A Message From Hopscotch Adoptions Executive Director

79feb35c-6472-4ed1-8bfc-b342758996e8Department of State’s Notice Regarding New Intercountry Adoption Fees

As of February 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of State notified adoption service providers about substantial mandated fee increases associated with obtaining and maintaining accreditation by the federal government, which is required to provide intercountry adoption services. In addition to the increased fee for adoption service providers, adoptive families will also see an extra cost, potentially deterring loving families from welcoming vulnerable children into their homes.

Hopscotch’s primary commitment is, and always will be, to the safety and well-being of children here in the United States and around the world. Thus we are committed to complying fully with the Hague Convention and ensuring that adoption practices protect the rights of children and both birth and adoptive families.

However, the non-refundable $500 fee increase (per child), due at the time of submission of service and fee agreement, amplifies our concern for the negative impact on vulnerable children in wait for a permanent family and the prospective adoptive families who will be unable to step forward to meet the needs of those children.

IAAME, the new accrediting entity, will begin collecting the Department of State’s mandated fees on new applicants for intercountry adoption as of February 15, 2018. We encourage those who have interest to contact your local representative to advocate for a better solution for waiting children around the world.

For more information about how you can help, click here.

With encouragement,

Robin E. Sizemore, Executive Director
Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc
Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Morocco, Serbia and Ukraine
Pre & Post-Adoption Services available to NY and NC residents
Ph: 336.899.0068
www.hopscotchadoptions.org

Advertisements

Harder to bring them home: Advocates worried over barriers to international adoption

djr-2018-02-11-news-international-adoptionp1
Mitchell and Dustin Shoumaker adopted siblings Gabe, 8, Maisy, 5, Evangeline, 3, and Olivia, 7 from Poland. The Tupelo couple and other advocates are concerned changes in international adoption could make it harder for others to open their hearts and homes.

When Mitchell and Dustin Shoumaker adopted siblings Gabe, Olivia and Maisy from Poland in December 2015, they knew they had unfinished business.

The Tupelo couple found out their three children had an infant sibling the night before they went to court in Poland, but little Evangeline wasn’t yet available for adoption. It took longer to adopt one child than three, even though Polish law favors keeping sibling groups together.

“Our first experience took nine months,” Mitchell Shoumaker said. “The second time, it took a year and a half.”

Some of the delay was specific to issues in Poland, but the Tupelo couple was also impacted by changes in the way intercountry adoptions are handled in the United States.

“It just took longer in America and Poland,” Mitchell Shoumaker said.

The Shoumakers consider themselves lucky. Evangeline was transferred to the same loving foster family that took care of her older siblings, and the Shoumakers were able to remain in contact with them during the process. They were able to bring the 3-year-old home to Tupelo this summer, and she is doing well.

“We are beyond thankful for that family because they loved our children so well,” Dustin Shoumaker said.

Continue reading.

Take Action Today to Save International Adoption

Save Adoption and Keep Adoption Affordable!

Greetings!

It’s time for the adoption community to wake up and take action about the decline of inter-country adoption.

If the trend continues, inter-country adoptions will reach Zero in 4 years.

The new accrediting entity, IAAME, set their budget based on a decline of 20% from the previous year. Adoptions have declined by at least 1,000 cases every year since 2004. In 2016, there were only 5,200 adoptions. If the 1,000 per-year decline trend continues, inter-country adoptions will reach zero in just 4 years.

Take Action to Voice Your Concern

The National Council for Adoption is asking you to call your Senators and Congressmen to voice concern about the changes in inter-country adoption. Click here for more information about the Feb 7-8 call-in day to congress, the small business administration, and the media.

$500 Monitoring Fee Per Adopted Child

With new Dept of State regulations, families can expect to pay $500 extra per child they expect to adopt. This is a mandatory oversight fee that takes effect Feb 15, 2018. Adoption agency clients should expect fee schedules to change soon and reflect these new charges.

Read more here.

Survey of Agencies Shows Bleak Future

In 2006 there were 255 Hague-accredited agencies. In 2017, there were only 167. On average, one adoption agency per month goes out of business, or loses or forfeits its accreditation. If the trend of 1 agency losing or leaving behind its accreditation per month continues, one would conclude that there will be no Hague-accredited agencies left in 13 years. However, a recent survey of all Hague agencies shows a much bleaker future. Given the stifling regulation and more than tripling of accreditation fees, one-half of the Hague- accredited agencies have indicated that they plan not to seek accreditation at all with IAAME. This means they will either stop providing international adoption services, or yjey will merge with another agency that does. 

Accreditation Budget Increases by 1700%

The budget for COA, our previous accrediting entity, was about $170,000 per year. With new government regulation, the budget for IAAME, the new accrediting entity, will be $3.5 Million dollars.  Obviously, all of this cost will be passed on to adoptive families, representing about $1000 per family.  

