Saturday, April 30, 2011

Research: Rules on The Hague and the Intercountry Adoption Act:

The following research into the Hague Final Rules process emphasizes the value of speaking up and commenting on adoption law and policy.

Rules on The Hague and the Intercountry Adoption Act: Public Comments and the State's Responsiveness, Journal of Policy Practice Volume 10, Issue 1, 2011, Pages 35 - 50

Jo Daugherty Baileya; M. Elena Delavegaa


We investigated comments made during the public commentary phase of rule making for the Proposed Rules for the Implementation of The Hague Convention and Intercountry Adoption Act and found that commenters were most concerned with issues of risk and liability and a number of commenters expressed serious concerns regarding the impact the rules would ultimately have on intercountry adoption practice. We also examined the impact these public comments had upon the final policy, and logistic regression revealed that the Department of State was largely responsive to public commentary as reflected in the Final Rules.

Full article can be found here:

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Friday, April 29, 2011

China Update:CCCWA Releases Requirements for the Content and Format of Post Placement Reports

Requirements for the Content and Format of Post Placement Reports
Date of Release:April 21, 2011   Source:CCAA

Adoption agencies should prepare post-placement reports for each adopted child after the adoption in accordance with the required intervals and frequency by China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA). Post-placement reports should be submitted by the adoption agency which sent adoption applications for the adoptive families. Families who have adopted over two children (except twins) should prepare and submit separate reports for each child. Requirements for the content and format of post-placement reports are as follows:
Section I: Page One of the Post Placement Report
The original copy and translation of each report should include a Page One of the report. The first page of the original copy should be filled in foreign language, and that of the translated copy should be filled in Chinese. The items on page one of the reports are:
1. Name of the adoption agency: The name of the agency that submitted the adoption application to CCCWA
2. Travel Notice number: the serial number on the up right corner of the Notice of Coming to China for Adoption
3. Date of issuance of Travel Notice: the date under the seal of CCCWA at the right bottom of the Notice of Coming to China for Adoption
4. Number of times of the report: tick before the square before the number
5. Chinese name of the adoptee: pinyin in the original copy, and Chinese characters in the translated copy
6. Foreign name: New name as changed after the adoption. No translation is needed.
7. Adoptee’s date of birth
8. Health status at adoption: tick before the square to specify healthy or special needs
9. Adoption registration date: Date of adoption registration as shown in the Adoption Registration Certificate
10. Date of naturalization: Date as shown in the naturalization certificate of the adoptee
11. Adoptive father’s name: name as listed on the passport, no abbreviation
12. Adoptive mother’s name: name as listed on the passport, no abbreviation
13. Date of home visit by social worker: Date of when the social worker visited adoptive family’s home
14. Date of completion: date of when the report is finished
15. Adoption agency which prepare the report: if it’s the same agency as in item 1, please specify “same as item 1”
16. Agreement/Disagreement to allow CCCWA to use the report and photos for publication. Preparer of the report ticks the square after consulting the opinions of the adoptive parents.
Section II: Report Text (Prepared by the social worker)
1. The report at one month after adoption should focus on the initial integration of the adoptee with the adoptive family and the adjustment of adoptee, with description of the registration procedure in China, such as impression and feeling during the adoption process. The report should also include how the adoption agency helped with the adjustment in the initial stage.
2. Health and physical development status: Adoptee’s height, weight, and head circumference at the time of adoption and currently, fine motor skill ability, immunization, treatment and rehabilitation of newly occurred diseases, etc.
For families who have adopted special needs children, in the report at twelve months after adoption, families should fill in a table of “Feedback on the Special Needs Child” and elaborate on the implementation of medical rehabilitation and nurturing plan during the one year after adoption.
3. Routine activities: Adoptee’s diet, playtime, and sleep schedule.
4. Attachment & bonding situation: Status of the adoptee’s integration with his/her parents, siblings, and family. Particular details should be provided if the family has adopted a child over 3.
5. Mental development: Adoptee’s mental development and language ability.
6. Character development: Adoptee’s psychology and personality characteristics.
7. Education situation: Adoptee’s learning at home, kindergarten, and school and the method of education at home.
8. Family’s impression: Understanding and view toward the adoption by the adoptive parents, other adults in the home, and other relatives.
9. Evaluation by the community: participation in the activities and integration in the community, evaluation by the neighbors about the adoptive family whether the adoption is successful or not.
10. Major changes in the adoptive family: major changes in the adoptive family in marital status, children in the home, economic status, residence environment, or serious health problems.
11. Other content which the social worker believes should be included.
12. Social worker’s general evaluation: social worker’s recommendation of the adoptive family and general evaluation regarding whether the adoption is successful.
Section III: Other certifications
1. Copy of the Notice of Coming to China for Adoption.
2. Naturalization of the adoptee (submitted together with the first post-placement report after the adoptee completes the naturalization procedure). Certifications which can be considered as naturalization certificates include: naturalization certificate, copy of citizenship ID, copy of the adoptee’s passport, copy of the family’s household register book.
The fourth to sixth reports should include the following documents:
3. Medical checkup certificate of the adoptee provided by doctors
4. Evaluation of the adoptee provided by his/her kindergarten or school (if he/she goes to kindergarten or school)
5. A short essay written by the adoptee if he/she reaches 10 years old, giving description of his/her experience and growth in the adoptive family, and how he/she is doing in the school and getting along with his/her teachers and classmates.
Section IV: Pictures
At the time the post placement report is submitted, eight pictures (15.2cm×10.2 cm) reflecting the adoptee’s life should also be provided. The pictures should be mainly about the life of the adoptee together with the adoptive parents and other family members, some of which should reflect the typical features of the receiving country. In the first report, the photos should include those taken when the adoptive families went through registration procedures in China. Black-and-white photos or photos typed on paper are not accepted.
  Photos should be pasted to A4 paper with two photos on each piece. A brief description must be provided below each picture specifying time for taking the photo, location, identity of the persons on the photo. Do not submit photos in piles or stapled together. No album is accepted.
Each report should be bound in the sequence of the above sequence. Chinese translation should be submitted with the report and bound in the same sequence as the original one. Translated copy should be put before the original one.
“Page One of the Post-placement Report”, “Feedback on the Special Needs Child” and “Medical Checkup Certificate of the Adoptee” can be downloaded from the website of CCCWA.
China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

