January 31, 2018. Finding Sperm Donor Raises Negative, Surprising Consequences. Danielle Teuscher conceived her daughter using sperm from an anonymous donor. When her daughter was five, Danielle decided to find out about her daughter's genetic heritage using 23 and Me. She found her daughter's immediate relatives, contacted them and was rebuffed. What happened next was the shock. The sperm bank, Northwest Cryobank contacted Danielle and by contacting the donor's family Danielle had violated the terms of her contract, was subject to liquidated damages and, worst of all for Danielle, had lost her right to the other four vials of donated sperm Danielle had already purchased from the same donor. The Cryobank said that Danielle had "contractually agreed to not independently seek the identity or attempt to contact these individuals" Danielle said she did not realize what she had agreed to online. It is a surprising new world. To read the story please click here.
January 30, 2019. Support Human Rights For Unparented Children. A coalition of advocates for a child's right to parents have established a website to voice their opinions. The core belief is that "children have a right to a family as citizens of our global community." The ask is that "if you believe that children's right to parenting is a fundamental right, your support of the legislation described here is an extraordinary opportunity to help move children out of the institutions that systematically destroy their human potential and into the loving families all children deserve." Please go to https://www.legislation4childrights.org/ to see how you can help.
January 29, 2019. Another Adoption Agency Has Closed. The Department of State has announced that La Familia, Inc. has relinquished its accreditation to provide international adoption services on December 31, 2018. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, (December11, 2018 report) La Familia, one of New Mexico's largest private foster care agencies, closed because "the 30-year-old nonprofit failed to properly vet foster parents for abusive behavior, placing children in environments that in some cases led to severe child abuse." In-process families should refer to the DOS notice linked to below to obtain replacement agency services. This information may be found by clicking here.
January 28, 2019. Barrier to Gay Families Broken in Britain. The British government has announced that Britain's National Health Service will offer IVF treatment to married Gay couples. Previously the government had limited IVF treatment to heterosexual couples. In the case in point, the NHS will pay for a surrogate as well as for the embryo transfer. The Scottish government, which runs its domestic policy separately from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, began permitting all couples to have free fertility treatment without distinction for Gay, Lesbian or Transgender couples. To read more, please click here.
January 23, 2019. Chinese-Australian Disappears in China. Yang Hengjun, a Chinese writer with Australian citizenship, traveled to China last Friday. After landing in Guangzhou, he vanished. There is serious concern that he has been taken by the Chinese police, perhaps one of the "black Jails." When younger Yang had written material critical of the government, in recent years he has stayed a way from controversy. Yang appears to be another former Chinese citizen who has disappeared after returning to China. What is especially concerning is that Guangzhou is a major transit hub were many foreigners land to enter China and most adoptive parents leave China through Guangzhou. Clearly the Chinese police are watching carefully. More Information.
January 22, 2019. Nightlight Adoptions in Ukraine is Temporarily Suspended. The Department of State has announced that "On January 15, 2019, the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME) required Nightlight Christian Adoptions (Nightlight) to temporarily cease providing adoption services in Ukraine. IAAME determined that it was necessary to take this action due to Nightlight's failure to maintain substantial compliance with relevant accreditation standards. Nightlight's adoption programs in other countries are not impacted by this action." Any family that is working with Nightlight in Ukraine is urged to read the notice linked to below in full and to contact Nightlight directly. To access the notice, please click here.
January 17, 2018. The Effects of the Government Shutdown on Families. Because of the federal government shutdown local departments of families' and children's services will soon run out of money for federal support programs which provide food and nutritional support to pregnant women, children and families. For families in the process of international adoption, however, there would be no interruption in the Department of State and USCIS processing of required forms and documents.
January 16, 2019. Happy Foster Care Adoption Story. This column so often talks about the difficult issues in foster care and adoption so it is nice to highlight this story about the foster mother who found out that her foster child was the biological half sister of her adopted son. To read the story, please click here
January 15, 2019. Chinese Court Sentences Canadian to Death. Robert Schellenberg, a Canadian citizen, was originally to a 15 year sentence for drug smuggling. Recently a Chinese court decided that Schellenberg's crime merited the death penalty. This draconian decision highlights the Chinese judicial system's lack of predictability and accountability. Equally seriously, Chinese officials have indicated their support for Schellenberg's sentence. Travelers to China must understand exactly how the Chinese domestic system work. To read more, please click here.
January 14, 2018. Ukraine Becomes Surrogacy Hub. The United States, Georgie and Ukraine are three of a very few countries that currently allow commercial surrogacy for non-citizens. Thailand and India, formally also surrogacy centers are now off limits - Thailand has banned commercial surrogacy and India restricts surrogacy to citizens. British citizens have increasingly turned to Ukraine, the fees are less and the journey shorter than traveling to the U.S. Typical fees for the all-inclusive package run $35,000 with an extra $3,000 fee for twins. The package includes transportation and hotel accommodation. Some clinics offer purchasers of the deluxe package the option to choose the sex of their child. More Information.
January 10, 2019. Department of State Posts Senegal Warning. The Department of State reports have received recent warnings pertaining to adoption from Senegal. Since February 2012, Senegal has suspended international adoption. While DOS has discussed reopening Senegal adoption with that nations, DOS emphasizes intercountry adoptions are not possible between the United States and Senegal at this time. More information.
January 9, 2019. China Tries to Promote Two-Child Policy. After almost four decades of enforced one-child population control, the Chinese government is now trying to reverse course. The gradual move to a two-child policy has not worked demographic wonders so the Beijing leadership is now contemplating completing scrapping family planning restrictions. The problem facing China is that the successful implementation of the previous one-child policy has led to a demographic crisis: not only is China's population aging as younger people postpone have children and limit the number of children to one, but the cultural preference for boys caused a huge disparity in the ratio of boys to girls. As a result: "by the end of 2014, China had 33.76 million more males then females." To access the article, please click here.
January 8, 2019. Department of States Updates Kyrgyzstan and Latvia Information. The Department of State has posted new information about two international adoption programs. The Kyrgyz government has informed DOS that "it has suspended the accreditation of all foreign Adoption Service Providers (ASPs) operating in the country. " Latvia has clarified how it will treat in process cases during the transition period for its new adoption laws and regulations. Both of these notices have major, concerning effects for potential adoptive families who should read the notices in full as well as speak to their adoption service provider. To see the notices, please click here.
January 7, 2019. Families of Children Adopted From China Take Note: Department of State Issues Stern Warning About Travel to China. We have been warning about the increased risks for Chinese adoptees who wish to travel to China. Last week the Department of State issued s sober warning about this issue, posting that "Chinese authorities have asserted broad authority to prohibit U.S. citizens from leaving China by using 'exit bans,' sometimes keeping U.S. citizens in China for years. China uses exit bans coercively." Any person who was born in China and is intending to travel to China should read this notice carefully and consider cautiously whether or not they should travel to China at this time. To read the DOS notice, please click here.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)