Center for Adoption Policy
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February 2020

February 25, 2020. Another Agency Gone. The Department of State has announced that the accreditation for international adoption services of the Datz Foundation has expired and that Datz has not applied for reaccreditation. As DOS states "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." Adoptive parents who owe post-placement reports should contact the Datz Foundation to discuss how best to proceed. The notice may be found by clicking here.

February 24, 2020. Supreme Court Will Hear Case Involving Foster Care Agency, Religious Exemptions and Gay Rights. Today the Supreme Court agreed to decide where it is constitutional for the city of Philadelphia to refuse to work with a Catholic agency for foster care placements because the agency would not work with same-sex couples. The case began with Catholic Social Services' policy of not placing with same sex couples was brought to its attention. The agency and various foster parents sued the city saying its action violated their first amendment rights. A three-judge panel from the Third Circuit Federal Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the city was entitled to require that contracting agencies conform to its non-discrimination polices. Now the Supreme Court will review this decision, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. To read more, please click here.

February 19, 2020. The Collapse of International Adoption Is a Tragedy. Yes, the title says it all. Naomi Schaefer Riley has written a poignant article about the decimation of international adoption. As she rightly points out, a combination of factors is responsible, such as Russia's decision to shut international adoption in retaliation for American sanctions. Yet we believe that more can and must be done to keep international adoption as a viable method of family creation. To read the article, please click here.

February 18, 2020. Caution on Kazakhstan. We read a widely circulated post this weekend cheering the fact that an American adoption service provider has been accredited by the Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science to provide adoption services for Kazak orphans. But the according to the Department of State, "the Ministry of Education and Science, has advised us that the suspension of adoptions by U.S. citizens has not been lifted." The Department of State has not posted any updates since their Kazakhstan notice of January 31, 2020. Therefore, prospective adoptive parents should not begin a Kazakhstan adoption at this time. To read the DOS notice, please click here.

February 13, 2020. Another Agency Cancellation. The Department of State announced has announced that the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME) has cancelled the accreditation of The Center for Family Development (CFD) for "failing to maintain substantial complain with accreditation standards." CFD is required to cease providing any intercountry adoption services and transfer its cases to an adoption service provider that has retained its accreditation. The linked notice explains the proper steps for prospective adoptive parents and reminds adoptive parents that the closure of CFD does not release adoptive parents from their obligations to provide post-placement reports. More Information.

February 12, 2020. Different Choices in Adoption: The Processes and Costs. The linked article contrasts the experiences of three families who took different roads to adoption: foster care, domestic agency adoption and international adoption. The requirements for each program differ as does the costs and waiting times. This article will be useful for any prospective adoptive parent. To read the article, please click here.

February 11, 2020. Another Relinquishment. The Department of State has announced that Jewish Family and Career Services has relinquished their accreditation to provide intercountry adoption services. As what has now become a well-known procedure, "Families working with JFCS 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." DOS has also posted that USCIS has the link If Your Agency is No Longer Accredited/Approved on its USCIS website.

February 6, 2020. More Adoption Service Providers Cease International Adoption Services. Last week, the Department of State announced that Vista Del Mar has relinquished its accreditation which permits it to perform international adoption services. On the same day DOS posted that International Adoption Services, Inc. has allowed its accreditation to expire. ASPs and prospective adoptive parents who are working with either agency should check the relevant DOS notice pages linked below in order to figure out what their next steps should be. The link may be found by clicking here.

February 5, 2020. New Mothers Will Get More Support to Encourage Family Preservation. New York City officials announced that they will be implementing a program of home visits to new mothers. This effort modeled after a successful program launched several years ago in Durham, North Carolina, offers every first time mother home visits from professionals which will screen for anxiety and post-partum depression as well as providing services for mental health field follow up care. With an estimated 20 percent of all mothers suffering from post-partum depression, these services lead to better outcome for children and families. To learn more, please click here.

February 4, 2020. Escorted Adoption Travel from Haiti Possible. The Office of Children's Issues in the past has warned prospective adoptive parents and adoption service providers to review Haiti's Travel Advisory and Country page. Given the difficult situation, PAPs have enquired about authorizing "an appropriate individual to escort their adopted child back to the United States. The Haitian Central Adoption Authority, IBESR, has now informed DOS that such escorting is permissible under Haitian law but reminds PAPs that they must also comply with U.S. adoption laws, in particular 22 CFR Part 96. DOS also states that "Adoption service providers should provide an estimate of the costs parents may incur using this travel process and parents should document all additional expenses." More Information.

February 3, 2020. ASPs and PAPs: Urgent Do Not Travel Advisory for China. The Department of State has posted the notice printed below concerning the Level 4: Do Not Travel Advisory for China directed to potential adoptive parents and adoption service providers. We print it here:
"Deferral of Adoption Travel to China."
On January 30, 2020, the Department of State issued a Level 4: Do Not Travel Advisory for China. The responses by Chinese authorities to the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation could cause great difficulties for adoptive parents as they attempt to conclude the adoption process and while they are traveling to, within, and from China. We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens defer travel to China for adoption purposes and that prospective adoptive parents contact their adoption service providers to discuss future plans. Although Consulate General Guangzhou's capacity to offer consular services is reduced, services to American citizens and adoptive families will be prioritized to the extent possible. Prospective adoptive parents who are in country and who have completed all aspects of the adoption and documentation process in China should contact the consulate through their adoption service provider for assistance.

Center for Adoption Policy (CAP)
168A Kirby Lane
Rye, New York 10580
(914) 925-0141