DOS Adoption Notice: Guatemala. Special Advisor for Children's Issues Ambassador Susan Jacobs to Travel to Guatemala

April 27, 2011

Special Advisor for Children's Issues Ambassador Susan Jacobs will visit Guatemala from April 24-25 to accompany Senator Mary Landrieu for meetings on intercountry adoption. She will meet with government officials and nongovernmental adoption stakeholders to discuss the status of U.S. citizen adoption cases that have been pending since the suspension of new adoptions by Guatemala in 2007. She will also discuss Guatemala's efforts to implement new intercountry adoption safeguards that would provide a path toward future adoption processing.

Follow Special Advisor Susan Jacobs on twitter for updates on her travel:

Referenced from Media Note on State Department Website at

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

USE Hanoi Press Release: U.S. Supports UNICEF Child Adoption Program in Vietnam

U.S. Supports UNICEF Child Adoption Program in Vietnam

HANOI, April 25, 2011 - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is contributing to a new United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) program to help officials create regulations meeting international standards covering child adoption in Vietnam.

Developed in close cooperation with Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice and other relevant authorities, the “Strengthening Legislation and Monitoring Systems for Child Adoption” program will assist in improving the legal and regulatory framework to better protect children without parental care by developing and implementing national legislation and policies on domestic and inter-country adoption.

With $700,000 from the French National Committee for UNICEF and $300,000 from USAID, the program will extend through 2013 and will support Vietnam’s ratification of the Hague Convention on adoption. The program will develop a national monitoring system with adoption supervision, conduct a comprehensive assessment on the root causes of child abandonment and relinquishment, and build the capacity of policymakers, welfare, and enforcement personnel to better protect children.

The program will also help improve protection and care for children deprived of parental care through new policies, guidelines and standards on alternative care. It will pilot new alternative care models, including foster care, and inter-country adoption programmes for children with special needs.

