November 26, 2019. National Adoption Month News Report. In honor of National Adoption Month, many local television and radio stations have featured reports this month connected to adoption. We are linking to one of these stories which features an adoption attorney discussing the best ways for potential adoptive parents to be able to meet the needs of their adopted child and to have a successful adoption. To access this story from CBS-TV New York, please click here.
November 25, 2019. Lack of Oversight Over Family Reunification Blamed for Deaths. More than a dozen children across Ohio have died between 2014 and 2018 from abuse or neglect that occurred after children who had been removed from their biological families were returned to their parents or kinship caregivers. Even worse, the county social services departments that had jurisdiction over these children appear, in at least several cases, to have lost track of these most vulnerable children and in the case of one infant, Dylan Groves whose body was found at the bottom of a 30 foot well, to have actively prevented his devoted foster mother from inquiring about his well-being. To access this story, please click here.
November 21, 2019. Saturday is National Adoption Day. Every year the Dave Thomas Foundation sponsors National Adoption Day. On this coming Saturday adoptive families in many cities will gather to finalize adoptions and to celebrate adoptions. Because a special emphasis of the Dave Thomas Foundation is adoption from foster care, many cities are holding events to inform the public on foster care process and available children. We urge families to check the linked site to see if events are being held in their area. To reach the link, please click here.
November 20, 2019. Additional Travel Warnings for Hong Kong. Many families who adopt from China transit to or from Hong Kong. The increasing political unrest in Hong Kong, however, should make families exercise additional caution, particularly since, as the Department of State says, "large scale and smaller political demonstrations have taken place in various areas of Hong Kong, including MTR stations, shopping malls, universities, and at Hong Kong International airport." As this list illustrates, demonstrations, which are generally held without permits and therefore illegal, take place in areas that tourists or visitors frequent. Moreover, DOS also points out that "U.S. citizens, as well as U.S. Consulate General employees, have been subject to a People's Republic of China propaganda campaign falsely accusing the United States of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong." We urge anyone traveling to Hong Kong to consult the linked web page below and follow DOS' recommendation. More Information.
November 19, 2019. Easing the Path for Better Child Care. New York City Councilwoman Farah Louis has introduced legislation which would make it easier for non-profits to provide services to underserved children. Many non-profits operate on a very tight budget which means that the recurrent failure of New York City agencies to make timely payments for services can push these well-qualified organizations into the red. Louis' suggestion, an Office of Not-for-Profit Services, if correctly implemented, could serve as a national model. To read more, please click here.
November 18, 2019. New York Governor Signs Adoptee Birth Certificate Access Legislation. New York governor Andrew Cuomo has signed broad legislation allowing adoptees and their descendants or legal representative to obtain access to their original birth certificate upon reaching the age of 18. As Governor Cuomo said, "Where you came from informs who you are, and every New Yorker deserves access to the same birth records - it's a basic human right. For too many years, adoptees have been wrongly denied access to this information and I am proud to sign this legislation into law and correct this inequity once and for all." More Information.
November 14, 2019. Adoption Tax Credit for 2020. The IRS last week posted information on the amount and qualifications for adoptive parents who wish to claim the Adoption Tax Credit in 2020. The maximum amount allowed per child will be $14,300, an increase for the $14,080 in 2019. The tax credit begins to be phased out for families with modified adjusted gross incomes over $214,520 and completely phases out for families who modified adjusted gross income exceeds $254,520. To read the IRS notice, please click here to download
November 13, 2019. IAMME Cancellation of the Accreditation of Another Agency. The Department of State announced last week that the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME) has cancelled the accreditation of Across the World Adoption (AtWA) for failing to "maintain substantial compliance with accreditation standards. DOS has urged affected families to review the information about case transfer and continuation of open cases by looking at this notice and the links contained in the notice. Moreover, AtWA must issue refunds or reimbursements as required by applicable federal regulations. To read more, please click here.
November 12, 2019. South Carolina Couple Arrested for Taking Nicaraguan Girl and Keeping Her for Years. A federal indictment has charged Michael and Charlotte Taylor of keeping a Nicaraguan girl they brought to the United States on a B-2 visa for medical treatment in July 2005. The federal documents allege that the Taylors gave a forged document to immigration authorities the following year in an attempt to adopt the child. They then allegedly sent her to school under a fake name and refused to obey the Nicaraguan government's demand to return the girl. There was no explanation as to why the indictment was so long in coming. To read more, please click here.
November 11, 2019. Trump Administration Proposes New Rule Which Would Let Faith-Based Foster Care and Adoption Agencies Discriminate Against LGBT Families on Religious Grounds. The rule proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services would alter an Obama administration rule that included sexual orientation as a protected trait under anti-discrimination protections. The Trump administration's new rule would permit faith-based agencies to follow their consciences, provided that agencies comply with applicable federal laws and Supreme Court rulings. Julie Krause, director of federal policy at Family Equity criticized the announcement, stating that "It is outrageous that the Trump administration would mark the start of National Adoption Month by announcing a rule to further limit the pool of loving homes available to America's 440,000 foster children ...The American public overwhelmingly opposes allowing taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away qualified parents simply because they are in a same-sex relationship." Because many counties contract out their foster care responsibilities to a single agency, if that agency takes advantage of this rule in the way faith-based agencies are planning to do, LGBT youth could suffer very negative consequences. To read more, please click here.
November 7, 2019. New Ruling in ICWA case. The Fifth Circuit has granted a rehearing en banc in the Brackeen v. Bernhardt case. A Texas district court had struck down the Indian Child Welfare Act as unconstitutional, but the Fifth Circuit reversed. Now the Fifth Circuit has agreed to hear the case en banc which means that it will now be heard by all the judges of the Fifth Circuit. This step is often taken in cases which are deemed to be complex of more than usual importance.
November 6, 2019. November is National Adoption Month. Since 1995, when President Bill Clinton, proclaimed this month as National Adoption Month, November has been a month for adoption awareness and celebration. Family courts around the country will be recognizing the benefits adoption brings to unparented children this month as will the millions of Americans whose lives have been touched positively by adoption. In recognition of this month, the federal Children's Bureau has created a special webpage with adoption resources and information. You can access that page by clicking here.
November 5, 2019. Department of State Posts Strong Caution About South Africa. The State Department has advised potential adoption parents (PAPs) and adoption service providers (ASPs) of "continued, lengthy delays and uncertainties that may impact newly-adopted children's ability to depart South Africa." DOS reports that "the South African Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has instituted new procedures for issuing new, updated identity and travel documents for adopted children which have resulted in newly-adopted children being unable to receive the documentation necessary to depart South Africa. PAPs must obtain these documents to exit South Africa with their newly-adopted children. Families with completed adoptions have been unable to obtain these documents for several months." For these reasons DOS advises ASPs not to make new referrals of children for adoption to the United States from South Africa. To read more about this important notice, please click here.
November 4, 2019. Kazakhstan Updates. The Department of State has informed us that the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan (MOES), which functions as the adoption central authority has reconfirmed that Kazakhstan remains closed to intercountry adoption to the United States. The central issue appears to be missing post placement reports (PARs). Families who have not submitted PARs, which should be both apostilled and notarized, can be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively PARs can be sent to the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan as described in the linked notice. To read the notice, please click here.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)