Friday, October 30, 2009

Post Adoption Resource: FASD and Brain Differences

Better Endings New Beginnings has developed a free guidebook for families and caregivers to fill out on behalf of their child, and then give to new teachers, therapists, care providers, etc to help others understand their child better.

One is specific to FASD/prenatal alcohol exposure, the other only mentions brain differences – the info is the same in both booklets. These documents can be found at (specific for children with FASD)

and (for children with other brain differences)

A checklist of overlapping characteristics is also a helpful tool

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Adoptive Families Magazine "A TB Regulation Victory"

Adoptive Families magazine December 2009 issue, Adoptalk New and Notes section, article “A TB Regulation Victory” contains several misleading statements.

The article can be accessed here

Tuberculosis screening criteria and regulations are complex.

The statement “The regulations held adopted children to a higher standard than children born to American parents in another country, or even to tourists” has two flaws.

The first flaw implies that the 2007 TB screening guidelines to obtain an immigrant visa no longer differentiate between guidelines for children adopted internationally by US citizens and children screened in the US. The September 18 CDC updates are minor tweaks to practical screening steps for children aged two to ten years. The regulations still require screening that goes above and beyond screening for TB in children born in the US.

The second flaw is the implication that adopted children should not be held to a higher standard than children born to American parents. PEAR’s Position on Tuberculosis Management in International Adoptees, page 2 at describes why adoptees who have been in institutional care should be held to a higher standard. The excerpted passage:

“Children born to American citizens abroad are not and never have been in the same patient population as international adoptees. Differences in international adoptees include use of BCG vaccine, malnutrition, poor hygienic living conditions, institutional settings, being exposed to adult caregivers with TB, and being exposed in their communities to adults with TB and HIV. As a whole, children being adopted from these circumstances have a huge disparity of immune status compared to children born to American citizens abroad. Worse, this point deliberately misleads prospective parents away from the very real problem: the potential of foreign-born children residing in orphanages in high-prevalence TB countries having latent TB, active TB or MDR-TB, and the impact this will have not only on the child, but the adoptive family, and the community once the child has immigrated.

The last paragraph of the article misleads the reader to believe that the waiver process used by the adoptive family was something unique or added after advocacy on September 18, 2009. It actually was built in to the original 2007 TB screening guidelines. PEAR’s Position on Tuberculosis Management in International Adoptees, page 2, describes the waiver process. The excerpted passage:

“The CDC guidelines include a Class A waiver for immigrants with active TB. This waiver allows the parent to opt to bring a child with active TB to the US as long as specific conditions are met. Conditions include a US doctor and state health officer signing the waiver to take responsibility for treatment of the child, the child reporting to the doctor or health facility upon arrival to the US for appropriate treatment, parental agreement to comply with the entire therapy, and parental acknowledgement of financial burden of treatment. The CDC technical instructions addendum that is dated September 18, 2009 includes further details of the Class A waiver system and electronic tracking to ensure complete TB treatment.”

We want to remind the public that that removing country of origin screening removes the safeguard to US citizens. In addition, such a policy shift would put the burden on the adoptive family to infer the necessity of the testing and subsequent cost of possible treatment, which was likely not a planned adoption expense.

The recently-completed survey by PEAR shows that only 37 percent of the 486 international adoptive parent respondents used an International Adoption Clinic or provider with international adoption expertise post-adoption. Only 57 percent of the adoptive parent respondents had their child tested with the Mantoux TB screening test post-adoption

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Post Adoption Depression (PAD)

Many prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents are not familiar with Post Adoption Depression (PAD). The following blog gives a checklist of symptoms and some predictors of developing PAD.

Additionally, there is a standing invitation to share your story about experiencing PAD. Please consider sharing your story to help others.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

DOS Notice: Vietnam

Vietnam Adoption Notice
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

October 2009

Nearly all cases for which an official referral was issued before September 1, 2008, have now been processed to completion. The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and Vietnamese officials are assisting families whose cases are still pending. Questions about these cases may be sent to

At this time, adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents should not seek or accept new (or potential) adoption referrals from Vietnam. We will inform adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents if/when we believe referrals from Vietnam can resume.