Adoption is the one of the main forms of alternative care available for children in need of special protection in Vietnam, including orphaned, abandoned and relinquished children, children with disabilities, children affected by HIV and AIDS and other groups of vulnerable children. While Vietnam has continually ranked among the most popular countries of origin for child adoption, the United States and Vietnam did not renew their bilateral adoption agreement in 2008 due to serious irregularities in the adoptions system. Since non-renewal of the agreement, Vietnam has worked closely with UNICEF to reform its adoption system, with a new Law on Adoption taking effect on January 1, 2011.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Monday, April 25, 2011

David Kruchkow's Response to Jane Aronson's Open letter to President Clinton

The following rebuttal to Dr. Jane Aronson's Open Letter to President Clinton was composed by David Kruchkow, PEAR Board Member and owner of the Adoption Agency Checklist It is not an official statement of PEAR:

On March 13, 2011, in response to the authorities in Ethiopia taking stricter control over the international adoption process and slowing down the number of cases processed, Dr. Jane Aronson, a New York City-based pediatrician specializing in the treatment of internationally adopted children (and nicknamed the Orphan Doctor), as well as founder of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation ( and board member of the JCICS (, published “An Open Letter to President Clinton.” This letter first appeared on (
I am posting my own rebuttal to Dr. Jane’s letter, with my comments interspersed with hers.

David Kruchkow

Dear President Clinton,

Just so you know, there are many in the adoption community who disagree with Dr. Jane Aronson and believe she has it quite wrong. Allow me to dissect her letter to reveal some underlying truths. My comments are in blue.

March 13, 2011
An Open Letter to President Clinton

Once again, tragedy strikes orphans – children who might have been adopted into a permanent home have had their hopes and dreams demolished. This time it’s Ethiopia, where international adoption has been growing rapidly over the last six years, beginning with a handful of older children in the 1980’s and 90’s. By last year 2,500 children – sweet babies and toddlers - were adopted by American families."

I believe that most children would rather be raised in the families and cultures to which they were born than be placed for adoption. Those are their hopes and dreams. I believe that all citizens of the world should be working toward providing support to help preserve families and eliminate any need for adoptions. You need to understand that the exponential growth in adoptions from Ethiopia has nothing to do with the success of adoption programs and everything to do with a highly profitable, unregulated industry seeking a new source of supply to fill a demand. And what the heck are "sweet" babies and toddlers? Are they the opposite of sour ones?

"Now, the Ethiopian government has announced that it is reducing the number of visas approved for adoption from 50 per work day to five. The outcry from those waiting to become parents, from adoption agencies and from not for profit organizations advocating for children, is predictable and equally predictable, the world at large appears to be indifferent to the anguish this ruling is causing. And so, the numbers of children adopted from Ethiopia will decrease, the time it takes to adopt will increase, and international adoption in general, and the children in particular, are the losers."

Is it the children who are losers or is it the corrupt, profiteering child traffickers with such a large stake in the adoption industry who are the losers? The real losers are the biological families that have been destroyed, the innocent adoptee whose life has been shattered, the adoption agencies who are trying to behave ethically and going under in a sea of surrounding corruption, and the families who want to do the right thing but can’t because their adoption agencies are liars more concerned with the bottom line than ethics.

"The destruction of international adoption has become the cure for a misdiagnosed disease. Uninspired, bureaucratic, desperate decision-makers in governments, including our own, and in large child welfare organizations, raise the cry of “trafficking” and the rest is inevitable: to protect the children and stop the trafficking – stop adoption."

Has the adoption industry done anything at all to stop trafficking, or has it kept the money and children flowing in any given country until the corruption and trafficking is so widespread that a shutdown has to happen? Then, like an opportunistic infection moving to a different area of the body, the industry moves its rot to a new country, where the infection of corruption and trafficking takes root. After Ethiopia, where will the infection spread? To other areas of Africa, or will it re-infect areas like Vietnam and Cambodia, both currently shut down to US adoptions thanks to greed and corruption yet rumored to reopen later in 2011?