Why is this happening?

For a simple answer to why inter-country adoption is on the decline read this blog post.

What Do We Want? 

Although there are many things the Department of State could do to increase adoptions, here are 4 simple requests which have been denied:

  1. Set a goal for the number of adoptions to increase. Goals matter. The Office of Children’s issues celebrates the number of adoption agencies closed down. This seems to be their goal and the accomplishment they advertise. Adoptions have declined from 24.000 annually to 5,000 annually. Would OCI like to see 4000 next year, or 6000 next year? We have no idea, but can only presume they want a decrease.
  2. End the US DOS self-imposed moratorium on adoptions from Guatemala, Cambodia, and Nepal. These counties want the US to participate in adoption, but the US won’t allow it.
  3. Abandon the concept of Country specific authorization in the September, 2016 proposed regulations
  4. Abandon the foster-style training requirement proposed in the September, 2016 regulations.

See more about these efforts at www.saveadoptions.org

Please take action to help save inter-country adoption.

Sincerely,

Robin E. Sizemore
Executive Director
Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc.

Your Department of State Will Now Take A Non-refundable $500 Fee Per Child. You’re Okay With That, Right?

Dear international adoption families, are you aware the Dept. of State is now requiring an additional $500 fee for every adopted child at the time of application, starting Feb. 15? (non-refundable).

Click here to learn more.

SaveAdoptions.org

IMG_0464

…And today nothing has change aside from more and more countries are buying into this tragic and misguided child welfare practice, and our own Department of State stands by without refuting their efforts or championing the rights of orphaned children to permanent families. 

In the early 90’s the First Lady of Georgia, Nanuli Shevardnadze, shocked the world with her claim that “It is better for a Georgian child to die in Georgia, than to leave Georgia and grow up in another country through Adoption!” 

If you believe children can keep their cultural identity-pride and be raised in a safe and loving family elsewhere, that our Department of State should do everything possible to keep Adoptions affordable and accessible to all American Families, that our Department of State should be promoting intercountry Adoption as a viable option OVER permanent foster care,and want to learn more about what’s happening to end your right to adopt a child through intercountry Adoption, visit:

www.saveadoptions.org

Tag yourself and share if you agree!

What About Your Adopted Child’s Dual Citizenship?

Click here to view “Multiple Citizenship in Adoption: An Introduction” (PDF)

Tatev America Bivens 2017 1

International Conference Explores Armenia’s Goal to Close Institutions

da52de8db0fcc8c

Several years ago, the Armenian government began a process of deinstitutionalization, which involved substantially reducing the number of publically-run orphanages, residential schools, and night boarding facilities in favor of placing children in home-based care (with a biological relative or in a foster or adoptive placement). In April 2016, the Human Rights Watch reported that there were nearly 3,700 Armenian children living in residential institutions, and 90% of these children had at least one living parent. Many children were placed in public care because they had a disability and needed extra medical and educational assistance. These children’s special needs made it harder for the Armenian government to reunify them with their biological families or adoptive families, due to the fact that homes and communities struggle to provide the resources and support services these children need.

Continue reading>

Southwest Airlines Celebrates Adoption!

Click here to see the video>

5f34dc0fc6ff8b6830566ade2992029e

International Adoption Clinic – LIVE Seminar Registration – March 3rd

Download PDF Flyer>

FLYER - IAC Adoption Boot Camp

Ethiopia’s Parliament votes to end intercountry adoption: Listen to NCFA’s Ryan Hanlon of BBC

image007

Ethiopia’s parliament has passed legislation banning intercountry adoption.

NCFA’s Ryan Hanlon joined BBC World Service Radio to discuss how this decision places unparented children at risk. NCFA believes that a global child welfare continuum should prioritize reunification, kinship adoption/guardianship, and in-country domestic adoption options, all before intercountry adoption is considered. Unfortunately, Ethiopia’s reunification and kinship placement efforts are limited, and there are not enough Ethiopian adoptive homes available to meet the needs of thousands of unparented children. This ban will leave them to languish in long-term institutional care or life on the streets, and many with special needs face death.

Since 1999, more than 15,000 Ethiopian children have been adopted by American families. Adoption has given them a chance to thrive, despite unfathomable trauma and loss at a young age. In recent years, the global community has taken great strides to improve the safety and transparency of intercountry adoption, and diplomacy and dialogue is leading to stronger safeguards against corruption, exploitation, and abuse. We know this to be true; we’re part of that diplomacy in action. Every year NCFA meets with international child welfare leaders who are vigilantly and passionately committed to the children in their nations who need safe, loving homes. Children deserve families, and Ethiopia’s children deserve better. We will continue to advocate on their behalf. You can join us. Start by listening to our interview with BBC Radio here.

%d bloggers like this: