December 6, 2016. Trying to Get Surrogacy Right: Ontario. Bill 28 is a proposed piece of legislation being debated in the Ontario, Canada legislature. Known as the "All Families Are Equal Act, " it is intended to end discrimination against families who use donor embryos and donor eggs and/or donor sperm to conceive a child. Good intentions aside, commentators criticize the bill for not distinguishing between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy, allowing a surrogate seven days to change her mind about keeping a child, eliminating judicial oversight, and allows sperm donation through sexual intercourse if there is a pre-existing agreement between the parties that the donor will not be a parent. The last is a huge change in the current law in Canada. These issues demonstrate the difficulties inherent in trying to craft laws which will catch up with science. More Information.
December 5, 2016. Another View of Proposed DOS Regulations. As we await news of the fate of the proposed Department of State regulations, here is a very helpful article describing what is at stake: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/12/04/international-adoptions-may-get-harder.html
November 30, 2016. Another National Adoption Awareness Month Draws to a Close. This year marks the fortieth anniversary of a governmental commemoration of adoption. In 1976, Governor Michael Dukakis proclaimed "Adoption Week," to draw attention to the need for permanent, loving parents for children in the foster care system. That same year President Gerald Ford delivered the first National Adoption Week proclamation, and in 1990, the popularity of the nationwide network of celebrations and commemorations led to the creation of a National Adoption Month. We hope that the publicity and stories generated by November's special events have raised awareness of the need for all children, whereever they are from, to have permanent, loving families.
November 29, 2016. Government and Other Notices: Latvia. The Department of State has informed the adoption community that Latvia has changed its post-placement reporting requirements. As DOS states, "Latvian law requires that two post-adoption reports be submitted: one after the first year following adoption and one after the second year. Two extra months are allowed for translation and submission of the report. Post-adoption reports must be submitted with a translation in Latvian. The reports should be conducted by the adoptive family's adoption service provider and submitted to the Latvian Ministry of Welfare. The intercountry adoption process requires compliance with the laws of both the United States and the child's country of origin." More Information.
November 28, 2016 Will Obama Administration Push Through DOS Regulations? Published reports from sources on both sides of the political aisle indicate that the Obama administration is attempting to implement as many as 98 new regulations prior to leaving office. President Obama has overseen a large increase in the number and scope of regulations during the past eight years which have affected all parts of American life. We are particularly concerned about the fate of the proposed Department of State regulations on international adoption. Final comments were due on November 22, 2016 and we have not received any indication as to whether these regulations will be among the many that become final in the next two months. More Information.
November 17, 2016. Why the Child Citizenship Act of 2016 Needs to Be Passed. Adam Crapser is being deported back to South Korea. This 41 year old man was adopted by U.S. citizen parents at the age of three. But neither his original adoptive family nor his second adoptive family, both of which were abusive, obtained citizenship for Adam. While most internationally adopted children receive citizenship automatically now, when Adam was adopted, U.S. parents had to apply for citizenship. Adam Crapser's families failed him so when he committed a crime, he was subject to deportation. Adam knows no Korean and has a U.S. based wife and family. The failure of Adam to obtain citizenship was not his, but his adoptive parents. We must rectify this injustice, which has affected many children adopted from abroad before 2000, as soon as possible. More Information.
November 16, 2016. Indian Adoption Authority Sets Large Target Number of Domestic Adoptions. The Central Adoption Resource Authority of India (CARA) has set a target of 10,000 adoptions a year by 2018-2019 with the hope of increasing this number to 20,000 annually within ten years. Right now, only 3,000 children are adopted domestically each year in India. CARA intends to centralize domestic adoption and emphasize transparent, ethical, and accountable processes. As CARA CEO Deepak Kumar explained, many people who find a child who they could adopt don't do so because they don't know "what has to be done or what is the legal process." Kumar aims to change this situation. No mention was made of international adoption. More Information.
November 15, 2016. Only One Week More to Comment on DOS Regulations. In September the Department of State published a proposed rule, really a set of regulations, regarding international adoption. The 60 day comment period was extended by 15 days so that the deadline for comments now is November 22, 2016, or one week from today. Anyone can comment on these proposed changes to pre-adoption training, how in-country processes work, and other international adoption matters. The text of the regulations and the comment site can be found by by searching "intercountry adoption" at regulations.gov. As all posted comments are public, the regulations.gov website also contains the hundreds of comments that have previously been posted. The Center for Adoption Policy posted its comments last week.