"The real disease – the one not addressed - is much more complex. It involves developing nations, communities without social welfare systems or resources to help families living in extreme poverty, suffering from illness, depression and hopelessness. Without education, economic strengthening, and access to medical care, particularly HIV/AIDS care, families become desperate and relinquish their children to orphanages. And when the numbers are too large and the government is too embarrassed and when those who believe a child is better off rotting by the side of the road than living in a different culture, well, that’s when we start hearing “trafficking,” and that’s when international adoption is slowed, then halted. All in the name of the children."

So, are we to believe that adoption is a cure for the ills of developing nations? Will increasing adoptions significantly impact what is truly needed in developing nations so eloquently described above? No one in the adoption community disputes that adoptions impact only a tiny fraction of the real need. How much of the billions of dollars the adoption industry pulls in annually goes toward family preservation, education, economic strengthening, and access to medical care in the different countries from which these children are plucked? Recent history in several countries, as well as research by scholars such as Dr. David Smolin ( among many others, has shown that the supply of adoptable orphans in a given country grows as demand grows, and that when a country shuts down, the supply rapidly shrinks. This contraindicates the adoption industry propaganda. Instead, it indicated that, in fact, orphans are "produced" or "manufactured" or "recruited" or "harvested" or trafficked for adoption.

"In my 20 years as an adoption medicine specialist, this scenario has been played out in Georgia, Romania, Cambodia, Vietnam , Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Nepal and now Ethiopia. Adoption is vilified, demonized and then (the children are) crucified. And every time this happens there are children and adoptive families trapped in the last steps of the adoption process or others almost there and some not able to fulfill their lifelong dream of creating a family. If you look historically at all the countries that halted international adoption, you will find thousands of children left to rot in institutions. The trafficking stories never come close to even a small percentage of the children left to suffer for the rest of their lives."

Dr. Jane takes a wrong turn here. Make no mistake, adoption is not vilified. Corruption, profiteering, and trafficking are. While we all feel for any prospective adoptive families that get trapped in the process as a country shuts down, reformers and others who have called for a halt to the corruption, profiteering, and trafficking are not to blame for their plight. There have been copious warnings from the US State Department as well as advocacy and reform groups not aligned with the adoption industry. It's just that the prospective adopters ignored those warnings--whether at their own choice, or at the urgings of their money-hungry agencies, or both. The better agencies stopped taking applications and giving referrals in advance of shutdowns in almost every case. I for one, feel a bit more for children who have been ripped from their biological families and whose identities have been stolen and altered in order to make them adoptable than I do for a prospective adoptive family not being able to fulfill their dream of creating a family. Who is adoption supposed to serve anyway? The children who need it most? Well, those are the children already left behind: The older, special-needs children who were always less likely to be adopted thanks to the demand for healthy infants the adoption industry has become so clever at finding. Thanks to systemic corruption and a lack of transparency, we don't know what percent of internationally adopted children have been trafficked, but we do know that more of this trafficking is exposed with each passing day. How much do the trafficked children suffer for the rest of their lives? Is it acceptable to trade suffering for suffering?

"People close to adoption knew the decision in Ethiopia was coming. There were murmurs everywhere that “irregularities, perhaps improprieties” were found in paperwork for children being referred for international adoption. New forms and more careful investigations were recommended by the US State Department, and the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia worked diligently to ensure that the paperwork was prepared transparently."

If people knew the decision in Ethiopia was coming, why didn't most agencies stop signing up clients to adopt from Ethiopia?

"But let’s get real. The best paperwork in the world is not going to fix a tragic social situation which is about the disintegration and dismantling of families due to poverty, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, natural disasters, conflict, and war. Yes, there is trafficking, but with the Hague accords implemented, there just can’t be the same degree of trafficking, otherwise we have all just spent millions of dollars on an agreement to protect orphans which has in effect accomplished nothing."

Dr. Jane almost has this part right. The degree of trafficking is not the same as it was pre-Hague. It is greater. The implementation of the Hague accords was so heavily influenced by the adoption industry that it has become a paper tiger that accomplished nothing. Like its fawning mouthpieces, the JCICS and the COA, Hague implementation has become little more than another tool of an industry that refuses to acknowledge or fight the corruption within.

