DE RUEHUM #0141 0640425
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050425Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY ULAANBAATAR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0870
INFO RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2650 UNCLAS ULAANBAATAR 000141
DEPARTMENT FOR CA/OCS/CI
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Update on Mongolian Adoption Processing
1. Summary: A high-ranking official in the Ministry of Social
Welfare and Labor has provided assurances that international
adoption cases which had been on hold for at least two months would
be processed within the next few weeks. A new adoption law may be
introduced in the Mongolian Parliament in autumn 2007. End
2. Visiting Seoul Petition-based Visa Unit Chief and Ulaanbaatar
ConAsst met February 28 with State Secretary Ochir Baigalmaa,
third-ranking official in the Mongolian Ministry of Social Welfare
and Labor (MSWL). Ulaanbaatar Consul (who was unable to attend due
to a last-minute emergency) had requested the meeting due to
concerns heard recently from local and international adoption
services providers that the GOM had placed a hold on overseas
adoptions pending enactment of a new adoption law.
3. Mongolia's existing adoption law dates from 1999 and is seen by
the GOM as deficient in not containing detailed qualifications which
prospective adoptive parents should be required to meet.
Approximately two months ago, the MSWL appointed a new Adoption
Officer who expressed reluctance to process international adoption
cases until the above problem could be remedied in law and
implementing regulations. A total of seven (7) of these cases
involve orphans to be adopted by U.S. citizens. On the heels of Ms.
Baigalmaa's February 27 meeting with an official from Holt
International (who also visited with Conoffs and ConAsst the same
day), Ms. Baigalmaa had an in-depth discussion with the Adoption
Officer to make it clear that a continued hold on international
adoption cases was not merited. Ms. Baigalmaa thus assured Conoff
and ConAsst that we should see all seven cases processed "within a
4. Ms. Baigalmaa noted that a working commission on Mongolia's
adoption law has been sitting for the past two years and that draft
legislation could be ready for publication and presentation to the
national parliament as early as this autumn.
5. In light of the above information, Post looks forward to working
with CA/OCS/CI and Seoul on final language for a comprehensive
update to the Department's country-specific web page on adoption
from Mongolia found at http://travel.state.gov/family/adoption/
country/country_422.html. In its current form, that page
discourages U.S. citizens from adopting from Mongolia
notwithstanding the handful of successful IR-3 cases we see each
year following GOM approval and determination by CIS and State that
the adoption meets INA 101(b)(1)(F) requirements.
6. According to Ms. Baigalmaa, Mongolia has around 50 state and
private orphanages in total. State orphanages typically house
between 100 and 200 children. A common size for a private orphanage
is 25 children, but the figure can vary widely from one institution
to another. She said overall the number of children requiring
adoption is decreasing thanks to expanded GOM support for families
in need. At the same time there is growing interest in domestic
adoption, as well as a modest rise in cases of international
adoptions, which stand currently at 30 or so per year for children
destined to the U.S. and other countries.
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