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April 25, 2019. Honduras Ratifies the Hague Convention The Department of State has announced that "on March 6, 2019, Honduras ratified the Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption Convention (Hague Adoption Convention.) The Convention will enter into force for Honduras on July 1, 2019. The Department is determining if the United States may process Convention adoptions with Honduras pursuant to U.S. law." By this last statement DOS is warning the adoption community that it does not automatically accept that a country has met its Hague obligations. Rather DOS will now evaluate Honduras' procedures to ascertain if the procedures meet DOS' interpretation of the Hague Convention. For that reason, families considering adopting from Honduras should consult with their adoption service provider as to whether they should proceed at this time. More Information.

April 24, 2019. Another Case of Secret Siblings. In a familiar fact pattern, a number of Dutch adults have found out that they are half siblings because their mother's fertility doctor used his own sperm to impregnate patients. Dr. Jan Karbaat, who died two years ago, helped over 6,000 women have more than 10,000 children through his long career. According to the Defence for Children organization, which represents parents and children who were Karbaat's patients, at least 49 adults have found that they are half siblings. Dr. Karbaat probably did not envision DNA home testing kits. To read the article, please click here.

April 23, 2019. The Tens of Millions of Missing Women. A Singapore research team has found that gender bias and China's one child policy have left 11.9 million women missing from China and 10.6 million missing from India. The peak year of China's gender bias-linked discrepancy was 2005 when its birth sex ratio was 118 males born for every 100 girls. The normal ratio is 102 males for every 100 women. Male children have traditionally been favored in Asian society but for the Chinese population has been manipulated by the government since 1949, when the Communist government took over. Between 1950 and 1960, Mao's encouragement to the populace to have large families led to 200 million births, a figure equal to one third of the Chinese population in 1949. In 1973 the Chinese government changed course and imposed a draconian one-child policy which remained in effect until recently. More Information.

April 22, 2019. Guyana Accedes To the Hague. The Department of State announced today that the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption will be effective regarding adoptions from Guyana on June 1, 2019. DOS currently "is determining if the United States may process Convention adoptions with Guyana pursuant to U.S. law." Guyana will be the 100th nation to join the Hague Convention which became effective as respects the United States 11 years ago this month. In 2017, 22 children were adopted from Guyana to the United States. To read more, please click here.

April 18, 2019. Department of State to Issue New Regulations on International Adoption. The Office of Children's Issues of the Department of State has served notice that it will be issuing new regulations pertaining to international adoption in the very near future. We understand that draft regulations are already circulating among Departments. Readers of this column may remember that previous DOS regulation, were issued for comment in the autumn of 2016 but then were withdrawn, following extensive (and negative) comments from stakeholders, adoption service providers and families.

April 15, 2019. Vancouver Island's Last Adoption Agency Closes. Citing the declining number of international adoptions, Vancouver's only adoption agency, Choices Adoption and Pregnancy Counselling, is shutting its doors. The drastic fall in international adoptions has driven many adoption agencies out of business. In turn the cascade of closures results in worse services for potential adoptive parents which makes international adoption less safe for children which leads to more failed adoptions. To read about how the closure has affected a Canadian family, please click here.

April 10, 2019. New York State Debates Child - Parent Security Act. New York legislators are debating a new bill which would definitely alter the New York assisted reproductive technology legal landscape. The proposed legislation would accomplish two main goals: it would clarify and protect parental rights when a sperm donor, egg donor, or embryo donor is involved in conception, and it would legalize compensation for gestational surrogacy for the first time in New York. To read more about the bill, which has the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, please click here.

April 9, 2019. Department of State Updates Many Country Pages. The Department of State announced today that it has updated the country pages for 20 countries which include Belarus, Estonia, Moldova, South Korea and Zambia. The statistical information on the country pages, however, has not yet been updated. To access these new country pages, please click here.

April 4, 2019. Article Assesses Condition of International Adoption. Author Jayme Metzgar has written a passionate article decrying the perilous state of international adoption to the United States. Titled "New Report Shows International Adoption Edging Closer to Extinction," this article attributes much of the blame for the catastrophic decline of international adoption to overregulation. Anyone interested should read this article to assess this dismal situation.

April 3, 2019. A Story With A Happy Ending. Liz Smith, Director of Nursing at a Massachusetts hospital, met baby Gisele two years ago. Gisele, who was born with neonatal abstinence syndrome because her birth mother had used heroine, cocaine and methadone during pregnancy, was a ward of the state. Gisele was developmentally delayed and needed extensive hospital care, for her weakened lungs and a feeding tube. No one ever visited Gisele except Ms. Smith who spent long hours with her. Gisele's birth parents lost their parental rights and Gisele was placed in foster care, with Ms. Smith, who successfully sought to adopt her. Fast forward 553 days and Gisele is now the adopted daughter of Liz Smith. To read this story, please click here.

April 2, 2012. "I Was Adopted, My Friend Was Not." Please read this moving article written by Ming Canaday, a young woman who was adopted from China as a pre-teen. Ming and her friend Chunchun both had polio and scoliosis. Once in the United States Ming had the necessary surgeries and therapy to thrive - she is now getting her Master's degree at the London School of Economics. Chunchun was not as fortunate. She never was sent to school, has gotten progressively more disabled and lives in a Chinese welfare institution. To read the article, please click here.

