Center for Adoption Policy
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October 11, 2022. New UN Report Condemns "Illegal Intercountry Adoptions." We have been accustomed to UNICEF weighing in on international adoption. Now, for the first time, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-recurrence, the Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children, the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, and the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances have issued a report condemning "illegal intercountry adoptions." The report casts a wide net which encompasses not only clearly illegal actions but international adoptions which may well have followed best practices. More Information.

September 29, 2022. State Department Annual Report on Intercountry Adoptions for FY 2021. During the summer, the Department of State released its annual report for Fiscal Year 2021 which covers the period October 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021. The Covid pandemic meant that many nations shut down or raised difficult barriers for international adoption. Notably, China, having shut its borders in early 2020, has not yet reopened international adoption. During FY 2021, 1,785 children were adopted by U.S. parents. The highest sending countries were Colombia (297), India (245), Ukraine (235), South Korea (156) and Nigeria (111). For More Information, download the report here.

September 28, 2022: Ukraine: Clarification of Hosting Programs. The State Department has put on a new notice on the resumption of hosting programs from that coutnry, which clarifies the Department's June 13 notice. The Ukrainian government has said that "children who are orphans or deprived of parental care may only be hosted as part of organized groups of children by organizations and institutions authorized by their local state authority to provide recreation and rehabilitation for children. The National Social Service of Ukraine (NSS) makes all decisions regarding the participation of children in hosting programs, and it has informed us that it will decline invitations for children who are orphans or deprived of parental care to stay with host families." Moreover, if an orphanage has already been evacuated from Ukraine to other countries, the Ukrainian government will not allow any of its children to participate in hosting programs of any kind. More information.

June 2, 2022. Good News on Transracial Adoption. The USA Today series of articles on domestic adoption contained excellent statistical information. We salute this newspaper for its deep reporting since the dearth of data on U.S. adoption and foster care has long troubled us. One of the most important findings contained in this data is that there was no difference between the failure rate of transracial versus same race adoptions. There have long been questions about the effects of transracial adoption on placement success rates. It was therefore very important to review this data, which supports what some experts have long believed: that race should not be the most important factor in deciding adoption placements. More Information.

June 1, 2022. Distressing But Not Surprising Series of Articles on Failed Adoptions. Recently USA Today published a series of articles on failed domestic adoptions from foster care. Readers should remember several important caveats. The first is that the VAST majority of adoptions succeed. The second is that, as members of the adoption community are aware, the risk of adoption failure rapidly increases with age. The younger the child, the greater the chance of an adoption succeeding. The more special needs a child is diagnosed with, the greater the chance of an adoption failing. Adoptions of older children as well as adoptions of children with special needs require extra preadoption training and post-adoption support. We hope that these articles can inspire policy makers to provide such education and support. Read the articles by clicking here.

May 30, 2022. Some Adoptions Move Forward in Ukraine. The Department of State has learned that some Ukrainian courts are not only open but are allowing certain case with official referrals to proceed. As the State Department has posted, whether a case can move forward, "depends on several factors, such as the availability of the court, the local security situation, and the ability for relevant parties to attend court proceedings. Virtual hearings may occur at a judge's discretion, and all necessary documents are still required for pending cases to be processed. Our understanding is that judges are contacting PAPs directly to provide instructions and information." As always, prospective adoptive parents should consult their adoption agencies as well as the Office of Children's Issues for the most accurate updates. More Information.

May 19, 2022. National Council For Adoption Selects New President and CEO. We were delighted to learn that Ryan Hanlon has been selected as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Council For Adoption, one of the most prominent organizations in the adoption and child welfare community. Hanlon has been at NCFA since 2017, when he began serving as Vice-President for Education, Research and Constituent Services. Since November 2021, Hanlon has been NCFA's Acting President and CEO. Having had the good fortune to work with Hanlon since he joined NCFA, we know that he is a tireless advocate for the best interests of each child. More Information.

May 18, 2022. Department of State Updates on Ukraine Adoption. The Department of State has issued updated guidance for families who were in process of adopting children from Ukraine prior to the ongoing conflict. The American embassy in Warsaw had been tasked with adoption questions. However, we learned today that American diplomats are returning to Kyiv, which may ease the exit of adopted children from this war-torn nation. More Information.

May 17, 2022. Our Father. Netflix is screening Our Father, a harrowing documentary about Dr. Donald Cline, who fathered almost one hundred children during the 1970s and 1980s. Considered one of the best doctors in Indiana, he was inundated with patients who sought the new infertility treatments. Having told potential parents that he was using donor sperm, Cline instead used his own. DNA testing uncovered his deeds. Unfortunately, Cline was only convicted of obstruction of justice, for lying to investigators, and served no jail time. Please click here.

March 29, 2022. Department of State Special Advisor for Children's Issues Statement on Ukraine. Michelle Bernier-Toth, the Special Advisor for Children's Issues in the Department of State has issued an important update on the status of international adoption from Ukraine. Anyone who is in the process of adoption from Ukraine, has hosted orphans from Ukraine, or would like to help Ukrainian orphans should read this important announcement. It may be found by clicking here.

March 23, 2022. Department of State Clarifies Visa Rules for Ukrainian Children. The Department of State has issued another statement relating to visas for Ukrainian issues, stating that "for families in various stages of the adoption process for children from Ukraine, we fully understand that prospective adoptive parents fervently wish to explore and employ available and appropriate options for facilitating the arrival into the United States of their prospective adoptive child. We take very seriously and prioritize the importance of facilitating full and final adoptions that comply with both U.S. and Ukrainian laws. Toward that end, we urge families to be cautious of any consultants, legal advisors, or organizations that suggest travel for prospective adoptive children or formerly-hosted children from Ukraine is possible without the approval of the authorities with legal guardianship of the child." Anyone who was in the process of adopting from Ukraine prior to the war should consult the entire notice which may be found on the Department of State website.

March 21, 2022. Ukrainian Government Issues a Statement on International Adoption. The Department of State has forwarded the statement made by the Ukrainian Ministry of Social Policy warning that international adoption from Ukraine is not now possible. As the Ministry put it, "under current conditions intercountry adoption is impossible and that disseminating such inaccurate information contains signs of fraud and violations of the rights of the child. This is why we appeal to all concerned citizens, civil society organizations, and international organizations not to disseminate misinformation and not to endanger children. ... In accordance with the legislation of Ukraine, adoption of a child who is a citizen of Ukraine by foreigners or by citizens of Ukraine who reside beyond its borders requires the consent of the National Social Service. It is this Service that oversees matters pertaining to intercountry adoption. The National Social Service is not currently considering cases and is not providing consent and/or permits for the adoption of children by foreigners or by citizens of Ukraine who reside beyond its borders." More Information.

March 10, 2022. Clinic to Surrogates: Stay in Ukraine. Ukrainian law, and its proximity to Western Europe and the Americas, has made Ukraine a hub for international commercial surrogacy. But now expectant surrogate mothers and newborn babies comprise yet another facet of the tragedy stemming from the war against Ukraine. And there is further complication. Because most countries do not allow commercial surrogacy, clinics such as BioTexCom have advised surrogates to remain in Ukraine rather than flee to other countries, Denis Herman, a legal adviser for that surrogacy center, advised the surrogates that they should remain in Ukraine-if they left there would be "lots of problems with the paperwork and establishing a parent-child relationship, because under the legislation of these countries, a legal mother is always a woman who gave birth to a child regardless of a genetic relationship. More Information.

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