Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Regulatory Orphans – WORLD

Adoption advocates worry new rules on international adoption will leave more children languishing in orphanages

by Jamie Dean
Regulatory orphans
Orphans at the Zhytomyr Orphanage in Ukraine (Oleksandr Rupeta/NurPhoto/Getty Images)
When Michelet Joseph arrived in the United States in the summer of 2015, the small Haitian boy couldn’t pull up or stand up on his own.
Michelet was nearly 7 years old.
Born with hydrocephalus, Michelet was 11 months old when his mother died. His father had abandoned the family. Michelet spent the next year in a mountain village north of Port-au-Prince, lying on the floor while his grandfather farmed.
When Michelet’s grandfather could no longer care for him, the toddler went to live in a nearby orphanage run by American missionaries. At 2 years old, Michelet was malnourished, couldn’t hold up his head, and was covered in sores.
In the fall of 2011, a visiting neurosurgeon from the United States performed surgery to relieve Michelet’s hydrocephalus, but his tiny body had atrophied, and he was unable to use his legs. Haitian hospitals didn’t have the resources for the rehabilitation and additional surgeries he’d need in the future.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Webinar: Registration is Now Open for Perspectives on Transracial Adoption

Perspectives on Transracial Adoption
Perspectives on Transracial Adoption is an honest dialogue about some of the tough realities and complex issues that children adopted transracially may experience and how their parents can guide, support and prepare them for a society that is far from color blind.
Join us for a moderated panel of people who were transracially placed. They will reflect back to their childhood as well as comment on their current feelings about being transracially adopted.
We will post to the panelists YOUR questions such as:
When and how do I discuss race with my child?
What should I as a parent do to ensure connection with my child’s birth culture?
What did their adopted parents do that helped them through the journey and what do they wish their parents had done?

This webcast is brought to you by ALP in cooperation with Our Children: An Education & Empowerment Series. Learn more about the Our Children Initiative here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Keeping Your Marriage Solid When Adopting or Fostering by Creating A Family

“One of the wisest pieces of advice I received as a new parent was the following: The greatest gift you can give your child is a healthy and happy relationship with your spouse. Four kids later all I can add is a loud “AMEN”!” by Creating A Family. #SaveAdoptions
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It is so easy in the thralls of new parenthood to be completely obsessed with your new baby or child. It is also pretty common to be completely overwhelmed by the demands of new motherhood/fatherhood. This is the case regardless whether you adopt a newborn, a 6 year old, or foster a sibling group of 3. Parenthood can be all-consuming if we let it. I’m suggesting that you don’t let it consume your marriage.

Parenting is a Marathon, not a Sprint!

You’re going to be parents for a LONG time. Even when your kids are grown and have flown the nest, you will still be parenting. It’s easy to forget this at the beginning. When asked in the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group what they were doing to find time for their marriage, we heard the following:
  • Not Much. But we’re older parents and I guess we had time before to ourselves so we’re kind of ok with all family time. We go out maybe every 6 weeks or so. We’ve kind of turned more into best friends and partners in crime but we’re ok with that.
  • We are fostering and parenting and all our time and energy are going to the kids. I feel like we give each other only our leftovers. And lately neither of us have much left over. We know we need to do something about it, but just don’t have the energy or time to do it.
  • We don’t. DH and I are lacking. We try to have alone time in the car or at 2 am, but it’s hard.
For the record, alone time when you are passing in the hallway at 2:00 am does not count!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Road to foreign adoption leads to happiness

A big thank you to the Homan family for such a great story of advocacy in addition. #saveadoptions.
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By Sydney Albert
FORT RECOVERY – The adoption process is a long and challenging road that can sometimes end in heartbreak.
A local mother who has adopted internationally five times, however, says welcoming a child in need into the family is well worth the effort.
Alison Homan and her husband, Ted, had always wanted a big family. They had said they wanted four children, and during the first two and a half years of marriage, Alison Homan delivered three babies. However, one child didn’t live long after birth, and the back-to-back pregnancies were taking their toll on Homan, who didn’t feel she could handle another one.

