Wednesday, September 30, 2009

PEAR issues Position on Tuberculosis(TB) Management in International Adoptees

PEAR has issued a Position on Tuberculosis Management in International Adoptees due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rollout of TB screening for immigrants that now includes adoptees aged 2 to 14 from the high-TB-prevalence countries of Ethiopia, China and Haiti.

This position also addresses a summer petition issued by the Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS) for waiving this TB screening requirement.

This is a complex medical issue that requires an understanding of TB itself, the increasing spread of all versions of TB across the world, and how adoptive parents in the US manage screening and treatment of all forms of TB. The PDF can be linked to on our website at

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Vietnamese Officials Sentenced to Jail Time for Participation in Fraudulent Adoptions

The Irish Times is reporting that six health officials and health care workers in Nam Dinh province have been sentenced to jail for arranging over 300 fraudulent adoptions.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

DOS Adoption Notice: Nepal

Nepal Adoption Notice

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

September 29, 2009

On January 1, 2009, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) announced procedures for processing adoptions pursuant to the Government of Nepal’s (GON) new “Terms and Conditions” for adoptions. The initial announcement stated that only 10 applications will be processed from each Embassy, Mission, or approved Agency in 2009. The GON provided copies of the new requirements, to all approved agencies.

According to Nepali officials, the new requirements apply to all intercountry adoptions. There is NO provision to permit prospective adoptive families who had already begun an adoption to be “grandfathered” under the previous Nepali regulation. All but one of the prospective adoptive parents matched with children under the previous system relinquished the match so the children could be available for adoption under Nepal’s new Terms and Conditions. Some of these children have since been matched with new prospective adoptive parents.

On September 2, 2009, the Nepali Prime Minister appointed a new minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare. This minister has authority to sign final adoption decrees. Since then, under its new “Terms and Conditions,” the GON has granted adoptions to U.S. families in four cases. As a result, these families have now approached the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu to complete their processing under U.S. law. The GON has also indicated that they will likely process several more adoption cases for U.S. families in October and that approximately two dozen additional case referrals have been sent to U.S. families. The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu continues to meet with GON officials and is working with the Office of Children’s Issues to provide timely public updates.

As part of required processing for orphan adoption cases, the Embassy conducts a thorough investigation of each case. Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that the investigation process may take several months, which could mean that prospective adoptive parents who travel to Nepal before the investigation is completed will need to spend a significant amount of time in country.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Friday, September 25, 2009


According to the JCICS, the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) will require all adoptive families to register with a Hague Accredited ASP as of December 1, 2009. This applies to all waiting parents who filed a dossier with China prior to the Hague coming into full force in the US on April 1, 2009. Please note that this information has not been confirmed by the US Department of State, nor does it appear on the DOS Adoption Website, UCSIS, and the US Embassy websites.

Thank you to Linh Song of Ethica for getting permission from JCICS to pass this news along to prospective adoptive parents:

Dear Colleagues,

During a meeting with the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) on Tuesday
September 15 2009, Director General Lu announced that beginning December 1
2009; all adoptive families must be registered with a Hague Accredited
Adoption Service Provider (ASP). If an adoptive family is currently
registered with a non-Accredited ASP, they are required to transfer their
adoption to a Hague Accredited ASP no later than December 1, 2009.

Director General Lu also clarified; families currently using the I-600A and
I-600 process (non-Hague) may continue with this process. Families are not
required to transfer to the I-800A and I-800 process, unless deemed
necessary by the United State Government.

The specifics of this new policy can be found on the CCAA website for ASPs

Best wishes,


PEAR hopes that the JCICS will encourage member agencies to cooperate in planning and transfer of cases in way that does not overly burden waiting families.

~PEAR Board
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

MEDIA: Vietnam - Vietnamese doctors 'sold' babies for overseas adoptions

Sixteen Vietnamese doctors, nurses and officials sold 266 babies for overseas adoptions, a court heard on Tuesday.

By Ian MacKinnon in Bangkok
Published: 2:18PM BST 22 Sep 2009

The defendants from a number of clinics and social welfare centres in the northern province of Nam Dinh allegedly solicited the infants from unmarried mothers and impoverished families.

