Bipartisan Senators Introduce Law to Improve Intercountry Adoption Information Reporting

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U.S. Senators

Richard Burr, Roy Blunt, Ben Cardin, Roger Wicker, Sherrod Brown

North Carolina, Missouri, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio

Bipartisan Senators Introduce Law to Improve Intercountry Adoption Information Reporting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday, June 28, 2018

CONTACT:

Caitlin Carroll (Burr) 202-228-1616
Katie Boyd (Blunt) 202-224-1403
Sean Bartlett (Cardin) 202-224-0779
Rick VanMeter (Wicker) 202-224-6253
Jenny Donohue/Rachael Hartford (Brown) 202-224-3978

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) today introduced the Intercountry Adoption Information Act of 2018 which would help remove information barriers Americans frequently face while seeking to adopt children from other countries. The bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

“American families trying to adopt a child from abroad should have robust and relevant information needed to navigate the adoption landscape,” said Senator Burr in a statement. “This bill will help remove some of the frequent informational challenges families face when trying to learn the status of intercountry adoption policies. It will also shine a light on unnecessary and detrimental barriers some countries have put up to thwart adoptions, and require the State Department to provide information on what they are doing to address those barriers. I hope the Senate will work to pass this commonsense legislation as soon as possible.”

“It’s disappointing that certain countries have enacted restrictive adoption policies that deny children the opportunity to grow up in a safe, loving home,” said Senator Blunt. “By providing parents with information on the status of adoption policies, they’ll have an important resource to help them navigate the complicated process of intercountry adoption. In addition, the information required will aid our ability in Congress to support diplomatic efforts and help assist families.  I urge my colleagues to support this bill and, as co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I’ll continue working to promote policies that make it easier for families to open their homes to a child in need.”

“Over the years I have heard from numerous Maryland families and adoption groups who rightly complain that the lack or quality of access to information on foreign adoptions adds confusion and frustration to what should be a deeply personal and meaningful process,” Senator Cardin said. “We should be making it easier, not more difficult, for Americans to receive all the necessary information to make a real difference in a child’s life and enrich their families in the process. I’m proud to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation.”

“Families adopting children from abroad display the generosity, compassion, and heart of the American people,” Senator Wicker said. “I am proud to join my Senate colleagues on this meaningful legislation, which would make it easier for these families to navigate the international adoption process and welcome children in need into a forever home.”

“We need to make sure Ohioans have access to all the information they need to build their families and provide loving, stable homes for children,” Senator Brown said. “I urge my colleagues in Congress to support this legislation to help people navigate this complicated process.”

Background:

Currently, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA), requires the U.S. State Department to provide an annual report on intercountry adoptions, delivered to the House Committees on International Relations, Ways and Means and Judiciary, as well as the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance and Judiciary. A copy is also made publicly available online.

The report includes information on topics such as the number of intercountry adoptions involving immigration to the United States and the country from which each child immigrates, the time required for completion of an adoption and information on adoption agencies. The Intercountry Adoption Information Act would amend the IAA to require the State Department provide additional information on:

  • All countries that have enacted policies to prevent or prohibit adoptions to the United States;
  • Actions the State Department has taken which have prevented adoptions to the United States;
  • How the State Department has worked to encourage the resuming of adoption in both cases.

This information is critical for American families looking to adopt from countries that have established barriers to adoption, such as Russia or Ethiopia, or areas where the State Department has suspended intercountry adoption, as of abandoned children in Nepal.

Text of the bill can be found here.

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Armenian Festival 2018

Click to view the video below.

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36 Hours in Tbilisi

Gourmands, partyers and aficionados of art and architecture (and shopping) will find no end of riches in the East-meets-West capital of Georgia.

By Debra Kamin

Source: nytimes.com


A view of old Tbilisi. Credit: Irakli Shavgulidze for The New York Times

With chaotic yet charming cobblestone streets, dome-shaped bathhouses steaming with sulfuric waters, and crumbling Soviet factories repurposed as hipster hotels, Tbilisi is a study in contrasts. Capital of Georgia and the heart of the Caucasus, the city teems with riches: cathedrals that rise in the hills like layer cakes; hidden cafes bursting with bric-a-brac, and a bohemian art scene that is slowly peeling away the Soviet grit from this survivalist town to reveal a vibrant creative core. Conquered and reconquered for centuries, Tbilisi now wears its battle scars with pride. From its medieval fortress walls to its buzzing new luxury boutiques, this East-meets-West city offers something for everyone.

Continue reading.

Armenia: Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown

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If you haven’t seen this episode yet, it’s not only fabulous because, well…. it’s Armenia!  It’s also extra fabulous because towards the end, during the last meal, you’ll recognize a special Hopscotch friend. How cool is that?!?!?!

Click here to watch.

Along These Shifting Borders, Life is Full of Unease and Adversity

Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com

By Alexandra Genova

Photographs by Daro Sulakauri

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Fear, thick and unyielding, is a constant for many Georgians living along the shifting borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russian-supported separatist territories that were once governed by Georgia—and officially still are according to the United States and the majority of the international community. Could this be the day they wake up and find that—overnight, without warning—their home now sits on foreign soil and their money is worthless?