November 10, 2016. Government and Other Notices: Guatemala. The Department of State has posted an update on the status of international adoption from Guatemala, which has been closed since December 31, 2007. From 2008 continuing into this year, DOS has focused on working to resolve the transition cases that were begun prior to December 31, 2007. However, last May DOS representatives met with Guatemalan officials "to assess the progress made on creating a new intercountry adoption process and Guatemala's readiness to begin discussions on re-commencing intercountry adoptions." DOS now reports that "Representatives of Guatemalan institutions stated their priority is to continue to strengthen their processes and institutions in support of domestic alternatives for children. They indicated this needs to occur before they will consider reopening intercountry adoptions." Finally DOS states that "The Office of Children's Issues is committed to supporting the Government of Guatemala in these efforts, and to continue to advocate for developing intercountry adoption procedures as an option for those children who cannot find permanent homes in Guatemala." More Information.
November 8, 2016. Election Day Hopes. Everyone has their own hopes for the next administration. What we want to remind the tomorrow's president-elect is to remember the children. Children will not be voting today so they need our elected and appointed officials to remember their best interests. First up - the Child Citizenship Act of 2016. Let's make sure that all internationally adopted children are able to get U.S. citizenship, regardless of whether their adoptive parents failed to file the appropriate papers.
November 7. 2016. Not Every Child of U.S. Citizens Can Become President. Tomorrow night the first woman president of the United States may be elected. We have had an African-American president for the last eight years. But one group of people are still barred from becoming president: international adoptees. The Constitution states that "No Person except a natural born Citizen or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution" can be president. The Congressional Research Service has opined that:" The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term "natural born" citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship "by birth" or "at birth", either by being born "in" the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship "at birth". Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an "alien" required to go through the legal process of "naturalization" to become a U.S. citizen " This explanation would seem to mean that children born abroad to foreign surrogates with one genetically related intended parent could run for president as opposed to international adoptees who cannot. It is time to change this situation. More Information.
November 3, 2016. Government and Other Notices: New Jersey. Adopted persons from New Jersey may now file for their original birth records. These records will be available to adoptees beginning in January 2017. Please click here for forms and further information.
November 2, 2016. Kyrgyzstan Begins Hague Adoptions. Effective November 1, 2016, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force in Kyrgyzstan. Starting yesterday the United States began processing adoptions from Kyrgyzstan under the Convention. The status of pipeline cases has not yet been determined but the Department of State will notify prospective adoptive parents if and when it receives new information. Prospective PAPs are reminded by DOS that "they are required to follow procedures for completing a Convention adoption, including filing the Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and, subsequently, Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. Please be advised that, to satisfy U.S. immigration requirements, the adoption should not be finalized until the Form I-800 has been filed and an Article 5/17 determination has been made by the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek. The Article 5/17 determination must be presented to the Kyrgyz court prior to the approval of a final adoption. Failure to follow these steps will substantially delay the process of bringing your child to the United States." More Information.
November 1, 2016. Department of State Grants CAP's Request for Extension for Comments on New Regulations. We are pleased to announce that the Department of State granted our Request (made together with AAAA, AILA and NCFA) for a 15 day extension of the comment period of the wide-ranging Regulations on International Adoption. The comment period now will run until November 22, 2016. Here is the text of the announcement published yesterday: "This past Friday, October 28, 2016, the Federal Register published a notice extending by 15 days the public comment period on our pending proposed rule. On September 8, 2016, the Department published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), to amend requirements for accreditation of agencies and approval of persons to provide adoption services in intercountry adoption cases. (See 81 FR 62322.) The NPRM provided a comment period of 60 days, which expires on November 7, 2016. In response to a request for extension of the comment period, the Department extends the comment period until November 22, 2016. This change will provide 75 days for the public to submit comments on this rule. Further information, including the text of the proposed rule and how to post comments, can be found on www.regulations.gov (search for intercountry adoption)."
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
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