"I think that there is a place for adoption both domestic and international, but I am not so foolish as to think that adoption is the solution for millions of social orphans whose families were so poor or ill that their desperate parents were driven to relinquish them to residential care facilities (also known as orphanages, institutions, children’s homes, hogars, leagans, dom rebyonka, mladost, crèches, etc.)."

I completely agree with Dr. Jane here.

"In the years that I’ve been helping parents prepare for adoption, I’ve always believed that we should have been investing in the social infrastructure of the “sending” countries. If we had done this 20 years ago when I first entered this field, we would have had more permanency, family preservation, group homes, kinship and non-related foster care, family-based care, and community-based solutions for children without parental care. And if we had managed this social infrastructure as a capacity/community building endeavor, we could have continued international adoption for those children who were abandoned/relinquished and completely without any vestige of identifiable family."

I agree with Dr, Jane here as well.

"In any case, here we are again….doesn’t anyone learn from the past? How childish of me to ask such a question! I can’t help myself because I have watched all of this unfold so many times in so many countries and here we are witnessing another disaster. Thousands of kids will be left and parents will be stuck in limbo for months and even years…just look at each of the countries I noted above. You can go online and find the stories cached for years… as tragic as any earthquake or tsunami that leaves children stranded and alone.
No one wins. There is bitterness and anger and the orphaned children in institutions are nameless to most of us. There are families who know these children from pictures and visits and they all will suffer. I am privy to many stories of parents waiting years to get their kids out of countries around the world…even herculean measures for some where parents visit their children several times a year in the orphanages watching their children become teenagers…."

In my 13 years of adoption reform activism, I've been privy to hundreds of stories from the victims of corrupt adoptions. I've seen the hurt and destruction and permanent emotional harm done to children, and biological and adoptive parents. You can go online and find these stories cached for years, at least for those who won't be silenced by threats, intimidation, and lawsuits from the adoption industry. No one wins. For destroyed families and children, there can be bitterness and anger that lasts a lifetime. A decade ago I wrote that adoption should be a win/win situation for all involved, but it has become a losing proposition for too many due to the infection of corruption, profiteering, and trafficking that spreads from its rotten underbelly.

"In fact, this is a hostage situation. President Clinton, you secured the release of two young journalists a few years ago and I met them at the Glamour Woman of the Year Awards in 2009 when I was an award recipient. Laura Ling and Euna Lee were freed because you thought their situation was grave enough to go to Korea and personally negotiate for their release. That’s what needs to be done now. We need some diplomacy to pry open the lid for a moment. The Ethiopian government’s concerns must be addressed, but so must the concerns of the waiting parents and most of all, of the children. We need a strategic plan for de-institutionalization and community building. There are countless NGOs just like mine, Worldwide Orphans Foundation, prepared to sit down with government departments and other big NGOs to help come to the aid of the government to provide concurrent planning, adoption and social welfare infrastructure to fill in the gap so that we don’t have yet another “Guatemala 900” and the continued bullying of adoption."

Who are the hostages? The children who are being trafficked for adoption. I'd change "bullying," to "corrupting." The diplomacy needed to pry open the lid is desperately needed so the infection of corruption, profiteering, and trafficking can be eliminated. President Clinton, I would ask that you take on the role of an antibiotic.

"We need to use creative ways to help kids have permanency."

"President Clinton, we need you….."

I agree. But not for the reasons Dr. Jane states.

David Kruchkow, for himself

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

List of US Agencies Up for Re-Accreditation in 2011

The following agencies will be going through the process of re-accreditation under the Hague Regulations this coming year. If you have comments about an agency, please contact COA's Hague Project Manager, Jayne Schmidt,

Baker Hall / Baker Victory Services
780 Ridge Road
Lackawanna, NY 14218 New York
Accredited COA
Non-Profit Agency 04/01/2008 - 08/31/2011 Incoming

Families United Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 264
Muncy, PA 17756 Pennsylvania
Accredited COA
Non-Profit Agency 04/01/2008 - 11/30/2011 Incoming

Family Choices, NFPC
1513 University Drive
Charleston, IL 61920 Illinois
Accredited COA
Non-Profit Agency 04/01/2008 -05/31/2011 Incoming and Outgoing

