July 19, 2018. Arizona Enacts First in the Nation Law on Embryo Disposition. Arizona's new law which requires that embryos in disputed custody situations be given to the person who intends to "develop to birth" these embryos is a controversial solution to a very difficult issue. With millions of embryos now in storage, various state courts have dealt with the question of to whom to award frozen embryos when the couple which created the embryos have divorced and now disagree as to the disposition. At the same time, pro-life groups have used this issue to work toward establishing the personhood of embryos. In the opinion of Rich Vaughn, chair of the American Bar Association's committee on fertility technology and founder of the International Fertility Law Group, this "new law is in fact an end around aimed at establishing the 'personhood' of unborn embryos." More Information.
July 18, 2018. Where is the Outrage Over Institutionalized Children Denied Adoption Homes. In the eloquent article linked to below, Professor Elizbeth Bartholet asks two vitally important questions: why do so many people actively to obstruct unparented children's access to permanent, loving parents through international adoption and why do so few people raised their voices to help these children? As Professor Bartholet points out: "The Trump administration has set itself to undo all things Obama. But oddly it has to date opted not to change the State Department adoption policies so desperately in need of change" while very few of the Democrats who decry the administration's migrant children policy have supported legislation which has been introduced to help unparented children find international adoptive parents. To read the article, please click here.
July 17, 2018. Co-Head of Congressional Coalition on Adoption Introduces Federal Faith-Based Protection Amendment. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) successfully introduced an amendment to the House Appropriations Committee bill that will fund the Department of Health and Human Services Department for fiscal year 2019 that "would permit federally funded providers to refuse to recruit, train or support same-sex or unmarried couples interested in fostering or adopting children." In the last four years nine states, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Michigan, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia, have enacted similar laws. More Information.
July 16, 2018. Tree of Life Adoption Center's Accreditation Expires. The Department of State has notified adoption stakeholders that the "the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME) reports that on June 9, 2018, the Hague Accreditation for Tree of Life Adoption Center (Tree of Life) expired. They did not re-apply for accreditation." Tree of Life is the eighth adoption service provider to cease international adoption services since April 1st. Please go to the link blelow to learn about case transfer procedures for in process families or post-adoption families who are required to submit home studies. Click here.
July 12, 2018. CAP Endorses Intercountry Adoption Information Act of 2018. We are proud to endorse the Intercountry Adoption Information Act of 2018, sponsored by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and is co-sponsored by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH). In the words of Senator Burr, "this bipartisan bill will help remove some of the frequent informational challenges families face when trying to learn the status of intercountry adoption policies. It will also shine a light on unnecessary and detrimental barriers some countries have put up to thwart adoptions, and require the State Department to provide information on what they are doing to address those barriers. I hope the Senate will work to pass this commonsense legislation as soon as possible." We agree. To read the text of the bill, please click here.
July 11, 2018. Post-Adoption Reporting is a Must-Do. Many countries of origin require adoptive parents to send post-adoption reports about their child on a regular basis. But once home, it is easy for adoptive parents to neglect this obligation. However, not only have adoptive parents agreed to this requirement but the failure of compliance with post-adoption reporting requirements is one of the top reason countries cite for banning international adoption. More Information.
July 10, 2018. Battle Over Foster Care. Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia is no longer providing foster care referral services in Philadelphia. As a result, Catholic Social Services is taking the City to court over the termination of its role in foster care. According to spokesmen for Catholic Social Services, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services took this step because of Catholic Social Services' religious beliefs regarding marriage," specifically LGBT marriage. What Catholic Social Services calls religious freedom issues, others believe to be the freedom to discriminate. More Information.
July 9, 2018 Adoptions From Ukraine Will Take Longer. The Department of State has posted information that potential adoptive parents from Ukraine Adoptive parents may have to wait an additional six to 12 weeks in Ukraine to obtain the child's passport, birth certificate, and other required documents. This wait time is in addition to the 30-day waiting period following the final court hearing (DOS emphasis). Potential adoptive parents should allow for these waiting periods when making their plans. More Information.
May 31, 2018 United Nations New Food for Sex Scandal. We have previously written about the sexual abuse which Save the Children and Oxfam employees perpetrated in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. The Times of London has now obtained an 84 page report written by researchers from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Save the Children in Africa in 2001 documenting the widespread sexual abuse of children and the extracting of sex in exchange for food in refugee camps. One of the tragic comments in the article is "if you don't have a daughter you starve." These same organizations are vocal in their condemnation of international adoption. More Information.
May 30, 2018. Why It is So Dangerous to Leave Children In Parked Cars. The adoption community was saddened last week to learn of another child, adopted domestically, who died of heat stroke after being left in a parked car by accident. The attached article shows why this actions proves fatal: within one hour, a car parked in the sun on a hot day will record temperatures in excess of 110 degrees. Even a car parked in the shade has a temperature over 100 degrees, To read the article, please click here.
