April 24, 2018. New Fetal Gender Test Sparks Fears of Gender-Linked Abortion Rise. A new finger prick blood test will allow pregnant women to learn the sex of their fetus at eight weeks. Not only is the test rapid, it will be inexpensive. Gender-related abortions have created an imbalance of 63 million missing women in India and 34 million "extra men" in China. The growth in family incomes in India and China has not ended the cultural preference for male children; the fear now is that even more abortions will take place. More Information.
April 23, 2018. Bitter Fight Over Embryos Highlights New Issues Raised by Assisted Reproduction Technology. Yesterday's New York Post reported on a court fight between two New Yorkers about their frozen embryos. Illissa Watnik, wants to use the fertilized eggs to become a single mother. She claims that former partner (but not husband) Kevin Heldt agreed that she could use the genetic material and maintains that she does not want any child support. But Heldt says that as the son of a (primarily) single mother, he could not live with being the genetic father of a fatherless son. These are new issues which the world of assisted reproductive technology has created.
April 19, 2018. Australian Senator Seeks to Stop Orphanage Tourism. Senator Linda Reynolds wants to put orphanage tourism on the Australian government agenda. Reynolds see orphanage tourism "as a scam which Australians are keeping the industry afloat, with the "sugar rush" their altruism creates often resulting in virtual signaling social media posts. The thinking behind ending orphanage tourism is that Australians support family care at home, why wouldn't they support it abroad? However, what this article fails to point out is that there are thousands of children around the world who cannot be cared for in the birth family." More Information.
April 18, 2018. Citizenship Certificates Taking A Very Long Time. Adopted children who came home between 2001 and 2004 did not automatically receive Certificates of Citizenship. Instead their parents had to file the N-600 form and pay a fee. In the last two years many parents realized that their children needed their Certificates to prove their citizenship and have filed with USCIS to obtain the Certificates. Unfortunately it is now taking well over a year for families to receive these Certificates and the wait is projected to only increase. Please do obtain this Certificate-it is the only indisputable proof of Citizenship and if you don't obtain it, your child will not be registered as a citizen by the Social Security Administration.
April 16, 2018. Department of State Raises Concern About International Adoption from Japan. The Department of State has notified us that it is "currently reviewing Japanese law regarding the transfer of custody of a child without a court order, which may affect a child's eligibility for an adoption-based visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Department urges families with pending I-600 petitions and immigrant visa applications based on the transfer of custody of children - if such applications do not involve a court order - to consider deferring their travel to Japan to complete the visa process at this time. The Department also urges adoption agencies not to make new referrals to U.S. prospective adoptive parents in such cases until further notice." Any person with an in process adoption from Japan should keep watching adoption.state.gov for updates and should contact the Office of Children's Issues at firstname.lastname@example.org with any particular questions.
April 12, 2018. New Information Concerning COA Accredited Agencies. The Department of State has notified us that the Council on Accreditation (COA) is changing the way published information about adoption agencies and approved persons, both the make the information more accessible and to ease the transition to IAAME, the new accrediting entity. To search for information on the COA website, now it is necessary to go to http://coanet.org/accreditation/who-is-accredited/overview/. COA will not only update this list to reflect its own work but will also publicize the work of IAAME on monitoring, oversight,and complaints.
April 11, 2018. Mexican Government Requirements for U.S. Adoption Agencies. The Department of State has posted information from the Mexican Central Authority and the National System for Integral Family Developments setting for the requirements for U.S. adoption agencies which wish to be authorized to work in Mexico. Interested agencies and families who are in the process of considering or adopting from Mexico should visit the Department of State web site for more information.
April 10, 2018. IAAME Monitoring of Adoption Agencies Working with International Adoption Has Begun. On April 1, 2018 the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAMME) became the official and only entity charged with monitoring and oversight over all adoption service providers which are accredited and approved for international adoption. The Council on Accreditation which previously had been responsible for such monitoring and oversight will only completely reviews of a small number of agencies whose accreditations expire prior to December 2018 and thereafter will cease functioning as the Accrediting Entity which will thereafter be the sole responsibility of IAMME. In addition IAMME will take over from COA the investigation of complaints against agencies which have not yet been resolved. More Information.
April 9, 2018. Many Agencies Will Not Be Re-Accredited for International Adoption. In the last few days the following adoption agencies (also know as adoption service providers) have been refused re-accreditation or have chosen not to apply for reaccreditation: Amazing Grace Adoptions, Adopt Abroad International, Faith International Adoption, Inc., AAA Full Circle Adoptions & Family Building Center, Inc., Buckner Adoption & Maternity Serves and Grace International Adoption Agency. Anyone who is in the process of adopting with one of the agencies should contact their agency immediately to find out what the transition plan for their case is. Please also refer to the Department of State notices for more information. To acess the DOS site, please click here.
