Local families struggle to bring adopted children to Canada
EDMONTON- The Siebert family has only one wish this Christmas, to bring their children home.
“It’s confusing because they’ve been told they’re going to have parents, told they’re going to have a family,” said adoptive mother, Faith Siebert.
“Then you have to walk away because you’re not allowed to take them home.”
It’s been three years since the Sieberts started the process to bring their two adopted children to Canada. Ruth is now 8-years-old and Jonathan is 5. Their mother died shortly after giving birth to her son.
In September 2013, the Congolese Government stopped issuing exit papers for internationally adopted children. The decision left families like the Sieberts in limbo. Initially though, they were told the moratorium would be removed within a year.
So they waited. As months went by, the Sieberts chose to take Ruth and Jonathan out of the orphanage they were living in and pay for foster care. They also send care packages regularly.
According to the Sieberts, there are 18 adopted Canadian children stuck in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Eight of those have been adopted by families in northern Alberta. Some children were permitted to leave in November, but the Sieberts are still waiting.
The family feels they have the support of Canadian Foreign Affairs and Immigration, but are hoping the Prime Minister will step in and put their waiting to an end.
WATCH: Crystal and Bryan Meier talk about delays in the adoption of their daughters from the Congo.
“We just want to be able to tuck them in at night and read them stories and send them to school,” Faith Siebert said.
The Maul family is going through a similar process with their daughter, Jolie. They have presents under the tree for her.
“We open them for her every Christmas and they sit in a box in her room,” explained Janice Maul.
The Mauls say no matter how long it takes for the Congolese government to release Jolie, they won’t give up.
“We were already matched with our daughter. We already saw her face. You can’t turn away from that.”
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