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December 13, 2018. Trump Administration Hardens Stance Towards Vietnamese Non-Citizens. Refugees including adopted children from Vietnam who arrived in the United States before 1995 have been protected from deportation under a 2008 agreement between the United States and Vietnam. However, the Trump administration is now indicating that it wants to withdraw this protection. We worry for (former) children adopted from Vietnam between 1963 and 1975 whose adoptive parents did not naturalize them. To read more, please click here.

December 12, 2018. COA's Role as an Accrediting Entity Ends. The Department of State has posted a notice concerning the termination of the role of the Council on Accreditation as follows: "The Council on Accreditation's (COA) designation as an accrediting entity under section 202(a) of the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 terminated on December 6, 2018. As of that date, COA is no longer a designated accrediting entity. The Department thanks COA for its decade of service as an accrediting entity and wishes them well in their future endeavors." To access the notice, please click here.

December 11, 2018. Minnesota Lawmakers Draft ICWA for African-Americans. A group of Minnesota lawmakers want to enact the Minnesota African American Family Preservation Act. Senator Rena Moran, the bill's co-author, defends this legislative initiative as follows: For years, black families in Minnesota have expressed frustration that county staff were not treating them equally. Since at least 2013, we've had clear evidence that it is mathematically the case," Unfortunately, Moran's solution, which would make it much harder to remove African American children from abusive families and raise the barriers to placing these children with non-family members, is unconstitutional and violates various federal laws. More information.

December 10, 2018. An Important Anniversary. Today marks the seventieth anniversary of signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document, drafted by Committee Three of the United Nations General Assembly and largely led by Eleanor Roosevelt, provides the foundation for the revolution in human rights law, policy and practice that we have witnesses ever since. Much progress has been made; much more remains to be done. To read the UDHR, please click here.

December 5, 2018. First Baby Born From Uterus Deceased Donor Transplant. The Lancet medical journal has reported that Brazilian doctors have helped a woman born without a womb to have the first successful pregnancy and delivery using a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor. The mother, 32 years old, conceived through IV. The deceased donor was a 45 year old woman who had three children and died of a stroke. This success has important consequences for infertile women. To read more, please click here.

December 4, 2018. Important Article on Adoption Stigma. Elizabeth has written an important article on "Countering the 'Soft Stigma' Against Adoption." As Kirk says so much currently written, both by academics and in general media too often present and frame information that paints adoption in negative ways and also fails to distinguish between "adoption itself from the circumstances leading to the need for adoption." To access the article, please click here.

December 3, 2018. Fifth Circuit Stays ICWA Ruling. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed (put on hold and stopped the application of) the enforcement of the ruling by the Northern District of Texas's decision finding ICWA unconstitutional. There is a strong possibility this case will go up to the Supreme Court. To access the ruling, please click here.

November 29, 2018. Links for CAP/Duke Law Foster Care Conference Materials. We are delighted to say that all the materials from our November 16 conference on Foster Care and Foster Care Adoption are now available at https://law.duke.edu/conferences/2018/adoptionlaw/materials/. The video record of the proceedings may be accessed by obtaining a password by contacting us at our website contact address.

November 28, 2018. Another International Adoption Agency Is No Longer Accredited. The Department of State has announced the Options for Families and Youth agency did not re-apply for accreditation as an accredited adoption service provider. Under the rules now in effect no agency can be a primary provider of international adoption services without being accredited by DOS through its the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity. Any one working with OFY agency must now work with another accredited agency or provider. This is just the latest of many agencies that have left the ranks of accredited international agency this year. More Information.

November 27, 2018. American Citizens Denied Exit Permits by Chinese Government. Cynthia and Victor Liu went with their mother to visit a family member in China last June. The Chinese government has prevented any of them from returning home. Mother Sandra is being held in a secret Chinese prison. Children Cynthia and Victor have been denied exit permits and cannot leave China. What makes this case especially alarming is that while Cynthia and her mother are naturalized U.S, citizens, Victor was born in the United States so it is indisputable that his first (and only) citizenship is from the United States. This case demonstrates the perils that can await any American in China, especially people, adopted or not, who have or have had Chinese citizenship. To read the story, please click here.

November 26, 2018. Foster Care Conference: A Great Deal Learned. We are proud to say that we have successfully concluded our 2018 CAP/Duke Law School Conference, this year on Silent Victims: Foster Care and Foster Care Adoption. We thank all the wonderful presenters who raised crucial issues relating to children in foster care and new and changed approaches to their care. We will be posting links to the audio recordings as well as materials in the near future.

