January 18, 2017. European Human Rights Court Rules on Russian Adoption Closure. The European Court of Human Rights handed down a ruling yesterday partly upholding the plaintiff U.S. potential adoptive parents who sued after Russia shut down international adoption to the United States in December 2012. The Russian government has three months to appeal the decision. To access the Court's ruling please click here.
January 17, 2017. Department of State Debars European Adoption Consultants, Inc. (EAC) for Three Years. Because of serious violations, the Department of State has debarred EAC from working for three years. "The Department found substantial evidence that the agency is out of compliance with the standards in subpart F of the accreditation regulations, and evidence of a pattern of serious, willful, or grossly negligent failure to comply with the standards and of aggravating circumstances indicating that continued accreditation of EAC would not be in the best interests of the children and families concerned." EAC works in Bulgaria, China, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Honduras, India, Panama, Poland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ukraine. EAC clients should "contact the Council on Accreditation (COA) for information about case transfer and information about other accredited adoption service providers who may be able to assume handling of adoption cases. Updated information will be posted to this web site as it becomes available. Questions may be submitted to Jayne Schmidt at COA at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: EAC) and to the Office of Children's Issues at email@example.com." More Information.
January 12, 2017. Russia May Re-Open International Adoption with the United States. A report in the Russian new source Pravda states that the Russian government will offer to work with U.S. government officials in order to re-open Russian international adoption with the United States. Adoption by U.S. citizens of Russian children was halted by the Russian government in December 2012 with the passage of the Dima Yakolev bill, named after a Russian born U.S. adopted child who was killed by his adoptive father. More Information.
January 11, 2017. New Information Revealed About Irish International Adoption in the 1950s. Newly Published Irish Foreign Policy Documents from the 1950s gives more evidence into the workings of Irish outgoing international adoption during the 1950s. As many as 10 children each month left Ireland during that decade, headed for American homes. These were children in Catholic institutions, whose mothers were typically not married. The children were placed with Catholic families in the U.S. with little vetting in some cases. These are the documents behind the story of the recent movie Philomena. More Information.
January 10, 2017. Pennsylvania Superior Court Allows Same-Sex Couple to Revoke Adoption In Order to Get Married. A three-judge panel in Pennsylvania over-turned a lower court ruling and permitted the adoption of a 70 year old man by his 80 year old partner to be revoked. The couple now intends to get married. They had been together for 40 years and used the adoption mechanism to create a legal family unit when same-sex marriage was illegal. Superior Court President Judge Susan Peikes Gantman writing for the court explained, "Although the Adoption Act does not expressly provide for the annulment of the adult adoption, case law does allow it in certain scenarios; and this case presents wholly new and unique circumstances... Therefore, where a same-sex couple, who previously obtained an adult adoption, now seeks to annul or revoke the adoption in order to marry, the Orphans' Court has the authority to annul or revoke the adult adoption." More Information.
January 9, 2017. An Eloquent Plea for Children. Professor Elizabeth Bartholet of Harvard Law School and Chuck Johnson, CEO of the National Council for Adoption have written an eloquent plea for a non-partisan movement to help unparented children. As they write: "There is one area where the president and the president-elect should be able to unite - protecting children globally against the horrors of institutional life, and enabling prospective parents to bring those children into their homes and hearts." The Center for Adoption Policy was proud to have signed on to this article. We hope a bipartisan policy to help unparented children find permanent loving families will emerge during the new administration. More Information.
December 15, 2016. Cambodian Government Limits Domestic Adoption By Foreigners. The Government of Cambodia does not currently process any international adoptions to any country whatsoever. Moreover, the Department of State cannot process Hague certificates from Cambodia. However, DOS is continuing its talks with the Cambodian government and reports that "the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has stated existing Cambodian law prohibits foreigners from adopting domestically unless they are permanent residents of Cambodia. According to the MOJ, permanent residency is granted when the foreigner acquires Cambodian nationality." More Information.
December 14, 2016. Cambodian Surrogacy Program Shut Down Puts Intended Parents in Jeopardy. The Cambodian government has taken seriously its decision to shut down surrogacy programs in that country. Most of the intended parents in the Cambodian programs were from Australia or China but some U.S. nationals are involved. We have seen reports that the Cambodian government is considering charging foreign intended parents with child trafficking. U.S. intended parents who have been working with a pregnant surrogate should contact the Department of State to work with U.S. officials so that their child can come to the U.S. once born. More Information.
December 13, 2016. USCIS Guidance on Citizenship of Internationally Adopted Children. USCIS recently posted a webpage offering guidance to parents of internationally adopted children on various issues relating to the U.S. citizenship of their children. These explanatory pages are very helpful for adoptive parents as well as adoption agencies and other stakeholders. To access this page please click here.
December 12, 2016 USCIS Fees Increase on December 23. Adoption related fees for international adoptees that are paid to USCIS include fees for I-600/As, I-800/As, and N-600 forms. Many of these fees are due to increase next week. USCIS has helpfully provided a webpage listing the forms which have associated fee increases and the new fees. This webpage is found at: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/forms-and-fees/2016-fee-changes-adoption-related-forms
December 8, 2016. Statistics on Waiting Child International Adoption. Virtually all international adoption now is of waiting/special needs children. These groupings include children with identified medical issues, older children or sibling groups. For interested prospective adoptive parents we link here to one of the largest adoption agencies, CCAI, Waiting Child Statistics page. This link provides information on the conditions of waiting children and on which countries have viable programs. The link is at: https://www.ccaifamily.org/WaitingChild/Waiting-Child-Stats.
December 7, 2016. New ICWA Regulations Go Into Effect Next Week. The federal government's new regulations concerning adoption under the Indian Child Welfare Act go into effect on December 12, 2016. All lawyers who work in the field of domestic adoption should be aware of these regulations and the new changes. The regulations may be found by clicking here.
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.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
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