Irene Steffas, PC
4343 Shallowford Road, H-1
Marietta, GA 30062 Georgia
Approved COA
Attorney 02/24/2009 - 09/30/2011 Incoming and Outgoing

The Datz Foundation
311 Maple Ave, W.
Vienna, VA 22180 Virginia
Accredited COA
Non-Profit Agency 04/01/2008 - 12/31/2011 Incoming

Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services
3200 Motor Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034 California
Accredited COA
Non-Profit Agency 04/01/2008 - 08/31/2011 Incoming

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

MEDIA: Hindu Times - Supreme Court notice to Centre, CARA on plea to review adoption policy

Supreme Court notice to Centre, CARA on plea to review adoption policy

J. Venkatesan
Published: April 22, 2011 23:06 IST | Updated: April 23, 2011 02:44 IST

‘Government has failed to ensure a record of adoptable children is maintained'

The Supreme Court has issued notice to the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) and the Union government on a petition to review the adoption regime in the country, with a particular reference to the status and functioning of the CARA and procedural hindrances.

A Bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar issued the notice on Thursday on a petition filed by the Bangalore-based Ashraya and five other adoption agencies.

The petitioners said that according to an article carried in April 2007 in The Times, London, “more than 11 million babies in India are abandoned, of which almost 90 per cent are girls. Most of these would become beggars, prostitutes or menial workers when they attain adulthood. Shockingly, as per official statistics from what is termed a ‘young nation,' the number of these children that are adopted every year is abysmal — just over 3,500…”

The petitioners said The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) had also reported that an abnormally large number of Indian children were exploited and subjected to the worst forms of trafficking, all without the protection of a loving family. They said the CARA was mandated and funded by the government to monitor and regulate placement agencies, encourage timely adoption, avoid unseemly delays and duplication of processes, provide training and facilitate dissemination of research, but it had failed on every single count.

“Families seeking to adopt are left languishing as they wait for months to be given an adoptable child, and the reams of red-tape along with the lure of foreign money ensures that more children are sought to be given to foreign parents than Indian ones, which is contrary to the norm.”

They said the Union government had gravely failed to ensure that a record of the adoptable children was maintained and direct the State governments to register all child welfare institutions as per the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000. They sought a direction to appoint an independent body of agency representatives, childcare experts, psychologists, physicians, lawyers, sociologists and planners to review the entire adoption regime, with a particular reference to the CARA's status and functioning and the procedural hindrances to an expeditious adoption procedure.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

DOS Adoption Notice: Nepal Updates

April 22, 2011
Notice: Update on Adoptions in Nepal

Government of Nepal Announces Amendments to 2008 Terms and Conditions
On January 5, 2011, the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MOWCSW) in its Notice No. 1 announced that children found by the police will not be available for intercountry adoption until further notice. This and other amendments to the Terms and Conditions of 2008 may be found at:

Nepal Forms New Government
On February 3, 2011, in the 17th round of voting, Nepali parliamentarians chose Jalala Nath Khanal as the new Prime Minister. On the same day, Parliament passed a resolution censuring Sarba Dev Ojha, the most recent Minister of Women, Children, and Social Welfare, for negligence, lack of responsiveness, and violation of the parliamentary Committee on Women, Children, and Social Welfare's rules. On March 12, 2011, Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma was appointed as new Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare. Bishwakarma previously held this same position from 2007-2009, during the Government of Nepal-imposed suspension of intercountry adoptions.

Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Janice L. Jacobs' Visit to Nepal
Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Janice L. Jacobs visited Nepal on February 16-17, 2011. During her visit, she met with officials in the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare and the Prime Minister's Office. They discussed the United States Government's concern with the lack of integrity and transparency in the adoption system in Nepal.

Assistant Secretary Jacobs encouraged the Government of Nepal to work with the international community, including The Hague Permanent Bureau, to implement The Hague Adoption Convention and reform its adoption process to protect children and families.

Assistant Secretary Jacobs noted that recent changes to the adoption process in Nepal are inadequate to address concerns about the origin of the children being matched for intercountry adoption.

The U.S. suspension on new adoption cases involving abandoned children will remain in place until substantive progress is made on the issues raised by a February 2010 Hague Convention report.