Monday, March 19, 2018

URGENT, please take action

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There are two easy steps you can take today to help save international adoptions:
  • First, sign our White House petition. The White House promises it will respond if the petition receives 100,000 signatures in 30 days.
  • Second, we also invite you to share it on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms and to invite your friends and family (anyone over 13 years of age with an email address can sign)to sign the White House petition.
15 million orphans globally have lost both of their parents.
81 million Americans have considered adoption, but for many it is too complex and too expensive.
International adoptions by Americans have plummeted by 81% since 2004, from about 23,000 adoptions in 2004 to only 4,200 international adoptions budgeted in 2018 by the international adoption accrediting entity. If this dramatic trend in international adoptions by Americans continues, international adoptions may completely end by 2022.
Mary Landrieu, Former United States Senator and former Co-Chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, recently said: “Congress passed the Hague Convention on Inter-country Adoption believing that this action would pave the way for a more ethical, transparent and streamlined process for inter-country adoption. We were moved by the overwhelming number of abandoned children in the world and their obvious need for loving families. We pushed hard for passage, and the State Department was designated by Congress as the lead for implementing this important initiative. Sadly, several years later, it is clear that this decision was a tragic mistake. Instead of shoring up the process and providing support for sending countries, the State Department has twisted the intent of the treaty to close one country after another. The process has become far more cumbersome and far less transparent. American parents who want to help and lovingly raise a child are often made to feel like criminals. As a result, inter-country adoptions have fallen to an historic low, and they continue to decrease each year as the need of desperate, abandoned, and orphaned children increases. Major change is required now before it’s too late.”
We recognize a child’s right to a family when one is not available in his/her birth country and the loving character of American families. We ask President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo to investigate the causes of the 80% decline in intercountry adoptions since 2004 and to solve the U.S. international adoption crisis. The leadership of the Office of Children’s Issues has been unresponsive to collaborating with adoption community leaders to solve problems and continues to reinterpret regulations in ways unintended by Congress in the Hague Intercountry Adoption Act. The adoption community including agencies, attorneys, adoptive parents, and adoption advocate organizations stands ready to work with the Administration on implementing various achievable solutions that have been identified by adoption leaders.
Together, we will make a difference in the lives of orphans around the world. Thank you.

Prepare for your MIND TO BE BLOWN….. But First Consider Signing This WHITE HOUSE Petition!

Dear Friends, family and, colleagues,
Next week will be exciting and should be a monumental in causing change in the State Department of Intercountry Adoption.  A mind blowing article should come out Monday morning in the Federalist and Tuesday morning Nathan Gwilliam, CEO of Adoption.com and Save Adoptions’President, Ron Stoddart, Esq., will be on the Glenn Beck Program. Put these on your calendars to catch them both.  You don’t want to miss these!! 
However, since the most effective route to change is through the White House, we have also created an online Petition to the White House at:
Please click on the link, read the petition and, if you agree, sign it today.  The White House guarantees they will respond if we have 100,000 signatures within 30 days – but we want to reach 100,000 by the end of the day on Wednesday.  We can do this with your help.
PLEASE, go to the Petition and sign now.  Then, please send this on to your friends and family and post it on social media.  We can’t leave any stone unturned.  On behalf of the thousands of orphaned children who will find permanent families because of your help – THANK YOU! (After signing this WH petition, Hit reply and let me know you have remained a friend to 15 million orphans that I’m working every day and night to serve – Just ask my own family and the Hopscotch families we work with every single day)
*IMPORTANT: Check your clutter/spam/junk mail to ‘verify’ your email after signing the petition or your signature will not be counted.

Bucking Trump Deregulation Agenda, State Department Chokes International Adoption

Adoption advocates say the State Department is making international adoption rarer and more expensive than ever to consolidate government control over private agencies.
By Jayme Metzgar
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In September 2016, just as the presidential race was entering its final weeks, the State Department quietly proposed new regulations governing international adoption. Adoption advocates sounded the alarm, saying the regulations would severely hamper Americans’ ability to adopt overseas. I wrote about this for The Federalist just days before the November election.
Then, to almost everyone’s surprise, Donald Trump was elected president. On the day of his inauguration, Trump began a regulatory reform effort, announcing a moratorium on all new regulations from executive agencies. Ten days later, he issued an executive order requiring agencies to repeal two regulations for every new one they proposed.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Photolistings for International Adoption May Be Banned – Please Help!

The US Department of State is considering banning photolistings for children available for international adoption.
US State Department to ban international adoption photolistings
There is a lot we don’t know and the State Department has not issued a final rule, but they are currently considering whether the practice of “soft referrals” is a violation of their regulations. We have not seen an official definition of “soft referral” but it appears to include photolisting—or more specifically allowing international adoption agencies to place a child who is on a photolist.
Photolisting is a common practice in both foster care adoption and international adoption. In fact, it is considered best practice in child welfare for finding homes for harder-to-place children–older kids, kids with health issues, and sibling groups.

