Friday, September 15, 2017

The Importance of Obtaining Certificates of Citizenship


citizenship1Nobody enjoys filing paperwork or paying filing fees, and for families that have completed an international adoption, they often think they have had more than enough of both. Fortunately, most international adoptions now result in a certificate of citizenship (COC) being issued without any additional process or fees. That has not always been the case, and still is not always so, especially in cases where the child was issued an IR-4/HR-4 visa. In these situations, the child does not automatically become a U.S. citizen, and the placement requires finalization here in the United States.
Obtaining a COC for any child adopted internationally is an important way to definitively establish and demonstrate citizenship. When the cost of COCs was significantly increasing last year, NCFA hosted a webinar led by McLane Layton and Christine Poarch. NCFA also made available a printable factsheet addressing FAQs about certificates of citizenship. These resources continue to be helpful to better understand this issue.

Adoptive families may ask, “Why would I pay for this if I already have proof of citizenship with a U.S. passport or state issued birth certificate?” Although there may be other ways and options to prove citizenship, the Certificate of Citizenship remains the most permanent and definitive way of doing so. Unlike passports, the certificate of citizenship never expires. State issued birth certificates are not always accepted as proof of citizenship, with issues raised if the name has changed or if the birth certificate lists a foreign place of birth.

Adoption professionals who have worked in this field for a number of years strongly advise a family to obtain a COC on behalf of their internationally adopted child. Sue Hollar, the Executive Director & CEO of The Barker Adoption Foundation, is a strong advocate of agencies working to ensure families have obtained COCs. She says, “Adoption agencies and adoptive families have an ethical and moral responsibility to these kids. At Barker, we hold a financial deposit from families and return it upon receiving a copy of the COC… No kid/adult should suffer the consequences of not having the documentation.”

NCFA strongly encourages adoption agencies to obtain copies of the certificate of citizenship as part of their post-adoption reporting. This practice will ensure that families are obtaining their COCs within a reasonable timeframe upon returning, instead of many years later when it may be more difficult for the adoptive family to locate required documentation.

The application for a COC is called the N-600 and can be accessed through USCIS’s website here.
For more family-oriented intercountry adoption resources, visit the Global Adoption section of NCFA’s blog.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Research Study Participants Sought Regarding Transracial Adoption

16972215_s-sizedAs many of you know, NCFA is committed to, and passionate about, research regarding adoption.  Some of that research is assembled and published by NCFA, including our Adoption: By the Numbers, where they report the most comprehensive statistics on adoption in the United States.   In addition to the research they conduct, they also promote the research done by others to further our understanding of adoption and issues related to adoption.  Toward that end, NCFA is sending along information about a research project being conducted regarding transracial adoption and foster care.

A researcher at Florida State University is interested in connecting with parents who are fostering or have adopted transracially.  If you think this description is a good fit for your clients or network, please consider passing this information along to them.

Parents who are currently fostering or have adopted transracially are needed for a research study.  Interested participants will take a pre-course measure, be randomly assigned a treatment or control course, and then complete a post-course measure.  All participation in the study is completed online, and the fosterparentcollege.com course login id and password will be assigned to each participant by the researcher.  Participants will have 30 days to complete the course.  Total time to complete the surveys and course online takes 3 hours, and participants can come and go as they please. 

Participants who complete the study will receive a $20 Visa gift card.  Interested participants should e-mail or contact Jordan Montgomery at jem14e@my.fsu.edu or 850-661-6454.

Sincerely,
Ryan Hanlon, MA, MS, MSW Vice President of Education, Research, and Constituent Services
National Council For Adoption

Monday, September 4, 2017

8 Crucial Tips For Kinship Adoption

Source: https://creatingafamily.org/

By Dawn Davenport

tips-for-kinship-adoption1

Here are our top eight tips for smoothly integrating children adopted through kinship adoption into your family.
  1. Get Educated. Adoptive parenting is different from parenting kids from birth. Not worse, not better, but different. Parents who adopt a niece, nephew, or grandchild need the same preparation as other adoptive parents. We have a ton of resources at Adoption A-Z Resource Guide.
  2. Seek Expertise. You will need to find an adoption attorney or adoption agency to help you navigate through a kinship adoption. We have a great free multimedia guide to help you-Creating a Family’s Multimedia Guide on Choosing an Adoption Agency or Attorney. Make sure to ask whomever you hire how many kinship adoptions they do each year in your state.
  3. Keep the focus on the child and what is in the child’s best interest as you navigate the post adoption relationships in your family. This is sometimes easier said than done, so spend time pre-adoption talking with your extended family members about what you think is best for the child.
Continue reading.

The Scariest Special Need of All—Would You Adopt This Child?

Source: https://creatingafamily.org

By Dawn Davenport


special-need-adoption-sexual-abuse

In my experience there is one special need that scares prospective adoptive parents the most. The one where even parents who have a wide range of acceptance for special needs will often say “no”. The special need that is preventing thousands of children from being adopted. That special need is being the victim of sexual abuse. Yes, that special need is actually being the victim of abuse!

Through no fault of their own these children have been sexually abused and are now being victimized again by the near universal fear of raising a child that has been sexually abused. Irony anyone?

I have been told by countless social worker that if the child has a record of sexual abuse in their file or a record of showing the symptoms of having been sexually abused, the chances of finding an adoptive family becomes infinitely harder. This breaks my heart.

Continue reading.