August 16, 2018. CAP/Duke Law Conference Set for November 16, 2018. We are delighted to announce that our Annual Conference with Duke Law School will be held at Duke Law School on Friday, November 16, 2018. The topic of the conference is "Silent Victims: Foster Care and Foster Care Adoption in America", and it will focus on the needs and rights of children in the context of foster care and adoption. It will follow in the tradition of our 2017 conference on intercountry adoption, as well as prior conferences held by the Center for Adoption Policy, and it will draw on the strong interdisciplinary focus of Duke University and Duke Law School. The conference will be widely publicized and will offer CLE credit for attendees, so we expect a large turnout. We will be posting more information shortly.
August 15, 2018. Domestic Foster Children Need Help. Dawn Saffayeh, the executive director of 150-year-old Hear Share St. Vincent's Services in Brooklyn, has written an eloquent plea on behalf of American children who need committed foster parents. Having watched the outpouring of support for separated migrant children, she says," As a leader of one of the city's oldest foster-care agencies in Brooklyn, I first felt frustration. What about New York City's youths in foster care? They're also wrenched from their parents - although to protect them from harm." Each year over 5,000 children under the age of 18 are removed from their homes for their own safety in New York City. But New York City, like every other area of the country, has a huge shortfall in the number of approved foster parents. Saffayeh ends with these eloquent words," Make the migrant crisis a call to action, New Yorkers. If you're willing to offer bedrooms to kids separated from their parents at the border, why not offer them to New York kids in our own back yard?" More Information.
August 14, 2018. China Pushes Women To Have More Children. Thirty years after China imposed the one-child policy on families, three years after the Chinese government announced a two-child policy, Chinese government officials, fearing a demographic crisis of a different sort than that envisioned in past decades, is on the verge of scrapping child limits. Moreover, the Chinese government is taking serious measures to increase population growth. The governments' view, stated in the official newspaper People's Daily is that "the birth of a baby is not only a matter of the family itself, but also a state affair." In Jiangxi province, an area which formerly had a large international adoption program, officials have reissued abortion guidelines, which, if enforced, would seriously curb the availability of abortions. How quickly things change. More Information.
August 13, 2018. Colorado Parents Fighting to Stop Deportation of Their Internationally Adopted Daughter. U.S. citizens Amy and Marco Beccera adopted their daughter Angela in Peru. They received the final Peruvian adoption decree in May 2017. Because they did not follow the U.S. procedures for a Hague adoption, Angela was not eligible for the adoption visa. It took until March 2018 for Angela to receive a tourist visa to come to the U.S. Her tourist visa will expire on August 31, 2018 and USCIS has denied an extension. More Information.
August 9, 2018. New York Convicted Murderer Child Care Worker Accused of Assaulting Six Year Old Boy. New York City's Administration of Children's Services has admitted that it fails to do required background checks on employees. As a result Jacques Edwards, who served a 30 year sentence for murder, was employed as a juvenile counselor. Last week Edwards was arrested assaulting a six year old boy in his care. Although ACS has been required to do criminal background checks since 2013, no such investigation was done before was hired in 2014. Current ACS Commissioner David Hansell Edwards "admitted he didn't know how many more of his 7,000 employees have felony records." Under current ACS guidelines, Edwards' conviction would have disqualified him from working with children. To read the follow up story, please click here.
August 8, 2018. Should Court-Enforceability of Post-Adoption Contracts Be Promoted? As open adoptions have become more common, the question of the legality and enforceability of post-adoption contact agreements has risen in importance. In this article Heidi Cox and Eric Freeby weigh the benefits of certainty against the need for flexibility and for the adoptive parents to be able to honor the best interests of their child as that may change over time. The authors focus on intra-family adoptions, recognizing that inter-family adoptions raise different concerns. To read the article, please click here.
August 7, 2018. Benin Accedes to the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention. The Department of State has announced that "on June 28, 2018, Benin ratified and deposited its instrument of ratification to 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 Benin on October 1, 2018. Benin is the 99th country to join the Hague Convention. In Fiscal Year 2017 no children from Benin were adopted to the United States. More Information.
August 6, 2018. Wall Street Journal Highlights Role of Bethany Christian Services in Migrant Care. In an article published on August 4, The Wall Street Journal recounted the role of adoption services/foster care provider Bethany Christian Services in helping to find foster homes for migrant children whose parents came to the U.S. without legal authorization. Bethany does not place children with same-sex couples nor does it offer its adoption services to same sex or non-Evangelical couples. Bethany's president, Christopher Balusky, stated that he believes in a "big tent" but also believes that prospective foster parents should "align with the organization they want." The difficulty comes when Bethany or another faith-based organizations is the only government designated foster care agency in a specific area. What happens then? More Information.
August 2, 2018. Care of Migrant Children and Foster Children Is Big Business. The care of foster children and migrant children is a very profitable growth industry for providers. This New York Times article about Cayuga Centers, one such provider, details that in fiscal 2017, Cayuga Centers had revenue of $48.7 million and indeed received $123 million in the four years, largely from the federal government. Moreover, the care of unaccompanied refugee minors (migrant children) is more profitable and less difficult that working with troubled foster youth. To read the article, please click here.
August 1, 2018. Chinese Vaccine Scandal Outrages Parents. The Chinese government has revoked the license of a major manufacturer of Chinese vaccines after its DPT and human rabies vaccines were found to be faulty. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Chinese children have been given the defective vaccines under a mandatory national vaccination program. Adoptive parents who have adopted in the last three years should make sure the effectiveness of their Chinese adopted children's vaccines have been evaluated by a medical professional. This scandal is also worrisome because more and more drugs for American consumption are manufactured in China. More Information.
July 23, 2018. Head of National Council for Adoption Asks: "Why does the State Department make it hard to adopt children from other countries?" Chuck Johnson, CEO of the National Council for Adoption (NCFA) poses this question in a strongly worded column written for USA Today. Johnson points out the international adoption has plummeted by 80 percent while the number of children who need permanent, loving homes has only grown. Johnson believes that "The [State] Department's Adoption Division needs new leaders who value and champion the human right for every child to have a family. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo needs new leaders who will collaborate with adoption service providers, community stakeholders, and other nations so that more Americans can become parents to these children." More Information.
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.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
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