know of  changes in the status of this adoption program.

Another report came in from Democratic Republic of Congo concerning their adoption program. This adoption program is struggling in the area of the release of adopted children to American parents even when all of the proper paperwork and visas are in place. This has happened fairly recently. The police have been called to intervene in some cases. Most of the cases have been resolved and the children were released into the care of their new parents of legal representatives. The US Embassy acknowledges that this has been occurring and is involved as much as possible. They state that they have very limited authority to intervene in these situations but desire that American citizens having this issue should notify the Consular Section.

African countries are not party to the Hague Convention and do not hold to its statutes.

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3 Responses to “Good and Bad News in African Adoption”

  1. leovoisey says:

    Stem cells are “non-specialized” cells that have the potential to form into other types of specific cells, such as blood, muscles or nerves. They are unlike “differentiated” cells which have already become whatever organ or structure they are in the body. Stem cells are present throughout our body, but more abundant in a fetus.
    Medical researchers and scientists believe that stem cell therapy will, in the near future, advance medicine dramatically and change the course of disease treatment. This is because stem cells have the ability to grow into any kind of cell and, if transplanted into the body, will relocate to the damaged tissue, replacing it. For example, neural cells in the spinal cord, brain, optic nerves, or other parts of the central nervous system that have been injured can be replaced by injected stem cells. Various stem cell therapies are already practiced, a popular one being bone marrow transplants that are used to treat leukemia. In theory and in fact, lifeless cells anywhere in the body, no matter what the cause of the disease or injury, can be replaced with vigorous new cells because of the remarkable plasticity of stem cells. Biomed companies predict that with all of the research activity in stem cell therapy currently being directed toward the technology, a wider range of disease types including cancer, diabetes, spinal cord injury, and even multiple sclerosis will be effectively treated in the future. Recently announced trials are now underway to study both safety and efficacy of autologous stem cell transplantation in MS patients because of promising early results from previous trials.
    Research into stem cells grew out of the findings of two Canadian researchers, Dr’s James Till and Ernest McCulloch at the University of Toronto in 1961. They were the first to publish their experimental results into the existence of stem cells in a scientific journal. Till and McCulloch documented the way in which embryonic stem cells differentiate themselves to become mature cell tissue. Their discovery opened the door for others to develop the first medical use of stem cells in bone marrow transplantation for leukemia. Over the next 50 years their early work has led to our current state of medical practice where modern science believes that new treatments for chronic diseases including MS, diabetes, spinal cord injuries and many more disease conditions are just around the corner.
    There are a number of sources of stem cells, namely, adult cells generally extracted from bone marrow, cord cells, extracted during pregnancy and cryogenically stored, and embryonic cells, extracted from an embryo before the cells start to differentiate. As to source and method of acquiring stem cells, harvesting autologous adult cells entails the least risk and controversy.
    Autologous stem cells are obtained from the patient’s own body; and since they are the patient’s own, autologous cells are better than both cord and embryonic sources as they perfectly match the patient’s own DNA, meaning that they will never be rejected by the patient’s immune system. Autologous transplantation is now happening therapeutically at several major sites world-wide and more studies on both safety and efficacy are finally being announced. With so many unrealized expectations of stem cell therapy, results to date have been both significant and hopeful, if taking longer than anticipated.
    What’s been the Holdup?
    Up until recently, there have been intense ethical debates about stem cells and even the studies that researchers have been allowed to do. This is because research methodology was primarily concerned with embryonic stem cells, which until recently required an aborted fetus as a source of stem cells. The topic became very much a moral dilemma and research was held up for many years in the US and Canada while political debates turned into restrictive legislation. Other countries were not as inflexible and many important research studies have been taking place elsewhere. Thankfully embryonic stem cells no longer have to be used as much more advanced and preferred methods have superseded the older technologies. While the length of time that promising research has been on hold has led many to wonder if stem cell therapy will ever be a reality for many disease types, the disputes have led to a number of important improvements in the medical technology that in the end, have satisfied both sides of the ethical issue.
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