Center for Adoption Policy
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November 2015

November 30, 2015. Indian Foreign Surrogacy Ban Changes the Equation for Many Couples and Surrogates. In October, the Indian Council of Medical Research, a supervisory body appointed by the government with wide-ranging powers, ordered India's fertility clinics to stop providing services to foreigners. The ICMR instruction anticipates legislation that was drafted by the Ministry of Health which would criminalize surrogacy for foreigners. The ban, imposed without any grandfathering provisions, has raised difficult questions for intended parents whose surrogates are already pregnant as well as foreign intended parents who have left embryos in India for future use. The ban is intended to stop the exploitation of poor women but for some women, surrogacy has been a financial blessing. Surrogacy in India has cost $25,000 while some fertility clinics in the United States charge as much as $250,000.

November 11, 2015. Support the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Jeff Merkeley (D-Ore.) have introduced S. 2275, the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015. Long overdue, this bill will grant citizenship to that group of adoptees with U.S. citizen parents, primarily, but not exclusively adopted prior to 2000, who never received U.S. citizenship. Prior to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, internationally adopted children only received green cards when they came to the United States. Children, whose parents did not take the steps to naturalize them, therefore lost their legal status when their green cards expired. We all need to support this bill. Its text may be found by clicking here.

November 10, 2015. Adoption Reform Gathers Momentum in Australia. Australia has over 43,000 children in foster care yet last year there were only 89 adoptions in the whole country. Among others working to change these dismal statistics is Australian actress Deborra-Lee Furness, child advocate and adoptive mother. As columnist Jeremy Sammut recently put it: "Child protection authorities in Australia repeatedly fail to properly protect children because the overemphasis on "family preservation" at almost all costs exposes them to prolonged abuse and neglect by dysfunctional parents. When finally removed as a last resort, many children are further damaged by highly unstable foster care and repeat breakdowns of family reunifications. More Information.

November 9, 2015. Michigan Nurses at Heart of US Supreme Court Gay Marriage Case Jointly Adopt Children. Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, a now married couple, began their legal journey to be a family in 2012, when they sued the state of Michigan to overturn its restrictions on gay adoption. Their case eventually became part of the landmark Supreme Court lawsuit which made gay marriage legal in all 50 states. This Thursday, Judge Karen McDonald in Oakland County allowed the spouses to legally adopt each other's adopted children and to jointly adopted the foster child they had been caring for. "What a long road," said Judge McDonald. And what a happy ending. More Information.

November 5, 2015. Open Records for Adoptees. National Adoption Month draws the wider world into adoption issues. This month's Costco Connection magazine features as its "Informed Debate" topic, "Should it be mandatory to give adult adoptees full access to their birth records if they want it?" Stating the affirmative position is April Dinwoodie, chief executive of the Donaldson Adoption Institute. Dinwoodie points out that 95 percent of domestic adoptions today are open adoptions and that today, best practices in adoption supports open adoption. Megan Lestino, director of public policy and education for the National Council for Adoption, speaks against mandatory birth records disclosure notwithstanding NCFA's support for openness in adoption, it believes that "it is crucial to continue to honor and advocate for those who prefer confidentiality." More Information.

November 4, 2015. Department of State Announcement Concerning National Adoption Month. Michele Thoren Bond, the Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, has made the Department of State's annual proclamation for November's National Adoption Month commemoration. She said: "On the occasion of National Adoption Month, I want to highlight that maintaining intercountry adoption as a viable option for children in need throughout the world is a top priority for the Department of State. We are advancing new initiatives for intercountry adoption and strengthening our relationships with the adoption community. We appreciate hearing from you about ways that we can continue these efforts." More Information.

November 3, 2015. How Can We Do Better? Montgomery County Circuit Court Records reveal that Brian O'Callaghan, a former division chief of the National Security Agency, is planning to plead guilty to child abuse resulting death. O'Callaghan, was facing murder charges in the beating death of his 3 year old son Madoc, adopted from South Korea. This plea agreement leaves O'Callaghan subject to a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison but usually results in a sentence of 12 to 20 years. O'Callaghan and his wife, who have another child, passed the home study and received the adoption preparation required by Catholic Charities for families seeking to internationally adopt a child with special needs. More Information.

November 2, 2015. DRC Government Allows 69 Internationally Adopted Children to Leave. The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced today that 69 internationally adopted children could exit the country because their dossiers " were perfectly in order and so the children could be authorized to leave." Of these children, fourteen are from the U.S. while others have parents from Italy, Belgium, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. DRC Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba further stated that: "All the other adoption dossiers will wait until the new law on adoptions currently under debate is finalized. "Until the new law is approved, we will no longer discuss these international adoption cases." More Information.

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