March 27, 2018. Something Everyone Can Do to Help Save International Adoption. We know that many in the adoption community feel the need to try to do something to arrest and reverse the decline in international adoptions. The link below represents an action which concerned individuals can take which is to sign the petition to the White House which urges President Trump to take steps to change his administration's policy on international adoption. To sign the petition, please click here.
March 26, 2018. International Adoptions to U.S. Now at Lowest Number Since 1973. The Department of State has released its figures on international adoptions to the United States in Fiscal Year 2017 (October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017). The total number of children internationally adopted children was 4,714, a drop of 12 percent from FY 2016. This figure is the lowest number of international adoptions to the United States since 1973. Even this low number is likely to drop because Ethiopia, the second largest sending country, has since banned international adoptions. China is still the largest sending country to the U.S, with 1,905 adoptions, down 15 percent from the previous year. To read all the dismal statistics, please click here.
March 22, 2018. Message from Assistant Secretary of State, Carl Risch. The Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, which has jurisdiction over international adoption, has circulated a message to the international adoption community. In the message, Mr. Risch assures families, agencies (ASPs), and stakeholders that the Department of State "is committed to maintaining intercountry adoption as an option around the world for children who cannot find permanent families in their countries of birth. He also states that DOS policy is a shared responsibility and not driven by one person and that if the transition to IAAME as the new accrediting entity (AE) is not successful, "the Department could be left with no AE, and accreditation and approval of ASPs would cease until a new AE could be found, absent a change in the legislation governing intercountry adoption. Such an outcome would almost certainly result in the interruption of intercountry adoption to the United States." More information.
March 20, 2018. New Article Discusses Department of State's Position on International Adoption. We draw your attention to an excellent article about new Department of State policies which will negatively affect international adoption. The article features Professor Elizabeth Bartholet, National Council for Adoption President Chuck Johnson, and other individuals with long experience in the field of international adoption. To access the article please click here.
March 19, 2018. State Department Guidance on "Soft Referrals." The Department of State has issued guidance on the practice by countries of origin or adoption service providers of issuing so called "soft referrals," which DOS defines as "the act of matching a child to a family before confirmation of the child's eligibility to be adopted through the intercountry process and /or approval of the perspective adoptive parents' home study and associate background checks." The China Special Needs program, the largest international adoption program, has made it a practice to provide Preliminary Approval (PA) to families for specific children although the families does not yet have an approved home study, a procedure which will not pass muster now. However, the DOS announcement does not ban photo listings in and of themselves. More Information.
March 15, 2018. What Were They Thinking: Twins and Triplets Separated For Adoption For a Medical Study. We have been horrified to learn that in the 1960s a prominent adoption agency, Louise Wise Services, separated twins and triplets who were then placed in different adoptive families. None of the adoptive families knew their child had a biological twin or triplets. The families were also told that their children would be part of a child development study. In reality the study was designed to test nature over nurture, using separated children as test cases. Clearly neither the adoptive parents nor the children gave informed consent. Some of the now adult children only learned about their twins' existence from the producer of a new documentary. The victims still cannot get access to the unredacted study, the documents for which are at Yale University but sealed. More Information.
March 14, 2018. Protecting Frozen Eggs and Embryos. Over the weekend two fertility clinics, one in Cleveland and one in San Francisco, reported that their freezing systems for preserving client's eggs and/or embryos had failed. In response, the New York Times has prepared a basic outline of what steps clients should take to ensure, as far as possible, the safety of their eggs. The article may be found by clicking here.
March 13, 2018. Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2018 Introduced. On March 8, Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash) and Chris Smith (R-N.J.), together with Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) introduced, yet again, an Adoptee Citizenship bill. This legislation, if passed, would provide citizenship for adoptees whose American citizens parents failed to complete the necessary steps to make their children U.S. citizens. As Senator Hirono said: "International adoptees who were adopted by American parents and raised as Americans should have the same rights of citizenship as biological children," We wholeheartedly urge every adoptee to contact their legislators and urge swift passage of this bill. More Information.
March 12, 2018. Kansas Parents Will Serve Prison Sentences For Child Abuse. Jim and Paige Nachtigal, Kansas missionaries, pleaded guilty to child abuse for the cruel mistreatment of the three children they adopted from Peru. While the Nachtigals were known in their community for their involvement in their church and their foreign missionary work, they were secretly abusing the three children they had adopted. School staff and others had contacted Department of Children and Families officials as early as 2014 but it took until 2016 for any investigations to begin. While two of the children appear to be doing well, the younger daughter is clearly struggling. More Information.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
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