April 30, 2012. Stating the Facts About Ethiopian Adoption. Ethiopian international adoption to the United States has undergone rigorous scrutiny. As a presentation following the joint Department of State/USCIS taskforce convened in January 2011, concluded: Ethiopian adoptions is shown "to meet the standards required by U.S. law, specifically: 'children being adopted from Ethiopia by U.S. parents meet the definition of orphan under U.S. law and the cases are approved.'" We only wish we could receive a copy of the actual report on Ethiopian adoptions but for the last year the Department of State has refused to make this report public or even provide a copy to Members of Congress. A USCIS representative responded to our questions by stating: "Ethiopian adoption is not broken." Children have a right to a permanent loving family wherever that family may be found.
April 25, 2012. Intended Parents Duped by Fertility Doctor May Get to Adopt "Their" Child. A woman who was tricked into believing she had given birth to a daughter in Nigeria may be permitted by British courts to retain custody of the child and indeed adopt her. This remarkable story began in Nigeria where the intended parents had gone for fertility treatments. The potential mother claims she was convinced that she was pregnant, drugged, and then told she had given birth to the baby she was then handed. Her story has been accepted as true by a British court. When the intended parents returned to Britain their local doctor did not believe that the woman was the child's biological parent. After DNA testing confirmed his suspicion, the child was placed in foster care. The trial court ruled for the intended parents but the local council appealed the verdict. Now that the appeal has been denied, the intended parents can go to family court and request custody as well as the right to adopt their child. More Information.
April 24, 2012. Referrals Come in Now-Very Small China Non-Special Needs Adoption Program. The CCCWA, which administers international adoption issues for the Chinese government, has sent out referrals for prospective adoptive parents whose dossiers were logged in with CCCWA between September 1 and September 4, 2006. The enormous wait time for a non-special needs child (in excess of six years from start to finish) from China has resulted in the virtual end of new applicants for this program and the conversion of the Chinese adoption program to over three-quarters waiting children.
April 23, 2012. The Globalization of Child Welfare Issues. A recent case in Norway caught our attention as it illustrates again how the globalization of employment and trade affects child welfare. The district court in Stavanger, Norway agreed that Abhigyan (3) and Aishwarya (1), who had been removed from the custody of their birth parents, would be placed in the custody of their uncle, who lives in India rather than placed in Norwegian foster care. The children, as well as their birth parents, have the status of NRI-Indians resident abroad. The Indian government had made the question of the children's custody a major diplomatic issue, even raising it during the Nuclear Security Summit when was held in Seoul, South Korea last month. The birth parents supported the uncle's application for custody. More Information.
April 19, 2012. A Note of Appreciation for USCIS. We want to commend USCIS for their outreach and caring approach to the adoption community. Over the last two years we have seen great support and interest from USCIS regarding all issues pertaining to international adoption. The National Benefits Center has been a real boon to prospective adoptive parents as has the helpful attitude taken by USCIS staff. Not the least of USCIS's great strides is the communication with PAPs. The fact that PAPs with questions can reach their officers quickly and that telephone calls and emails are quickly returned makes a great deal of difference to children and their families. The feedback we have received from adoptive families is overwhelmingly positive and we are all very grateful.
April 18, 2012. What Children With Haitian Humanitarian Parole Were Spared. From October 2010 until now Haiti has been devastated by a cholera epidemic. An estimated 5 percent of the population has contracted the disease and over 7,000 people have died. Ironically, until 2010 cholera had never been seen in Haiti. Now a detailed article in the New York Times reports on how the cholera epidemic was traced back to United Nations peacekeeping forces from Nepal, how the UN shirked responsibility for the epidemic and how members of the so-called "health cluster" prevaricated and delayed either taking responsibility or providing the clean water and vaccinations which could have prevented much of the toll. More Information.
April 16, 2012. Another Update on the U.S. - Russian Bilateral Adoption Agreement. According to recent reports from Moscow, the State Duma (Russian Parliament) confirmed that it would ratify the U.S.-Russian bilateral adoption agreement "within weeks." Under U.S. law, the agreement does not need Senate ratification to enter into force. This schedule is good news for the unparented children in Russia who will be able to have an ethical, open and transparent process of international adoption available to them in the years ahead. We look forward to the implementation of this accord and hope that these successful negotiations will have a positive effect on international adoption in other countries. More Information.
April 12, 2012. Government and Other Notices: Romania. The Department of State has announced that a new adoption law has gone into effect in Romania. This law permits international adoption of Romanian children "by relatives of the fourth degree of kinship, the spouse of the child's natural parent, and Romanian citizens who are habitually resident abroad." As Romania is a Hague Adoption Convention member, the provisions of the Hague Convention and related U.S. laws and regulations apply to this limited category of adoptions by U.S. citizens of children from Romania, in addition to any Romanian requirements. Among other things, U.S. accredited agencies or persons must act as the primary provider for any such adoptions. More Information.
April 11, 2012. Fertility Treatment to Be Made More Welcoming in the U.K. Lisa Jardine, the chair of HFEA, the British government authority which regulates and controles fertility treatment in Britain, urged clinics to focus on "customer service" and to pay special effort to male sperm donors. Reports that many men have changed their minds about making sperm donations because of rudeness and lack of follow up on the part of fertility clinics led Jardine to launch her campaign to raise public awareness about assisted reproductive technology. Jardine also reached out to women donors, saying that women should view egg donation in the same matter of fact and regular way that they see blood donation. More Information.
April 10, 2012. Good News On Russian Agreement. We understand that the office of Prime Minister (and President-Elect) Vladimir Putin has approved the bilateral treaty on international adoption between the United States and Russia and has submitted it to the State Duma for ratification. We very much hope that this positive trend will continue and that the agreement, which both countries signed last July, will speedily enter into force. More Information.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)