March 4, 2021. Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021 Introduced. Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.), and Congressman John Curtis (R-UT), introduced the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2021. The Center for Adoption Policy is proud to have endorsed this bill. We have long advocated for this bill which will give adult international adoptees who, through no fault of their own, are not American citizens because their adoptive parents failed to complete the necessary steps to make their children U.S. citizens. We look forward to seeing the Senate take up a similar measure. More Information.
March 3, 2021. Dutch Government Report Which Prompted Dutch Shutdown. As we previously discussed, the Dutch government has now closed international adoption, the first Western government to ever issue such a blanket ban. The report that prompted this decision sums up its conclusions as follows: "The current system of intercountry adoption cannot be maintained... Not only have there been many abuses in the past, the system of intercountry adoption is still open to fraud and abuses continue to this day. The committee therefore recommends suspending intercountry adoptions. [Further] the committee has serious doubts about whether it is possible to design a realistic public-law system under which the abuses identified would no longer occur." Download the Press Release.
March 2, 2021. Bethany Christian Services Announces It Will Provide Adoption and Foster Care Services to LGBTQ Community. For decades Bethany Christian Services, the nation's largest Protestant adoption and foster care agency, has restricted its services to Christian, heterosexual couples. Yesterday, Chris, Palusky, Bethany's President and Chief Executive Officer, announced a major national policy shift, writing to all 1,500 staff members, "We will now offer services with the love and compassion of Jesus to the many types of families who exist in our world today....We're taking an 'all hands on deck' approach where all are welcome." In 2019, Bethany oversaw 1,123 adoptions and 3,406 foster placements. According to a report from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, 20 percent of same-sex couples have adopted, as opposed to three percent of straight couples. More Information.
March 1, 2021. Friends from Work, Both Internationally Adopted, Learn They are Biological Siblings. Cassandra Madison, 32, and Julia Tinetti, 31, worked together at the Russian Lady Bar in New Haven in 2013. They found a connection-they were both adopted from the Dominican Republic, and became friends. Their adoption papers listed different information but in 2018 Madison took a DNA test and in 2021 Tinetti took one; they discovered that they were full biological siblings. Their birth mother had died but they have contacted their birth father and siblings. Their birth father explained that they were relinquished for adoption because the family could not afford to feed nine children. Read the Story.
February 25, 2021. Virtual Round Table Discusses New York's Compensated Surrogacy Law. The Coalition Against Trafficking for Women ("CATW") sponsored a virtual round table today on New York's new commercial surrogacy bill. CATW opposed the new surrogacy law and the presentation, which is available at the link below, featured speakers who also opposed the new law. The speakers included Jessica Allen, whose story we featured in this column. Jessica was a surrogate for Chinese intended parents. When one of the twins she delivered turned out to be her biological child, the intended parents abandoned the child to the agency which for months refused to give Allen back her child. More Information.
February 24, 2021. Sweden Announces Probes of Historic International Adoption. Swedish Health and Social Affairs Minister Lena Hallengren announced on Monday that "We are going to need to investigate how adoption practices functioned in Sweden between the 1960s and the 1990s. According to the Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, Swedes internationally adopted about 60,000 children from various countries around world, beginning in the 1950s. In 2000 Swedes adopted around 1,000 children; the number was less than 400 in 2019. More Information.
February 23, 2021. Netherlands Suspends International Adoption. The Netherlands announced earlier this month that it has decided to suspend all international adoptions. As the Dutch government explained, "They made this decision based on recommendations from the Committee Investigating Past Intercountry Adoption, which was tasked with investigating adoptions from abroad and possible illicit practices from 1967-1998. The Committee determined that during that period, the adoption infrastructure was not sufficient to prevent illicit practices and to safeguard the interests of adoptees." The Netherlands is one of the top destinations for outgoing adoptions from the United States. More Information.
February 22, 2021. Debate Over Foster Care Continues. Naomi Schaefer Riley, whose work we have mentioned in the past, has co-authored an article defending the structure of the current foster care system. Reacting to current calls to greatly change, if not abolish, the foster care system, Riley cities four "myths" about foster care: that most reports of child mistreatment result in children being placed in foster care; that most of what is called "neglect" is really poverty; that foster care makes a bad situation worse; and, that with enough money, we would not need foster care. Read the article.