To make the children eligible for adoption, and the process legal, they ring forged documents so it appeared the children had been abandoned at village clinics, it was claimed.

The accused the directors of two social welfare centres, doctors, nurses and district officials face jail terms of between five and ten years if convicted of "abuse of power and authority".

The babies were allegedly sent for foreign adoption by the ring between 2005 and July 2008, when the racket was busted just three months after damming report into the trade.

Each member of the group allegedly illegally earned between £170 and £340 for their part in the scheme. Most of the babies ended up in France, Italy and the US, according to court officials.

Couples in the US had adopted the most Vietnamese children before a bilateral agreement expired a year ago.

In 2007, 828 Vietnamese infants were adopted by parents in the US, including the fourth child of movie stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, though there is no suggestion of impropriety.

That tally of adoptions would have been surpassed last year had the agreement not lapsed.

Each year around ten Vietnamese babies had been adopted by couples from Britain.

The US-Vietnamese adoption agreement expired after an exhaustive investigation uncovered widespread irregularities. The US embassy in Hanoi revealed Vietnamese authorities' failure to police the system.

Rampant abuses included flourishing sales of babies, and fraud and corruption perpetrated by care officials and orphanage directors.

Hospitals sold babies whose mothers could not afford the medical bills for delivery, brokers scoured villages for infants, and in one case a grandmother sent a baby girl for her parents' knowledge.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Alert: Korea intends to halt International Adoption at the end of 2012

PEAR urges prospective adoptive parents considering Korea at this time to inquire to their agency or possible agency about how the closing of the international adoption process will work and how this will effect non-special needs referrals and special needs referrals from now until closing.

PEAR urges all agencies to clarify on their websites the current situation and how the process of closing the country will affect prospective adoptive parents.

The Department of State has updated their website
"Please Note: U.S. citizens who are considering adoption in the Republic of Korea (South Korea) should be aware that the Korean government has expressed its intent to eliminate the need for intercountry adoption of Korean orphans by 2012 by encouraging domestic adoption of all Korean orphans. According to some estimates, wait times for American citizens to complete a newly initiated adoption in Korea could be as much as three years. Prospective adoptive parents should consult carefully with their adoption service provider in light of current Korean adoption processing times and the Republic of Korea’s intention to end inter-country adoption by 2012.Updated: September 2009"

Rainbow kids article dated August 1, 2009 indicates a slow closing of Korea.

Children’s Home Society and Family Services disputes the full closing and discusses special needs adoptions at the September 1, 2009 article also at Rainbow Kids

Adopt offers this information under its Choosing Korea tab “Korean culture and its emphasis on blood ties and family name have continued to be a difficult obstacle to reaching that goal. That's why, in a major push to encourage domestic adoption within Korea, the Korean government has approved several initiatives for 2007. Although this is welcome news, these initiatives will have a significant impact on Korea's entire international adoption program. You'll want to speak with your agency about these changes and their impact on specific agency programs.”

Welcome House (Pearl S. Buck International) has stated on their website the following: “Welcome House received a recent communication from President Min, the head of Holt Children's Services in Korea, reiterating the Korean Ministry's commitment to increase domestic adoption and to stop inter-country adoption. The current federal Ministry in Korea will leave office in 2013, and we have received confirmation from Holt and from Holt affiliates in the United States, that Korea will officially close to international adoption at the end of 2012.

For any new families interested in adopting from Korea through Welcome House Adoption Program, we have closed the wait list for the Korea program to any new face sheets of application, except for families who are applying to adopt a waiting child with significant special needs. Please visit our waiting child page for more information. Thank you for your interest”

Holt International’s website does not indicate the 2012 closing, but has already limited applications to Holt Korea alumni families, Korean-American families (including Holt Korean adoptees), and families open to children with special needs since October 1, 2008.

