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Newscap is on summer schedule and will be posting on an occasional basis until September 1.

June 16, 2014. Important Information for Potential/ Adoptive Parents with Children in the DRC. Families who are in the process of adopting children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo must look at the important alert sent by the Department of State yesterday. DOS reports that the Congolese officials (DGM) have agreed to review documents for children whose cases appear to meet the requirements for exceptions set out in DOS's October 23, 2013 Adoption Alert. For a case to be reviewed, the family must provide the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasha with a long list of documents by June 25, 2014. Families should immediately go to the website below and follow the very specific instructions given. Click here.

June 5, 2014. DACA Renewal Process. USCIS has created a renewal process for people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. The relevant form is revised Form I-821D which is what individuals should use for both initial and renewed DACA requests. USCIS urges individuals who currently hold DACA status to submit their requests for renewals approximately 120 days before the expiry date of their DACA and employment authorization. More Information.

June 3, 2014. British Scientists Call on Government to Allow Three-Parent Babies. The British government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) reports that after examining "voluminous" information, it had concluded that the techniques of using three genetic parents for babies was "not unsafe" and potentially useful." This procedure involves taking donor DNA for a second woman's egg which is then implanted into the intended mother's egg to prevent children from suffering serious illnesses such as muscular dystrophy and mitochondrial disease. Many people are eager to be candidates for this procedure but HFEA cautions that experiments on human embryos are needed as the next step. More Information.

June 2, 2014. USCIS Provides New Information on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. USCIS has now posted new educational resources on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or (SIJ) which is a unique immigration classification that under certain circumstances presents a way that foreign-born children in need of humanitarian protection who are in the United States can immediately apply for lawful permanent resident status. These resources are:

To access these postings go to www.uscis.gov.

May 29, 2014. New Jersey Allows Adoptee Access to Original Birth Certificates. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, on May 27, 2014, signed into law a bill which will allow adoptees to have access to their original birth certificates. The law is a compromise between what legislators had originally proposed and what the governor was willing to sign. It does allow for retroactivity, permits birth parents to redact portions of the original birth certificate for any adoption finalized before August 1, 2015 and includes contact preferences. Under certain circumstances it also requires birth parents to file updated health information. To download the text of the bill, click here.

May 28, 2014. DRC to Issue A Limited Number of Exit Permits. The Department of State has announced that on Monday, the Congolese General Direction of Migration (DGM) told various embassies that it is now prepared to issue exit permits to 62 Congolese children whose cases fully meet the requirements of Congolese law. Of these 62 cases, 15 are children who were adopted by U.S. families. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasha is contacting those families by email. The DGM further announced that " all other children adopted by foreigners will not be issued exit permits until a new law reforming intercountry adoptions enters into force, even if their cases met the DGM's previous exception criteria (as outlined in the Department's October 23, 2013 Adoption Alert). This new law has not yet been drafted and Congolese authorities are not able to commit to a particular timeframe in which they expect to develop and implement any new law(s).." Furthermore because the new law may include retroactively effective provisions, DOS is warning U.S. PAPs that "While the courts may continue processing adoptions, the children adopted during the suspension will not be able to obtain exit permits to depart the country and are not guaranteed to be eligible for exit permits once any new law is promulgated. More Information.

May 22, 2014. CHIFF Webinar. This week Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA.) and Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) held a Webinar on the Children in Families First Act. (S. 1530, H.R. 4140 ). The legislators spoke a great length on this bill, of which they are key proponents. For those people who are interested in the proceedings, a full recording of the webinar may be accessed by clicking here.

May 21, 2014. UAA Continued. The importance of the application of the Universal Accreditation Act to international adoption, which goes into effect on July 14, 2014 cannot be overstressed. Today we post a link to the initial FAQs on the USCIS website. We have been informed by USCIS that more FAQs will be available on its site in the near future. The current posting may be found by clicking here.