Intercountry Adoption Agencies Face Massive Hikes In Regulatory Costs


#IntercountryAdoption advocates fear that the fee structure planned by a new State Department accreditation contractor could threaten the operation of the largest American placing agencies.
https://wp.me/p1VkZN-1As

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

We All Could Use A Little Good News: Appointee To Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, Has A REAL Heart for Intercountry Adoption!


After four long years, he’s home at last! # MikePompeo #SaveAdoption #HelpUsAdopt #MakeAdoptionGreatAgain
https://hopscotchadoptions.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/we-all-could-use-a-little-good-news-appointee-to-secretary-of-state-mike-pompeo-has-a-real-heart-for-intercountry-adoption/

Abandoned in Guatemala: The Failure of International Adoption Policies



More than 52,000 children have been caught crossing our southern border since October of last year, including several thousand children from Guatemala. Until 2007, more than 5,000 Guatemalan children were adopted by parents from other countries each year. Under pressure from groups like Unicef, however, Guatemala shut down intercountry adoptions. Today, the only way Guatemalan children can come to the U.S. is to cross the border illegally.
Reason TV took a critical look at Guatemala’s intercountry adoption policies back in 2011.
"Abandoned in Guatemala," produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning. Approximately 20 minutes.
Original release date was October 6, 2011. Original writeup is below.
"If we shut down international adoptions, that’s 5,000 kids a year whose lives we are ruining, whose lives could have been wonderful, and we’re dooming them by shutting them into these institutions. So, to me, that’s fundamental evil."
—Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet
In 2007, Guatemala’s privately run system of adoption attorneys, orphanages and foster care providers helped nearly 5,000 abandoned children find homes with loving families around the world. But then the Guatemalan government shut down international adoptions, created a centrally controlled adoption agency and nationalized the orphanage system. The plan was to promote in-country adoptions, but that plan hasn’t worked. Last year, only 35 children were adopted by Guatemalan families.
Why did the Guatemalan government put an end to a system that was giving thousands of abandoned children a chance at a better life? And what did UNICEF have to do with it? Reason.tvproducers Paul Feine and Alex Manning went to Guatemala to find out.
"Abandoned in Guatemala: The Failure of International Adoption Policies" is a film about the promise of international adoption and the sad reality that international adoptions around the world are decreasing, largely due to the influence of UNICEF. It’s also a film about a privately run system that worked and a state-run system that is failing. Most of all, "Abandoned in Guatemala" is a film intended to raise awareness about international adoption in the hope that in the near future more abandoned children will be placed with loving families, wherever they happen to live.

Friday, March 9, 2018

What Is All The Commotion In International Adoption? Watch this video and share!

Take these steps:
  • Watch this short 3 minute video.
  • Familiarize yourself with the problem and solution facing inter-country adoption.
  • Share this video on your personal Facebook page.
  • Share this video on your agency Facebook page.
  • Forward to adoptive families

Don’t miss this! Social Media Webinar: Guiding Your Adopted Child

Social Media and the Adopted Child | Thursday, March 22

Social media has revolutionized the way we connect with one another. This has meant that open adoption communication is more convenient than ever before.
Join Tina Feigal as she shares strategies and tips on how adoptive parents can:
1. Talk to their child about searching
2. Be aware of oversharing someone else’s story
3. Identify safety risks and how to avoid them
4. Institute limits on screen time and location
Tina FeigalTina Feigal, M.S., Ed. is the Director of Family Engagement at Anu Family Services/Center for the Challenging Child in St. Paul, MN. As a former school psychologist, Tina’s passion is bringing peace to homes by helping caring adults to heal challenging child behavior with the specific, highly effective techniques of Present Moment Parenting. Learn more about Tina Feigal >

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Adoption: No More Waiting Children?

