Urgent Call to Action for Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016

Download Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016 (PDF)

Dear Board Members and Concerned  Families:

If you believe The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption has failed to live up to its potential, leaving millions upon millions of children in need of a permanent family globally, this legislation will better serve the desperate needs of this population of children and change the catastrophic trajectory of intercountry adoption.  Below is a simple statement you can simply copy and paste into your senator’s contact email.  You can find your senator’s contact web link and phone information here.

“Dear Senator ______,

This week, Senators Roy Blunt and Amy Klobuchar plan to introduce the Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016, which is a significantly re-tooled and simpler version of two former pieces of legislation: Families For Orphans Act and the Children in Families First Act. Senators Blunt and Klobuchar have circulated the legislation to their colleagues in the Senate and are seeking additional co-sponsors before they introduce it THIS week; hence the urgency of the matter. Passage of the Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016 has the potential to change the current concerning trajectory of intercountry adoption in the US. The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption has failed to live up to its potential. Millions upon millions of children are in need of a family globally, and this legislation will to better serve the desperate needs of this population of children.

As an international adoption professional, and more importantly, a mother through international adoption, it is important to me that our Senators care about orphans and support them through legislation that will pave the way for permanency through adoption to be a viable option for American families. I am asking for your immediate and urgent help.  Senators Blunt and Klobuchar have circulated the legislation to their colleagues in the Senate and are seeking additional co-sponsors before they introduce it THIS week; hence the urgency of the matter.  Please call contact either Lauren in Blunt’s office or Lindsey in Klobuchar’s office and co-sponsor the Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016.

If you want more information on the bill contact Senators Blunt and Klobuchar’s office and hopefully we can count on you to let them know you will co-sponsor this invaluable bill that will change the lives of children and families all over this world.

Without passage of this legislation, you can expect more of the same failed approach by the US Government on Intercountry Adoption.  Respectfully, ____________”

Here is what National Council for Adoption’s Executive Director has to say about this important legislation:

For many years, NCFA has worked to bring much needed legislative reform to intercountry adoption.  Our previous support of the Families For Orphans Act and the Children in Families First Act did not result in their passage.

This week, Senators Roy Blunt and Amy Klobuchar plan to introduce the Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016 (see attachment), a significantly re-tooled and simpler version of the two former pieces of legislation, yet something very affirmative to promoting intercountry adoption among other viable permanency solutions. 

The Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016 will accomplish many important objectives:

· It will re-enforce Congress’ and the American people’s commitment to intercountry adoption when this is the appropriate option for a child to have a family.

· It re-prioritizes and affirms the U.S. Department of State’s responsibility to be better advocates for this population of vulnerable children and opens doors of opportunity for them to be adopted by qualified American citizens.

· It provides the U.S. Department of State mission-specific instructions regarding their role in advancing the cause of intercountry adoption when no other domestic solution is available for a child to have a family, including establishing priorities that seem inherent in appropriate Hague Convention implementation.

· It creates better communications between several U.S. Government offices charged with carrying out various international child welfare activities and services, among them domestic and intercountry adoption options – and creates, in our opinion, more accountability and cooperation between the U.S. Department of State, other government offices, and the U.S. Congress.

Passage of the Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016 has the potential to change the current concerning trajectory of intercountry adoption in the US. The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption has failed to live up to its potential.  Millions upon millions of children are in need of a family globally, and this legislation will to better serve the desperate needs of this population of children.  Because the legislation is nearly all affirmative and mission-specific, it only requires a reallocation of existing resources without significant costs, while at the same time giving the U.S. Department of State a new mandate to better assist orphaned and abandoned children in need of a family and the American citizens who want to open their hearts and home to these children through adoption. The very same mandate we believed was given in 2008 when the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption was implemented in the U.S.

I am asking for your immediate and urgent help.  Senators Blunt and Klobuchar have circulated the legislation to their colleagues in the Senate and are seeking additional co-sponsors before they introduce it THIS week; hence the urgency of the matter.  Please call your Senator NOW (there is not yet a version in the House that is coming soon) and ask them to contact either Lauren in Blunt’s office or Lindsey in Klobuchar’s office and co-sponsor the Vulnerable Children and Families Act of 2016.

We have spent years working to this point.  If you support intercountry adoption and want to see key reforms to how the Department of State views its mission as Central Authority and a better implementation of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, then you really need to call your Senator and secure their support.  Without passage of this legislation, then you can expect more of the same approach by the US Government on Intercountry Adoption. 

Also, the following Senators were previous supporters of CHIFF.  It would go to reason that they’d be inclined to support our new bill.  If one of these Senators is your senator, then please remind them of their previous support CHIFF:

Roy Blunt (MO) – already supporting
Richard Burr (NC) –  already supporting
Robert Casey (PA)
Thad Cochran (MS)
Christopher Coons (DE)
Kristen Gillibrand (NY)
James Inhofe (OK)
Angus King (ME)
Mark Kirk (IL)
Amy Klobuchar – already supporting
Carl Levin (MI)
Edward Markey (MA)
Claire McCaskill – (MO)
Bernard Sanders (VT)
Charles Schumer (NY)
Jeanne Shaheen (NH)– already supporting
Debbie Stabenow (MI)
John Thune (SD)
Elizabeth Warren (MA)
Roger Wicker (MS) – already supporting

Chuck Johnson
President and CEO
National Council For Adoption
225 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
T: 703.299.6633 | F: 703.299.6004

Born From Her Heart: I Love My Mommy.

Click here to see video.

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Extending Our Deepest Condolences: News of Abdul Sattar Edhi’s Passing

Source: http://tribune.com.pk

By Saadia Qamar

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A file photo of Abdul Sattar Edhi. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The founder of country’s largest welfare organisation, Abdul Sattar Edhi, died Friday at the age of 92, his son confirmed as tributes swiftly poured in for the humble man almost unanimously revered as a national hero.

“Abdul Sattar is dead,” his son and heir to his charitable empire Faisal told AFP.

“My father was suffering from severe kidney problems and both of his kidneys had failed,” he said.

Continue reading.

Okay… This is Adorable. Two New US Citizen’s Celebrating America’s Birthday!

Source: http://martiniadoptionroad.blogspot.com/

9845614a04c774ca33ad3d1f0741872aClick here to see video.

Somewhere A Child is Waiting for You!

Child.

A Big Shout Out to our NC Senator Richard Burr

A Big Shout Out to our NC Senator Richard Burr for signing the letter in support of opposing the Drastic 95% USCIS fee increase!!!!

How to Make A New Citizen? #Adopt!

What could be more patriotic than making a waiting child a new US Citizen, through the gift of adoption?  Happy Birthday America!  We love you!

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Nappies For Nork 2016 – Your Change to Make a “Change” in Armenia!

Source: http://martiniadoptionroad.blogspot.com

Nappies For Nork 2016

Last year, through the great generosity of many donors, we raised $12,000 for SOAR to purchase diapers for Nork orphanage in Yerevan.  For eleven months, thousands of diapers were delivered to the children living there, but the funds will run out after the final delivery this month.

Therefore, please join us in Nappies For Nork 2016, a collaboration of SOAR, Hopscotch Adoptions, and adoptive mom Viviane Martini whose son lived at Nork from early 2009 until summer 2011.

Learn more.

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ACT NOW! Ask Your members of Congress to Sign Letter Opposing Drastic USCIS Fee increases for Adoption

REMINDER!

Please call now!

Congressional staff need time to alert the Members of Congress and communicate their interest to the leading offices by noon tomorrow. If you haven’t reached out yet, please pause for a few minutes and do it right now.

I also want to encourage you, if at all possible, to pick up the phone and call first (instead of just emailing or using an online form). We know that reaction time and processing time is slower and level of concern is slower to email and online forms. Congressional staff also report that concern seems higher when people actually make the call. Make the call! Congressional staff are friendly and helpful – you just may make new friends in your Senators’ and Representative’s offices!

Please see tips below on all you need to know!

NCFA Members,

Ask your Members of Congress to sign this letter regarding USCIS’s proposed adoption fee increases. The deadline to sign this letter is noon on this Thursday, June 30th. We’ll have to ask fast!

We encourage you to take 15 minutes to call the DC office of both of your Senators and your Representative. (Find them here.)

Here are some basic suggestions for that call:

1. Ask to speak to the person who handles international adoption issues

2. Ask them to ask their boss to sign the letter increasing USCIS fees for adoptive families

3. Tell them to contact the offices of Senator Blunt, Senator Klobuchar or Representative Franks by noon on Thursday, June 30th to sign the letter.

4. Ask for the staffer’s email to forward them a copy of the letter and explain how to sign on. (Check out the sample email below!)

5. Don’t forget to send that followup email! Polite persistence helps get the job done!

You can send something like the below email to finalize your request:

Dear NAME OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION STAFFER,

Thanks for taking my call today! I hope Representative/Senator XYZ will support this letter to prevent burdensome USCIS fee cost increases from impacting adoptive families. 

Join Senators Blunt and Klobuchar, Representative Franks and others in this important effort to support adoptive families.

Please contact Lauren_McCormack@blunt.senate.gov, Shannon_Dorsey@Klobuchar.Senate.gov, or Chelsea.patterson@mail.house.gov by noon on this Thursday, June 30th to sign on to this important letter.

Thanks for supporting adoption!

Megan Lestino
Director of Public Policy & Education
National Council For Adoption

New Webcast: Adoption & Identity

Thursday, July 28 | 8 PM Central | Adoption & Identity

REGISTER NOW

As a child grows, their understanding of adoption becomes more nuanced and complex. Unresolved (and often unasked) questions surrounding birth family, the decision to place them for adoption, or how much of who they are is related to their DNA vs. their upbringing often weighs more heavily on them. These feelings and questions may be difficult to wrestle with, and are essential to identity formation.

Join us as Michelle Madrid-Branch, an internationally placed adopted person, author and renowned speaker on the topic of adoption, shares her personal journey to self. Her insights are sharp and candid as she relays coming to terms with various aspects of her story and piecing together for herself the things that mattered going forward.

Building from Michelle’s story, Carmen Knight, an experienced adoption therapist and transracially placed adopted person herself, will expand upon the lessons from Michelle’s story and thereby help all parents learn how to:

  • Identify opportunities to help your child process various pieces of their story
  • Empathize with their conflicting feelings of loss and stay part of the conversation
  • Recognize how common life events can serve as emotional triggers for adopted people

Click here to learn more and register

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