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January 28, 2016. Bookshelf: Adoption Beyond Borders: How International Adoption Benefits Children. Rebecca Compton, a professor of psychology at Haverford College, has written an excellent book about contemporary international adoption. She combines her personal experience as an adoptive mother of a child born in Kazakhstan with her professional expertise, drawing on evidence not only from the field of psychology but also from the areas of social work, anthropology and neuroscience. Cogently written and persuasively argued, Adoption Beyond Borders is a contribution to scholarship as well as a "must read" for members of the adoption and child welfare communities. To pre-order this book, please click here.

January 27, 2016. New Article Published on the Hague Convention. Chad Turner has published an excellent article on "The History of the Subsidiarity Principle in the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption." This article, based on detailed research, shows that the crucial subsidiarity principle in the Hague Convention is really "about families: children deserve families; children need families; children should be in permanent families whenever possible. Such views of children and families influenced the drafting of the subsidiarity principle and should likewise influence the interpretation and implementation of the principle today." The article is published at http://studentorgs.kentlaw.iit.edu/jicl/?attachment_id=1544.

January 26, 2016. Massachusetts Issues Increasing Number of Foster Care Home Waivers. A shortage of qualified foster parents has led the Massachusetts Department of Children and Family to sharply increased the number of waivers it gives to at-capacity homes. Generally a foster care home is only allowed to take four foster children at a time. Between October 2014 and October 2015, DCF granted 172 "over capacity" waivers as opposed to 118 in the previous year. Over crowded foster homes makes for bad parenting and unsafe conditions. Current reimbursement rate for foster parents in Massachusetts ranges from $21 to $26 per day. More Information.

January 25, 2016. Child Trafficking Ring Caught in China. Fifteen infants, some as young as 4 days old, have been rescued by Chinese police along with the 78 member gang responsible for the operation. Most of the babies were from a rural, impoverished area of Sichuan Province and had already traveled around 1,000 miles when they were rescued. Reports indicate that the babies were sold by their parents who could receive 20,000 yuan for a boy, and somewhat less for a girl. The traffickers charge between 50,000-60,000 yuan for a boy and 20,000 to 30,000 yuan for a girl. These children were destined for more affluent areas of China such as Guangdong and Fujian. There is no viable non-special needs international adoption program from China. More Information.

January 21, 2016. Right to a Family Life Under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights A British immigration judge ruled in favor of four refugees seeking to enter Britain and join their family members on the ground that "of refugees' entitlement to a family life under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights." This ruling is of critical importance to the international child welfare community. The right to a family is not one that is established in international law as it should be. We hope that child advocates will be able to build on this ruling to help unparented children find permanent loving families. More Information.

January 20, 2016. Legal Battles Over Frozen Embryos Highlight Difficult Issues. The law is having to catch up to the reality of assisted reproductive technology becoming a common method of family creation. In many cases couples have unused frozen embryos. If the couple then divorces, the question of what these embryos are becomes a very important one. As Tamar Lewin explains in the New York Times, "Most courts have treated embryos as marital property, often favoring the party that plans not to use the embryos, emphasizing a right not to be forced to procreate. Some have applied contract law, decided which half of the couple more deserved the embryos, or required mutual consent." These cases are made more difficult when outside groups such as anti-abortion activists attempt to intervene. More Information.

January 19, 2016. Government and Other Notices: Haiti. Haiti's Central Authority L'Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR) has informed the Department of State (DOS) and USCIS that IBESR will stop accepting dossiers for U.S. transition adoption cases on February 12, 2016. All families with eligible transition cases are urged to complete their filing with IBESR before that date. Moreover, DOS and USCIS point out that IBESR may not be able to match all transition cases with a child prior to the April 1, 2016 deadline for new transition referrals. For further information please go to the website noted below which contains contact information for both DOS and USCIS. Prospective adoptive parents should carefully monitor this developing situation. Website for the U.S. Department of State: Haiti Adoption.

January 14, 2016. Government and Other Notices: India. The Indian government now requires that all adoptive parents must get a "No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) before leaving India. The Indian Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) already issues a NOC but now FRRO airport staff are requiring a second NOC, issued by FRRO. DOS states: "Should adoption service providers or their families have any issues or concerns, please contact the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi directly by email at NDAdopt@state.gov. In case of an emergency involving a U.S. citizen, please call the 24-hour operator at (+91-11) 2419-8000 and ask for American Citizen Services. If you are calling from within India, but outside Delhi, first dial 011. If you are calling from the United States, dial 011-91-11 first." To see the DOS notice please click here.

