Saturday, February 19, 2011

Republic of the Marshal Islands places temporary ban on US Agency

The Central Adoption Authority in the Republic of the Marshall Islands has instigated an investigation into the activities of a US adoption agency, Journeys of the Heart. During the investigatory period, JOH is banned from submitting new dossiers. The message below is from the RMI Central Adoption Authority and was forwarded to PEAR:

"The RMI Adoption program continues at full stride and is very healthy. However, Journeys of the Heart Adoption agency of Hillsboro, Oregon (JOH) has been banned while the CAA investigates various issues regarding JOH. Currently the Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota adoption agency (LSSMN) is approved, and has been approved for processing adoptions from the RMI.

The CAA will process to completion the 12 JOH dossiers that are in the Republic of the Marshall Islands now, but will not accept any more dossiers from JOH. Contrary to what was claimed on various authoritative websites, the Adoptions Act of 2002 (P.L. 2002-64) never named JOH as the only agency allowed to do adoptions in the RMI. The Adoptions Act of 2002 allows any state-licensed agency to approach the CAA. However, the CAA first conducts a due diligence
investigation of the agency before accepting dossiers from them. LSSMN has passed that due diligence process and the CAA is accepting dossiers from them. The CAA may add more agencies, but in a very careful manner, to avoid unethical agencies from adopting from the RMI.

Again, let me stress that the Central Adoption Authority in the Republic of the Marshall Islands is strong and healthy and continues to operate."

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

1 comment:

Tari said...

What is PEAR's stance on the program in the Marshall Islands? I know anecdotally about only one adoption from there (using JOH) and the facts and circumstances of it really bothered me. The child (healthy baby girl, of course) was given to the adoptive parents directly from the birth mother, who later had another child that she kept, and who has been given money by the birth parents post-adoption to help her move (with some of her children) to the US, where she has a brother and was able through him to obtain visa sponsorship. But the APs paid her directly post-adoption for plane tickets, etc - they are in contact with her sporadically since the MI has an "open adoption" policy. Is this ethical? From one side of it, it looks like she "sold" this baby in order to get money and contacts to help get to the US. She did have the ability to stay in the MI and care for that relinquished child (as demonstrated by her ability to care for that child's younger sibling) but because of the existence of the IA program in the MI, she chose not to. Is this normal? Is it right? I'd love to know your thoughts.