July 15, 2009. Legislation: CAP Supports Three New Bills Before Congress. CAP Supports the Foreign Adopted Children Equality (FACE) Act (S. 1359; H.R. 3110). This bill will give U.S. citizenship to internationally adopted children as of their adoption, rather than, as now, when each child comes to the United States. It will restore citizenship to internationally adopted children who were not covered under the Child Citizenship Act or whose position was jeopardized by the 1996 Immigration Act. It would also confer on foreign born internationally adopted children of U.S. parents all the rights of biologically born children of U.S. parents, including the right to become president. For More Information see the "Legislation" button at left.
CAP Supports the Families for Orphans Act (H.R. 3070) which is designed, in the words of the bill itself, "To encourage the development and implementation of a comprehensive, global strategy for the preservation and reunification of families and the provision of permanent parental care for orphans, and for other purposes." This legislation will create a new U.S. diplomatic and economic initiative to support existing families and to provide permanency for unparented children. It will replace the current decentralized and sometimes contradictory, government efforts with a consistent, pro-active approach led by a State Department Office of Orphan Policy, Diplomacy and Development. For the first time the development of a continuing strategy to ensure that all children grown up in permanent, loving families of their own would be part of the State Department's responsibilities. For More Information see "Legislation" at left.
CAP Supports S. 1376 which will allow adoptive parents to obtain their child's immunizations in the United States after travel, which is standard international adoption procedure for Hague countries. It also conforms the age requirements for siblings adopted internationally to a consistent standard. For More Information see "Legislation" at left.
Please go to our Legislation page to see what you can do to help.
July 9, 2009. Employer Adoption Benefits on the Wane. The economic downturn has affected employee adoption benefits. In the last decade adoption assistance had grown. It was one of the "feel-good" benefits that made a company attractive to job applicants but were economical for employers as on average only 0.1% of employees use the benefits each year. The deep recession has changed that: employers are short of cash and employees are doing the wooing now. As a result employers with adoption assistance programs dropped from a high of 22% in 2006 to 10% this year. Unfortunately this decline comes at a time when the cost of adoption has risen and the number of children needing extra help because they have medical needs, are older or were institutionalized has soared. It is particularly important for parents to be able to have paid parental leave whether or not their children joined the family by birth or adoption. We regret this disturbing trend. More Information.
July 8, 2009. Familes for Orphans Act-Adoption Legislation III. Representatives Diane Watson and John Boozman introduced HR 3070-the Families for Orphans Act (FOA) on June 29. This legislation would establish in the State Department the Office of Orphan Policy, Diplomacy and Development. The act, if passed, will grant this new office authority to comprehensively aid unparented children as well as children in vulnerable situations. The focus will be on permanecy for children - that is permanent, loving families. The head of the office, an ambassador level appointee, would be responsible for advising the president, secretary of state and other senior governmental officials on all aspects of children's care, including support for birth and kinship families as well as domestic and international adoption. The office would coordinate U.S. economic and technical assistance to orphans as well. More Information.
July 7, 2009. FACE Act: Adoption Legislation II. Senators Mary Landrieu and James Inhofe along with Representatives Diane Watson and John Boozman have introduced the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (FACE). This proposed legislation will amend the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 to ensure that children adopted internationally have the same rights as do biological children of Americans. Specifically it will grant U.S. citizenship[p to foreign born children immediately upon their adoption, rather than, as now, upon entering the United States. This change will eliminate the need for adoptive parents to obtain visas for their children to come to the United States. Instead PAPs will apply for passports for their newly adopted children. Moreover, adopted children will be rescued from the possibility that a failure by PAPs to obtain citizenship will later lead the adopted child to lose the right to reside in the United States or obtain citizenship. More Information.
July 6, 2009. Adoption Legislation Moving Forward-Part I. This week we are delighted to discuss three adoption-related bills that have been introduced into Congress. This first bill is S.1376: a bill which will restore the immunization and sibling age exemptions for Hague Convention international adoptions of children by U.S. citizens. Introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, this piece of legislation will extend to Hague adoptions the exemptions for immunizations for children under the age of 10 which governs non-Hague adoptions. It will also allow siblings in Hague adoption cases under the age of 18 to be eligible for international adoption into the U.S. The goal is to make Hague and non-Hague standards for immunizations and siblings consistent. We understand that this bill should quickly become law. More Information.
July 2, 2009. Romanian Newspaper Reporting that the UN Commission Recommends that Romania Reopen International Adoption. We are delighted, if surprised, to read in Ultima Ora that the United Nations Commission for Children's Rights has recommended to Romania's National Authority for the Protection of the Rights of the Child that Romania end its moratorium on international adoption as well as "accelerate the procedures for national adoptions." International pressure from the European Union as well as some UNICEF sources had led Romania to close its international adoption programs in 2004. The glaring failure of foster care programs to provide permanency for unparented children in Romania has been a tragedy for the most vulnerable in society, as it always is. We hope these recommendations will soon become reality.
July 1, 2009. The Tide of History and Adoption. The twentieth century and the first decade of this century have seen terrible crimes committed in the name of humanity. Indeed both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia mobilized their citizens to unspeakable acts by appealing to idealism - that the holocaust, on the one hand, and the murder of the kulaks on the other, would bring a better world for the Germans and the workers of the Soviet Union, respectively. If there is one thing we should take away from these ghastly lessons of history it is that focusing on the good of the group allows terrible sins against the individual. And it is that only "an ethical commitment to the fate of the individual" which will make such crimes impossible. In the case of adoption policy, it is the right of each child to grow up in a permanent, loving family and of every child to have his or her own, singular best interests judged that should be the focus of all of our work. For More Information see Timothy Snyder, "Holocaust: The Ignored Reality, New York Review of Books, vol. 56., no 12. I have used Snyder's formulation in the quote above.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)