October 22, 2019. When the Government Takes Your Embryos. The Polish government in June 2015 passed a law which made it illegal for single women to use IVF to conceive children. Moreover, single women were prohibited from accessing and implanting embryos that they had previously created which were stored in Polish ART clinics. The law also permits clinics to donate these eggs to infertile couples without the consent of the single potential mother who authorized their creation and may have been the donor of the egg if the embryos have not been used in twenty years. The situation for single women, as well as LGBT couples in Poland, has only worsened since the reactionary Law and Justice Party, known by its Polish acronym, PiS, took power in October 2015. To learn more, please click here.
October 21, 2019. Surrogate Mothers in Britain Ask for Legal Changes. Britain's largest organization which represents surrogate mothers welcomed suggestions that the 30 year old laws that govern surrogacy needed to be updated. Surrogacy UK seeks legal changes which would terminate a surrogate's parental rights over the child at the moment of birth. The law commission charged with reviewing the law has instead proposed that surrogate retain rights for a brief period after birth. Currently, intended parents in the UK must get a parenting order, which might take months, from a court to gain legal rights to their child.
October 17, 2019. One of The Unfortunate Intersections Between Immigration and Adoption. Cross-border migration has led to many migrant children ending up in U.S. foster care system. Foster parents have helped these children adjust to life separated from their parents and in what is an immigration limbo. However, it is very important for social workers and lawyers to ensure that these foster parents understand that these children have parents who have retained their parental rights, whether or not the parents are in immigration detention or back in their home countries. Therefore foster parents of migrant children will not be able to adopt such children and should not attempt to do so. We are disappointed to see cases where foster parents are trying to adopt children placed with them and we hope not to see any more.
October 16, 2019. USCIS Makes Obtaining Special Immigrant Status More Difficult. We have learned that Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued new guidance concerning Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) which according to one source, "could make it harder for kids and teenagers to qualify for immigration protections reserved for those who have been abused or neglected by their parents." SIJS provides an avenue for certain unmarried immigrants under 21 to receive green cards if they have suffered abuse or neglect. To read more, please click here.
October 15, 2019. Department of State Withdraws Proposed Regulations on International Adoption. In 2016 the Department of State issues new draft regulations relating to international adoption. In company with other stakeholders, we raised serious concerns relating to these proposed regulations which were withdrawn in November 2016. DOS had announced earlier this year that it would soon release new regulations. Last week we learned that the 2019 version has also been withdrawn. We look forward to working with DOS to craft revised regulations that guarantee safe, transparent and ethical international adoptions.
October 14, 2019. Another Adoption Service Provider Gone. The Department of State has posted a notice concerning the relinquishment by Adoption Matters, Inc. of its accreditation for international adoption. The ramifications of each agency leaving international adoption are explained in DOS' notice which we quote, "The Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME) reports that on October 7, 2019, Adoption Matters, Inc. voluntarily relinquished their accreditation to provide intercountry adoption services. Agencies or persons that are not accredited or approved may not act as a primary provider but may perform services for intercountry adoption under the supervision of an accredited or approved adoption service provider in accordance with the regulations. When an agency or person's accreditation or approval expires or is relinquished, the agency or person is responsible for executing their plan for transferring cases and records as required by 22 CFR 96.33(e) and 96.42(d). Families working with Adoption Matters, Inc. should contact them directly with questions about case or record transfer. We also encourage families to review the information published by IAAME about selecting a primary provider/adoption service provider and the accreditation/approval requirements. The Department of State does not review or approve case transfer plans and has a limited role in their execution. The Department does, however, communicate with competent adoption authorities about the accreditation status of agencies and persons and case transfer plans, as needed. Affected families may wish to review information about Case Transfer Responsibilities on the Department of State's website and information about If Your Agency is No Longer Accredited/Approved on the USCIS website." To see the original text, please click here.
October 10, 2019. Arizona Attorney Indicted in Three States for Adoption Fraud. Paul D. Peterson, a private attorney as well as the elected assessor of Maricopa County, Arizona, "is accused of placing at least 29 babies from the South Pacific island nation with adoptive families and bilking taxpayers of $814,000 in health care costs, according to a 32-count indictment in Arizona. The felony charges against him include fraud, forgery and theft." The indictment further charges that this scheme lasted for over three and a half years and involved Peterson giving expectant mothers $10,000 for each newborn. Peterson allegedly charged potential adoptive parents $35,000. A 1983 agreement between the U.S. and the Marshall Islands allows Marshallese citizens to travel to the U.S. for work but forbids them to travel to the U.S. for adoption purposes. More Information.
October 9, 2019. More Adoption Service Provider Updates. The Department of State has issued the following updates: IAAME has determined that CCAI Adoption Program in China must temporarily cease operations, Catholic Charities of Arlington has decided to allow its accreditation for international adoption services to expire, and The Barker Adoption Foundation may resume providing adoption services in China and Columbia but not India. More Information.
October 8, 2019. New Leadership at the Office of Children's Issues. We have been informed that Trish Maskew will step down as Adoption Division Chief in the Department of State's Office of Children's Issues, effective October 14, 2019. LaTina Marsh has been appointed the acting Adoption Division Chief.
October 7, 2019. British Report Details Hardship Imposed by Kinship Care. A new study reports that over 200,000 children in Britain are being cared for by their relatives after being abandoned by their parents. These kinship carers get neither financial nor emotional support or training. Over half of the carers stated that they felt pressured into taking the children, having been told by social workers that if they didn't take the children, their young relatives would go into foster care. Almost all the relatives said they had received no training. To read the article, please click here.
October 2, 2019. FY 2019 Is Over: How Low Will The Numbers Go? The federal fiscal year 2019 ended on Monday, September 30. As we await the total number of international adoptions, we do not feel optimistic. Last year's annual total of 4,058 was the lowest number of international adoptions for over two decades. We anticipate that this year's numbers will be lower still. Honoring the best interests of each individual child should allow each child to grow up in a permanent loving family, wherever that family can be found.
October 1, 2019. State Department Announces Declares New Adoption Agency Suspensions and Accreditation Relinquishment. The Department of State has posted the following updates in the status of adoption service providers, whose ranks are steadily diminishing: Shepherd Care Ministries DBA Adoption by Shepherd Care has been suspended, The Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Greensburg, PA and The Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota Accreditation have both relinquished their accreditation. Any prospective adoptive parents who is working with these agencies should consult the link below and follow the advice from DOS as to how to proceed. This information may be found by clicking here.
Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)