Midstate couple’s adopted children stuck in Africa

International adoptions are becoming more and more difficult these days. Over the last four years, international adoptions have dropped nearly two-thirds.

A Littlestown couple is having a tough time adopting a brother and sister from Africa.

Unable to have children of their own, Erica and Brian Parker decided to adopt Jino and Benedicte from the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has one of the highest number of orphans in the world.

“They've been abandoned in some cases. There's a lot of poverty. Sometimes if a family gets very large the family can't support all the children so they either relinquish them or put them in an orphanage or abandon them,” said Brian Parker.

The adoption was approved and the rooms are decorated.

“We were very excited and the word 'yes' can't come out of your mouth fast enough,” said Erica Parker. “A child you've never touched, you've never kissed, you've never held them, but when you see that picture, they're yours.”

That excitement soon turned to disappointment. The African country decided to not let adopted children leave because an American woman was accused of something called “re-homing.”

“They were going on the Internet, finding families, and just giving the kids over to unscreened, un-vetted families,” said Dr. Carol Albers, founder of Adopt Abroad.

Because of that, Jino and Benedicte have been stuck in foster care for more than a year while the Parkers pay the tab. It could be up to another year until this family is finally united.

“For their development that is a real problem. Every day you lose in the development of a child, you're not gonna get that day back. You're not gonna be able to recapture all those childhood moments that you missed and that they haven't had yet,” said Erica Parker.

For more information on this issue, visit https://bothendsburning.org/ and http://childreninfamiliesfirst.org/.

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