What if RainbowKids could no longer show you the faces of children who are waiting for families?
What if one person, with all the power, believed that families interested in adopting should not be allowed to view children who are legally available for adoption?
Couched in legalese,with the invention of a new term called "soft referrals", that is exactly what is being proposed by the person heading the Office of Children’s Issues at the US Dept of State.  The idea is that no family without a homestudy should be allowed to receive information on a legally waiting child.  This is completely contrary to how US Foster Adoption works for waiting children.  Children waiting for adoption in the USA may be viewed by anyone visiting the national database at AdoptUsKids.org, or any of the state websites featuring waiting children in fostercare.
Under new leadership, the Office of Children’s Issues has taken radical steps to impose new fees on families wishing to adopt, crushing oversight requirements on adoption service providers, and now a vague instruction to agencies that repercussions may be implemented (retroactively!) should they fail to comply with instructions about sharing information on specific children with interested families.
How many families would adopt a child with Cerebral Palsy, had they not have first seen his or her photo?  There are over FIVE HUNDRED children with CP waiting on RainbowKids.  What chance do these children have of finding families if this new leadership at DOS has their way? ZERO! 
Bulgarian Organizations Submit Letter to US Departement of State on Behalf of Special Needs Children:
The situation at the Office of Children’s Issues has become so dire, that 15 Bulgarian Organizations have written a letter outlining how shutting down advocacy for children with medical special needs goes against the Hague Covention.  This letter was submitted this week and may be read here.
What can you do?? Read this about rising fees in adoption, and know that shutting down waiting child advocacy is part of it. This is happening. Don’t let it!
SAVE ADOPTION
Special Needs Spotlight: Heart Defects
How many children with a heart defect are waiting for a family on RainbowKids?
ONE THOUSAND-FIVE-HUNDRED AND FIFTY FOUR
ALL of those children will not be able to receive advocacy, including being featured here and on RainbowKids.com, if child-advocacy for international children is shut down. Including these twins at right.
No homes for waiting children.  No International adoption.
One THOUSAND.  Five Hundred.  Fifty Four….that is how many with just this single special need are waiting for a family.  Adoption needs RainbowKids. These children need families.  ONE PERSON at the Department of State Children’s Issues should not be the reason these kids fail to be raised in a loving family.
Featured Country:  Burkina Faso
There are many children waiting in Burkina Faso
Married couples between the ages of 30-50 may adopt a child or sibling group from the West African country of Burkina Faso.  Children range in age from infants to teens. Travel consists of 15 days in country. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Adoptions Have Dropped 72% Since 2005 – Heres Why! by Mark Montgomery AP Feb 28, 2017

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
Mark Montgomery, Grinnell College and Irene Powell, Grinnell College
(THE CONVERSATION) When Ethiopia stopped allowing its children to be adopted by foreign parents in January, it became the latest country to eliminate or sharply curtail the practice. In recent decades South Korea, Romania, Guatemala, China, Kazakhstan and Russia – all former leaders in foreign adoption – have also banned or cut back on international custody transfers.
In 2005, almost 46,000 children were adopted across borders, roughly half of them headed to a new life in the United States. By 2015 international adoptions had dropped 72 percent, to 12,000 in total. Just 5,500 of these children ended up in the U.S., with the remainder landing in Italy and Spain.
Today, most children adopted internationally come from China, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ukraine. But even China, which has been the top sending country since the late 1990s, has decreased its foreign adoptions by 86 percent.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

FREE Webinar with 1.5 CEU for Understanding ACEs Tuesday February 27th 8:00pm eastern

Childhood experiences, both good and bad, shape the developing brain and have a major impact on the physical, mental health and the social emotional functioning of adults. Poor childhood experiences such as childhood neglect, physical and sexual abuse or incarceration of caregivers are called Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs.
Join Harmony Family Center’s Education and Training Coordinator, Allison Cooke Douglas, for an overview of the science of ACEs, how these experience impact children and what parents and professionals can do to help children grow and heal after adversity.
Certificates for 1.5 hours of training will be issued for qualified participants.
PLEASE NOTE: Couples using the same device to watch the webinar must register both participants on the registration form (one person in the first name space and the second in the last name space) to receive separate certificates. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Friday, February 16, 2018

I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THAT!!!

I’d like to thank Associated Press Reporter, David Crary, for his work on this article. Thank you David!!!
I would also like to point out that no one is defending the 1 agency that was debarred over the last 9 years, and in the same breath….. in no way does this one debarment justify a jump from the Council on Accreditation’s 4 full time staff and an annual budget of 147K with 20 volunteer evaluators comprised of adoption agency professionals with vast clinical and agency management experience to IAAME’s budget of over 2.5 million + (in fees paid in by families ultimately since adoption agencies are fee for service based models) and 23 full time staff, without the clinical and agency management experience model Council on Accreditation has
Consider this dollar amount when Hague Accredited agencies have accumulated some 170 substantiated complaints (many are administrative in nature) over a 9 year period: over 87,000 children have come home to American families, of those what is the cost of each complaint.  Under Council of Accreditation, 170 complaints/$147K annual budget = $1,023.53 per complaint vs IAAME’s 170/$2.5 million + annual budget = $14,705.88 per complaint.  You may want to do the math for yourself. In addition, IAAME will assess the agency cost for at least two evaluator’s travel expenses associated with the complaint should they feel an onsite visit or travel to the foreign country is warranted. Add on another $4,000.00 – $40,000.00 Does this sound reasonable to you? 
The public should also know Mr. Stephen Pennypacker, IAAME’s CEO, explained why the $500 nonrefundable client fee is urgently needed to be paid now. Much to Pennypacker’s credit for his honesty, the immediacy is attributed to the need for recouping IAAME’s startup costsYou read that right.
Have you ever heard of any other business sector where a startup nonprofit, designated to be your watchdog, also holds you accountable for paying their startup costs?
Friends, we have entered the Twilight Zone.  Please sign the petition and send a complaint to congress if you feel this is unacceptable. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

International Adoptions Completed from Bulgaria in 2017

Bulgarian shop 2018
*The Bulgarian Ministry of Justice has released the 2017 statistics for intercountry adoptions. As in the past, more than 1/3 of all adoptions were for identified waiting children with special needs. The remaining procedures were direct matches made by MOJ between a registered family and a child cleared for international adoption but not yet entered into the Waiting Child Register. Many of these main procedure referrals likely also had identified special needs. The overall number of completed adoptions from Bulgaria decreased in 2017.*
  • USA – 104 total procedures, including 78 for identified waiting children
  • Italy – 36 total procedures, including 1 for identified waiting children
  • Spain – 22 total procedures, including 1 for identified waiting children
  • France – 21 total procedures
  • Netherlands – 13 total procedures
  • Canada – 7 total procedures, including 2 for identified waiting children
  • Ireland – 6 total procedures
  • Germany – 4 total procedures
  • Denmark – 4 total procedures
  • Norway – 4 total procedures
  • Belgium – 3 total procedures, including 2 for identified waiting children
  • Luxembourg – 1 procedure
  • Cyprus – 1 procedure
TOTAL – 226 total procedures for 306 children, including 84 procedures for 133 identified waiting children

Senator Wicker Has Taken A Bold Stand for Vulnerable Children and American Families!

Senator Wicker has taken a bold step for Vulnerable Children and American Families! We need to make sure we have his back.  Please post the attached letter to your Facebook page and urge your friends to like and share as well.  We need to keep the momentum going!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Message From Hopscotch Adoptions Executive Director

Department of State’s Notice Regarding New Intercountry Adoption Fees
As of February 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of State notified adoption service providers about substantial mandated fee increases associated with obtaining and maintaining accreditation by the federal government, which is required to provide intercountry adoption services. In addition to the increased fee for adoption service providers, adoptive families will also see an extra cost, potentially deterring loving families from welcoming vulnerable children into their homes.
Hopscotch’s primary commitment is, and always will be, to the safety and well-being of children here in the United States and around the world. Thus we are committed to complying fully with the Hague Convention and ensuring that adoption practices protect the rights of children and both birth and adoptive families.
However, the non-refundable $500 fee increase (per child), due at the time of submission of service and fee agreement, amplifies our concern for the negative impact on vulnerable children in wait for a permanent family and the prospective adoptive families who will be unable to step forward to meet the needs of those children.
IAAME, the new accrediting entity, will begin collecting the Department of State’s mandated fees on new applicants for intercountry adoption as of February 15, 2018. We encourage those who have interest to contact your local representative to advocate for a better solution for waiting children around the world.
For more information about how you can help, click here.
With encouragement,
Robin E. Sizemore, Executive Director
Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc
Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Morocco, Serbia and Ukraine
Pre & Post-Adoption Services available to NY and NC residents
Ph: 336.899.0068
www.hopscotchadoptions.org

