December 10, 2013. Desani's Life: Child Poverty in the United States. The New York Times is writing a heart-breaking series this week about Desani, a 10 year old girl trapped in a New York homeless shelter for years, focussing on Desani's struggles just to live her life amidst the poverty and burdens she needs to cope with. As Arthur Miller wrote, "attention must be paid." Chapters 1 and 2 have appeared yesterday and today. To read the series please click here.
December 9, 2013. Russia's Investigative Committee Targets Re-homing. Reuters News Service reported on December 5 that Russia's Investigative Committee will begin a criminal inquiry into the private "re-homing" of Russian children adopted by U.S. families. According to the Russian statement, "Investigators believe that illegal exchanges have been created in the United States on Yahoo and Facebook to carry out illegal transactions in terms of children adopted by American citizens." The Department of State has responded that the Department is "committed to ensuring that protective services and reliable safeguards for the well-being of all children are in place." More Information.
December 5, 2013. Government and Other Alerts: India. The Department of State has posted a notice reminding U.S. adoption service providers that they have an obligation to inform the Indian Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) when a child adopted through the ASP obtains U.S. citizenship. CARA is concerned about children who enter the United States with IR-4 or IH-4 visas and guardianship status. Some of these children may never received U.S. citizenship. More Information.
December 4, 2013. Russia Permits International Adoption to Italy. Italy and only Italy will be the only country whose citizens may adopt children from Russia. A Russian government official stated that: "It turns out that Italy is currently the only country whose citizens are able to adopt Russian children because, first of all, this country refused to recognise same-sex marriage, which, for its part, does not require Russia to change the existing agreement, and, secondly, (the Italians) abide by the terms of this treaty." Pavel Astakhov, Russian Children Ombudsman, and well known to readers of this page said: "It is not our fault. (Other countries) should work harder if you want international adoption to continue. Our priorities differ from yours. We generally prioritize the adoption of children inside the country." More Information.
December 3, 2013. CCAI Issues Report on Foster Care and Adoption. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute has just issued an extensive report entitled: What Barriers Remain: Areas of Needed Adoption and Foster Care Reform in the 113th Congress. This report covers pending and desirable legislative initiatives covering foster care, foster to adopt programs, domestic adoption and international adoption. It also contains a wealth of helpful and relevant statistics. The report may be downloaded by clicking here.
December 2, 2013. CAP Letter Published in the New York Times. This is the letter which appeared in the New York Times on November 28, 2013, in response to a column by Nicholas Kristof on "rehoming." We salute Nicholas D. Kristof's understanding that a basic American failing is "inadequate child services." Families with desperately troubled children have nowhere to go. Families formed through international adoption make up a tiny subset of this tragic population.
And the number of troubled internationally adopted children is far lower than his column suggests. The Reuters extrapolation of 24,000 foreign-born children no longer residing with their original adopting family applies rates of domestic adoption disruption to an international adoptee population that has historically displayed a dramatically different profile.
Failed adoptions are directly correlated with adoptee age and medical-psychosocial condition. Until recently the population of international adoptees consisted mostly of very young children. For example, before 2007 few adoptees from China were older than 2 at adoption or had identified special needs.
Whatever the numbers, today's internationally adopted child, who more frequently is older and has medical and other special needs, deserves adequate support services, as do all children. More Information.
November 27, 2013. Why We Support CHIFF. There are many reasons why we believe that the Children in Families First Act (CHIFF) is worth supporting. During National Adoption Month, and the Thanksgiving holiday, it is particularly appropriate to read the stories families have posted on the CHIFF site. As one adoptee posted on the CHIFF website, "The fact that children are out there with no family to call their own is a tragedy. The fact that the US government isn't doing anything to change this is horrible. It is great that CHIFF movement is trying to do something about it. We need this new law to help all the children. I support CHIFF." To read all of Sarah's story and to learn more about the details of the CHIFF bill, click here.
