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April 2013

April 25, 2013. CAP 2014 Adoption Law and Policy Conference Set for March 7, 2014. We are delighted to announce that the Eleventh Annual Center for Adoption Policy / New York Law School Adoption Law and Policy Conference will be held on March 7, 2014 at New York Law School. Mark your calendars!

April 24, 2013. Did They Talk About Russian Adoption? Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov yesterday in Brussels. Did they discuss the ban on international adoption from Russia to the United States? Did the two statesmen discuss the children with committed American adoptive parents who were trapped in Russia because of the ban? Did they explore ways to help these innocent victims? We certainly hope so. More Information.

April 23, 2013. France Parliament Votes to Legalize Gay Marriage. The French National Assembly voted today to legalize same-sex marriage. The French Consultative Council is expected to also vote in favor of the bill and French President Francois Hollande, who had sponsored the bill has pledged to sign the bill, hoping for the first same-sex marriages in France this summer. The "Marriage for All" bill will also allow French same sex couples to have the same right to adopt children as heterosexual couples. Russian officials have already called for a ban on French gay couples adopting from Russia; international adoption between Russia and France remains open. More Information.

April 22, 2013. Kansas Reduces Waiting Period for Adoption. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law a measure which will reduce the waiting period before a domestic adoption can be finalized. According to the reports we have seen, the new law allows a court to hold an adoption finalization hearing at any time within sixty days of the filing of the adoption petition. One Kansas attorney has stated that under the new law an adoption could be finalized within twenty four hours after the a baby's birth. More Information.

April 18, 2013. Government and Other Notices: Ethiopia. The Department of State has posted a notice concerning suspected meningitis cases in Ethiopia. The cases have mainly been found in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Region (SNNPR) which is where many orphanages are located. Because children from all other the country live together in Addis Ababa, all prospective adoptive parent should consult their adoptive service provider and medical professional about the risks and procedures if meningitis is suspected. More Information can be found by clicking here.

April 17, 2013. Developments Concerning U.S. International Adoption From Russia. A delegation from the United States Department of State and USCIS met Russia counterparts today in Washington to discuss the Russian ban on international adoption to the United States as well as the well-being of Russian children adopted to the United States. At the same time, Secretary of State John Kerry, testifying to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, described U.S. - Russian relations in a much more positive way than has been the norm recently. We hope these signals will ultimately allow the in-process Russian children to come to their American homes. More Information.

April 16, 2013. The Power of One Senator to Change the World. Congratulations to Senator Mary Landrieu for making the impossible happen. Five years ago the Femenella family agreed to adopt their son from Guatemala. Then the December 21, 2007 shutdown of international adoption from Guatemala to the U.S. trapped Andrew in bureaucratic limbo. But his adoptive parents would not give up; Joe quit his job and moved to Guatemala to parent Andrew. With the assistance of Senator Landrieu, an ardent fighter for the rights of children the world over to have a permanent loving family, Andrew came home on Saturday. How fitting that Senator Landrieu was on hand to welcome him to the United States. Senator Landrieu was the convening speaker at CAP's Tenth Annual Adoption Law and Policy Review. We hope that the other 112 unresolved Guatemalan adoption cases have as happy an ending. More Information.

April 15, 2013. Supreme Court Hears Arguments About Baby Veronica. The legal case involving the adoption of a little girl who had been adopted by the parents who cared for her from birth, with the blessing of her birth mother, and the challenge by a birth father who initially wanted nothing to do with the child but has now drawn support from a law designed to protect Indian children who were born on reservations and were wrongly taken into state care heads to the Supreme Court tomorrow. The adoption met South Carolina standards but, according to the South Carolina Supreme Court, violated the Indian Child Welfare Act. The Center for Adoption Policy joined in a brief in this case which we hope will vindicate the best interests of the individual child - always our standard of best practices. More Information.

April 9, 2013. Minnesota State Supreme Court Rules for Foster Parents Over Grandparents in a Contest Adoption Case. The case is In the Matter of the Petition of: S.G. and L.G. to Adopt P.U.K. and D.F.K. In her lead opinion, Justice Lori Gildea said that the state statute does not privilege a family placement: "the law only requires courts to consider the adoption petition of a relative first and then the foster parents. But it does not prefer a relative over a non-relative." The lower court had ruled for the foster parents as well, stating that especially given the girls' special needs, great harm could be caused to them if they were removed from the only home that they had ever known. More Information.

April 8, 2013. Bilateral United States - Russia Adoption Talks Confirmed. The U.S. and Russian governments have agreed to discussions concerning U.S. adoptions of Russian children. Both sides are stating that consultations will take place on April 17; Russian sources state that the talks will be in Washington. Also according to Russian sources, Russian Children's Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov will not be present at these conversations. He has been an active participant in media briefings on international adoption questions and has indeed stated that he may be coming to the U.S. at the end of April. More Information.

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