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Newscap is now operating on its summer schedule,
with occasional, rather than regular posts.

May 16, 2016. Coming Legislation. We hope to have news soon of new legislative initiatives which will help better the situation of unparented children without permanent, loving homes. We look forward to being able to share this information with you as soon as we can.

May 12, 2016. Government and Other Notices: Mexico. The Department of State has informed the adoption community that the Mexican National Welfare System, or Sistema Nacional para el Desarollo Integral de la Familia (DIF Nacional), which is in charge of authorizing U.S. accredited Adoption Service Providers (ASPs) to provide adoption services in intercountry adoptions involving Mexico, is drafting new ASP authorization regulations. Furthermore, the DIF Nacional's offices are being restructured which will affect the timing of the new regulations. An ASP must have a valid authorization for it to provide services involved in an intercountry adoption with Mexico. However, DIF has stated that this restructuring will not affect DIF's review of prospective adoptive parents' dossiers. More Information.

May 11, 2016. The Good News About Transracial Adoption. A new study has confirmed what parents of transracially adopted children long have believed: children who are adopted transracially "are capable of developing a solid sense of identity and family regardless of the racial composition of their families." Moreover this study found that parents of transracially adopted children were more likely to speak about race, which is generally alleged not to be the case and that Asian adoptees were more likely to help others than white adoptees. More Information.

May 10, 2018. Bill to Remove the term "Oriental" heads to President Obama. Legislation originally sponsored by Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) which would remove the inappropriate word "Oriental" from federal laws has passed both houses of Congress and heads to President Obama's desk. The President is expected to sign the measure shortly. References to "Oriental" still appear in U.S. laws and as Meng says, "The word 'Oriental' is a derogatory and antiquated term and the passage of this legislation will soon force the United States government to finally stop using it," In 2009, when Meng was a member of the New York state legislature, she was instrumental in getting a similar law passed which changed official New York terminology. More Information.

May 9, 2016. Adoptee Citizenship Bill Needs Support. As we have been discussing, S.2275, the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015, needs more Congressional Sponsors. Senator Amy Klobuchar introduced into the Senate but the legislation needs to be introduced into the House of Representatives. This is not an immigration bill nor does it have anything to do with children who have not been adopted by U.S. parents. This is a bill designed to fix a glitch in the procedure which enables foreign born children adopted by U.S, parents to achieve U.S. citizenship. Supporters of the bill include Kevin Vollmers with the group Gazillion Strong, a multimedia storytelling organization in Minneapolis. "This is a human rights issue," said Vollmers, who is a Korean adoptee with U.S. citizenship. "There are folks who are tying this in with anti-immigration sentiment ... Regardless of what people think about anti-immigration or immigration, this question is fundamentally about adoptions. Vollmers' organization and others are holding a national day of action later this month in support of the bill. More Information.

May 5, 2016. Indiana Installs First Baby Boxes. The first two safe haven baby boxes have been installed in Indiana. These are climate controlled environments with security systems next to fire departments. If a baby is left there, emergency workers will know immediately and can get to the baby in minutes. Every state has a "safe haven" law which allows birth mothers to leave their babies in police stations, fire departments or hospitals without fear of criminal penalties. More Information.

May 4, 2016. Gay Adoption Now Legal in All Fifty States. The deadline has passed for Mississippi to appeal a federal court ruling which struck down Mississippi's ban on gay adoption. While this result was expected, as it follows from the Supreme Court's 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges which held that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional, we want to celebrate the fact that all qualified parents may adopt children who need a permanent loving family. What a wonderful revolution we have witnessed. More Information.

May 3, 2016. International Surrogacy Options Decline. During the last decade increasing numbers of would-be parents traveled to Nepal or India for surrogacy procedures. Sometimes home countries banned surrogacy, making international options the only possible ones. Other times, the motivation for interantional surrogacy was cost--the expense of surrogacy in either country was far less than in the United States. But following a number of controversial cases, Nepal and India have banned foreign surrogacy. Same-sex couples have the hardest time since they are banned from some of the few open international surrogacy programs, such as Ukraine. More Information.

May 2, 2016. Disappointed. We were disappointed to learn that the Intercountry Adopting Stakeholder Meeting schedule for today was postponed. The topic to be discussed was Supervised Foreign Providers and Forms N-600/N600K. Since the passage of the Universal Accreditation Act in 2012, completing intercountry adoptions for non-Hague adoptions has become increasingly difficult, especially as regards supervising providers. We welcome any Department of State guidance and look forward to learning of a new date for this meeting.