November 25, 2013. CAP Releases Memorandum Concerning Enhanced Protection for Internationally Adopted Children. The Center for Adoption Policy has written a Memorandum Concerning Enhanced Protection for Internationally Adopted Children. We hope that this Memorandum will inform and address the ongoing discussions in the adoption community of how best to create permanent, loving, safe homes for unparented children. It may also be of help in discussing some of the issues which have arisen during the recent discussion on rehoming of internationally adopted children. The Memorandum may be found under the "Speaking for Children" button.
November 21, 2013. Failure of Adoption--Looking at the Numbers. As there has been much discussion in the media and in the adoption community about adoption disruption and dissolution, we thought it timely to quote the "Adoption Disruption and Dissolution Report" published in 2010 by the University of Minnesota Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare. According to authors Annette Jones and Traci LaLiberte: "Most studies indicate that disruption rates prior to finalization of adoption range from 6% to 11% for all youth (Coakley & Berrick, 2008); with rates for youth over the age of three ranging from 10% to 16% (R.P. Barth, Gibbs, & Siebenaler, 2001); and rates of disruption for adolescents ranging as high as 24% (M. Berry & Barth, 1990). Recent studies on adoption dissolution after legal finalization indicate that rates of dissolution range from 1% to 7% (Coakley & Berrick, 2008)." Jones and LaLiberte identify age of child at adoption and special needs issues as two of the most important factors leading to adoption disruption and dissolution. More Information.
November 19, 2013. Russian Foreign Minister Criticizes U.S. Record on International Adoption. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking on a Russian television program on Saturday, stated that "The American side recognizes the need to set things in order in the adoption process, but we have not seen any real results so far." Lavrov also said that Russia had studied the record of international adoption to the United States generally and that "We got a very sad picture." Lavrov also pointed to reports written by American human rights organizations which he said "are ringing the alarm because adoptions in the U.S. can and often are dangerous for the health of adopted children." One thing we know is that the ban by Russia on international adoption to the United States has been very harmful to the health of Russian unparented children. More Information.
November 18, 2013. China Significantly Alters One-Child Policy. The Chinese government intends to dramatically change its one child policy. The policy, which began in 1979, was designed to contain the growth of China's population. It limited famiies to one child, with certain exemptions. The combination of this policy, together with the traditional Chinese preference for boys, has led to a massive gender imbalance as well as fears of a coming labor shortage. The new policy will permit a married couple to have two children if either of the parents is an only child. Given the strict enforcement of the one child policy for almost two generations, the vast majority of couples wanting to have children are only children and will therefore now be permitted to have two children. More Information.
November 14, 2013. Does Being Religious Hurt Families Who Want to Adopt in Britain. According to a UK Department of Education study, more than half of respondents to a study which polled over four million people who said they were "certain or very likely" to adopt self-described as actively practicing a religion. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that government officials who make decisions about who can adopt (adoption social workers in Britain are government employees) are far less likely to be religious and indeed are often openly skeptical of religious beliefs. One adoptive parent reported that "The final stage in the process is questioning by a panel of 10 people; they all had one question each - three of them chose to ask me about my religion to check that I wouldn't be forcing it on a child... I was asked more about my Christianity than about how I would protect a child's physical safety!" More Information.
November 13, 2013. ACT for Adoption Calls You! ACT for Adoption is jointly sponsored by the Harvard Law School Child Advocacy Program (HLS CAP) and the Center for Adoption Policy. Senators Mary Landrieu and Roy Blunt and Representatives Kay Granger and Karen Bass, along with an impressive bipartisan list of co-sponsors, have introduced legislation to transform U.S. foreign policy into a positive force for enabling children to grow up in the families they need. Called Children in Families First or CHIFF (S.1530 and H.R.3323), the bill embraces international adoption as one of the best options for unparented children, and creates new offices within our foreign policy and assistance agencies whose mandate will be to act affirmatively to help nations throughout the world move children out of institutions and into nurturing permanent families. CHIFF gives international adoption its rightful place in the protection toolkit for unparented children, alongside family preservation, family reunification, and domestic adoption.
See the CHIFF web site for more information.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
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