August 28, 2008. New Rules for Submitting I-800/A Forms to CIS. Beginning on September 25, 2008, all potential adoptive parents submitting I-800/A forms as well as related Hague forms such as I-601, I-864 and I-864A forms must submit them directly to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Chicago Lockbox facility at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, P.O. Box 805695, Chicago, IL 60680-4118. PAPs had been submitting these documents to their local CIS offices. CIS offices will only forward adoption documents sent to local offices to the Chicago Lockbox until October 25 so it is crucial that PAPs and agencies disseminate and follow these new directions. More Information.
August 27, 2008. China Allows Its Own Citizens, But Not Foreigners, to Adopt Quake Victims. For the first time since the deadly earthquake hit Sichuan province in May, the provincial government has allowed 88 orphaned children to be adopted. These are children whose parents were killed in the quake and who have no other family members who can adopt them. Applicants to be adoptive parents must be citizens of the People's Republic of China; they cannot be foreigners or citizens of Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan. The adoptive parents must be over 30, childless and possess sufficient income to support a child. More Information.
August 26, 2008. Will ICA From Vietnam Remain Open? The Memorandum of Understanding concerning International Adoption, between Vietnam and the United States, expires on September 1. Without a new MOU, U.S. families will no longer be allowed to adopt from Vietnam, unless they have grandfathered status. As of today, Vietnam officials have stated that they will make no new referrals to U.S. families after September 1. The indications from the State Department are that a new MOU will not be forthcoming, at least in the near future. Ending adoption from Vietnam is a tragedy for unparented children. We earnestly hope that ICA from Vietnam, under the auspices of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, will resume as soon as possible. More Information.
August 25, 2008. ABA House of Delegates Passes Resolution Supporting International Adoption. Earlier this month, the American Bar Association's House of Delegates passed a resolution endorsing International Adoption as a method of family creation for unparented children. This development is the culmination of almost eight months of effort undertaken by, among others, the Center for Adoption Policy, together with Ambassador Jerome Shestak and Karen Mathis (both past presidents of the American Bar Association, and Professor Elizabeth Bartholet of Harvard Law School. The text of this seminal resolution follows:
RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports the implementation of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, which entered into force with respect to the United States on April 1, 2008, so as to advance the responsible practice of intercountry adoption as an integral part of a comprehensive, concurrent strategy to address the problems of children around the world who are without permanent homes;
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports international adoption as an integral part of a comprehensive child welfare strategy to address the worldwide problem of children without permanent homes and supports policies that make the process of international adoption more timely, less costly and less burdensome, while ensuring that international adoption practices are ethical and legal;
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports the provision of comprehensive social services, economic support, and other family preservation resources in countries of origin to parents, or other relatives who have assumed a parental role, so that they can keep and nurture their children, and urges the United States government to provide resources and technical assistance to support such efforts;
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports worldwide development of safe and nurturing family-like temporary care for children without permanent homes pending their reunification with families of origin or their permanent placement with adoptive families, avoiding institutional placements to the greatest extent feasible so as to prevent the detrimental effects of such placements on the cognitive and psychological development of young children;
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association supports laws, policies, and practices that help assure that in-country adoption, permanent guardianship, and other permanent nurturing placement options are readily available for children without permanent homes; and
FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges the U.S. government, state and local governments, bar associations, and relevant non-governmental organizations to promote policies to improve child welfare systems and enhance opportunities for international adoption that are consistent with these policies, in the United States and throughout the world.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)