The regions declared their independence in the 1990s and have been under dispute for decades. During the Russo-Georgian War in 2008, Russian forces invaded the territories and have continued to move their administrative borders farther and farther into Georgia. Though the borders are not currently recognized by much of the world, they have real and serious effects on the people living in the area. Their frequent, sometimes daily, changes cause chaos for community members who find themselves, their schools, and their places of business unexpectedly under occupation.

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International Adoption Clinic at Children’s of Alabama: Full Day Seminar on September 22nd

IAC Seminar - 9.22From the International Adoption Clinic at Children’s of Alabama: 

“Hello!

Hope this email finds you well. We thank you so much for your support of the International Adoption Clinic and our role to come alongside the families that you work with for added support, encouragement, and education during and after their adoption process.

We wanted to send you information regarding the next International Adoption Clinic’s educational seminar for parents and professionals: Adoption Boot Camp. We will be hosting a seminar option for both international and domestic adoptive families, geared towards the medical, developmental, and emotional awareness of the children families are bringing home.   

The date of the seminar will be September 22nd from 8:30am to 5:00pm and be held at Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

This will be a very informative seminar for any family in the international adoption process or newly home from an adoption. The goal of our seminar is to provide families a foundation to understand medical, developmental, and emotional/behavioral issues that they will face and how to best prepare and respond to their children.

Please forward this flyer to any family going through the international or domestic adoption process OR families already home with their child who you feel would take great benefit from these topics.

The seminar is also opened to professionals within the field of adoption who would like further education on these topics. CEUs will also be available for social workers. If you are a professional seeking to attend, let us know as this will be a different fee schedule.

Please let me know any questions you might have!

Thank you,
IAC Team”

Download Flyer (PDF)

International Adoption MUST Be Rescued.

Source: http://dailycaller.com

By Jennifer Shaw

courtesy-of-Jennifer-Shaw

International adoption has been declining at an alarming rate. Nearly 23,000 international children were adopted by U.S. families in 2004, but in 2016 less than 4,000 children were adopted, a drop of 80 percent. If this trend continues, international adoption will cease to exist by 2022. The United Nations estimates that 15 million children have lost both parents. Thousands upon thousands of children are waiting in institutions for families they can call their own. Here are five reasons I think international adoption needs rescuing:

Adoption saves lives

This may seem to go without saying, but I find that many people who have not looked into international adoption do not understand that for many vulnerable children, adoption to another country is their only chance to have a family. And in many cases, where medical care is poor or unavailable, it is their only chance to live. Our son, Noah, had been waiting with his paperwork completed for over five years. With his critical heart condition, no one had stepped forward, and even if a family in his birth country had been open to adopting him, the medical care he needed was not available there. He would have died without international adoption. Since joining our family at age 9, he has had life-saving surgery, a complete change in his quality of life physically, and the security and love of a permanent family. While I personally believe that children should stay with their birth families or be adopted within their birth culture if possible, the fact remains that there are a significant number of children for whom this is just not feasible. These children need international adoption, and we need to put the welfare of vulnerable children at the top of our priority list as a nation.

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Armenian Children’s Day on Sunday, June 24th!

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We hope your family will join us in welcoming Mr. Albert Virabyan from the Ministry of Justice along with our beloved partner Rose Lavchyan on Sunday, June 24th here in High Point, NC.

The time and place will be announced soon.

****Be sure to add your name to this post if your family may be able to attend. We are so excited for both Mr Virabyan and Rose to be here and to see all of your children!!

The Best Street Style From Tbilisi Fashion Week Fall ’18

It’s always Fashion Week somewhere. The Resort 2019 season may have officially started in Paris with today’s Chanel show, but in Tbilisi, editors are still seeing the last of the Fall 2018 collections. The schedule ranges from It-girl favorite Situationist to up-and-comers like Tamra, Atelier Kikala, and Aznauri. Style du Monde street style photographer Acielle is on the ground covering the best looks. The job is no doubt a little more pleasant now that it’s actually warm: Editors, buyers, and models are embracing the sunshine in minidresses, lightweight suits, and even a Balenciaga car mat skirt (lest you forget, Demna Gvasalia hails from Tbilisi).

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4th NC Annual Youth Adoption Conference Registration is Now Open!

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Registration is now open for the 4th Annual Youth Adoption Conference sponsored by (NC) Mecklenburg County Youth and Family Services Division. This conference is only for FOSTER CARE YOUTH ages 10-18 who have any goal other than reunification. Only adults who are bringing youth to the conference are allowed to register. The conference will be held on Wednesday June 20, 2018 from 9:45AM to 3:30PM at (NC) Central Piedmont Community College-Harris Campus. Register your youth today because slots are limited!

You can register using the following link:

Youth Adoption Conference

If you have any questions, contact us at dssadoption-events@mecklenburgcountync.gov.  

Kind Regards,
Mecklenburg County Youth Adoption Conference Committee

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