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April 2018

April 30, 2018. Oklahoma Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Adoption Agencies to Discriminate. Both the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the Oklahoma State Senate have passed S.B. 1140, which states that "no private child-placing agency shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies." Now Governor Gov. Mary Fallin must decide whether to sign the bill. More Information.

April 26, 2018. Legal Scholar Makes Strong Case for Repealing Natural Born Citizen Requirement for President. Noah Feldman, a law professor writing in Bloomberg News, has made a very strong case for amending the Constitution to repeal the requirement that the President be a "natural born citizen." This ambiguous clause has been interpreted as requiring the President to be born in the United States or (perhaps) to U.S. citizens abroad. But this is an archaic, unclear passage which only serves to discriminate against immigrants as well as foreign born adopted children of U.S. citizens. We agree with Professor Feldman that the time is right for Congress to pass a law amending the Constitution and the states to ratify it. To read the article, please click here.

April 25, 2018. Thousands of British Children in Foster Care Go Missing Each Year. The British Children's Commissioner, Anne Longfield briefed newspapers late last week that over 10,000 British children in foster care are missing and unaccounted for. This number represents around one out of every ten children. Missing foster children are the most vulnerable target for child grooming gangs which entice children into sex slavery and prostitution. Notwithstanding that many children are rescued, the Times of London reported that "Just six per cent of crimes reported to police under the Modern Slavery Act led to prosecutions since it was introduced in 2015." We know that U.S. foster children are similarly at risk. While many British newspapers carried this story, we are linking to this one because it does not require a paid subscription: More Information.

April 24, 2018. New Fetal Gender Test Sparks Fears of Gender-Linked Abortion Rise. A new finger prick blood test will allow pregnant women to learn the sex of their fetus at eight weeks. Not only is the test rapid, it will be inexpensive. Gender-related abortions have created an imbalance of 63 million missing women in India and 34 million "extra men" in China. The growth in family incomes in India and China has not ended the cultural preference for male children; the fear now is that even more abortions will take place. More Information.

April 23, 2018. Bitter Fight Over Embryos Highlights New Issues Raised by Assisted Reproduction Technology. Yesterday's New York Post reported on a court fight between two New Yorkers about their frozen embryos. Illissa Watnik, wants to use the fertilized eggs to become a single mother. She claims that former partner (but not husband) Kevin Heldt agreed that she could use the genetic material and maintains that she does not want any child support. But Heldt says that as the son of a (primarily) single mother, he could not live with being the genetic father of a fatherless son. These are new issues which the world of assisted reproductive technology has created.

April 19, 2018. Australian Senator Seeks to Stop Orphanage Tourism. Senator Linda Reynolds wants to put orphanage tourism on the Australian government agenda. Reynolds see orphanage tourism "as a scam which Australians are keeping the industry afloat, with the "sugar rush" their altruism creates often resulting in virtual signaling social media posts. The thinking behind ending orphanage tourism is that Australians support family care at home, why wouldn't they support it abroad? However, what this article fails to point out is that there are thousands of children around the world who cannot be cared for in the birth family." More Information.

April 18, 2018. Citizenship Certificates Taking A Very Long Time. Adopted children who came home between 2001 and 2004 did not automatically receive Certificates of Citizenship. Instead their parents had to file the N-600 form and pay a fee. In the last two years many parents realized that their children needed their Certificates to prove their citizenship and have filed with USCIS to obtain the Certificates. Unfortunately it is now taking well over a year for families to receive these Certificates and the wait is projected to only increase. Please do obtain this Certificate-it is the only indisputable proof of Citizenship and if you don't obtain it, your child will not be registered as a citizen by the Social Security Administration.

April 16, 2018. Department of State Raises Concern About International Adoption from Japan. The Department of State has notified us that it is "currently reviewing Japanese law regarding the transfer of custody of a child without a court order, which may affect a child's eligibility for an adoption-based visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Department urges families with pending I-600 petitions and immigrant visa applications based on the transfer of custody of children - if such applications do not involve a court order - to consider deferring their travel to Japan to complete the visa process at this time. The Department also urges adoption agencies not to make new referrals to U.S. prospective adoptive parents in such cases until further notice." Any person with an in process adoption from Japan should keep watching adoption.state.gov for updates and should contact the Office of Children's Issues at adoption@state.gov with any particular questions.

April 12, 2018. New Information Concerning COA Accredited Agencies. The Department of State has notified us that the Council on Accreditation (COA) is changing the way published information about adoption agencies and approved persons, both the make the information more accessible and to ease the transition to IAAME, the new accrediting entity. To search for information on the COA website, now it is necessary to go to http://coanet.org/accreditation/who-is-accredited/overview/. COA will not only update this list to reflect its own work but will also publicize the work of IAAME on monitoring, oversight,and complaints.

April 11, 2018. Mexican Government Requirements for U.S. Adoption Agencies. The Department of State has posted information from the Mexican Central Authority and the National System for Integral Family Developments setting for the requirements for U.S. adoption agencies which wish to be authorized to work in Mexico. Interested agencies and families who are in the process of considering or adopting from Mexico should visit the Department of State web site for more information.

April 10, 2018. IAAME Monitoring of Adoption Agencies Working with International Adoption Has Begun. On April 1, 2018 the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAMME) became the official and only entity charged with monitoring and oversight over all adoption service providers which are accredited and approved for international adoption. The Council on Accreditation which previously had been responsible for such monitoring and oversight will only completely reviews of a small number of agencies whose accreditations expire prior to December 2018 and thereafter will cease functioning as the Accrediting Entity which will thereafter be the sole responsibility of IAMME. In addition IAMME will take over from COA the investigation of complaints against agencies which have not yet been resolved. More Information.

April 9, 2018. Many Agencies Will Not Be Re-Accredited for International Adoption. In the last few days the following adoption agencies (also know as adoption service providers) have been refused re-accreditation or have chosen not to apply for reaccreditation: Amazing Grace Adoptions, Adopt Abroad International, Faith International Adoption, Inc., AAA Full Circle Adoptions & Family Building Center, Inc., Buckner Adoption & Maternity Serves and Grace International Adoption Agency. Anyone who is in the process of adopting with one of the agencies should contact their agency immediately to find out what the transition plan for their case is. Please also refer to the Department of State notices for more information. To acess the DOS site, please click here.

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