January 13, 2016. Let's Adopt Reform Meeting Being Held Today. The Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) is holding its second Adopt Reform Town Hall today in Dallas, Texas. The organizers explain their meeting this was: "How can we help families live openness in adoption in a meaningful and child centered way? How do we better regulate adoption to remove the influence of money and privilege? What pre-and-post adoption support services are necessary to ensure everyone's well-being in the extended family of adoption?" Space is still available to join in person and registration is also available for a live stream--both types of registration are accessible by clicking here.

January 12, 2016. Some Truth, But Half Truths Abound. Kathryn Joyce, who has previously written about the Christian Evangelical adoption movement has now published "The Trouble with the Christian Adoption Movement." Space here is insufficient to point out the inaccuracies which exist in many paragraphs so we will limit ourselves to two subjects. Joyce states, "Biracial, "mail-order" Korean infants were removed to the United States by the thousands. . ." What she fails to mention is that biracial Korean babies, the result of liaisons with U.S. and other United Nations soldiers serving in Korea, faced a life of abandonment and ostracizing in a country that was and still is very insular and unwelcoming of biracial children. Concerning the children who came to the U.S. after the Haitian earthquake of 2010, Joyce obfuscates the fact that these children were not earthquake orphans but children already in the process of being adopted by U.S. families and that their potential adoptive parents had been vetted prior to the occurrence of the earthquake. We hope that readers of this article will please keep this perspective in mind and we would be happy to answer further questions on specific issues raised by the article. To find the article, please click here.

January 7, 2015. Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Orders Continued Ban on Gay Marriage Despite Supreme Court Ruling. Roy S. Moore, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama, ordered the state's probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. His judicial order violates the U.S. Constitution which require the states to honor rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court. In this instance, the U.S Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges declared that all state bans on same sex marriage were unconstitutional. This is not the first time Justice Moore has imposed his personal agenda on Alabama citizens. More Information.

January 6, 2016. Chinese Parents Protest To Have Second Children Registered And More. Chinese parents of unregistered "illegal" second children have been protesting to get the government to register their children and to waive family planning fines. As one protester explained: "Now that every couple can have two children, all kids should be treated equally, no matter whether they were born before or after the policy change." One of the protestors' banners read: "They are all our motherland's flowers and should not be treated differently." More Information.

January 5, 2016. Colorado Unseals All Birth Certificate Files. Beginning yesterday, all Colorado birth certificates will be unsealed and open to the public. The 2014 legislation had allowed a two year transitional period which has now come to an end. For adoptees this is a significant moment which is part of the national trend toward unsealing all birth records. Anyone adopted in Colorado can go to http://1.usa.gov/1OFju9m for the application for his or her birth certificate.

December 17, 2015. U.S. Supreme Court Issues Emergency Order in Parental Rights Case. The Alabama Supreme Court has refused to recognize the Georgia adoption by V.L., the non-biological mother, of the three children she and her partner, the biological mother E.L. had raised from birth. The Supreme Court this week issued an emergency order allowing V.L. visitation rights to the children. V.L. has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Alabama Court ruling. A number of organizations, including CAP, have signed amici briefs supporting V.L.'s petition, both on full faith and credit grounds as well as the right of children to have final parentage determinations. This case may directly concern a lesbian couple but if allowed to stand will undermine the rights of all families created by adoption. More Information.

December 16, 2015. Chinese Orphanages Will No Longer Give Abandoned Children Orphanage Names. For over a decade Chinese orphanages have given the children placed in their care orphanage last names, generally the first syllable of the county in which the orphanage is located or "Guo" which means the "State" or "Dang" which means "Party." This practice labeled and stigmatized the child as an orphan forever since the Chinese population share surnames which number in the hundreds. Moreover, women keep their surname whether or not they are married. Now the Ministry of Civil Affairs has announced that it will issue regulations banning this practice and thereby freeing unparented children from this discriminatory label. More Information.

December 15, 2015. Country Differs and Counties Differ on Adult Adoptee Access to Birth Records. During the second half of the twentieth century, most birth parent records were sealed to adoptees unless cumbersome consents were given and other procedures followed. In the last decade an adoptee rights' movement has taken shape. One of its chief goals is for all adult adoptees to have acesss to any of their records, whether or not birth parents consent. As this is a matter of state law, the response has varied greatly. The series of articles linked below reflects the current situation in Missouri. More Information.

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