As a positive development, the Government of Vietnam recently circulated an initial draft of a proposed new adoption law. As drafted, the proposed legislation attempts to codify and coordinate domestic and intercountry adoption requirements and procedures. The draft itself represents a significant effort and could be a step towards Vietnam’s stated goal of becoming a Party to the Hague Adoption Convention. At this point, however, it is unclear whether the legislation would achieve this goal and when (or if) the Vietnamese legislature will formally consider it. If the legislation passes, it will take time to establish effective new procedures and regulations.

International and Vietnamese media sources have also reported that the Vietnamese Government concluded its investigation in one of several cases of adoption officials allegedly falsifying paperwork for the intercountry adoption of Vietnamese children. Reports indicate that all 16 officials from one province were found guilty of the abuse of power in their public services positions and were individually sentenced. The United States welcomes the more active role of Vietnamese officials in the monitoring of the local adoption process.
The United States remains in frequent contact with the government of Vietnam on adoption matters. Discussions have focused on the broad range of child welfare responsibilities encompassed by the Hague Adoption Convention, the principles underlying the Convention, and the practical requirements for implementing procedures that the Convention requires. Representatives from both countries agree that intercountry adoptions from Vietnam to the United States cannot resume until fundamental reforms are in place to ensure a transparent child welfare system that has the best interests of the children as its first priority, and that protects the fundamental rights of all parties.

The Governments of the United States and Vietnam are seriously concerned about the inconsistencies and deficiencies that led to a decision not to renew our previous bilateral agreement. Vietnamese criminal investigations and U.S. field reviews revealed evidence of child buying, including forged or altered documents, cash payment to birth mothers (for other than reasonable payments for necessary activities), coercion or deceit to induce birth parent(s) to release children to an orphanage, and children being offered for intercountry adoption without the knowledge or consent of their birth parents. Any effort to predict when the current situation will be replaced with a reliable, transparent intercountry adoption procedure is purely speculative.

In response to U.S. Government inquiries, the Government of Vietnam has reaffirmed that second referrals will be permitted only when the child originally referred for adoption has died. In light of ongoing police investigations and the Vietnamese Government’s current focus on revising its adoption laws and procedures, the U.S. Government accepts this decision on second referrals as final.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Video in Support of Adoptee Access

Adoptee access to records is only available in a few states. Please support transparency in adoption by supporting this project.

Amy Burt, an adoptee, will be making a video that features adoptive parents in support of adoptee access to their records. The video will not be state-specific. She is looking for 100 adoptive parents to participate. She will be creating a separate video that features birthparents supporting adoptee access to their records. The message on both videos will be the same.

She intends to get this out before Thanksgiving. She would like a picture of you as well to put on her video. All photos on the video will be marked confidential.

If you or anyone you know is interested, please contact Amy at Please write in the title of your email : Adoptive Parent for adoptee access support or Birthparent for adoptee access support.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Monday, October 19, 2009

RESOURCE: Parenting Discussion

PEAR board members have recently been contacted by adoptive families concerned with reports of trafficking in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Vietnam and China. While we attempt to assist families with uncovering the truth behind their adoptions, we also wish to offer them support and resources in dealing with these truths. One resource we would like to recommend to adoptive families is the Adoption Parenting Yahoo Group sponsored by EMK Press. During the next two weeks, Adoption Parenting will be tackling the topic: Family, Friends and Belonging. As part of this discussion, adoptive families will be encouraged to discuss parenting after the discovery (or suspicion) of a corrupted adoption - how to help your child, your family, and your child's family of origin. Below is a description of the topic and a link to join in.

Reprinted with permission of Sheena Macrae, EMK Press, Moderator Adoption Parenting Yahoo Group:


There's nothing in private international law that entitles one to become an adoptive parent, but the Hague Convention states that it is a child's right to grow up in family - and when an adoptive home can't be found in country, international adoption can be considered in order to give a child a place in an adoptive family. And of course, finding a family and permanence for a child underscores domestic adoption.

With so much evidence recently of illegalities in international adoption - Guatemala, Egypt, Vietnam and much speculation about trafficking in China, and domestic concerns that children often wait over-long for adoption, our new Topic looks at what constitutes making a family and belonging. What is the gift that an adoptive family gives a child beyond safety? What from us, via our parenting, will we instill in our adopted children, and what will be determined by genetics?