February 18, 2021. Government of Cambodia Announcement on Intercountry Adoptions. The Cambodian government has informed the Department of State that Cambodia intends to reopen international adoption. The State Department cautions, however, that it has no further details on international adoption from Cambodia. Moreover, "At this time, intercountry adoptions from Cambodia to the United States are still not possible. The United States suspended processing adoptions from Cambodia in 2001, due to fraud and irregularities in the adoption process in Cambodia. The United States reconfirmed the suspension in 2013." More Information.
February 17, 2021. New York Allows Compensated Surrogacy. On February 15, New York lifted its ban on compensated surrogacy. According to the New York Attorney for Adoption and Assisted Family Formation ("NYAFF") association, "This is "the nation's most progressive legislation addressing the parentage of those needing the assistance of medical technology to form their families." NYAFF also stated that this law represents "an urgently needed predictable legal and ethical framework for recognizing the parentage of children created through assisted reproduction."
November 30, 2020. National Adoption Month. November is National Adoption Month but this year, of course, has been different. Usually judges in family courts throughout the country sit in special adoption sessions gathering children and families for joyous finalizations. This year, it is all Zoom, all the time. But the sentiments are the same: as the State Department's Special Advisor for Children's Issues Michelle Bernier-Toth wrote: "Intercountry adoption brings families together, but it also brings countries together." To read her article, please click here.
November 23, 2020. Department of State Issues Proposed New Adoption Regulations. The State Department has published proposed revisions to 22 CFR part 96, the regulations on Intercountry Adoption Accreditation of Agencies and Approval of Persons. DOS had proposed new regulations during the waning days of the Obama administration, which were then withdrawn in November 2016. The linked page explains how to access the proposed regulations as well as comment on the regulations. All comments are due on or before January 19, 2021. These are significant changes which we urge anyone interested in international adoption to read. To access the regulation links, please click here.
November 17, 2020. Chinese Government Says Intercountry Adoptions from China Stays Closed. The Department of State has announced that "the Chinese Center for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA), Chinese officials indicated that CCCWA continues their current policy to not process intercountry adoptions of children from social welfare institutions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in other countries. They stated this policy is needed to ensure the health and safety of those children." The State Department added that "We realize this information and policy continues to have an impact on hundreds of families and potential adoptees in China. We will remain actively engaged with the Chinese government on this issue and provide updates as they become available." More Information.
November 3, 2020. Wonderful Adoption Story. The linked story about Kari and Byron Hall, who have adopted several children, including their youngest, Ivy, who was born with dwarfism. It is a story with a happy ending. To read the story, please click here.
November 2, 2020. DOS Invites Adult Adoptees to Town Meeting. The Department of State has invited interested adult international adoptees to a virtual town hall with Marisa Light, Chief of the Adoption Oversight Division, on Friday, November 13, 2020, from 12:30-1:30. If you are interested, please RSVP "by email to Adoption@state.gov no later than Tuesday, November 10, 2020, and include your name, email address, and if willing, the country from which you were adopted."
October 27, 2020. Department of State Delays Revised Substantial Compliance System. The State Department has issued a notice announcing that the revised Substantial Compliance System (SCS) from November 1, 2020 to April 1, 2021. The SCS is "a system of weightings the accrediting entity uses to evaluate the compliance of accredited and approved adoption service providers (ASP) with required standards under the federal regulations governing intercountry adoption. The SCS is a critical tool for protecting the safety and best interests of children adopted through the intercountry process, as well as adoptive families and birth families." More Information.
October 21, 2020. Another Take on Amy Coney Barrett's Haitian Adoption. In response to the New York Times article posted earlier this week, several articles have been published. One writer asks a seminal question: why was Judge Barrett's adoptions the subject of an article, at all? In 2005, the New York Times decided that the adoptions of then Judge, now Chief Justice, John Roberts was not relevant to his confirmation hearings. To read more, please click here.
October 19, 2019. Article on Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Adoptions. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is the mother of five biological children as well as two children adopted from Haiti, in 2005 and 2010. As part of its coverage of the nomination, the New York Times has published an article on Barrett's adoption which may be found by clicking here.
October 12, 2020. Senator Wicker: "Time to Remove Obstacles to Intercountry Adoption" Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss) took to the Senate floor to discuss the State Department's role in U.S. international adoption. Senator Wicker said, "In recent weeks, I have called on the Senate to investigate the Office of Children's Issues and hold hearings to expose their misuse of authority. In addition, I have co-sponsored legislation requiring the State Department to give an account for their actions and explain how they are working to make intercountry adoption more feasible. The bill would also help prospective parents get the information they need to pursue adoption abroad. This legislation has passed the House and Senate unanimously and now awaits the President's signature." To read his full statement, please click here.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
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