Center for Adoption Policy
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November 2013

November 27, 2013. Why We Support CHIFF. There are many reasons why we believe that the Children in Families First Act (CHIFF) is worth supporting. During National Adoption Month, and the Thanksgiving holiday, it is particularly appropriate to read the stories families have posted on the CHIFF site. As one adoptee posted on the CHIFF website, "The fact that children are out there with no family to call their own is a tragedy. The fact that the US government isn't doing anything to change this is horrible. It is great that CHIFF movement is trying to do something about it. We need this new law to help all the children. I support CHIFF." To read all of Sarah's story and to learn more about the details of the CHIFF bill, click here.

November 25, 2013. CAP Releases Memorandum Concerning Enhanced Protection for Internationally Adopted Children. The Center for Adoption Policy has written a Memorandum Concerning Enhanced Protection for Internationally Adopted Children. We hope that this Memorandum will inform and address the ongoing discussions in the adoption community of how best to create permanent, loving, safe homes for unparented children. It may also be of help in discussing some of the issues which have arisen during the recent discussion on rehoming of internationally adopted children. The Memorandum may be found under the "Speaking for Children" button.

November 21, 2013. Failure of Adoption--Looking at the Numbers. As there has been much discussion in the media and in the adoption community about adoption disruption and dissolution, we thought it timely to quote the "Adoption Disruption and Dissolution Report" published in 2010 by the University of Minnesota Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare. According to authors Annette Jones and Traci LaLiberte: "Most studies indicate that disruption rates prior to finalization of adoption range from 6% to 11% for all youth (Coakley & Berrick, 2008); with rates for youth over the age of three ranging from 10% to 16% (R.P. Barth, Gibbs, & Siebenaler, 2001); and rates of disruption for adolescents ranging as high as 24% (M. Berry & Barth, 1990). Recent studies on adoption dissolution after legal finalization indicate that rates of dissolution range from 1% to 7% (Coakley & Berrick, 2008)." Jones and LaLiberte identify age of child at adoption and special needs issues as two of the most important factors leading to adoption disruption and dissolution. More Information.

November 19, 2013. Russian Foreign Minister Criticizes U.S. Record on International Adoption. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking on a Russian television program on Saturday, stated that "The American side recognizes the need to set things in order in the adoption process, but we have not seen any real results so far." Lavrov also said that Russia had studied the record of international adoption to the United States generally and that "We got a very sad picture." Lavrov also pointed to reports written by American human rights organizations which he said "are ringing the alarm because adoptions in the U.S. can and often are dangerous for the health of adopted children." One thing we know is that the ban by Russia on international adoption to the United States has been very harmful to the health of Russian unparented children. More Information.

November 18, 2013. China Significantly Alters One-Child Policy. The Chinese government intends to dramatically change its one child policy. The policy, which began in 1979, was designed to contain the growth of China's population. It limited famiies to one child, with certain exemptions. The combination of this policy, together with the traditional Chinese preference for boys, has led to a massive gender imbalance as well as fears of a coming labor shortage. The new policy will permit a married couple to have two children if either of the parents is an only child. Given the strict enforcement of the one child policy for almost two generations, the vast majority of couples wanting to have children are only children and will therefore now be permitted to have two children. More Information.

November 14, 2013. Does Being Religious Hurt Families Who Want to Adopt in Britain. According to a UK Department of Education study, more than half of respondents to a study which polled over four million people who said they were "certain or very likely" to adopt self-described as actively practicing a religion. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that government officials who make decisions about who can adopt (adoption social workers in Britain are government employees) are far less likely to be religious and indeed are often openly skeptical of religious beliefs. One adoptive parent reported that "The final stage in the process is questioning by a panel of 10 people; they all had one question each - three of them chose to ask me about my religion to check that I wouldn't be forcing it on a child... I was asked more about my Christianity than about how I would protect a child's physical safety!" More Information.

November 13, 2013. ACT for Adoption Calls You! ACT for Adoption is jointly sponsored by the Harvard Law School Child Advocacy Program (HLS CAP) and the Center for Adoption Policy. Senators Mary Landrieu and Roy Blunt and Representatives Kay Granger and Karen Bass, along with an impressive bipartisan list of co-sponsors, have introduced legislation to transform U.S. foreign policy into a positive force for enabling children to grow up in the families they need. Called Children in Families First or CHIFF (S.1530 and H.R.3323), the bill embraces international adoption as one of the best options for unparented children, and creates new offices within our foreign policy and assistance agencies whose mandate will be to act affirmatively to help nations throughout the world move children out of institutions and into nurturing permanent families. CHIFF gives international adoption its rightful place in the protection toolkit for unparented children, alongside family preservation, family reunification, and domestic adoption.

  • Please call or write your senators and representatives in Congress to urge them to sign on as co-sponsors. (For the lists of senators and representatives already co-sponsoring CHIFF, see CHIFF page linked below..
  • Contact Secretary of State Kerry to affirm the importance of this positive step forward for childrens' rights worldwide. We need Sen. Kerry and his Dept. of State to support not oppose CHIFF.
  • Most important right now, we need to get CHIFF moving in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) where the bill currently awaits action. We need to pressure members of the committee who are not already co-sponsors to support CHIFF. In particular, we need Chairman Robert Menendez from New Jersey, and Ranking Member Bob Corker from Tennessee to schedule CHIFF for SFRC markup in early 2014.

See the CHIFF web site for more information.

November 12, 2013. Senator Landrieu's Dedicates Her Efforts For CHIFF. Senator Mary Landrieu is the Senate voice behind CHIFF--the Children in Families First Act which "redirects some U.S. resources to focus more on ensuring that all children grow up in families and realigns certain agencies to help achieve this critical goal." Senator Landrieu, whose passion for adoption and foster care is well known to all who care about children's welfare, has not only introduced the CHIFF bill in the Senate but is leading the fight for passage of this landmark legislation. Please go to her website to see what she says, to understand the hard work behind this advocacy and then think how you can make a difference. Bravo to Senator Landrieu. More Information.

November 4, 2013. Announcing the Eleventh Annual Adoption Law and Policy Conference. We are pleased to announce that the 11th Annual Adoption Law and Policy Conference will be held at New York Law School on Friday, March 7, 2014. This year's title will be "DOMA, ICWA & CHIFF: What's Changed in Adoption and Child Welfare Policy?" As always, continuing legal education credit will be offered. This year's conference is cosponsored by the Center for Adoption Policy and New York Law School's Diane Abbey Law Center for Children and Families.

Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
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