May 29, 2018. Did The Trump Administration Lose Undocumented Immigrant Children? The truth is that both Obama administration and the Trump Administration officials lost track of many unaccompanied refugee minor children once they were released to sponsors. More Information.
May 24, 2018. State Department Redefines Public Charge Standard. The Department of State has amended the Foreign Affairs manual which guides how diplomats and officials interpret the law "to increase the burden of satisfying the public charge ground of inadmissibility for both immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants." This standard has stayed the same since December 1997, when the requirement for an affidavit of support was required. This change may negatively affect potential adoptive parents who are in process for bringing children home with IR 4 or IH 4 visas. More Information.
May 23, 2018. Wide-Ranging EU Privacy Laws Conflict With U.S. Legal Practice. The European Union has enacted sweeping privacy laws which seek to protect (and expurgate) European Union citizens' data. This article, aimed at New York lawyers but applicable to all, explains the ways in which this new EU law conflicts with U.S. legal practice and statutes. To access the article, please click here.
May 22, 2018. An Eloquent Voice Speaks About Foster Care. Rob Henderson has written a stirring article about being a foster child and why it made him a conservative student at Yale. Henderson, whose life has been shaped by "foster care, broken homes and military service," calculates that among the 5,000 undergraduate at Yale, only 10 were former foster care children. To read this excellent article, please click here.
May 21, 2018. Make the Right Decision, Please. Joanne Boyle, former head women's basketball coach at the University of Virginia, is also, by Senegal law, the adoptive mother of Ngoty, age 6. With the knowledge and assistance of the U.S. embassy in Dakar, Boyle brought her very ill daughter home to the U.S. on a medical visa. Now USCIS is denying Boyle the opportunity to complete her U.S. paperwork to properly adopt and naturalize her daughter under U.S. law. The tragedy here is that there exists a legal remedy for Boyle, who did every step in an above board manner, in reliance on the word of the U.S. embassy employee. The proper answer is humanitarian parole which is designed precisely for this sort of case. No precedent would be set, no flood of other children will come. A humane government needs to do the humanitarian right thing. More Information.
May 17, 2018. The Adoptee Citizenship Act Needs YOUR Support. The Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018, S. 2522 needs your support now. This bill, if passed, will provide citizenship to international adoptees who did not qualify for automatic citizenship and whose adoptive parents failed to naturalize them in a timely fashion. The children and former children, now adults, did nothing wrong - to deny them citizenship is blaming the children for the sins of their parents. Please contact your Senators and ask them to co-sponsor ane/or endorse S. 2522. The bill's text can be found by clicking here.
May 16, 2018. Surrogate Mothers Ask Supreme Court to Hear Their Cases. Three surrogate mothers: Melissa Cook, Gail Robinson and Toni Bare have called upon the Supreme Court to take their cases which seek to overturn the form of surrogacy contracts used in many states on the grounds that surrogacy prevents "a child being placed where it's in the child's best interest." The lawyer for the three women, Harold Cassidy, brought the famous Baby M surrogacy case in New Jersey where the Supreme Court ruled in 1988 that surrogacy contracts were void against public purpose. More information.
May 15, 2018 Department of State Update on Adoption From Japan. The Department of State has issued an update on adoption from Japan stating that the Japanese government has informed DOS that "pursuant to Japanese law, the intercountry adoption of Japanese children requires authorization by Japanese courts." DOS will be updating its Japanese adoption page to reflect that only through the court process can children be adopted from Japan. Among other things, the court procedure requires potential adoptive parents to spend a minimum of six months "trial nurturing" in Japan. There is no word on what American parents in process with Japanese adoptions using a different procedure will need to do. More Information.
May 14, 2018. Oklahoma Governor Signs Bill Making Adoption Agency Discrimination Legal. Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma has signed a bill into law which would permit discrimination by child placing agencies as it allow agencies not to place children with families when the placing would "violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies." This law will invidiously affect LGBT community members as well as Catholics, Jews, Muslims, non-believers and others of which an agency feels will not meet its religious or moral convictions. More importantly it will hurt LGBT children who may be placed in foster homes which are totally inappropriate for their best interests. More Information.
May 10, 2018. Mothering: It's Not About the Chromosomes. Just in time for Mother's Day, Rebecca Compton, Professor of Psychology at Haverford College, and adoptive mother, has written a beautiful article for Psycholgoy Today on what makes a mother. Professor Compton rightly focuses on the 23andMe DNA genetic testing site which implores in its latest ad that: "The whole point of Mother's Day is you're with your family, your DNA!" The company is hoping people will give their mothers the gift of genetic testing for Mother's Day. But as Professor Compton points out, not all mothers are genetic mothers and to "blindly" focus on the ones who can make money for the company does a great disserve to all families, some of whom do not have mothers at all, have two mothers or have two fathers. Please do read this excellent article. To access it, please click here.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
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