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NewsCAP will resume on November 20.

Newscap, November 13, 2017. "The Rights of the Child in a Globalized World": There Is Still Time to Register. We are delighted to present a Conference, together with Duke Law School, on "The Rights of the Child in a Globalized World." It will be held at Duke Law School in Durham, North Carolina on November 17. With Senator Mary Landrieu keynoting, Ambassador Michele Bond speaking, together with Department of State and USCIS representatives as well as academics and practitioners in all areas of family creation, it is a not-to-be missed opportunity. To Register, please click here.

November 9, 2017. Urgent Update for Prospective Adoptive Parents from Ethiopia. The Department of State has posted the following notice concerning in-process Ethiopian adoption cases: "Ethiopian officials have informed the Department of State that as of November 8, 2017, the ONLY adoption cases that the government of Ethiopia will allow to proceed to completion under Ethiopia's current law are cases with a completed Form I-604 determination OR cases that have a Form I-604 determination that is currently pending with the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa. If an adoption case has not reached this point as of November 8, 2017, the government of Ethiopia will not allow the case to proceed to completion. This means that families who have been matched with a child but have not progressed to the Form I-604 stage may not proceed with the adoption in Ethiopia. If you are uncertain if your case has progressed to the Form I-604 stage, please contact Embassy Addis for confirmation. In light of this information, adoption agencies should not refer new Ethiopian adoption cases for U.S. prospective adoptive parents because the government of Ethiopia will not allow any new cases to be processed. If you filed a Form I-600 Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, with the National Benefits Center (NBC) before November 8 for a child in Ethiopia, please send us an email at adoption@state.gov with your name, the child's name, and where you are in the process." To read the rest of the notice, please click here.

November 8, 2017. "Care About Kids? You Should Want to Save This Tax Credit." The quote that starts this column is the title of an eloquent Op-ed from yesterday's New York Times. The author adds more specifics and shares yet another perspective of the importance of keeping the adoption tax credit. According to this Op-ed the annual cost of ATC is $355 million, a tiny amount to the U.S. budget but huge to each individual child who it helps. To read the Op-ed, please click here.

November 7, 2017. What the Adoption Tax Credit Means to Families. Please read the linked article to see the stories of the Bierly and Sims-Stewart families which show the real world impact to children in the foster care system of the Adoption Tax Credit. Three children have loving families now and will grow up in safety and security, with love. Moreover, according Schylar Baber, Executive Director of Voice for Adoption, every child who is adopted will save the government $127,000 for long-term foster care with far better outcomes. This is one tax benefit that should be retained, especially since a large percentage of foster to adopt families have lower to middle level incomes. This article is at http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/07/health/adoption-tax-credit-families/index.html

November 6, 2017. Save the Adoption Tax Credit. The reasons for the Adoption Tax credit are explained in this excellent statement. The Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys President Debra Guston issued the following statement today in opposition to the House Majority tax reform plan which proposes to eliminate the Adoption Tax Credit:

"The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys is disappointed that the House Majority's tax reform plan eliminates the Adoption Tax Credit. Our attorneys know firsthand how critical the Adoption Tax Credit is in helping families adopt and helping children find loving, permanent homes.

Congress should be breaking down the barriers to children being adopted, not building them. We urge Congress to show their commitment to American children and families by saving the Adoption Tax Credit."

November 2, 2017. Worldwide Citizenship Crisis for Korean Adoptees. According to a report prepared for the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, as of August 2017, almost 16 percent of Korean international adoptees (25,996 out of 165,305) worldwide were unable to obtain citizenship in the country where they reside. Of these almost 26,000 adoptees, 72 percent live in the United States. The large percentage in the United States is partly a result of the quirk that most Korean adoptees came to the United States on IR-4 visas which required their U.S. parents to adopt them in the U.S. as a prerequisite to obtaining citizenship. Further, until 2013, the Adoptee Citizenship Act did not apply to children who came to the U.S. with IR-4 visas. Many adoptive parents did not follow through on obtaining citizenship for their children or did not understand what they needed to do. These children grew up to become undocumented adults, subject to deportation. The cure for this terrible problem is for Congress to pass the Adoptee Citizenship Act, as we have been urging for many years. More Information.