Our Topic therefore has two major thrusts:

~First the gift we give in opening our family to our adopted child. what is the family ethos that supports us, and how can that support all the children in our family, adopted and non-adopted? How do we open our whole family to out adopted children, and what happens if extended family aren't in fact so very welcoming?

~Second, trafficking, and dealing with our children's other families plus consideration of cases in domestic adoption where kids had to wait overlong to be freed for adoption. How do we help our children understand how they came to be adopted, and how do we explain that their families may be grieving for them? This is often the case, no matter how poor the parenting was. How do we talk appropriately about birth family? More, how do we deal with birthfamily should a search be undertaken and the family found? In opened adoptions (however they are opened), how can we help birth and adoptive families get along? How do we learn to be 'mutual family' with them? In intercountry adoptions, what if the family was coerced into losing the child and very much want the child back?

Join in on our discussion of what we give to our children to help them fit OUR families and social circles, and how we also allow our children to 'belong' to their first families.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Friday, October 16, 2009

UPDATE to DOS Adoption Alert Guatemala

On October 15, 2009, the DOS published the following Addendum/Update to their Adoption Alert on Guatemala:

Notice for Guatemala “Other Pending” Adoption Cases

The following are brief updates on issues or related developments on pending non-hogar adoption cases.

*The Embassy continues to approve an average of 4-6 visa applications of completed adoption cases per week. Consular officers and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in Guatemala City have been in regular contact with Guatemalan officials about the current situation and to look for approaches that could reduce unnecessary requirements, coordinate the flow of information to adoptive families, and permit all adoptions to move forward. In some instances, the Ambassador has been directly involved in discussions with Guatemalan officials on the adoption situation in Guatemala.
*In a recent meeting with the new head of the Procuradoría General de la Nación (PGN), the Consul General was informed that the PGN will establish a new unit to work exclusively on adoptions and to make sure that decisions are reached quickly. This new unit began working September 21.
*Consular and USCIS officers report that investigations continue, both on individual adoption cases and on the hogars.
*In light of allegations regarding the integrity of Guatemala’s former adoption process, Government authorities are making a concerted effort to confirm all aspects of every case. Because of the large number of investigations, progress overall is likely to be limited.
*The Embassy’s USCIS Field Office currently has 597* active cases, of which:
437 are pre-approved and pending action by the Government of Guatemala
160 are pending pre-approval by USCIS
45 are pending submission of 1st DNA results
15 are pending USCIS or other petitioner action
*Note: This total may include cases in which the petitioner has subsequently decided to abandon the case but did not inform USCIS.
* USCIS Field Office Guatemala City received final Guatemalan adoption documents for 10 cases during the period from August 1 to September 1, 2009.
* USCIS Field Office Guatemala City also reminds prospective adoptive parents of the new DNA procedures for the 1st DNA test required in relinquishment cases. All 1st DNA appointments must be scheduled by USCIS. For more information or to schedule an appointment for DNA collection, please contact USCIS at:
* The Department of State received a letter signed by 52 Members of Congress regarding transition adoption cases that are still pending Guatemala. The Department does not generally release the contents of congressional correspondence. We will be responding to that letter and reviewing it once again to see if there are any new or additional actions that could be taken to encourage a resolution of the remaining transition cases.

In The News

The following are summaries of Guatemalan newspaper articles (often in Spanish) that relate to adoption issues. By citing these articles we are not endorsing the content or information; we only wish to provide a sampling of information currently being published.

On September 1, an Oaxaca, Mexico, newspaper reported that police officers in southern Mexico arrested two people who confessed to attempting to smuggle a baby into the United States to sell. According to the report, the child, born in Guatemala on June 20, had been taken from a nurse who charged $1,000.

On September 2, two of Guatemala’s leading newspapers reported on the letter from 52 Members of Congress to Secretary of State Clinton. According to the articles, the letter highlighted that Guatemalan adoptions begun in good faith by constituents of these Members had now been delayed as much as 18 months. According to the news stories, the letter requested that an effort be made to reach agreement on a standardized process to resolve these cases; it also requested that officials in the Department of State keep adoptive families informed of the efforts they are making.

September 8, 10. The Guatemalan daily newspaper Prensa Libre carried two articles covering the International Conference on Adoptions being held September 7 and 8 in Antigua, Guatemala. According to the article, experts at the conference believe Guatemala’s recent law on adoptions and its accession to the Hague Convention on adoptions puts in place a transparent and responsible process for adoptions. In the opinion of speakers at the conference, “There has been a clear evolution” and Guatemala has succeeded in removing itself from the list of countries that “improperly” export children.