As of September 16, 2009, the following agencies do not mention the closing in 2012 or limiting applications for healthy children on their websites:

AAC Adoption and Family Network
Adoption Advocates, Inc
Adoption Planning
Americans for International Aid & Adoption
Barker Foundation
Bethany Christian Services
Carolina Adoption Services
Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia
Children’s Home Society and Family Services (CHSFS)
Connecticut Adoption and Family Services
Dillon International
Family & Children’s Agency
Heaven’s Sent Children
Kentucky Adoption Services
Lifelink Child & Family Services
Love the Children
Lutheran Social Services TX
Spence Chapin
The Cradle
Wide Horizons

As of September 16, 2009, the following agencies mention limiting applications or putting the program on hold without explaining the reasoning or 2012 closing:

ABC Adoption
Florida Homestudies and Adoption
New Beginnings
Rainbow House

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

9/23/09: Title of post corrected from Korea will officially halt International Adoption at 2012 to Korea intends to halt International Adoption at the end of 2012. DOS link and notice added

Thursday, September 17, 2009

DOS Adoption Alert: Sierra Leone

Adoption Alert

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

September 17, 2009

Suspension of Adoptions in Sierra Leone

The Government of Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs suspended adoptions on May 29, 2009 due to concerns on the legality of adoptions and the welfare of adoptees. An interagency committee has been established by the Ministry to work on new adoption laws and procedures.

The U.S. Embassy has been informed that the committee hopes to present a new bill to Parliament for a vote this calendar year. The Ministry has indicated that no adoption cases will be processed or approved while the suspension remains in effect. Adoption cases approved before the suspension remain valid.

Please continue to monitor Adoption.State.Gov for updated information

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pitting Poor Against Affluent Women in the Adoption Industry

The October/November issue of Conductive offers a follow-up article to the August series on International Adoption reform. The article, Reverse Robinhoodism: Pitting Poor Against Affluent Women in the Adoption Industry was written by Mirah Riben and Bernadette Wright, PhD. Is centered on the following quote:

It is the poor states that produce the children and the rich that consume them. In this process, poor parents are left behind, serving only as the initial fabricators of other people’s children.” Debora L. Spar, Harvard School of Business (2006)

This article is a must-read for prospective and adoptive parents as it is we who must demand change before true reform and ethical practices will be accepted by the adoption industry.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Adoption Law Institute 2009

PEAR is posting the below announcement concerning the upcoming Adoption Law Institute 2009 being held at PLI for informational purposes only. We do not support the PLI and have had no input into this Institute. We find some of the language (adoptive parents as "consumers") and lack of viewpoints (adoptees, reform advocates) on the panels to be of great concern.

Adoption Law Institute 2009
New York City – December 18, 2009
Live Webcast – December 18, 2009
Cost: $599 (scholarships and group discounts available)

Why You Should Attend

By attending PLI's sixth annual Adoption Law Institute you will learn from a distinguished and experienced faculty from throughout the United States about the latest developments in the fast-changing field of adoption law, and the implications of these developments for your practice. The faculty and the course handbook materials will provide practice tips and practical solutions to a broad range of issues that legal, medical and social work professionals commonly confront in adoption cases.

What You Will Learn

- Representing birth parents in termination of parental rights and voluntary relinquishments/ surrenders: state and national practice and issues
- Adoption from the "Consumers" Perspective by adoptive parents
- Adoption of adolescents from foster care
- Ethical issues in adoption: the costs of both domestic and international adoptions, a panel discussion of standards for international adoptions.
- Financial support for adoption: the Family Medical Leave Act, adoption tax credits, social security, and health care coverage

Who Should Attend

This program is designed especially for family law attorneys, social workers, adoption advocates, adoption agency professionals, mental health professionals, and other related professionals seeking to expand their knowledge of this growing field.

Douglas H. Reiniger, MSW, JD,
The Reiniger Law Firm, New York City & Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Past President, American Academy of Adoption Attorneys

Program Attorney: Janet L. Siegel

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Introduction & Welcoming Remarks
Douglas H. Reiniger

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM
Representing Birth Parents in Termination of Parental Rights & Voluntary Relinquishments/ Surrenders
• Practice considerations in representing birthparents in defense of termination of parental rights proceedings
• Counseling and legal and ethical issues in representing birth parents who wish to voluntary surrender their parental rights
• Identified adoptions and post-adoption contact agreements
• Comparisons of adoption laws and birthparent representation practice in California and New York
• National policy issues related to the rights and legal representation of birthparents

