TOUGH LOVE chronicles the lives of two parents, Hannah from New York City and Patrick from Seattle, who have been separated from their children by the state. Through vérité-style footage and exclusive access inside the child welfare courts, TOUGH LOVE captures an intimate, firsthand account of these parents’ triumphs and struggles as they confront their past mistakes and attempt to prove to the system that they deserve a second chance to be parents. Throughout the film we will also hear from the foster parents who take care of these children, the judges who oversee these cases and the child welfare experts who have a clear understanding of how this complex system works.
2013 National Adoption Conference and Prospective Adoptive Parents Day
2013 National Adoption Conference and Prospective Adoptive Parents Day
Professional Conference – Leading Change from Within: Aspire. Plan. Create.
Thursday – Friday, June 13-14
Join leaders in the field of adoption and learn what is happening at the forefront of adoption policy and practice, and how to play an active role in improving and safe-guarding adoption to better serve your clients. View the agenda here >> and Register here >>
Prospective Adoptive Parents Day – Explore. Learn. Adopt.
Saturday, June 15, 9:00am – 4:30pm
This exciting day is for those interested in learning more about adoption. Whether you’re exploring your options, pursuing adoptions, or in the midst of the adoption process, this day is for you. With sessions ranging from Agency Selection and Understanding the Screening Process to Wait Gain: Getting the Most from your Pre-adoptive Wait, you’ll leave with a sense of understanding and encouragement about your adoption.
Registration includes entry into all sessions, supplies, and lunch. Reservations are non-refundable.
Featuring Secretary David Wilkins, Tanya Wilkins, and Lucas Daniel Boyce!
Hotel & Accommodations
Buena Vista Palace
On the edge of Downtown Disney World
Room rate is $109/night plus tax*
Click here to make your hotel reservations >>
Last Thursday Senators Bob Casey and Mary Landrieu, and Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa introduced the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2013. These bills follow the successful effort to reinstate the adoption tax credit which Congress made permanent in late 2012. The Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2013 will expand the number of children benefiting from adoption by supporting adoptive families through full refundability.
The Adoption Tax Credit Working Group (ATCWG), of which we are a founding member, has worked to educate Members of Congress on the need to make the tax credit fully refundable. Visit the ATCWG’s website and Facebook page to learn more about refundability and the ATCWG’s efforts. The ATCWG will be developing talking points and advocacy strategies and will post more information soon to ask members of the adoption community to become fully engaged.
We extend our thanks to Senators Casey and Landrieu and Representative Braley for their leadership and work to ensure that the adoption tax credit is made refundable. We also thank the many Joint Council Partners who are members of the ATCWG and for their continued support.
P.S. Senator Landrieu’s statement on the legislation can be found below.
Dear Adoption Leader,
My husband and I are blessed with two precious, adopted children, and I know the Adoption Tax Credit encourages many others to consider expanding their own families through adoption. Although the tax credit was made permanent in January, the law did not extend the refundability provisions that applied in 2010 and 2011, allowing the full use of the tax credit.
Last week, I joined my colleagues to introduce the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act to make the Adoption Tax Credit fully refundable.
Without the tax credit being refundable, many adopting families can’t fully utilize the benefits of this credit to make adoption a reality. This change will especially help families that want to adopt foster youth, finally providing them with a permanent and loving family and ensuring foster care is only temporary.
I am committed to making the Adoption Tax Credit refundable and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue to support families who make the wonderful decision to adopt.
The Daily Review: EDITORIAL: ‘Adopt’ the Tax Credit
May 28, 2013
The reality of adoption in America and its perception in the pop culture are widely divergent. Due to the publicity attending Russia’s use of international adoptions for political purposes, and the attention that often attends adoptions by celebrities, the day-to-day issues often are obscured.
Coverage of celebrity adoptions leads many Americans to view adoption as the province of the wealthy, but according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a third of all adopted children live in households with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Among households that adopt children from foster care, 46 percent are in that income range.
For many families, then, adoption poses a huge financial challenge. To help them, Sens. Bob Casey and Mary Landrieu, and Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa, have introduced the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2013.
A tax credit to encourage adoption was included in the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which was passed in January. Because a high percentage of adoptive families have low incomes, however, their tax burden is too low to make them eligible for the adoption tax credit.
The new bill would make the credit refundable to the adoptive parents despite their low tax burden, as it was in 2010 and 2011.
According to the IRS, of filers claiming the adoption tax credit in 2011, 62 percent benefitted from the refundability provision and 25 percent of all filers claiming the credit had adjusted gross incomes lower than $50,000. Clearly, refundability is an important incentive for families to adopt children.
Making the tax credit refundable will create some cost for the federal government, but it long has been demonstrated that the cost of such credits is substantially less than the aggregate costs to the government of foster care.
Congress, especially those members who claim a pro-life position, should vote for the credit to help make adoption as affordable as possible to as many prospective adoptive families as possible.
Please contact Sen. Landrieu at the office nearest you.