The website deals with an international appeal for a hunger strike (September 1-3) requesting that the adoptions of three Guatemalan children be voided and that the children, now living in the United States, be returned to their Guatemalan families from whom they were allegedly taken.

Until there is greater clarity on the adoption process in Guatemala, the Office of Children’s Issues will be providing monthly updates.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
Ethiopia Adoption Notice
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

Adoption Processing at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa

October 15, 2009

Taking into consideration recent allegations of misconduct in intercountry adoptions in Ethiopia the Department of State would like to remind adoptive parents that before an immigrant visa may be issued to an adopted child, a U.S. consular officer must ensure that the adoption is legal under Ethiopian law and that the child is qualified under U.S. immigration law to immigrate to the United States.

The Department of State reminds adoptive parents that consular officers are required by law to conduct an orphan investigation (I-604) to verify the child's orphan status prior to the issuance of an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa. Depending on the circumstances of a case, this investigation may take up to several months to complete. Adoptive parents should therefore carefully consider whether to file their Form I-600 Petition to Classify an Orphan as an Immediate Relative at the USCIS district office closest to their place of residence in the U.S. or at Embassy Addis Ababa, and are urged to work with their adoption service provider to confirm the status of their case before traveling to Ethiopia.

Prospective adoptive parents and their adoption service providers should also be aware that on March 23, 2009 the U.S. Embassy began implementing the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) 2007 Tuberculosis Technical Instructions (TB TIs) for screening and treating tuberculosis for all immigrant visa applicants, including adopted children. Children who are found to have active TB will be required to submit to six months of Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) provided at the clinic of IOM in Addis Ababa, or obtain a waiver from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), after review by the CDC, in order to travel to the U.S. An addendum to this new procedure was implemented on October 1, 2009 for all children under 10 years of age. You may obtain full information on the addendum by clicking on the following link: For the vast majority of children, implementation of these new requirements will cause no significant delay in the processing of their cases.

Furthermore, children determined to have a Class A medical condition, such as HIV (as diagnosed by the Embassy’s designated panel physician), will be required to have an approved waiver from the DHS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before an immigrant visa can be issued.

All prospective adoptive parents are strongly urged to work with an adoption service provider instead of arranging a direct adoption through an orphanage or family member. The Embassy's Adoptions Unit can be reached at

Please continue to monitor for updated information as it becomes available.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

IMPORTANT UPDATE: USCIS I 600 and I 600a Processing

The USCIS sent out the following news release on October 6, 2009:

USCIS Update: Change of Filing Location for Form I-600 and I 600A

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced a new address for prospective adoptive parents to submit Form I 600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, and Form I 600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition. While the change takes affect today, applicants have a 30-day transistion period before USCIS will return incorrectly filed petitions.

Applicants were previously required to file at a local USCIS field office. The Direct Mail Program allows USCIS to process applications more efficiently by eliminating duplicative work, and maximizing staff productivity.

Beginning today, applicants in the United States, who are filing to adopt an orphan, must submit Forms I 600, I 600A, and all supporting documents and fees to the following address:

Regular Mail:

P.O. Box 299027
Lewisville, TX 75029

Express Mail and Courier Service deliveries:

ATTN: Hague
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business, Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

USCIS will forward incorrectly-filed Forms I-600A and I-600, application fees and supporting documents to the Lewisville, Texas facility for the 30 days, until Friday November 6, 2009. Forwarded applications will be considered properly filed when received at the Lewisville, Texas facility.

Beginning Monday November 9, USCIS will return to the applicant any Form I 600 or I 600A, and supporting documents, incorrectly submitted to a USCIS office in the United States. The applicant will be instructed to mail the application to the Lewisville, Texas address. However, applicants may continue to file extensions of approved Forms I-600A at their local USCIS field office. More information is availible on the revised form instructions.

Prospective adoptive parents, who reside abroad, may continue to file the Form I-600A with a USCIS international office, or they may send the petition to the Lewisville, Texas address if they have an address in the United States they plan to return to.