Michelle Cortese
Elizabeth A. Thornton
A view from the bench: Hon. Edwina Richardson-Mendelson

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM
Networking Break

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Adoption from the Consumers' Perspective
• Panel discussion by parents who have adopted children within the United States (in New York and in other states) through adoption agencies and foster care agencies, and from other countries
• Discussion of the adoption experience in finding a child and working with agencies and adoption attorneys

Rebecca L. Mendel
Kim Susser
Tom Chiodo
A view from the bench: Hon. Edwina Richardson-Mendelso n

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Adoption of Adolescents from Foster Care
• A discussion of the resources available for adoption of older children in foster care
• Strategies for recruiting adoptive parents for adolescents
• Private and government grants and financial support available to recruitment programs and individuals for adoption of older children from foster care

Pat O'Brien
Douglas H. Reiniger
A view from the bench: Hon. Edwina Richardson-Mendelso n

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Serving Vulnerable Children at Home and Abroad: A Medical and Legal Perspective
• National experts in adoption law and children's health discuss their opinions on the ways government and non-governmental agencies can help orphans and dependent children
• The legal and medical significance of nurturing and early permanency on the long-term development of children
• A discussion on the proper consideration of heritage and culture when matching children and adoptive parents
• The obstacles to permanency: politics and attitudes

Prof. Elizabeth Bartholet
Dr. Jane Aronson,

2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Costs of Adoption: A Survey and Ethical Considerations
• Survey results in comparative costs of domestic and international adoptions
• Review of the comparative costs of adoption in some foreign countries
• Budgeting for adoption in Russia, China, and for independent domestic, agency domestic and foster care adoptions
• Discussion of individual cases that may have deviated from averages
• Ethical and practical concerns about the high cost of adoption

Susan Caughman
Gregory A. Franklin
Mirah Riben

3:45 PM – 4:00 PM
Networking Break

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Financial Support for Adoption: update on FMLA, Adoption Tax Credit, Social Security, Health Care Coverage
• An update of Federal Adoption legislation, with special emphasis on financial issues
• Recent amendments to the Family Medical Leave Act relating to adoption
• The end of the Adoption Tax Credit? Current status and benefits, and the possible termination of the program
• Discussion of other financial support for adoptive parents and children: social security, health care coverage

Mark T. McDermott
Brendan C. O'Shea


Douglas H. Reiniger
The Reiniger Law Firm
New York City & Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Past President, American Academy of Adoption Attorneys


Jane Aronson, M.D.
International Pediatric Health Services, PLLC
New York City
Founder, Worldwide Orphans Foundation
Maplewood, New Jersey

Elizabeth Bartholet
Morris Wasserstein Professor of Law
Faculty Directpr, Child Advocacy Program
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Susan Caughman
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
Adoptive families Magazine
New York City

Tom Chiodo
New York City

Gregory A. Franklin
Ashcraft, Franklin & Young, LLP
Rochester, New York

Michelle Cortese
Deputy Director
Center for Family Representation
New York City

Rebecca L. Mendel
Rosin Steinhagen Mendel
New York City

Mark T. McDermott
Law Office of Mark T. McDermott
Washington, D.C.

Pat O'Brien
Founder and Executive Director
You Gotta Believe!
Brooklyn, New York

Brendan C. O'Shea
Gleason, Dunn, Walsh & O'Shea
Albany, New York

Mirah Riben
Author of "The Stork Market"
Dayton, New Jersey

Hon. Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelso n
Administrative Judge
New York City Family Courts
New York City

Kim Susser
Director, Matrimonial & Family Law Unit
New York Legal Assistance Group
New York City

Elizabeth A. Thornton
Staff Attorney
ABA Center on Children & the Law
Washington, D.C.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Friday, September 11, 2009

MEDIA: CBI to Issue Additional Information on Preet Mandir Investigation

The Time of India has published an article announcing that the CBI will be continuing its investigation of Preet Mandir in Pune and will issue additional reports concerning their findings. The original CBI investigative reports found no irregularities with adoptions from Preet Mandir despite numerous complaints. The full article can be found here:

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.