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September 2020

September 30, 2020. Impressive Defense of Amy Coney Barrett's Haitian Adoptions. Jason Riley, columnist for The Wall Street Journal has mounted an impressive defense of Judge Amy Coney Barrett's adoption of two children from Haiti. Among other things, Riley cites Mark Montgomery and Irene Powell's book "Saving International Adoption." As Riley explains, "Comparing black adoptees in white families with those in black families, there is no statistical difference between the groups in terms of self-esteem, self-concept and family integration, and "only a small, if any, effect on objective outcomes such as school performance and behavioral problems," they write. The "overwhelming conclusion of studies of transracial adoption is that it is not bad for children." To access the article, please click here.

September 29, 2020. Suit Against Atlanta Sperm Bank Can Continue. The Georgia Supreme Court has allowed a lawsuit against the Xytex Corporation, a leading sperm bank. The plaintiffs will be allowed to sue on claims about the dishonesty of the couple's sperm donors. They had been told that the donor was a healthy man, with a genius IQ, and multiple graduate degrees. In reality, he had never finished college, had been imprisoned and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The story of Donor 9623 has been made into an eight part podcast. To read more about this story, please click here.

September 28, 2020. Supreme Court Nominee's Adoption of Haitian Children Raised By Opponents. Amy Comey Barrett, who was nominated to the Supreme Court last week, has been attacked on the basis that she adopted two children from Haiti, one in 2005 and another in 2010. An example of the debate that has ensued is found by clicking here.

September 24, 2020. Three Parent Family? California has been a path breaker in giving legal recognition to the three-parent family. The linked story recounts the relationship among Jay, Avary and Zeke. Avary and Zeke are a married couple and Jay, the founder of The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) is the biological parent of their daughter. Right now the relationship among the four of them is stable but that may not always be the case. For that reason the benefit of legal tri-parenting arrangements is clear: it protects the third parent from a separation between the first couple or if a biological relative trues to intervene. More Information.

September 23, 2020. DHS Proposed Expansion of Biometrics Collection. The Department of Homeland Security is proposing a major change in how it collects and uses biometric data. DHS proposes to change its definition of biometrics to a new and presumably expanded category of biometric modalities. Of particular relevance to the adoption community, another change Another major change "proposed by DHS is to eliminate age restrictions for biometrics to allow for their collection and use for across the lifespan and to eliminate the presumption of good moral character for people under 14 years of age." More Information.

September 21, 2020. Adoption Citizenship Act Day of Action. Proponents of the proposed Adoptee Citizenship Act are planning to gather in Washington on Wednesday to lobby to get this bill enacted this year. If it becomes law, It will confer citizenship on international adoptees who came to the United States with correct adoptee paperwork but whose adoptive parents did not get them naturalized. Since the passage of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, most international adoptees receive automatic citizenship; this bill is intended to rectify gaps in the twenty- year old CCA. To read more, please click here.

September 16, 2020. "Child Welfare Must Keep to Its Permanency Timelines." Cassie Statuto Bevan, who was involved in the passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act, had written an article about AFSA and its effect on adoption since its enactment. As she says, "in 1997, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, or ASFA, became law with the goal of making child's safety the paramount concern and limiting time in care to promote permanency. One of its core provisions is the requirement that with some notable exceptions, a system must move to terminate parental rights if a child has been in foster care for 15 of the past 22 months. This would allow states to expeditiously move toward other permanency options like adoption." Bevan advocates keeping AFSA as part of the child care options. To read the article, please click here.

September 14, 2020. Adoptee Citizenship Again. The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 granted automatic citizenship to most international adoptees who came to the United States in February 1983 and thereafter. Before the CCA's enactment, any internationally adopted child needed to be naturalized in a separate proceeding from their adoption. However, the CCA's limitations on retro-activity as well as the language of the CCA left an estimated 20,000 now-adult child adoptees without U.S. citizenship. The majority of these cases come from South Korea because the structural basis for Korean adoption made it much more difficult for the parents of Korean children to naturalize their newly arrived children. Congress is once again discussing rectifying this error. We hope this effort succeeds.

September 10, 2010. Senator Wicker Raises International Adoption Issues on Senate Floor. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss) delivered an impassioned address on the subject on international adoption on the Senate floor on Tuesday. His speech may be viewed by clicking here.

September 8, 2020. Department of State Launching a Search for New Accrediting Entities. The State Department has announced that it will be seeking Requests for Statements of Interest from qualified candidates which seek to be designated as Accrediting Entities (AE) to work with the Department of State in accrediting agencies as adoption service providers or approved persons. As the Department explains, The Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA) and the Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA) provide for the accreditation of agencies and approval of persons who provide one or more defined adoption services in intercountry adoption cases. Under the IAA, the Department is responsible for establishing and overseeing the system for accreditation and approval. Rather than mandating the Department to directly accredit agencies and approve persons, the IAA requires the Department to select and designate one or more accrediting entities (AEs) to carry out those functions. The federal regulations governing intercountry adoption and the accreditation of agencies and approval of persons can be found at 22 CFR Part 96, with Subpart B focusing on the selection, designation, and duties of AEs. More Information.

September 3, 2020. Changes Relating to Ugandan International Adoption. The Department of State has announced that "the Family Division of the High Court will handle all inter-country adoption matters in Uganda. On August 19, 2020, the Government of Uganda's Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development forwarded to the U.S. Embassy in Kampala a copy of a Ministry of Justice Circular, dated August 3, 2020 (Circular), regarding significant changes to inter-country adoption procedures recently instituted by the Principal Judge of the High Court. The Principal Judge instructed all High Court circuits to immediately cease handling inter-country adoption cases and to transfer such cases to the Family Division of the High Court. Going forward, the head of the Family Division, in consultation with the Principal Judge, will assign two judges in the Family Division to handle all inter-country adoptions." More Information.

September 2, 2020. Important Guidance Relating to India. The Department of State has informed the community that all visas issued by the Indian government to U.S. prospective adoptive parents as well as any other foreign nationals before India's proclamation of Covid-19 restrictions are now invalid. Anyone who plans to travel after India's Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted will have to reapply for a visa. DOS requests that adoption service providers provide the following information to the US Embassy in New Delhi at ndadoption@state.gov: "1) the names of your prospective adoptive families who will need to re-apply for visas, and 2) the names of clients who do not have previously-issued visas but whose cases have now become ready for PAP travel. For every individual applicant on your list, please include the full name of the families matched with a child, and the child's name." More Information.

September 1, 2020. Department of State Announcement on Vietnam. The Department of State has announced that Vietnam is in the process of widening its adoption program to the United States to included non-special needs as well as special needs adoption cases: In order to align the U.S.-Vietnam Adoption Program more closely to Vietnam's Decree 24/2019/ND-CP process, the Office of Children's Issues, as the U.S. Central Authority under the Hague Adoption Convention, is participating in ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Justice, as Vietnam's Central Authority under the Hague Adoption Convention, over the terms of transition from the current Special Adoption Program to more expanded Hague adoption processing. We anticipate that future processing of adoptions under Decree 24/2019/ND-CP to the United States, after a yet to be determined date, would no longer be subject to the limited categories of the Special Adoption Program and more children will be eligible for intercountry adoption." More Information.

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