NewCAP will resume on November 26.
November 15, 2018. Foster Care Conference Tomorrow - Not a Minute Too Soon. The headline of this week's Durham, North Carolina newspaper reads, "Too Many Kids. Not Enough Parents. Durham's Foster Care System Is In Crisis, and There's No Easy Fix." Tomorrow the Center for Adoption Policy and Duke Law School host their annual conference on: Silent Victims: Foster Care and Foster Care Adoption. We won't solve the problems but we are going to have very dedicated and experience people discussing what to do for children in foster care. We are taking next week off for Thanksgiving but immediately after we will be posting some of the highlights from the Conference.
November 14, 2018. An Adoptee Speaks About National Adoption Month. Stephanie Drenka, who was adopted from South Korea at age three months, has written an article giving her point of view on adoption in general and her own adoption in particular. We wholeheartedly agree with Stephanie that often the voices of adoptees are not heard. It is also very important to learn from Stephanie's birth story which highlights the many ways birth parents can choose adoption, not from governmental or external pressures but from family dynamics and the push for sons. To read the article, please click here.
November 13, 2018. Cambodian Authorities Arrest Fifteen People For Trafficking Through Surrogacy. Cambodian police arrested fifteen people and charged them with trafficking by their involvement in an illegal surrogacy scheme. Under the Cambodian law passed in 2016 surrogate mothers can be charged with trafficking and could serve up to 20 years in prison. These arrests follow a June raid which saw thirty women and a Chinese alleged ring-leader arrested. The impoverished women who agree to be surrogates may have no idea that they are breaking the law but Cambodian official Chou Bun Eng said that ignorance was not an excuse. More Information.
November 12, 2018. Latvia Issues New Adoption Regulations. The Department of State has informed us that the Latvian government has issued new regulations pertaining to international adoption. These new regulations will limit international adoption to three categories of children: "1) children living in institutions, for whom an adoptive family in Latvia cannot be found; 2) stepchildren of prospective adoptive parents; and 3) children from foster care, if the adoptive child is related to the prospective adoptive parents." DOS does not yet know if these new regulations will apply to in-process families. More Information.
November 8, 2018. November's National Adoption Month Events Highlight Congressional Coalition on Adoption. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption is the largest issue-oriented group of Senators and Representatives. The CCA is bi-partisan in goal and bi-partisan in fact. Its 160 Members are almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans and its co-chairs in both the House of Representatives and Senate are from both sides of the aisle: Senate Co-Chairs: Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) House Co-Chair: Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI). We salute the help the CCA members give to children who need permanent, loving homes. To download a list to learn whether your Representative or Senator belongs to the CCA, please click here.
November 7, 2018. Dilemma of Foster Care Placement. A British case highlights the problems foster care agencies can encounter in finding suitable placements. The Kent County social services council placed a baby, whose mentally ill mother could not care for him, with excellent foster parents. Now 15 months old, he is thriving in his loving home. But Judge Mary Lazarus has taken the council to task because neither the council nor the lawyers nor the child's guardian ad litem bothered to contact the birth mother's parents who might well have been suitable guardians. Reluctantly, Judge Lazarus agreed that the child should not be moved because he was thriving but she bemoaned the lost opportunity for kinship care. To read more, please click here.
November 6, 2018. Election Day. Today Americans vote for all House of Representatives members as well as one-third of the Senate. While adoption is not a key issue in any of the races, we are fully aware that important agenda items such as the Adoptee Citizenship Act, which failed to win approval this year and possible changes to the Families First Act as well as Department of State issues are to be decided in the next Congress. We hope that the new elected officials remember the importance of permanent loving families for unparented children once they are in office.
November 5, 2018. Success of IVF Has Decreased Interest in Adoption. The chief executive of the British Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service has said that the increasing success rate of assisted reproduction (ART) has seriously diminished the interest level of heterosexual couples in adoption. Most potential adoptive parents view the adoption process as far less reliable and far more intrusive than ART. Furthermore, although Britain formally banned the practice of matching race/religion/socioeconomic status in 2014, many social workers still discourage transracial or trans religious adoptions. More Information.
November 1, 2018. Foster Care: Child Welfare's Responsibility and Challenge. Professor Johanna Greeson has co-authored an important article on what the Child Welfare community owes to foster children. Professor Greeson will be one of the speakers at our conference on Silent Victims: Foster Care and Foster Care Adoption, to be held at Duke Law School on November 16. The article and registration can both be accessed at the link above.