November 15, 2018. Foster Care Conference Tomorrow - Not a Minute Too Soon. The headline of this week's Durham, North Carolina newspaper reads, "Too Many Kids. Not Enough Parents. Durham's Foster Care System Is In Crisis, and There's No Easy Fix." Tomorrow the Center for Adoption Policy and Duke Law School host their annual conference on: Silent Victims: Foster Care and Foster Care Adoption. We won't solve the problems but we are going to have very dedicated and experience people discussing what to do for children in foster care. We are taking next week off for Thanksgiving but immediately after we will be posting some of the highlights from the Conference.

November 14, 2018. An Adoptee Speaks About National Adoption Month. Stephanie Drenka, who was adopted from South Korea at age three months, has written an article giving her point of view on adoption in general and her own adoption in particular. We wholeheartedly agree with Stephanie that often the voices of adoptees are not heard. It is also very important to learn from Stephanie's birth story which highlights the many ways birth parents can choose adoption, not from governmental or external pressures but from family dynamics and the push for sons. To read the article, please click here.

November 13, 2018. Cambodian Authorities Arrest Fifteen People For Trafficking Through Surrogacy. Cambodian police arrested fifteen people and charged them with trafficking by their involvement in an illegal surrogacy scheme. Under the Cambodian law passed in 2016 surrogate mothers can be charged with trafficking and could serve up to 20 years in prison. These arrests follow a June raid which saw thirty women and a Chinese alleged ring-leader arrested. The impoverished women who agree to be surrogates may have no idea that they are breaking the law but Cambodian official Chou Bun Eng said that ignorance was not an excuse. More Information.

November 12, 2018. Latvia Issues New Adoption Regulations. The Department of State has informed us that the Latvian government has issued new regulations pertaining to international adoption. These new regulations will limit international adoption to three categories of children: "1) children living in institutions, for whom an adoptive family in Latvia cannot be found; 2) stepchildren of prospective adoptive parents; and 3) children from foster care, if the adoptive child is related to the prospective adoptive parents." DOS does not yet know if these new regulations will apply to in-process families. More Information.

November 8, 2018. November's National Adoption Month Events Highlight Congressional Coalition on Adoption. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption is the largest issue-oriented group of Senators and Representatives. The CCA is bi-partisan in goal and bi-partisan in fact. Its 160 Members are almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans and its co-chairs in both the House of Representatives and Senate are from both sides of the aisle: Senate Co-Chairs: Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) House Co-Chair: Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI). We salute the help the CCA members give to children who need permanent, loving homes. To download a list to learn whether your Representative or Senator belongs to the CCA, please click here.

November 7, 2018. Dilemma of Foster Care Placement. A British case highlights the problems foster care agencies can encounter in finding suitable placements. The Kent County social services council placed a baby, whose mentally ill mother could not care for him, with excellent foster parents. Now 15 months old, he is thriving in his loving home. But Judge Mary Lazarus has taken the council to task because neither the council nor the lawyers nor the child's guardian ad litem bothered to contact the birth mother's parents who might well have been suitable guardians. Reluctantly, Judge Lazarus agreed that the child should not be moved because he was thriving but she bemoaned the lost opportunity for kinship care. To read more, please click here.

November 6, 2018. Election Day. Today Americans vote for all House of Representatives members as well as one-third of the Senate. While adoption is not a key issue in any of the races, we are fully aware that important agenda items such as the Adoptee Citizenship Act, which failed to win approval this year and possible changes to the Families First Act as well as Department of State issues are to be decided in the next Congress. We hope that the new elected officials remember the importance of permanent loving families for unparented children once they are in office.

November 5, 2018. Success of IVF Has Decreased Interest in Adoption. The chief executive of the British Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service has said that the increasing success rate of assisted reproduction (ART) has seriously diminished the interest level of heterosexual couples in adoption. Most potential adoptive parents view the adoption process as far less reliable and far more intrusive than ART. Furthermore, although Britain formally banned the practice of matching race/religion/socioeconomic status in 2014, many social workers still discourage transracial or trans religious adoptions. More Information.

November 1, 2018. Foster Care: Child Welfare's Responsibility and Challenge. Professor Johanna Greeson has co-authored an important article on what the Child Welfare community owes to foster children. Professor Greeson will be one of the speakers at our conference on Silent Victims: Foster Care and Foster Care Adoption, to be held at Duke Law School on November 16. The article and registration can both be accessed at the link above.

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