Help Us Ask for Change


Dear Families and Friends of Adoption:

The National Council For Adoption has a blog to help families and friends through adoption understand the ramifications of the new Proposed Intercountry Adoption Regulations.  If you find it helpful and you want to encourage others to join us in giving voice to orphaned children around the world, please share this on your own social media. 

With encouragement,

*A very special thanks to our friend Nicole Skellenger, of MLJ Adoptions, who significantly supported the drafting process on this blog post!


What’s Happening?

Recently, the Department of State (DOS) proposed new regulations that may significantly impact international adoption. Since 2004, international adoption has declined dramatically (by almost 75%). If the regulations pass, they have the potential to drastically change and further decrease the number of international adoptions, cause some adoption agencies to close leaving families with less options, and potentially lengthen the processing time of adoptions that do take place.

While NCFA supports some of the themes these proposed regulations set out to address, like improved education and high ethical standards, the impact of the proposed rules is worrisome to adoptive families and adoption professionals. Yet, we have an opportunity to ask for change! These rules are proposed and are not yet binding. Everyone may provide comments between now and November 7th to provide feedback on any concerns you may see.

Learn more.

It’s Not Scary. It’s Beautiful.

Click here to see video.


Somewhere a Child is Waiting for You…

FB Waiting Child girl on swing happy child face summer 2016

How to Obtain a Social Security Card for Your Adopted Child

How to get a Social Security card and prove U.S. citizenship for a foreign-born adopted child

Social%20Security%20Card Parents of adopted children born outside the United States need Social Security numbers for their children. The law recently changed and these children "automatically" become U.S. citizens. But here’s the problem. The child does not have any proof of U.S. citizenship and Social Security requires proof of U.S. citizenship for the child. You only have immigration documents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). What do you do now?

Bring us the documents issued by DHS when the child arrived in the United States. We’ll assign a Social Security number, but the record will not show the child is a U.S. citizen. Later, when you get your child’s U.S. citizenship document, bring it to us and we’ll update your child’s record to show his or her U.S. citizenship. If your child already has a Social Security number, the number does not change when we update the record.

You can use your child’s birth certificate to prove his or her age, but you still need an identity document for the child. Social Security must always see the original document or a copy that is certified by the agency that issued the original document. Documents you can use when you apply for a card for an infant or young child include:

  • The adoption record
  • A United States DHS immigration document
  • Doctor, clinic or hospital records
  • Daycare center or school records
  • Religious record (e.g., baptismal record)

In addition, when you apply for a card for a child, we must also see proof of your identity and that you are the proper applicant.

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000, effective February 27, 2001 grants an adopted child, immigrating to the United States, "automatic" citizenship. The parent may apply for proof that the child is a U.S. citizen. If you want the Social Security record to show that your child is a U.S. citizen, apply for a Certificate of Citizenship from DHS or a U.S. passport from the Department of State for your child. We can use either document as proof of your child’s U.S. citizenship.

If you want to complete the application for a Social Security number before you visit a local office, go to Application for a Social Security Card.

Megan Has Left The Building! It’s Been A Great 6 Years.

Megan%20Gardinier%20bye%20edits%202016 On behalf Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc., we would like to express our immense appreciation to Megan Gardinier, for her service, leadership and contributions in furthering our mission in serving vulnerable children, from around the world.  Megan’s dedication and commitment to the staff, Board of Directors, families and children has been remarkable and remains invaluable.

Not only have we enjoyed six wonderful years with Megan, ‘holding down the fort’, we know our families have appreciated her and will miss her too.  Thank you to the many that have taken time to express kind words to her this week – this meant the world to her and us too! 

Many of you already know Sherry McGregor.  So, fear not, Sherry has taken over Megan’s big shoes and we know you’ll love working with her too. 

Good luck Megan!!! Team Hopscotch.

P.S. If you are wondering where Megan ran away too….. she is pursuing her dream as a hair stylist.  If you’re in town and need a trim or blow-out, you can visit her at Ego Hour. A fabulous salon and they are lucky to have her!

Heart of the Matters Website and Courses are Updated and Refreshed

October 2016

Course Spotlight: Because They Waited



  • Quality: 10 hours of Hague compatible education

  • Refreshed:  Renewed with updated resources

  • Convenient: Mobile access

The Because They Waited™ education system is online with modules covering topics pertinent to individuals adopting a baby or an older child, internationally or through foster care.  Modules present "The Science" in a user friendly format, followed by "The Parenting" which offers concrete parenting tools.   "Wrap Up and Resources" as well as study materials are also provided for each topic.
Topics covered include:
Promoting healthy brain development
Sensory processing and sensory integration
Parenting to a child’s "real age" vs. chronological age
Understanding the internal alarm
Building attachment
Race and Culture
Contact us at for a copy of the table of contents for Because They Waited.
More quality adoption education


Heart of the Matter Education  816 246-1100

Adoption Alert: Ghana accedes to the 1993 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption – September 29, 2016

Finally!!!  Let’s hope for a smooth transition.  More and more children are waiting for families as the days go by.    