May 28, 2013
On May 24, 2013, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) signed the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention). This is the first step for South Korea in becoming a Convention partner. Adoptions between the United States and South Korea, however, are not yet subject to the requirements of the Convention and relevant implementing laws and regulations. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, which will be designated as South Korea’s Central Authority, there is no set date when South Korea will deliver its instrument of ratification or when the Convention will enter into force with respect to South Korea. We will continue to keep you informed through adoption.state.gov as we receive additional updates.
Update on Intercountry Adoptions in Guatemala
Joint USCIS-State Delegation to Guatemala
May 29, 2013
During the week of May 13, 2013, Special Advisor for Children’s Issues Ambassador Susan Jacobs traveled with USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas to Guatemala for meetings with Guatemalan government officials of agencies directly involved in adoptions, including the Procuraduría General de la Nación (PGN) and the Guatemalan National Council on Adoption (CNA). They also met with members of the Supreme Court, the Ministerio Publico (MP), the Ministry of Social Welfare, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Their visit provided an important opportunity to meet recently-appointed Guatemalan officials and emphasize that the timely and transparent resolution of all the remaining pending transition adoption cases in the best interests of the children remains a top priority for the United States.
The meetings were also an opportunity to review the progress on completion of these remaining cases following recent administrative and personnel changes in the Government of Guatemala. In the last several months, the Guatemalan government has accelerated its completion of cases, and fewer than 100 pending transition adoption cases are awaiting resolution as of the date of this notice. Twenty-nine cases have moved to CNA’s Acuerdo process, and nine cases have concluded with the immigration of the adopted children to the United States with their U.S. citizen parent(s). Guatemala also completed an additional four cases under the notarial process and these children have joined their families in the United States. Some cases have concluded with the child’s reunification with a biological family member in Guatemala.
Officials at the PGN, which has the authority to complete the investigations in the pending cases, report having 52 cases in various stages of investigation. The PGN has received renewed funding for its investigators, allowing them to continue their work with a goal of completing these investigations within two months. Once it has completed an investigation, PGN will request a hearing with a Guatemalan court judge for a determination of the child’s adoptability , or reunification with biological or extended family. It is also possible, though not likely, that the judge will order the case to conclude via the notarial process. According to the Guatemalan Supreme Court, there currently are no backlogs at the courts in Guatemala City, so that legal process should proceed without delays. The cases with court decrees of adoptability will go to the CNA for evaluation of their eligibility for completion of the adoptions through the Acuerdo process.
The USCIS and Consular staff of the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City are in constant communication with the Guatemalan officials responsible for adoption procedures. U.S. Embassy staff monitor and promote Guatemalan progress in resolving the remaining cases by attending the semi-weekly meetings of the technical group where these authorities work through the cases. Prospective adoptive parents may contact USCIS directly at Guatemala.email@example.com, and the Immigrant Visa Unit of the Consular Section directly at AdoptGuatemala@state.gov, in order to inquire about the status of individual adoption cases.
The purpose of this guide is to support adoptive and foster families by strengthening the abilities of pediatricians to:
- identify traumatized children,
- educate families about toxic stress and the possible biological, behavioral, and social manifestations of early childhood trauma, and
- empower families to respond to their child’s behavior in a manner that acknowledges past trauma but promotes the learning of new, more adaptive reactions to stress.
About the Film
From 2000-2008, China was the leading country for U.S. international adoptions. There are now approximately 70,000 Chinese children being raised in the United States. Wo Ai Ni Mommy explores what happens when an older Chinese girl is adopted into an American family. This film reveals the complicated gains and losses that are an inherent aspect of international, transracial adoption.
In 2007 Donna and Jeff Sadowsky of Long Island, New York submitted their dossier to adopt eight-year old Fang Sui Yong from Guangzhou, China. From the very first moment Sui Yong meets her new mother, Donna, we get a real sense of the emotional confusion and loss Sui Yong experiences, as adoption workers translate their first words of communication. This day will change Sui Yong’s life, forever. Language, habits, food, everything she knows will never be the same. Her new life in America is filled with happiness and confusion. As she struggles to survive in this new world, we witness her transform into a lively, outspoken American. Sui Yong has become someone neither she nor Donna could have imagined. In a sense, she’s the same girl Donna met in Guangzhou all those months ago – and yet she’s utterly different.
Last week Senator Mary Landrieu chaired the Senate Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs’ unprecedented hearing on U.S. Foreign Assistance for Children in Adversity. While our participation was limited as the hearing was held the same day as our Symposium, many of our colleagues with whom we have been working on the U.S. Action Plan for Children in Adversity testified and were present for the hearing.
The hearings were live streamed and are now available as a webcast. Due to the length of the hearings we have broken down the various testimonies and questioning so that you can view all of the hearing or specific witnesses. The entire hearing is well worth watching but recognizing everyone’s time constraints we have highlighted just a few sections that we feel you would find particularly interesting and relevant.
We extend our thanks to Senators Leahy and Landrieu for convening this unprecedented hearing and for bringing the needs of children living without family care to the attention of Congress.
Senate Hearing on U.S. Foreign Assistance for Children in Adversity