An official in Congo says more than 180 children will soon be able to join their adoptive parents abroad, including 37 who have been adopted by American families.

The announcement marks the latest step toward processing about 1,000 cases of adoptions that were in progress when the government suspended foreign adoptions in 2013, citing reports that children had been mistreated or abandoned by their adoptive families while others had been "sold to homosexuals."

The suspension prompted a pressure campaign from hundreds of frustrated American families who were arranging adoptions from Congo. Hundreds of families in Canada and Europe were also affected.

Albert Paka, coordinator of a Congolese commission examining the in-progress cases, said Tuesday that more than 700 had now been processed though not all were approved.