Bettendorf family’s overseas adoption halted by allegations of bribery and improper paperwork

The government of the Congo has put a hold on the international adoption process, forcing a Bettendorf mom to wait even longer to hug her daughter.

Because of allegations of improper paperwork and bribery, the government of the Congo has forbidden any adopted children to leave the country.  That includes two-year-old Salima, who was adopted by the Ganshert family of Bettendorf, Iowa.

Three years ago, Katie Ganshert and her husband started the adoption process. After a few failed attempts, they finally found a match in Salima.

“She’s just, like, goofy and smiley,” said Katie.

The family got the good news that their paperwork went through and Salima was now legally a Ganshert in July 2013.

It’s been almost a year since that happy moment, and Salima is still 6,000 miles away.

“It just becomes your new very odd normal, and you just feel like you’re living in this constant limbo,” said Katie.

“People ask about it, and then you start to feel like you’re telling the same story over and over and over; and we just hope someday we get to say that she’s coming home,” said Katie.

Katie, along with 60 other families, went to Washington to speak to Congress in hopes of getting things moving.  For the first time, Katie says, she’s hopeful her daughter will get to come home.

“Things are happening, things are moving, so I’m hopeful. I’m more hopeful than I was before,” said Katie.

Meanwhile, the Gansherts have to pay every month for someone to take care of their daughter in a foster home in the Congo.

Congressional lawmakers were working to put an end to the suspension, including circulating a letter from representatives asking President Obama to get involved. 

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