Permanent Bureau meeting with Government of Nepal Adoption Officials in Rome
On March 29, a joint Department of State/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services delegation attended meetings in Rome organized by The Hague Permanent Bureau (HPB) and the Italian Central Authority to discuss how to improve Nepal's intercountry adoption and child welfare system. Nepal sent representatives from the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, and the Intercountry Adoption Management Committee. The two-day meeting involved representatives from 12 major receiving countries (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States) as well as participants from UNICEF and Terre des Hommes Foundation.

Update on Adoption Case Processing
Since the August 6, 2010 announcement that the Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) were suspending processing of new adoption cases from Nepal that involve children who are claimed to have been found abandoned, sixty four families filed Form I-600 petitions with the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu on behalf of their adoptive children. Of these, Embassy Kathmandu found six petitions approvable and sent 56 petitions to the USCIS office in New Delhi as "not clearly approvable." One case in which the Form I-600 was recently filed with Embassy Kathmandu is under investigation by the Consular Section. USCIS approved one case after an initial review, and sent 55 families Requests for Evidence (RFE) asking for additional information in their case. As of April 15, 2011, USCIS found those 54 petitions approvable after reviewing additional information submitted by the families. One petition remains pending. Embassy Kathmandu has issued 46 immigrant visas to the beneficiaries of those petitions; the remaining families are in the process of finalizing their adoptions and applying for their adopted child's immigrant visa.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Friday, April 22, 2011

MEDIA: The Adoption Commandment

The role of religion in the creation of adoption law and policy is something all prospective and adoptive parents should closely consider. The Evangelical Christian Adoption Movement has raised many issues in the discussion of ethics in adoption. Some of these issues are addressed in a recent article in The Nation by PEAR member Kathryn Joyce:

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

DOS Adoption Notice: China - Single Mother Applicants

April 12, 2011
Notice: China Single Female adoption notice

The China Centre for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) formally known as CCAA (the China Centre of Adoption Affairs has provided the Department of State with a notice of a new policy that will allow qualified single females adopt from China.
Please see the text of the announcement below:

March 11, 2011

Government departments and adoption agencies in receiving countries, In order to promote special needs child adoption and guarantee the basic interests of the orphaned and disabled children, CCAA decides to accept the adoption applications from female single applicants to adopt according to the requirements listed in this notice, starting from March 15, 2011.

  1. Female single applicants are allowed to adopt special focus children listed on the Special Needs System of CCAA. One applicant can only adopt one special focus child at a time, with an interval of at least one year between two adoptions.
  2. The applicant shall have reached the age of 30 years and are under 50. For applicants over 50, the age difference between the child to be adopted and the applicant shall be no more than 45 years.
  3. The applicant shall provide her civil status certificate. Unmarried applicants shall provide certification for being single and non-homosexual; divorced applicants shall provide the divorce certificate of the last marriage; and widowed applicants shall provide the death certificate of their ex-spouse.
  4. Applicants shall be healthy both physically and mentally according to the requirements by CCAA for prospective adoptive couples. Applicants shall be law abiding with no criminal records, and have good moral quality and conduct.
  5. The family annual income shall reach $10,000 per family member, including the prospective adoptee and the family net assets value should reach $100,000. The applicant shall have good medical insurance which can cover the medical expense of the adopted child.
  6. Applicants shall be experienced in child caring or be occupied in child-related fields, such as doctor, nurse, teacher, child psychological counselor, etc. It's best that the applicants have already had successful experience in caring for special needs children.
  7. The number of children in the applicant's family under the age of 18 years shall be no more than two, and the youngest one should have reached the age of 6 years old.
  8. Applicants shall be fully prepared for adopting a special focus child. Social workers shall provide the following information fully and truly in the home study reports besides family visit interviews:
    1. Adoption motive. The decision to adopt a special focus child shall be well-considered. Applicants shall be capable of caring for a special need child and be responsible for the well-being of the child.
    2. The reason of being single and attitude towards marriage. Applicants shall have clear indication of willingness to appoint male figures as role models for the adopted child, and welcome male friends to join family gatherings.
    3. Applicants shall have received inter-country adoption training and training specifically for special needs child adoption so as to understand fully the physical and psychological needs of special needs children.
    4. Detailed nurturing and rehabilitation plan. Applicants shall be qualified personally and socially for caring special needs children and have wide social and family supporting network which can provide assistance any time.
    5. Other advantages for caring special needs children.
  9. Guardians appointed by the applicants shall provide written statement as consent to act as the guardian of the adopted child.
  10. If the applicant has a stable relationship and lives with a male partner, the requirements of couple applicants shall be applied.

