December 12, 2006. Onward to 2007. Next year will mark a major transition point for Intercountry Adoption. Romania will join the European Union on January 1, giving that nation more latitude with which to re-examine its ban on Intercountry Adoption. The China Center for Adoption Affairs is scheduled to send written notification of its revised requirements for ICA in January. U.S. ratification of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption is expected to occur in the second half of the year. With all these milestones approaching there will be no shortage of subjects to write about. We wish everyone Happy Holidays and look forward to resuming our column on January 3, 2007.
December 11, 2006. U.S. Intercountry Adoptions Decline Significantly. The State Department today released its statistics on Orphan Visas for FY 2006. As expected the data reveals a significant decline in the number of children adoption internationally from 22,728 in FY 2005 to 20,679 this past fiscal year. Of equal importance, 2006 was the first year to show a year on year decline since 1992. The number of adoptions from China and Russia both dropped. Moreover, given the rise in special needs adoption from China, the actual decline in non-special needs adoption from China to the United States is far more significant than the numbers would indicate. More information.
December 8, 2006. Ukraine Intercountry Adoption Apparently Still Set to Re-Open in January. Ukraine's State Department on Adoption and Children's Rights (SDA), announced in the summer that it would begin processing Intercountry Adoption applications that had been filed in Ukraine prior to the moratorium on submitting new ICA applications. In September the SDA asked all potential adoptive families to submit newly updated adoption documents to the SDA prior to October 15. The SDA further stated that any family that did not submit an updating notice would have their ICA application cancelled. Thereafter the SDA also suggested that all foreign adoption agencies register voluntarily with the SDA. Previously the SDA had announced that it would begin processing new applications for ICA in January 2007. This statement is still apparently valid. More Information.
December 7, 2006. Safe Haven Laws Face Scrutiny. Ohio's safe haven laws have come under attack after a birth mother confessed that she abandoned her naked and hungry baby inside an SUV. The Ohio law gives birth parents 72 hours to surrender a child at a safe haven location without facing criminal charges. Critics claim that three days is not a sufficiently long period of time to decide whether or not to abandon a child and suggest that birth parents should receive more counseling during their pregnancy. More Information.
December 6, 2006. Missing Parental Rights in Virginia. Vice-President Dick Cheney's daughter Mary, is pregnant and expecting a child with her partner of over fifteen years. But Mary lives in Virginia. Because she and her partners are Lesbians, they cannot have a legal relationship nor can Mary's partner have any legal parental relationship with her child. We regret current family law structure and hope that more states alter their laws so that every child can have the maximum legal protection possible. More information.
December 5, 2006. Post-Placement Reports Due. With the end of the year nearing, it is important for adoptive parents, social workers and agencies to complete all applicable post-placement reports and furnish them to the respective birth countries. These documents are a vital part of Intercountry Adoption. They document the success of ICA and provide birth countries with the reassurance that their former citizens are being well cared for in their new homes. Moreover, several birth countries, notably Ukraine and the Russian Federation, have used the absence of post-placement reports as a reason to slow if not halt ICA.
December 4, 2006. Accuracy on Websites. We have been conducting an informal review of various adoption agency websites. To our chagrin, we have found that many reputable agencies are apparently not updating their website information on a regular basis. Many websites contain outdated information which is misleading, either in whole or in part. Agencies owe it to their clients, potential and actual, as well as to the adoption community and themselves, to monitor their websites so that this most important public interface is as accurate as possible.
December 1, 2006. Chinese Referrals Time Still Increasing. The Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs sent out referrals this week for adoptive parents whose documents were logged in between August 25, 2005 and September 8, 2005. This means that it is taking between 14 and 15 months for a family to receive a referral after its documents were registered with CCAA, as compared with 13 months for families who received referrals in the summer. The CCAA is continuing a pattern of assigning two weeks of LIDs per calendar month. More Information.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)