December 15, 2016. Cambodian Government Limits Domestic Adoption By Foreigners. The Government of Cambodia does not currently process any international adoptions to any country whatsoever. Moreover, the Department of State cannot process Hague certificates from Cambodia. However, DOS is continuing its talks with the Cambodian government and reports that "the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has stated existing Cambodian law prohibits foreigners from adopting domestically unless they are permanent residents of Cambodia. According to the MOJ, permanent residency is granted when the foreigner acquires Cambodian nationality." More Information.
December 14, 2016. Cambodian Surrogacy Program Shut Down Puts Intended Parents in Jeopardy. The Cambodian government has taken seriously its decision to shut down surrogacy programs in that country. Most of the intended parents in the Cambodian programs were from Australia or China but some U.S. nationals are involved. We have seen reports that the Cambodian government is considering charging foreign intended parents with child trafficking. U.S. intended parents who have been working with a pregnant surrogate should contact the Department of State to work with U.S. officials so that their child can come to the U.S. once born. More Information.
December 13, 2016. USCIS Guidance on Citizenship of Internationally Adopted Children. USCIS recently posted a webpage offering guidance to parents of internationally adopted children on various issues relating to the U.S. citizenship of their children. These explanatory pages are very helpful for adoptive parents as well as adoption agencies and other stakeholders. To access this page please click here.
December 12, 2016 USCIS Fees Increase on December 23. Adoption related fees for international adoptees that are paid to USCIS include fees for I-600/As, I-800/As, and N-600 forms. Many of these fees are due to increase next week. USCIS has helpfully provided a webpage listing the forms which have associated fee increases and the new fees. This webpage is found at: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/forms-and-fees/2016-fee-changes-adoption-related-forms
December 8, 2016. Statistics on Waiting Child International Adoption. Virtually all international adoption now is of waiting/special needs children. These groupings include children with identified medical issues, older children or sibling groups. For interested prospective adoptive parents we link here to one of the largest adoption agencies, CCAI, Waiting Child Statistics page. This link provides information on the conditions of waiting children and on which countries have viable programs. The link is at: https://www.ccaifamily.org/WaitingChild/Waiting-Child-Stats.
December 7, 2016. New ICWA Regulations Go Into Effect Next Week. The federal government's new regulations concerning adoption under the Indian Child Welfare Act go into effect on December 12, 2016. All lawyers who work in the field of domestic adoption should be aware of these regulations and the new changes. The regulations may be found by clicking here.
December 6, 2016. Trying to Get Surrogacy Right: Ontario. Bill 28 is a proposed piece of legislation being debated in the Ontario, Canada legislature. Known as the "All Families Are Equal Act, " it is intended to end discrimination against families who use donor embryos and donor eggs and/or donor sperm to conceive a child. Good intentions aside, commentators criticize the bill for not distinguishing between gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy, allowing a surrogate seven days to change her mind about keeping a child, eliminating judicial oversight, and allows sperm donation through sexual intercourse if there is a pre-existing agreement between the parties that the donor will not be a parent. The last is a huge change in the current law in Canada. These issues demonstrate the difficulties inherent in trying to craft laws which will catch up with science. More Information.
December 5, 2016. Another View of Proposed DOS Regulations. As we await news of the fate of the proposed Department of State regulations, here is a very helpful article describing what is at stake: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/12/04/international-adoptions-may-get-harder.html
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)