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.

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

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, 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!
Special Needs Spotlight: Heart Defects
How many children with a heart defect are waiting for a family on RainbowKids?
ALL of those children will not be able to receive advocacy, including being featured here and on, 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.