China Center of Adoption Affairs

The Department will seek clarification on the details of the new policy and will make updates to our website as soon as we have additional details. For more information on all the requirements on how to adopt from China, please see our Country Specific Adoption Information page at If you have any further questions about this notice please contact the Office of Children's Issues at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

RESOURCE: Connecting the Dots in Ethiopia

One of PEAR's members, Pamela Veazie, wrote an independent analysis of the Against Child Trafficking (ACT) Fruits of Ethiopia Report. In it she highlights various orphanages in Ethiopia named in the report, potential problems and agencies affiliated with those orphanages. This in-depth analysis can be found here:
Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Friday, April 8, 2011

DOS Adoption Alert: Ukraine

April 8, 2011

Alert: Ukraine Adoption

On the evening of April 7, 2011, President Yanukovych signed a Decree transferring all functions of, the State Department for Adoption and Protection of the Rights of the Child (SDA-- the current central adoption authority of Ukraine), to the Ministry for Social Policy. We do not yet know how the implementation of this transfer will affect processing of adoption cases. Whether SDA will be able to continue processing currently filed cases remains unclear.

The Presidential Decree will become effective immediately upon its publication in the Government's official newspapers, which may be as early as Monday, April 11.

According to SDA, there are now 134 U.S. families registered with the SDA, some of them already in-country. We are asking all American families that are currently in Ukraine or have appointments with SDA during the next few weeks to send their contact information to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine's Adoption Unit at: Families should contact their local adoption service provider for further updates and details.

We will keep monitoring the situation and will provide updates as they become available.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

DOS Adoption Notice: Latvia - Post Placements

April 5, 2011

Notice: Post-adoption reporting requirements

This Adoption Notice replaces the Adoption Notice dated May 25, 2010, on post-adoption reporting requirements for Latvia. Latvia requires periodic post-adoption reporting on the welfare of an adopted orphan in his or her new American family. Latvian law requires that two post-adoption reports be submitted: one after the first year following adoption and one after the second year. The reports should be conducted by the adoptive family's adoption agency. The intercountry adoption process requires compliance with the laws of both the United States and the child's country of origin. While the United States cannot enforce the laws of another country, in order for a strong country-to-country partnership on adoption matters to continue, families and agencies should respect the adoption laws of the child's country of origin. We strongly encourage agencies to comply with Latvian post-adoption reporting requirements and to submit reports on time. All agencies operating in Latvia have been notified of this requirement. Compliance will help ensure that Latvia's history of positive experiences with American adoptive families continues.

Ethics, Transparency, Support
~ What All Adoptions Deserve.

DOS Adoption Notice: Ethiopia Delays

Notice: Significant delays remain likely for cases presented to Ethiopia's Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs after March 8, 2011

The Government of Ethiopia's Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs (MOWYCA) told the American Embassy officials that adoption cases presented to the Federal Court of First Instance prior to March 8, 2011 will be processed expeditiously. However, cases presented to the Court after March 8 will be processed in a more deliberate manner to allow greater scrutiny and oversight. Based on their March 8 announcement the American Embassy anticipates that MOWYCA will process these cases at a rate of approximately 5 per day.

It is unclear whether there will be an official announcement from the Government of Ethiopia regarding the plan to reduce the number of cases adjudicated daily.

Prospective adoptive parents who did not reach the court summons stage before March 8, 2011, should expect significant delays in the progression of their paperwork through the Government of Ethiopia. Prospective adoptive parents should be in close touch with their adoption service providers to confirm the status of their cases.

The U.S. Embassy continues to work with Ethiopian government officials and adoption agencies to gain a clearer understanding of these procedures, and will continue to post information as it becomes available.

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.