Monday, February 12, 2018

Harder to bring them home: Advocates worried over barriers to international adoption

djr-2018-02-11-news-international-adoptionp1
Mitchell and Dustin Shoumaker adopted siblings Gabe, 8, Maisy, 5, Evangeline, 3, and Olivia, 7 from Poland. The Tupelo couple and other advocates are concerned changes in international adoption could make it harder for others to open their hearts and homes.
When Mitchell and Dustin Shoumaker adopted siblings Gabe, Olivia and Maisy from Poland in December 2015, they knew they had unfinished business.
The Tupelo couple found out their three children had an infant sibling the night before they went to court in Poland, but little Evangeline wasn’t yet available for adoption. It took longer to adopt one child than three, even though Polish law favors keeping sibling groups together.
“Our first experience took nine months,” Mitchell Shoumaker said. “The second time, it took a year and a half.”
Some of the delay was specific to issues in Poland, but the Tupelo couple was also impacted by changes in the way intercountry adoptions are handled in the United States.
“It just took longer in America and Poland,” Mitchell Shoumaker said.
The Shoumakers consider themselves lucky. Evangeline was transferred to the same loving foster family that took care of her older siblings, and the Shoumakers were able to remain in contact with them during the process. They were able to bring the 3-year-old home to Tupelo this summer, and she is doing well.
“We are beyond thankful for that family because they loved our children so well,” Dustin Shoumaker said.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Take Action Today to Save International Adoption

Save Adoption and Keep Adoption Affordable!
Greetings!
It’s time for the adoption community to wake up and take action about the decline of inter-country adoption.
If the trend continues, inter-country adoptions will reach Zero in 4 years.
The new accrediting entity, IAAME, set their budget based on a decline of 20% from the previous year. Adoptions have declined by at least 1,000 cases every year since 2004. In 2016, there were only 5,200 adoptions. If the 1,000 per-year decline trend continues, inter-country adoptions will reach zero in just 4 years.
Take Action to Voice Your Concern
The National Council for Adoption is asking you to call your Senators and Congressmen to voice concern about the changes in inter-country adoption. Click here for more information about the Feb 7-8 call-in day to congress, the small business administration, and the media.
$500 Monitoring Fee Per Adopted Child
With new Dept of State regulations, families can expect to pay $500 extra per child they expect to adopt. This is a mandatory oversight fee that takes effect Feb 15, 2018. Adoption agency clients should expect fee schedules to change soon and reflect these new charges.
Survey of Agencies Shows Bleak Future
In 2006 there were 255 Hague-accredited agencies. In 2017, there were only 167. On average, one adoption agency per month goes out of business, or loses or forfeits its accreditation. If the trend of 1 agency losing or leaving behind its accreditation per month continues, one would conclude that there will be no Hague-accredited agencies left in 13 years. However, a recent survey of all Hague agencies shows a much bleaker future. Given the stifling regulation and more than tripling of accreditation fees, one-half of the Hague- accredited agencies have indicated that they plan not to seek accreditation at all with IAAME. This means they will either stop providing international adoption services, or yjey will merge with another agency that does. 
Accreditation Budget Increases by 1700%
The budget for COA, our previous accrediting entity, was about $170,000 per year. With new government regulation, the budget for IAAME, the new accrediting entity, will be $3.5 Million dollars.  Obviously, all of this cost will be passed on to adoptive families, representing about $1000 per family.  
Why is this happening?
For a simple answer to why inter-country adoption is on the decline read this blog post.
What Do We Want? 
Although there are many things the Department of State could do to increase adoptions, here are 4 simple requests which have been denied:
  1. Set a goal for the number of adoptions to increase. Goals matter. The Office of Children’s issues celebrates the number of adoption agencies closed down. This seems to be their goal and the accomplishment they advertise. Adoptions have declined from 24.000 annually to 5,000 annually. Would OCI like to see 4000 next year, or 6000 next year? We have no idea, but can only presume they want a decrease.
  2. End the US DOS self-imposed moratorium on adoptions from Guatemala, Cambodia, and Nepal. These counties want the US to participate in adoption, but the US won’t allow it.
  3. Abandon the concept of Country specific authorization in the September, 2016 proposed regulations
  4. Abandon the foster-style training requirement proposed in the September, 2016 regulations.
See more about these efforts at www.saveadoptions.org
Please take action to help save inter-country adoption.
Sincerely,
Robin E. Sizemore
Executive Director
Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Your Department of State Will Now Take A Non-refundable $500 Fee Per Child. You’re Okay With That, Right?

Dear international adoption families, are you aware the Dept. of State is now requiring an additional $500 fee for every adopted child at the time of application, starting Feb. 15? (non-refundable).