U.S. citizens outside the United States may continue to file the Form I-600 at a U.S. Embassy, U.S. Consulate or USCIS office abroad that has jurisdiction to accept the petition. However, in order to file a Form I-600 petition abroad, the petitioner must have an approved Form I-600A and be physically present in the country where they are filing.

The I-600A and I-600 form instructions have been updated to reflect the new filing locations. They are be available under the "Forms" section. The forms are also available by calling the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, visit

Tiny URL:

PEAR has contacted USCIS to confirm the address for Express Mail and Courier Service Deliveries being labeled "ATTN: Hague". We will update when we receive an answer.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

DOS Responds to Questions re: Nam Dinh Adoptions

Below is the text of an email from the DOS responding to PEAR's questions concerning notification of families and children involved in the adoption cases leading to the recent criminal convictions in Vietnam

Dear Ms. Weeks,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the recent convictions of individuals involved in adoption fraud in Vietnam. You have raised some important questions. Below are our responses to your specific questions.

Will the US authorities in Vietnam or at DOS be working with the Vietnamese officials to try and determine which children might be affected and will you be notifying their US families?
At this time, the Government of Vietnam has not released the names of specific children who might have been affected by this criminal activity. Nor has the Government of Vietnam requested any action b e taken by the Embassy or the Department of State as a consequence of these convictions.

If families who have adopted from Nam Dinh voluntarily wish to request further information about whether their case may have been affected by these criminal prosecutions, they may send an inquiry to with the birth name, date of birth, and date of adoption for their child. The Office of Children's Issues will forward their request through our Embassy in Hanoi to the Government of Vietnam for a response.

We hope that all possible steps are being taken to preserve information about these children's histories and ties to their families of origin.
In general, the majority of information regarding individual adoption cases is maintained in the child's immigration file (also known as the A-file); this file is maintained by USCIS. The link below explains how adoptive parents may submit a Freedom of Information Act request for copies of adoption documents in their child's A-file.

Additionally, there were three US adoption agencies licensed to work in Nam Dinh Province, Los Ninos, Orphans Overseas and Faith International. Does the Embassy or DOS plan to investigate these agencies for potential visa fraud?
The Office of Children's Issues does have a role in monitoring and collecting information regarding the activities of U.S. adoption service providers working overseas and when appropriate for referring complaints by U.S. citizens to the State licensing offices with jurisdiction over the adoption agency. I want to assure you that we have taken note of these convictions and, once more information becomes available, will determine what, if any, follow-on action would be appropriate.


William Bistransky
Adoption Division Chief
Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State

PEAR is not completely satisfied with the answer to the second question, as the original question was trying to get at what, if anything, the DOS is doing to try and preserve and/or recover original adoption files on children adopted from Nam Dinh. We are seeking clarification on that question and answer.

In the meantime, if you are the family of a child adopted from Nam Dinh Province, and you have concerned about your child's adoption, we encourage you to contact Mr. Bistransky and the Departmentt of State for further information and assistance.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Friday, October 2, 2009

DOS Adoption Alert: Guatemala Update

Adoption Alert

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

Notice for Guatemala “hogar” adoption cases

In Guatemala, a number of private child care facilities or “hogares” have traditionally provided care for children. Some of these hogars were closely associated with the intercountry adoption process and provided care specifically for children awaiting adoption. Allegations of adoption irregularities have prompted Guatemalan officials to conduct a wide-ranging investigation that has included many of these facilities. A number of hogars have been investigated to determine if they were properly licensed, if the operators had appropriate documentation for the children in their care, and if there were illegalities in the adoptions arranged by the hogars. Some of the hogars have been accused of baby stealing and selling. These investigations have had a direct impact on processing of adoptions for children destined for the United States. It should be noted that the Embassy is not informed when these investigations are undertaken and is not a party to the legal process. Therefore, the Embassy is not formally notified of the legal status or the outcome of the investigations or of any legal determinations that may result. The information below is a summary of what we have learned informally.

The United States recognizes the responsibility of the Guatemalan government to ensure the protection and wellbeing of its citizens, particularly of Guatemalan children who are its most vulnerable citizens. We have and will continue to urge the Guatemalan government to conduct its investigations as expeditiously as possible and to ensure that any decisions made are with the best interests of the children as the foremost criteria.

