Center for Adoption Policy
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February 2014

February 27, 2014. Turmoil in Ukraine Strands U.S. Families Adopting Children. The government crisis in Ukraine has stranded a number of American families who were in the midst of adopting special needs or sibling group children. Government offices are shuttered and courts are cancelling hearings. Families need completed adoption paper work as well as Ukrainian passports in order to bring their children home to the United States. We have requested guidance from the Department of State and will share it when it is available. More Information.

February 25, 2014. Kyrgyzstan's Government Announces Names of Foreign Adoption Service Providers Applying for Accreditation. The Kyrgyz Ministry of Social Development has announced that 17 foreign adoption service providers have applied to receive accreditation for its new international adoption program. Eleven of the applicants were American. According to media reports these organizations were "Lifeline Children Services" Agency, "Nightlight Christian Adoptions" Noncommercial Corporation, "World Links Association", "Cradle of Hope Adoption Center" and "International Foundation, Inc", "Across the World Adoption" Noncommercial Organization, "Children's House International Adoptions" Agency, "Premier Adoption Agency, Inc" and "Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Inc" corporations, "St. Philomena Adoption, Inc," Charity Foundation and "America World Adoption Association". International adoption from Kyrgyzstan was suspended in 2012. The Social Development Ministry has stated that the list of accredited foreign service providers will be released in April 2014. More Information.

February 24, 2014. Department of State Appears to Approve Haiti as a Hague Compliant Country. In discussions with stakeholders, the Department of State has indicated that it will find Haiti a Hague compliant country. Under the rules of the Hague Convention for on Intercountry Adoption, international adoptions between two Hague effective nations may only occur when the receiving country decides that the sending country is complying with Hague Convention rules and procedures. Based on last week's phone conversations, it appears that DOS has found that Haiti's procedures comply with Hague requirements. Therefore we can expect that intercountry adoptions from Haiti to the United States will resume in the near future.

Newscap Will Be on Break This Week but we remind you that the Eleventh Annual CAP/NYLS Adoption Law and Policy Conference takes place in three weeks. Registration is a click away--on the top of this page. We hope to see everyone in New York next month.

February 13, 2014. Russia Bans Foreign Same Sex and Singles' Adoptions. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed into law a Duma bill which bans same-sex international adoption of Russian children. It also bans foreign adoption of Russian children by unmarried persons. This new law does not apply to adoptions from Russia to the United States since Russia banned any U.S. adoption last year. Rather this new law applies to countries with which Russia has bilateral agreements that still are in force or are under negotiation such as Italy, Britain and Israel. More Information.

February 11, 2014, Harvard and Boston College Law Professors Urge Congress to Support International Adoption. Professor Elizabeth Bartholet of Harvard University School of Law has announced that "34 Harvard Law School faculty members and 24 faculty from Boston College Law School have signed a letter urging the U.S. Congress to support the core principles in the pending legislation known as CHIFF (Children in Families First), S. 1530 and H.R. 3323. Those core principles include: recognition of a child's fundamental human right to a nurturing permanent family; commitment by the U.S. government to vindicate that right; and recognition that children's interests are generally best served by early placement in permanent nurturing families." This letter of support is great news for anyone who supports CHIFF and wants unparented children to find permanent, loving families in a timely manner.

February 10, 2014. China's Practically Non-Existent Non-Special Needs Adoption Program. The latest referrals for potential adoptive parents in China's Non-Special Needs adoption program was for families whose dossiers were logged in with the Chinese government on November 22, 2006. Chinese officials began referrals for families with log in dates in 2006 on March 3, 2008. The conclusion is obvious: the only viable Chinese adoption program is the special needs adoption program.

February 6, 2014. U.S. Government Notices. The Department of State has posted positive notices on its website concerning Haiti, Kyrgyzstan and Kenya. Haiti is moving forward on its Hague Convention process, while Kyrgyzstan's Ministry of Social Development has announced that it will accept applications from U.S. adoption service providers. The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has informed DOS that a new Kenyan Adoption Committee has been named, confirmed and is processing adoptions again. For more information on all three countries, click here.

February 5, 2014. China Establishes Safe Havens For Babies. Since the end of the last year, Chinese cities, following a new national policy, have established safe havens, or "baby safety islands," for babies whose parents cannot care for them. Zhang Min, the head of an orphanage in Tianjin said, "We need to build these islands to protect children from further injury." Previously babies had been left in dangerous, unprotected public spaces. The Tianjin safe haven is located outside the orphange. Many, although not all of the babies, have serious health issues. For example, the first baby found in the safe haven in Tianjin, had both Down's syndrome and a congental heart issue. More Information.

February 4, 2014. "Take Race out of the Equation." Today we are fortunate to be able to quote the eloquent words of Elizabeth Bartholet, professor of law at Harvard Law School and a speaker at next month's Center for Adoption Policy/NYLS Adoption Conference. Professor Bartholet wrote in response to a New York Times Room for Debate round table on the issue of should race matter in adoption. We fully endorse her stance: " The real issue is whether MEPA should serve as a model for other adoption laws, both domestic and international. MEPA is based on the beliefs that children do not belong to their racial groups of origin and that children's interests are served by placement in the earliest available nurturing permanent homes, regardless of color.... International laws and policies governing the adoption of unparented children worldwide are similarly inconsistent with MEPA principles, locking children into their nations of origin regardless of whether those nations provide nurturing care. A law pending in Congress, known as Children in Families First, would begin to change this picture, redefining U.S. policy to support international adoption as one of the best options for meeting children's basic human rights to parenting." More Information.

February 3, 2014. Register Now for The Adoption Law Conference. Registration is now open for The Eleventh Annual CAP/New York Law School Adoption Law Conference to be held at New York Law School on Friday, March 7, 2014 on the topic: DOMA, ICWA & CHIFF: What's Changed in Adoption and Child Welfare Law and Policy? CLE credit will be offered and financial aid is available. You can register by clicking here.

Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
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