Dubuque Family Seeks Congressional Help with Stalled Adoption Process

By Katie Wiedemann, KCRG-TV9

DUBUQUE, Iowa — A Dubuque mom is begging for help to bring home children she’s trying to adopt from Africa. Erin Peat and her husband, Michael, are in the process of adopting two children from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

But last fall that government put a suspension on all adoption exit letters. That means Congolese children who are eligible for adoption do not have permission to leave the country.

Peat says she can’t get any answers from the Congolese government. That’s why she’s in Washington D.C. working with several Iowa congressman to get some help.

Peat says through her research she’s learned children living in the Democratic Republic of Congo have a 1 in 5 chance of living to age 5. Conditions there make small children susceptible to Malaria.

As the days pass by and an ocean continues to separate Erin from her kids, she’s also worried about their mental and emotional well-being.

Erin said, “The process has gone on for so long. When my husband and I finally get to come bring (a 15-month old girl) home will be ripping her world apart. Which kills me as a mom. “

Congressman Bruce Braley and the Peats recently wrote a letter to United States Secretary of State John Kerry. That letter became an online petition, and more than 1600 people have signed it in the last two months. The family is hopeful that number of people will put pressure on international leaders to make resolving this issue a top priority.

l Comments: (563) 583-9999; katie.wiedemann@kcrg.com

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