April 26, 2016. Please Do Your Post-Placement Reports. Many Countries of Origin require adoptive parents to file post-placement reports with them for years after the adoption of a child. We now learn that Kazakhstan officials are actively seeking out missing PPRs from U.S. parents who adopted from that country between 1999-2010. One adoptive parent writes: "There are hints that at least some of the officials are interested in the possibility of opening up again to US adoption, but the PPRs have become a symbolic stumbling block." Although this effort can be difficult, adoptive parents must remember that they did agree to provide PPRs and the lack of PPRs remains a (not the) reason why Kazakhstan adoption to the United States has not resumed. For more information please go to the FRUA Facebook page.

April 25, 2016. State Department Warns Families Against Adopting From the Congo (DRC). The Department of State has issued an alert strongly urging new families not to begin the process of adopting a child from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While some pipeline families have been able to bring their children home, the exit permit suspension for children adopted by foreigner remains in effect. While DOS has pledged to continue to work with the DRC on creating a viable international adoption program, there are no guarantees that such a program will be created. More Information.

April 21, 2016. Government and Other Notices: Haiti. On March 31 the Haitian Central Adoption Authority, L'Institut du Bien-Etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR) informed the Department of State "that it intends to process to completion any transition dossier filed by February 15, 2016, because IBESR has provisionally matched or plans to provisionally match, children with these specific U.S. families but final processing steps are still necessary before IBESR can issue an official referral." DOS has interpreted this announcement as raising the possibility that some U.S. families with provisional matches or who will be provisionally matched but who did not receive an official match form IBESR by April 1, 2016 may still be eligible to have their cases proceed as transition cases. DOS promises further updates but any family that may be affected by this development should email DOS's Office of Children's Issues at Adoption@state.gov. More Information.

April 19, 2015. How to Help the Adoptee Citizenship Act Move Forward. This year we have a real chance to get the Adoptee Citizenship Act passed. This bill will give retroactive citizenship to internationally adopted children for whom American citizen parents failed to obtain citizenship (not an automatic procedure before the Child Citizenship Act of 2000). This year we really have a chance to get the bill passed. Maureen Flatley has written an excellent guide to what needs to be done:

  1. Lead sponsors should be on committee of jurisdiction aka Judiciary Committee. (In case of ACA only one Senate sponsor, Sen. Klobuchar is on Judiciary but she is in minority.)
  2. Make sure Committee Chairs in House and Senate are onboard. (Goodlatte (R-VA) in House, Grassley (R-IO) in Senate. As Mr. Goodlatte was part of original ACA carve out, expect stiff opposition from him.)
  3. Work to ensure House and Senate leadership understand and support the issues. In the case of ACA, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) would be critical to obtaining a vote.
  4. Ensure bipartisan sponsorship. (Senate bill has four sponsors, one Republican. Proposed House bill has one Democrat to date.....not nearly enough to move.)
  5. Build inclusive coalitions. Every bill - regardless of topic - needs every possible supporter it can have.
  6. Engage in affirmative Member education answering questions, not launching attacks.
  7. Be realistic and understand the process. ACA has four Senate sponsors and one House sponsor w/ no support from Committee Chairs or leadership. 530 Members of Congress remain to be persuaded.
  8. Keep writing letters and reaching out w/ special emphasis on Leadership and Judiciary.

April 18, 2016. Lawsuit Alleges Sperm Bank Completely Lied About Donor. Canadian couple Angela Collins and Elizabeth Hanson used Georgia sperm bank Xytex for the first child. They were very impressed by Donor #9623 whose profile stated that he had a master's degree in neuroscience, was pursuing a PhD and had no health problems. In reality that Donor, #9623 had a history of schizophrenia, and narcissistic personality disorder, had not graduated from college and had been convicted of burglary. This lawsuit, which eerily reassembles mystery writer Lisa Scottoline's new book Most Wanted, illustrates the lack of verifiable screening of sperm donors, as opposed to egg donors and surrogates. More Information.

April 14, 2016. International Adoption Numbers Fall to Lowest Point in Three Decades. The Department of State has released its FY 2015 Annual Report on Intercountry Adoptions. During the period October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015, U.S. citizens adopted 5, 648 children internationally, a significant decline from 6, 4441 in FY 2014. The top five sending countries were China, Ethiopia, South Korea, Ukraine and Uganda. The nature of international adoption has changed drastically as well. As DOS points out, in China, our largest sending country for many years, " the profile of Chinese adoptees changed from 95 percent healthy girls in 2005 to more than 90 percent special needs children today, with boys constituting one third of adoptees to the United States." Numerous factors have contributed to the decline in IA numbers; we believe that country of origin domestic progress sufficient to make international adoption unnecessary as a viable option for unparented children is not one of them. To download more information, click here.

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