On September 16, 2016 Ghana deposited its instrument of accession to the Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption Convention (Hague Adoption Convention) with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  The Convention will enter into force for Ghana on January 1, 2016.  We will post additional information as soon as it is available.

The Challenges of International Adoption: What Happens When Adoptees Can’t Adapt

An interesting article (insert puzzled look).  The storyline is oddly ‘late to the party’…. I do not know of any family that would withhold a child’s story, identity, history or culture.  The story’s content reads as if this was written in the 1950-1970’s, certainly not present day.  Adoption is celebrated, never hidden.  



1475093012-092916Reuters Bringing a child home is a life changing event, but when that child has crossed borders to come into a family’s life the challenges of upbringing may sometimes be insurmountable.

From the end of World War II until 2004, the number of international adoptions by Americans rose steadily, and in 2004 almost 23,000 children were adopted from overseas. Children arrived from China, Russia, Guatemala, South Korea, Ukraine, Colombia and Ethiopia. Over the past decade there has been a rapid decline in many of the receiving countries.

This may be due, in part, to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The treaty imposes mandatory waiting periods, residency requirements for adoptive parents and a preference for domestic adoption.

Continue reading.

SAVE ADOPTIONS: Take Action Today!!! – please share this with every family member and friend possible.


Take Action Today!

Adoption advocacy is critical in helping uplift children and bring families together.

Recently, the Department of State issued a series of proposed changes to regulations for intercountry adoptions which will have profound negative impact on your ability to bring a child home and far worse, a child’s right to a permanent and loving family.

The public comment period ends on November 7. The proposal states that implementation would begin immediately.

Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc. and members of the National Council for Adoption have carefully reviewed the proposed regulations and conducted an independent cost analysis to determine the real impact on adoptive parents. The proposed changes will further negatively impact waiting children-often medically fragile children-who need to be brought home sooner, not later. 

If you have already adopted a child, would your child have benefited from coming home sooner? Absolutely!

If you have not yet brought your child home, do you feel an additional extended wait is in the child’s best interest? Absolutely not!

The authors of the proposed regulations failed to consider the tremendous financial burden which will be passed on to families like yours.  Adoption is financially beyond the reach of many families today.  Additional costs will tragically result in fewer families being able to adopt children, leaving more waiting children without hope. The regulations will require a significant increase in expense for agencies to remain operational and compliant.

Hopscotch and other concerned agencies are formulating a reply to these changes during the public comment period, but your voice and support matter now too.

You can read the proposed rules in their entirety on the Federal Register.

More importantly, we thank you for taking action by Signing the Petition or Adding a Comment. Your voice matters. Collectively, we can stand up for every child’s right to grow up in a loving family. We can be each waiting child’s voice.

Please contact us with any questions.

Sign the Petition

(This link directs to, a collaborative website supported by adoption advocates which has been established to share a petition against the proposed rules. The goal is to obtain 100,000 signatures during the public comment period)

Add a Comment

(This link directs to the proposed rules on www.federalregister.govwhere there is a large Green button to Submit a Comment. These are the formal comments which will be reviewed by the Department of State)

Highlights of the Proposed Rules

The Department of State (DOS) proposes…

To require a second level of accreditation, called Country-Specific Authorization (CSA).

The DOS intends to determine which countries would be subjected to CSA and block agencies access to country programs.

To set the compensation for in-country representatives.

The service providers and partners we work with are attorneys, social workers, and other professionals who have their own businesses, nonprofits, etc. and have the right to fair compensation for their country, region, and amount of work contributed to adoption cases.

To require families adopting internationally to go through state foster care training.

While the MAPP system is preferred for foster care training, it does not address the many specific educational requirements for parents adopting a child internationally. Feedback from local government agencies suggests that adding an influx of adoptive parents into the already limited MAPPs training sessions would create backups and leave both domestic and international children in care for longer than necessary.

Costs of the Proposed Rules

Country-Specific Authorization (CSA) application, per country program = $1,500

Hopscotch operates 9 country programs as primary provider. Total cost, if each country were subjected to CSA = $13,500

Materials and training so home study preparers could offer assistance with MAPPs training for those families not able to take county-offered sessions = $4199

The adoption community believes these proposed changes will limit adoptions, leaving more children without a forever family.

Thank you for taking action today!

All American Boy in the Big Apple!

So proud to be a US citizen and honor his Armenian heritage.


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