May 20, 2014. FAQs on Universal Accreditation Act. The Universal Accreditation Act pertaining to the accreditation of adoption service providers who work with families in non-Hague countries goes into effect on July 14, 2014. In anticipation of this deadline, the Department of State and USCIS have posted FAQs and links for ASPs, adoptive families and stakeholders. More Information.

May 19, 2014. FREE Webinar on The Children in Families First Act (CHIFF) on Tuesday, May 20, 3:30 Eastern Time. Join the CHIFF Working Group on Tuesday, May 20th, for an informational webinar seeking to protect vulnerable children around the world. Child welfare experts will summarize the need and explain why CHIFF is the answer. U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and Representative Trent Franks, CHIFF sponsors, will be available to answer your questions and explain why CHIFF is a priority for them! Don't miss out! Click here to Register.

Featured Speakers:

  • Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
  • Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ)
  • Terry Baugh, Kidsave
  • Tom Difilipo, Joint Council on International Children's Services
  • Megan Lindsey, National Council For Adoption
  • Pete Leppanen, Both Ends Burning

May 15, 2014. Important Message for DRC Potential Adoptive Parents. The Department of State is holding a conference call tomorrow, Friday, May 16, from 10:00-11:30 for all prospective adoptive families waiting for the suspension on exist permits to be lifted from the Democratic Republic of Congo or PAPs interested in adopting from the DRC. The DOS notice does not include call-in information; so PAPs should call the Office of Children's Issues at 1-888-407-4747 (or 202-501-4444 from outside the US) to obtain this information.

May 14, 2014. Universal Accreditation Act Update and Training Sessions. The Department of State and USCIS will be holding telephone update and training sessions for the Universal Accreditation Act which goes into effect on July 14. There will be two sessions. Adoption Service Providers will have their session on May 20 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm Eastern Time. Dial-in information: 1-888-363-4749, Access code: 6276702#. Prospective Adoptive Parents will have their session on May 22 from 3:30 to 5:00pm. Dial-in: 1-888-363-4749, Access code: 6276702#. No RSVP is needed to participate. All ASPs and PAPs should, if possible, participate in the appropriate call which will answer questions such as new procedures, grandfathering of existing cases, independent adoption and include some specific country guidance.

May 13, 2014. International Adoption from Armenia. The Department of State has issued the following reminder about adoption processing in Armenia. Armenia is a Hague-effective country whose central authority is The Ministry of Justice. Armenian law forbids professional facilatators, adoption agencies or attorneys from providing adoption services in Armenia. Prospective adoptive parents however may "grant a power of attorney to an individual to handle most aspects of the adoption process on their behalf. These individuals can only provide limited legal services and complete the process in Armenia through direct contact with the Ministry of Justice." DOS has received reports that some PAPs have received misleading information about what individuals can and cannot do with respect to Armenian international adoption. More Information.

May 12, 2014. Department of State Warns Americans Not to Travel to Ukraine. The Department of State has issued a warning to U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Ukraine. Moreover, DOS has warned U.S. citizens not to travel under any circumstances to the following regions of Ukraine: the Crimean Peninsula, the eastern regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk, and the city of Odessa. U.S. citizens resident in Ukraine, particularly in the eastern regions, are asked to consider leaving Ukraine. Crucially, "in light of the ongoing political unrest, the Embassy has restricted Embassy personnel from traveling to eastern Ukraine, the Odesa oblast, and the Crimean Peninsula" so if a problem occurs, U.S. Embassy personnel will not be able to physically offer assistance. More Information.

May 8, 2014. Nigerian Tragedy Puts Spotlight on Child-Trafficking. The vicious kidnapping of hundreds of girls last week from a Nigerian school has drawn unusual attention to the vicious world of child trafficking. Susan Bissell, Unicef's chief of child protection, believes that there are 1.2 million known cases each year "and that's a gross underestimate, because of situations in this context; it's totally clandestine." Ms. Bissell also told The New York Times that "for every 800 victims, one person is convicted. " We salute Ms. Bissell for placing Unicef's focus where it should be--on the millions of children who are in danger of their very lives. More Information.

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