April 1, 2019. Dismal Reading. We have post the numbers from the Department of States Intercountry Adoption Annual Report for the Fiscal Year 2018. As ever, it makes dismal reading. The numbers are down and poised to go lower since several countries, such as Ethiopia and Poland,that had open international adoption programs last year have closed their programs, in whole or in part. To read our summary and access the Report, please visit our Facts and Figures page.

March 27, 2019. Sierra Leone Suspends International Adoption Until April 30, 2919. Last week the government of Sierra Leone informed the Department of State that "it has temporarily suspended the processing of all intercountry adoption cases until April 30, 2019, pending an internal review of its current process and the implementation of new adoption procedures and policies." In-process adoptive parents should communicate with their adoption agencies regarding the status of their adoption. Families should also monitor and if they have specific questions, should email the Office of Children's Issues at

March 26, 2019. French Case on Surrogacy Procedure. We have learned about a new French case concerning surrogacy, A court in France has ordered a Spanish website hosting service that offers to match hopeful intended parents with gestational surrogates to shut off access to its services in French territory. The court found that the matching service was providing an "illicit service" which was aimed at French intended parents and as such was violating French law. Perhaps the reason for the ruling is that a French, not Spanish, company owned the company.

March 25, 2018. Kyrgyzstan's Reauthorization of Adoption Service Providers. The Department of State has informed the adoption community that Kyrgyzstan has reinstated the accreditation for three U.S. adoption service providers but has not reauthorized the operations of four other adoption agencies. The agencies that are re-authorized are Lifeline Children's Services, World Links International Adoption Agency, and Across the World Adoptions. Families in the process of adopting from Kyrgyzstan should consult the DOS announcement.

March 21, 2019. Trump Administration Plans to Shut Overseas USCIS Offices. In what USCIS has labeled an efficiency move, the Director of USCIS, L. Francis Cissna informed senior USCIS officials that the international division will close down at the end of 2019. The international division has operations in 20 countries and is the best conduit for potential adoptive parents to process their adoptions in-country. These shutdowns will affect not only potential adoptive parents but students, U.S. military personnel, and applicants for legal immigration. To read more on the plan, please click here.

March 20, 2019. AAAA Assails Decline in International Adoptions. The American Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys has issued a statement highlighting the 82 percent drop in international adoptions to the United States since 2004, and the 13 percent drop in international adoptions from 2017 to 2018 to the small number of 4,059. As the statements points out: "The majority of orphans denied intercountry adoption are not finding equal or better solutions in their country of birth; on the contrary, they are living and dying in institutions in ever-growing numbers. Research conclusively shows that the majority of those who survive the orphanage experience will experience permanent emotional and physical harm and will age out into a world that will exploit them in horrible and degrading ways."

March 19, 2019. Indian Authorities Investigage Embryo Smuggling Ring. A man from Malaysia was arrested at Mumbai airport after a human embryo was discovered in his luggage. The man told the police that he had smuggled embryos into India before and directed officials to a "high end" IVF clinic in Mumbai. Authorities are said to have also found text messages backing up his claim. The owner of the clinic denied the allegations. To access the story, please click here.

March 18, 2018. To Increase Birth Rate China Considers Single-Motherhood. China's leaders are convinced that the nation is facing a demographic disaster with a declining birth rate and increasing numbers of older people. Allowing each family two children, after thirty years of draconian - one child policies, has not produced the bump authorities sought. Now an idea getting serious attention is to treat single mothers the same as married couples. China has long penalized single mothers, making them face severe financial penalties as well as, in some provinces, denying the child the all-important "houkou" residence permit that is required for school, work and official residence. Even if these proposals are implemented, it will take a major societal change to break down the traditional disapproval. More Information.

March 14, 2019 Intercountry Adoptions to the United States Continue to Drop. The Department of State has released its Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2018. As expected, the number of international adoptions to the United States has continued to decline, this year down to 4059, a ten percent decline from FY 2017. The Department of State attributes the decrease to better domestic economic and social conditions in China as well as concerns over adoptive parent actions by the Ethiopian government. We have other explanations as well. To read the Annual Report, please click here.

March 12, 2019. Residence Requirements Potential Adoptive Parents From Sierra Leone. The Department of State has announced that in order to adopt from Sierra Leone, prospective adoptive parents must reside in and foster the child in Sierra Leone for six consecutive months. The Sierra Leone Attorney General has further confirmed that courts cannot waive this requirement nor can PAPs meet this requirement by proxy. DOS advise in process families to contact their adoptive agency immediately to make sure that their cases will be the Sierra Leone rules. More Information.

March 11, 2019. USCIS Issues Adoption Guidance. USCIS has issued guidance concerning the interpretation of its memo of November 9, 2018 memorandum on the suitability of prospective adoptive parents. This new information supplements and explains the earlier memorandum and attempts to answer various stakeholder questions which have come to the fore since then. It is important reading for agencies and prospective adoptive parents. To read the latest information, please click here.

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