September 27, 2012. Government and Other Notices: Fiji. The Department of State has announced that the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption is now in force in Fiji. However, DOS cautions that because Fiji does not yet meet DOS' Hague criteria. "The United States cannot process Convention intercountry adoptions until the Government of Fiji implements an effective Convention intercountry adoption process [and that] important steps must take place before intercountry adoptions between the United States and Fiji resume." Therefore international adoption from Fiji to the United States remains closed. More Information.
September 26, 2012. Lost Children of the Coal. Children born with special needs in China have paid part of the price of the Chinese economic miracle. The rate of developmental issues for Chinese children has grown exponentially since 1979, when Deng Xiaoping's government began the modernization and transformation of China. Much of this increase in physical and mental needs afflicting children is attributable to the toxic pollution that has blanketed China-industrial, agricultural and consumer. This documentary depicts the children in Shanxi province and the woman who has taken it upon herself to help. Click here to see the documentary.
September 25, 2012. Russian Officials Seek Access to Montana "Ranch for Kids." Using Twitter, the Russian Foreign Ministry has again "demand[ed] permission for Pavel Astakhov to visit the U.S. Ranch for Kids orphanage to inspect how Russian children live there," [as quoted from Foreign Ministry post]. The Ranch for Kids is a respite care home for adopted children who cannot remain in their families. Russian children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov arrived in Montana this summer, unannounced, with a television crew. Denied access, he publically branded the Ranch for Kids "a trash can." This controversy comes at a very sensitive time with U.S. and Russian officials negotiating the procedures that will be used by U.S. parents who seek to adopt Russian children under the bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Russia which was signed in 2011 and ratified this year. More Information.
September 24, 2012. What Ever Happened to the China Non-Special Needs Adoption Program? At the end of last week whose potential adoptive parents had logged-in documents with the Chinese central adoption authority on September 21 through September 24, 2006 were received by their families. This batch of referrals marks another milestone: six years from the time of registration to the time of referral. The PAPs who received referrals are the remnant of the tens of thousands of families who sought to adopt non-special needs children (mostly babies and toddlers and almost all girls) in the past twenty years from China. Reputable adoption agencies have closed their Chinese non-special needs programs and a large percentage of logged-in PAPs have switched to special needs adoption from China or to other countries.
September 20, 2012. Government and Other Alerts: Haiti. Institut du Bien-Štre Sociale et de Recherches (IBESR), the Haitian government adoption authority, has announced new adoption procedures, effective October 1, 2012. These procedures, modeled after Hague Convention-effective practices, will represent a substantial change to current Haitian procedures. According to IBESR, all cases submitted prior to May 7, 2012 will be grandfathered under the old Haitian international adoption procedures; cases submitted on or prior to September 15, 2012 may be grandfathered. While Haiti is moving towards becoming a Hague Convention country, it is not one at this time. U.S. potential adoptive parents will therefore continue to use the I600/A forms and process. PAPs and adoption agencies should also note that Haitian international adoption is in flux at this time - a situation which can have very negative consequences for PAPs. More Information.
September 12, 2012. Adoption Fraud: It Can Happen Here. N.C. attorney Kelly Ensslin, who specializes in adoption law, and is the adoptive mother of two children, was herself a victim of attempted adoption fraud. This is her account of her experiences which ended with the birth mother serving a jail sentence. More Information.
September 18, 2012. Hope for North Korean Refugee Children. The House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 1464, "The North Korean Refugee Adoption Act," last week. Its companion bill, S. 416 is being fast tracked in the Senate. The legislation, if approved by the Senate and signed into law, will help create a legal and ethical path which would allow unparented refugee North Korean children to be adopted by U.S. families. The fight for House passage was led by Congressman Ed Royce and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehntinen. More Information.
September 17, 2012. CCAI Spotlights Angels in Adoption 2012. Last week the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute held its annual Angels in Adoption celebration. This event, which is spread over two days, honors the people who live the ideal of ensuring that every child has a permanent loving family of his or her own. Honorees include celebrities such as Katherine Heigel and singer-songwriter Josh Hayward, and adoptive parents such as Janice and Gary Myers who are adopting their eighth child with serious mental and physical or behavior issues. Besides recognizing the contributions made in the field of adoption, the CCAI event gives Members of Congress "a first-hand look at the foster care and adoption relation work taking place throughout the country...and seeks to draw media attention to raise public awareness about the positive difference adoption makes in the life of a child." More Information.
September 13, 2012. Dream. Drive. Do. That is the banner on Anjali Fober-Pratt's website. She is a Paralympic wheel chair racer who won medals in Beijing and competed at the London Paralympics. Anjali was born in India and adopted by U.S. parents. Her words sum her amazing accomplishments. They also describe Tatyana McFadden (adopted from Russia) who won three gold medals in London, Jessica Long (adopted from Russia) who won swimming gold in the London 2012 Paralympics and Elizabeth Stone (adopted from Georgia) who won two bronze swimming medals in the London Paraolympics. Congratulations to these women, their families and the governments which at the time of these women's adoptions, made the sky the limit.
September 11, 2012. Remembering. Today we reprint the New York Times obituary for Christine Lee Hanson. Christine was 2 1/2 when she was deliberately killed on September 11. She and her parents were traveling on United Airlines Flight 175 to California. The hijackers flew this plane into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. "Hanson, Peter Burton, Hanson, Sue Kim, Hanson, Christine Lee. Presumed dead in the crash of an airliner into the World Trade Center Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. Peter was vice president of sales for TimeTrade in Waltham, Mass. He was a graduate of Joel Barlow High School and North-eastern University. He earned an MBA at Boston University. Sue graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She earned a master of arts de-gree at Boston University and was a doctoral candidate there. Christine attended Knowledge Beginnings in Chelmsford, Mass. They are survived by Sue's grandmother, Ok-Hee Kim of California; her brothers, Stanley and John of California; by Peter's parents, Eunice and Lee Hanson of Easton, and by Kathryn and Mark Barrere of Southbury, Peter's sister and brother-in-law."
September 10, 2012. U.S. Couple Brings Child Home from Guatemala - Finally. Ryan and Jess Hooker have brought home their son Daniel. It took five years and 36 visits from Tennessee to Guatemala but Daniel is now living with his adoptive parents. Daniel is the first child to be adopted from Guatemala under the government's new process for international adoption. Families caught in the shutdown of Guatemalan adoption, instituted by both the United States and Guatemalan governments, have watched children they love, who have no other parents and who have adoption processes untainted by fraud or illegalities, suffer in misery. Senator Mary Landrieu (D.La), a tireless advocate for children, deserves enormous praise for her great efforts to break this stalemate and bring the children home. This linked article contains much information on Daniel's story but also misinformation, as is so common in media reports. More Information.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)