November 1, 2017. Surrogate Mother Has to Fight For Her Biological Child. Jessica Allen became a surrogate for a Chinese couple in order to save up money for a house and to help a family. But in a medically rare twist, she became pregnant with two children, one of whom was the biological child of the intended parents and one of whom was the biological child of Allen and her partner Wardell Jasper conceived. This condition in which an already pregnant woman conceives another child is called superfetation and is extremely rare. The Chinese couple did not want the child that wasn't their genetic child but the surrogacy agency did not want to give her child back to Allen but instead wanted to have him adopted by someone else. It took a lengthy legal battle for Allen to regain physical and legal custody of her biological child. More Information.

October 31, 2017. DOS Releases Report on IAG Fraud Case in Ethiopia. The State Department has published a report on the adoption fraud case involving the Ethiopian adoption program of the now now-defunct International Adoption Guides, Inc. agency. The investigation involving document fraud and bribery ultimately led to the conviction of four IAG employees. But State Department official Scott Riedmann also pointed out that "Most of the stakeholders involved in international adoptions do excellent work finding homes for children who need them . . . .The department seeks to ensure that intercountry adoptions involving children or U.S. parents take place in the best interests of the child. Taking action against entities like IAG eliminates bad actors and helps to protect all those involved in intercountry adoptions." More Information.

October 30, 2017. Is Surrogacy Always Unethical? In a column posted on the Indian news site Sunday Guardian, Australian lawyer Catherine Lynch makes her case that surrogacy can never be ethical, whether or not it is done for compensation or "altruistically" for a friend or relative. Lynch hangs her argument on Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which "gives every human being the right not to be separated from their parents." She advocates that all nations enact domestic legislation which explicitly acknowledges that every child has the right to remain with and be brought up by their gestational mother. However, Lynch's citation of Article 9 omits the various qualifications to the right of the child she cites: The first sentence Article 9 in whole states that "States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child." However, Lynch's column is worth reading to understand the arguments that she and others propound. The column may be found by clicking here.

October 26, 2017. Save the Adoption Tax Credit! The Federal Adoption Tax Credit has helped thousands of families to adopt children who would otherwise be unparented. These days most adoptions are of American born children. With Congress looking to end many tax credits, a groups of U.S. organizations has banded together to form "Save the Adoption Tax Credit." To find out how you can help please go to https://adoptiontaxcredit.org/

October 25, 2017. Gender Shift in International Adoption. Readers of this column are well aware of the first, the declining number of international adoptions and second, the fact that international adoptees today either have special needs, are part of a sibling group or are older. But another shift is that for the first time in the modern period of international adoption, the majority of adoptees are boys. In 2016, 52 percent of international adoptees were boys and of the Chinese adoptees (who predominate in international adoption) 51 percent were boys. Historically, while birth parents preferred boys to girls, adoptive parents preferred girls to boys. Moreover, the Chinese program was virtually all girls until 2007. More Information.

October 24, 2017. More Proof That Children Belong in Families Who Can Care for Them. Over the last decade a number of scientific studies have demonstrated the dreadful effect on brain development caused by lack of one-to one interactions between a caregiver and an infant. This was famously documented in the Bucharest Early Intervention Study and now comes another report from UCLA. Professor Allan Schore emphasizes that "the growth of brain cells is a consequence of an infant's interaction with the main caregiver [usually the mother]" and that the evolution of a baby's brain "literally requires positive interaction between mother and infant. The development of cerebral circuits depends on it." In the words of a British Labour MP Graham Allen if we don't address this issue, "...it would mean we are politically incapable of implementing the one policy that will certainly make our society immeasurably better. And what more profound condemnation of our political system could there be than that?" More Information.

October 23, 2017. Foster Care Privatization A Threat To Vulnerable Children. Not a Success. Sens. Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden, the chairman and ranking member respectively of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance this month release the results of a two year investigation into privatized foster care with dismaying conclusions. The report's devastating statement "the child welfare system does not always protect children," is backed up by evidence proving that "policies are not always followed; exceptions are made, waivers are granted, profits are prioritized over children's well-being, and sometimes those charged with keeping children safe look the other way. High turnover among staff sometimes makes it impossible to develop case plans to ensure that children are ''on-track.'' Foster parents with questionable backgrounds, who lack the skills to provide care to vulnerable children, are given licenses to parent challenging children, and these children are then inadequately monitored." We owe our most vulnerable population much better protection than they are getting. To access the report, please click here.

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