October 31, 2018. Why My Children Do Not Trick or Treat for UNICEF. Every Halloween we write about UNICEF's tragically negative attitude towards international adoption. UNICEF has the best recognized "name" in international child welfare. Yet for decades this non-governmental organization has used its influence to lobby against international adoption. Why? One UNICEF official explained to us that IA's "band aid" approach distracts from the systemic problems of international child welfare. We share UNICEF's commitment to eliminating child poverty and discrimination. But at the same time, we seek solutions for unparented children in the here and now. International adoption is not the whole answer but we believe it must be an answer--a viable option for unparented children where ever they are.
October 30, 2018. Canadian Government Said Hague Convention Barred Adoption From Pakistan. According to a fascinating report from Canadian tv, the Canadian government in 2013 decided that the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption barred Canadian citizens from adopting from Pakistan although neither the United States nor Britain interpreted the Hague Convention in this manner. The grounds for the ban, which was extended to other Muslim nations, was that according to the federal government, "adoptions aren't permissible under Shariah law- even if parents had court orders from Islamic countries explicitly authorizing them." We have seen this problem before: the receiving country's central authority has decided to tell the sending country how to interpret its own laws. In every case, it is the children who suffer. To read the report, please click here.
October 29, 2018. Suspension of New Star Kefala. We quote from the Department of State website: "On October 26, 2018, the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME) suspended the accreditation of New Star Kafala for failing to maintain substantial compliance with accreditation standards. During this suspension, New Star Kafala must cease to provide all adoption services in connection with intercountry adoption cases. New Star Kafala is required to transfer their cases to another accredited adoption service provider. If you have an open case with New Star Kafala, please contact them directly to find out how the suspension will affect your case. You may also wish to review the Office of Children's Issues publication on Case Transfer Responsibilities and the USCIS publication If Your Adoption Service Provider is No Longer Accredited or Approved." More Information.
October 24, 2018. How To Help Children In Orphanages. New York Times writer Tina Rosenberg has posted her second article on how best volunteers can aid orphans and vulnerable children in poor countries. Rosenberg approvingly quotes the Christian Alliance for Orphans' guide for short-term volunteers working with children as recommending that volunteers should "support, not supplant, a parent or long-term caregiver as a "hero" in the child's life. And they should have no contact at all with children under 3 years old." We wish Rosenberg had mentioned in either this article or her previous article that for children who have neither parents nor committed family members, adoption - domestic or international - should be viewed as a viable method of family creation. To read the article, please click here.
October 23, 2018. When Do Children Age Out of Foster Care? Given our federal system, it is no surprise that the age children are no longer eligible for foster care varies among the different states. Last year North Carolina extended foster care services for teens from 18 to 21, as long as the affected recipient meets certain conditions. This extension was welcomed by child care professionals as it fills a gap for young adults who, having been in foster care, were not well equipped to be left to their own resources on their 18th birthday. To see how North Carolina changed its laws, please click here.
October 22, 2018. Department of State's China Travel Warnings. The Department of State has issued careful travel warnings for Americans going to China. Travelers are urged to "Exercise increased caution in China due to the arbitrary enforcement of local laws and special restrictions on dual U.S.-Chinese nationals." Children adopted from China with U,S, citizenship are not generally considered Chinese dual nationals by the Chinese government but as DOS points out, "China may refuse to acknowledge dual U.S.-Chinese nationals' U.S. citizenship." Any Chinese adopted child will have "China" listed on their U.S. passport as their place of birth. This fact makes Chinese adopted children more vulnerable to what DOS refers to as "arbitrary enforcement." Chillingly, DOS also points out that "Security personnel carefully watch foreign visitors and may place you under surveillance. Hotel rooms (including meeting rooms), offices, cars, taxis, telephones, Internet usage, and fax machines may be monitored onsite or remotely, and personal possessions in hotel rooms, including computers, may be searched without your consent or knowledge. Security personnel have been known to detain and deport U.S. citizens sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government." Teenagers and college students are particularly prone to less than prudent social media messages which can become grounds for surveillance or even detentions. To Read the DOS warning in full, please click here.
October 18, 2018. Congressman Fights to Revive International Adoption. Representative John Curtis (R-Utah) has introduced "HR 6985, the Intercountry Adoption Advisory Committee Act," which aims to reverse the decline in international adoptions. His bill aims to "enhance the intercountry adoption process and collect stakeholder input in advance of new policies being developed or implemented." It come at an important juncture because the Department of State, which many people hold responsible for at least part of the decline," is preparing to introduce new regulations which may further restrict international adoption. To read the article, please click here.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
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