August 31, 2009. Madonna's Concert Highlights Prejudice Against Roma. The last class status of Roma in Romania was front and center when Madonna gave a concert in Bucharest last week. The 60,000 fans were polite to the Roma musicians sharing the stage with her during her Romanian stop of her "Sticky and Sweet" tour. But when Madonna said, "It has been brought to my attention ... that there is a lot of discrimination against Romanies and Gypsies in general in Eastern Europe...it made me feel very sad," the venue echoed with thousands of boos. The tradition of ill-treatment of Roma in Romania (the home of the largest concentration of Roma in Europe) is long-held. Roma children are the most at risk for being abandoned, poorly educated (if at all) and exploited. Judging by the reaction of the Bucharest crowd, the position of Roma is unlikely to change soon. More Information.
August 27, 2009. Consular Procedures Change for U.S. Parents Adopting From China. All U.S. parents adopting from China must travel to Guangzhou to obtain their new child's visa which permits the child to come to the United States. As of October 1, 2009 the Adoptions Unit of the Guangzhou Consulate will institute new procedures which will apply to all adoptive families, whether or not they are using the I-600 orphan visa form or I-800 Hague form. The new timeline will allow consular appointments only on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The new schedule extends the time in Guangzhou for families by one extra day as families will have their appointment on day one, their oath taking on day two and receive their visa packets after 3:30 on day three. That means that visa packets will be available on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. There will be no rush appointments other than for medical emergencies. In addition, all adoptive families will sign the DS-230 form in front of the adoptions officer which means that any parents required to sign the form will have to be physically present at the oath taking ceremony. More Information.
August 26, 2009. Call to Action to Help Parents of Guatemala Grandfathered Adoptions. Although the adoption by U.S. parents of children born in Guatemala ended on December 31, 2007, potential adoptive parents whose papers were registered in Guatemala before that day were permitted to pursue their adoptions to completion. Hundreds of adoptions, however, remain pending, and PAPs are meeting ever greater obstacles. The Guatemala 900 campaign is designed to draw attention to the plight of the stranded children and to make their adoptions into reality. The chief immediate goal is to obtain more congressional signatures on a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking her to aid these beleaguered children and to take action so that their parents can quickly bring them home. In the attached link you will find the form of letter and information on how to get your Representative or Senator to sign on to the group letter, which is being coordinated by Senator Barbara Boxer's office. We urge support for this initiative. More Information.
August 25, 2009. How You Can Further Support the FACE Act and the Families for Children Act. Congress will soon be returning to work. While most attention will be on President Obama's health care initiative, we are hoping to make progress on the three adoption bills which are under discussion. Two of the these bills, the Foreign Adopted Children's Equality Act --S.1359 and H.R. 3110 (which will give foreign adopted children the same rights as biological children ) and the Families for Orphans Act- S.1458 and H.R. 3070-which will make permanency for children a goal of American policy have online petitions in support of them. These petitions will be delivered to Congress. We urge everyone in the adoption community to support these petitions and to ask their friends and families to do the same. The petitions are:
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)