Center for Adoption Policy
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January 2017

January 31, 2017. Simone Biles on Being a Foster Child. Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles, possibly the greatest gymnast ever, recently spoke about her life in foster care, which encompassed the period before she was adopted by her maternal grandfather and his wife. "I recall some of the kids coming to the foster home with only the clothes on their back and a backpack.... It's hard going into the system with hardly anything, because even though foster parents may receive a stipend, sometimes it's not enough to cover all the necessities." Biles has recently partnered with Mattress Firm Foster Kids, an organization which accepts donations of coats, pajamas, suitcases and school supplies for foster children who would otherwise lack these essentials. To learn more, please click here.

January 30, 2017. International Adoptive Parents: Get Your Child the Certificate of Citizenship Now! If your child was adopted internationally and does not have a certificate of citizenship, apply for it as soon as possible. It is the incontrovertible proof that your child is a citizen of the United States. While it is costs $1,170, it is worth the money. Most children who were adopted by two parents who traveled to get them after January 1, 2004 should have received their certificate of citizenship automatically. To apply for the COC, go to https://www.uscis.gov/n-600

January 26, 2017. Michele Bond, the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Leaves the Department of State. All political appointees are required to submit resignations at the end of each presidential term. Assistant Secretary Bond is known to us because her portfolio includes international adoption. In her departure letter Bond wrote: "It has been an honor to serve with you as the Assistant Secretary for the past 17 months, and to have represented the United States as a Foreign Service officer for 40 years. What a privilege it has been." More Information.

January 25, 2017. British Court Ruling on Rights of IVF Parents. A British court overruled local officials and allow an unmarried British couple to put the intended father's name on the birth certificate even though the twins in question had been conceived with donated sperm. The couple did not want an amended birth certificate because they did not intend to tell their children they were conceived using a sperm donor. Sir James Munby, England's highest family court judge stated: "Put starkly, the state by its actions has denied these parents the right to decide for themselves, within the privacy of the family, what in their view, as devoted parents, is in the best interests of their children." More Information.

January 24, 2017. China's Birth Rate Rises After One-Child Policy Is Abandoned. According to the BBC, in 2016 China had 17.86 million births, an increase of 1.31 million from the previous year. This comes one year after the country jettisoned its one-child policy in favor of a two-child policy. As Yang Wenzhuang of China's National Health and Family Planning Commission stated, "While the total number of women of childbearing age fell by five million, the number of births increased significantly, showing that the family planning policy adjustments were extremely timely and extremely efficient." The NHFPC puts the number of Chinese births in 2016 at 18.46 million births. More Information.

January 23, 2017. Connecticut Legislature Debates Expanding Adoptees Right to Original Birth Certificates. Since 2014 Connecticut law has permitted adoptees who were adopted after October 1983 to obtain their original birth certificates. Now a new bill has been introduced in the Connecticut legislature which would permit all adult adoptees to have the same rights to their birth certificates as non-adopted adults. This proposed expansion of the birth certificate access law is part of a national trend which has gone far to end the secrecy that was legally imposed on adoptee information for the second half of the twentieth century. More Information.

January 19, 2017. What Is the Population of Adoptable Children? This very helpful information sheet delineates the population of unparented children who are available for domestic or international adoption. Why potential adoptive parents may have in mind a baby or toddler, the reality is that 80 percent of one agency's placements last year were over 3 years old. This is a relatively stable statistic across agencies. Moreover, the vast majority have identified medical issues in addition to suffering orphanage-related trauma. More Information.

January 18, 2017. European Human Rights Court Rules on Russian Adoption Closure. The European Court of Human Rights handed down a ruling yesterday partly upholding the plaintiff U.S. potential adoptive parents who sued after Russia shut down international adoption to the United States in December 2012. The Russian government has three months to appeal the decision. To access the Court's ruling please click here.

January 17, 2017. Department of State Debars European Adoption Consultants, Inc. (EAC) for Three Years. Because of serious violations, the Department of State has debarred EAC from working for three years. "The Department found substantial evidence that the agency is out of compliance with the standards in subpart F of the accreditation regulations, and evidence of a pattern of serious, willful, or grossly negligent failure to comply with the standards and of aggravating circumstances indicating that continued accreditation of EAC would not be in the best interests of the children and families concerned." EAC works in Bulgaria, China, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Honduras, India, Panama, Poland, Tanzania, Uganda, and Ukraine. EAC clients should "contact the Council on Accreditation (COA) for information about case transfer and information about other accredited adoption service providers who may be able to assume handling of adoption cases. Updated information will be posted to this web site as it becomes available. Questions may be submitted to Jayne Schmidt at COA at haguesupport@coanet.org (subject line: EAC) and to the Office of Children's Issues at adoption@state.gov." More Information.

January 12, 2017. Russia May Re-Open International Adoption with the United States. A report in the Russian new source Pravda states that the Russian government will offer to work with U.S. government officials in order to re-open Russian international adoption with the United States. Adoption by U.S. citizens of Russian children was halted by the Russian government in December 2012 with the passage of the Dima Yakolev bill, named after a Russian born U.S. adopted child who was killed by his adoptive father. More Information.

January 11, 2017. New Information Revealed About Irish International Adoption in the 1950s. Newly Published Irish Foreign Policy Documents from the 1950s gives more evidence into the workings of Irish outgoing international adoption during the 1950s. As many as 10 children each month left Ireland during that decade, headed for American homes. These were children in Catholic institutions, whose mothers were typically not married. The children were placed with Catholic families in the U.S. with little vetting in some cases. These are the documents behind the story of the recent movie Philomena. More Information.

January 10, 2017. Pennsylvania Superior Court Allows Same-Sex Couple to Revoke Adoption In Order to Get Married. A three-judge panel in Pennsylvania over-turned a lower court ruling and permitted the adoption of a 70 year old man by his 80 year old partner to be revoked. The couple now intends to get married. They had been together for 40 years and used the adoption mechanism to create a legal family unit when same-sex marriage was illegal. Superior Court President Judge Susan Peikes Gantman writing for the court explained, "Although the Adoption Act does not expressly provide for the annulment of the adult adoption, case law does allow it in certain scenarios; and this case presents wholly new and unique circumstances... Therefore, where a same-sex couple, who previously obtained an adult adoption, now seeks to annul or revoke the adoption in order to marry, the Orphans' Court has the authority to annul or revoke the adult adoption." More Information.

January 9, 2017. An Eloquent Plea for Children. Professor Elizabeth Bartholet of Harvard Law School and Chuck Johnson, CEO of the National Council for Adoption have written an eloquent plea for a non-partisan movement to help unparented children. As they write: "There is one area where the president and the president-elect should be able to unite - protecting children globally against the horrors of institutional life, and enabling prospective parents to bring those children into their homes and hearts." The Center for Adoption Policy was proud to have signed on to this article. We hope a bipartisan policy to help unparented children find permanent loving families will emerge during the new administration. More Information.

Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
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