Casa Quivira

According to our records, adoptions petitions are still pending for 16 of the original 46 children who were taken into custody from Casa Quivira. For several of the cases, the Solicitor General’s Office (PGN) has identified irregularities and will have to be processed as abandonment cases through the CNA. The Guatemalan government has agreed that these cases (if all requirements have been complied with) can be processed as transition cases and will not have to wait for the new procedures to be drafted and implemented.

A decision was issued by Judge Mena earlier this year determining adoptability of the children including those already adopted and living in the United States. However, some errors were found in the final resolution and the Office of the Solicitor General (PGN) appealed the judge’s decision. An appeal hearing by the Sala on August 12 did not lead to a final resolution on the adoptability of the children. A legal representative for some of the parents urged a swift resolution to the cases.

Semillas de Amor

In March of this year, the Guatemala judiciary scheduled hearings for more than 50 Semillas de Amor cases to determine the eligibility of the children for adoption, including some who were already adopted and living in the United States. On the last day of closing arguments, a petition was filed with the Court of Appeals (Sala) asking the presiding judge to be removed.

On September 10, we learned that the Sala ruled against the removal request, allowing the original judge to resume her proceedings at the same place where they were stopped, which was the last day of closing arguments. This will likely result in a more prompt resolution of these cases, since the hearings do not have to start over again from the beginning. However, we cannot predict how soon the judge will announce her final decision.

Santa Lucia de las Flores

The Embassy has learned that Asociacion Santa Lucia de la Flores Silvestres has been under investigation by the Guatemalan Attorney General’s office since last year. The Embassy has been in contact with some of the prospective adoptive parents. We understand there were at least five children indentified for adoption by American citizens being cared for at this home. Many of the children taken from this orphanage are now living in various private hogars until a judge decides on their cases.

Asociacion Primavera

On August 13, the Embassy learned about an action by Guatemalan authorities involving 16 children from the hogar Asociacion Primavera. We have since learned that the children were transferred to the following private hogares: Casa Alegría, Casa Bernabé, and Amor del Niño. As a result of the investigation, the judge in Esquintla who approved the abandonment cases from Hogar Primavera is now under criminal indictment.

Rosalinda Rivera’s Hogar

On May 6, 2008 an action was taken against a hogar on 11 Avenida 7-51, zona 11, Quinta Samayoa, Guatemala City. Rosalinda Rivera was apprehended at this location and 9 infants were removed from her custody. Ms. Rivera did not provide the necessary paperwork to prove this was an authorized home. The children are all living in new hogars awaiting a decision on their case.

Released to public September 29, 2009

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

DOS Adoption Notice - Kenya

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

September 30, 2009

Kenya is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). As such, all adoptions between Kenya and the United States initiated after April 1, 2008, must meet the requirements of both the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

Although the Government of Kenya (GOK) acceded to the Hague Adoption Convention in 2007, it appears not yet to have established the regulations and procedural infrastructure necessary to meet its obligations under the Convention. In the absence of Hague-compliant adoption procedures, the Department of State cannot issue the documentation required for Convention cases to permit issuance of a U.S. immigrant visa for an adopted child. The Department of State therefore cautions American citizens not to initiate the adoption of a Kenyan child at this time.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi continues to be in contact with the High Court of Kenya and their Department of Children’s Services concerning the processing requirements of Convention adoption cases. Please continue to monitor for updated information as it becomes available.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.
China Adoption Alert

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

September 29, 2009

China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) has announced that all prospective adoptive families will be required to work with a U.S. Hague accredited adoption service provider for both transition cases and Convention cases beginning December 1, 2009. This will require all families to work with an agency that is both U.S. Hague accredited and a CCAA-licensed agency for both transition cases and Convention cases for all steps in the intercountry adoption process. In order to facilitate this transition, CCAA has indicated that each non-accredited agency will be required to choose an accredited agency and transfer all remaining cases to that agency no later than December 1, 2009. This information will in turn be provided to CCAA. If an agency chooses not to turn over their files to an accredited agency, CCAA has indicated they will terminate the processing of those documents.

Prospective adoptive parents grandfathered under the orphan process will not be required by USCIS to obtain an updated home study based on this change in service provider. All cases grandfathered under the orphan process (I-600 process) transferred to a Hague accredited agency and a CCAA-licensed agency will continue to be processed in accordance with U.S. immigration regulations for orphan adoptions. For more information please refer to the country information page for China on this website or contact your individual adoption agency.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.