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)