Join Us This Thursday: All About The Birth Family Search

Birth Family Search | Adoption Learning Partners

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Open records, DNA testing, family tree websites, social media, Google, orphanage searches by other families, even a birth relative doing a reverse search to find information on your child; all can lead quite quickly to an unscheduled, and unprepared for, reunion.

The question is no longer IF your child will one day (sooner rather than later) be able to locate a birth relative, but when. For most domestic adoptees, it is now just a matter of time. For international adoptees, the search is becoming easier and easier.

Join Martha Osborne, adoptee, adoptive mother, and founder of RainbowKids.com, as she shares the realities of birth family search today and provides tips and tools to make informed choices, including:

  1. Talking to your pre-teen and teen about searching
  2. Gauging if your child is emotionally ready to conduct a search
  3. How to handle a birth relative reaching out directly through social media or email
  4. Identifying safety risks and how to avoid them
  5. The tools available today both for search and for obtaining a medical profile on an adoptee without allowing DNA information to be released

Click here to learn more and register >

Adoption Alert—Suspension of Adoptions from Ethiopia

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On April 21, an official from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women and Children (MOWA) informed U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa that it is suspending its processing of intercountry adoption cases, effective immediately. The U.S. Department of State does not yet know how long this suspension will last. The Office of Children’s Issues and the Embassy are working with MOWA to seek more information on the terms of the suspension. We will urge MOWA to complete processing of cases that were in progress prior to this suspension.

If you have questions about your pending case, please contact your Adoption Service Provider. You may also write to ConsAdoptionAddis@state.gov if you have questions about an adoption-related visa application or immigrant petition. You may copy the Office of Children’s Issues at Adoption@state.gov on your email to the Embassy if you wish.

Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information on intercountry adoption in Ethiopia.

New Contact Information for the National Benefit Center

Dear Adoption Community,

We would like to share the following information we received from the National Benefits Center:

Effective today, the National Benefits Center will consolidate our public email boxes into one box. We will only use NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov and have deactivated NBC.Hague@uscis.dhs.gov.

We are in the process of updating our contact information on https://www.uscis.gov/adoption/uscis-adoption-contact-information.

In the meantime, messages received to the NBC.Hague mailbox will be automatically redirected to the NBC.Adoptions mailbox through a system ‘rule’ for one year, expiring on May 1, 2018.

We would appreciate your assistance in directing your staff and our customers to NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov going forward. Our contact telephone number remains the same (877-424-8374).

Sincerely,

The Office of Children’s Issues
Official 
UNCLASSIFIED

New Intercountry Adoption Statistics Continue Decline: Now available

Annual Report on Intercountry Adoptions Narrative

The 2016 Annual Report on Intercountry Adoption, as required by Section 104 of the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, provides data and other information on intercountry adoptions to and from the United States from October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016. The report is released after a thorough review of the available data to ensure the information is accurate. In addition to the actual data, this review includes a summary of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, Office of Children’s Issues, Adoption Division’s efforts for the fiscal year.

Continue reading (PDF)

Save Adoptions — Phase II

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Dear families,

Less than 5 months ago, we were facing the imposition of new regulations from the Department of State which would have raised the cost of adoptions for our client families, created financial and operational obstacles for our agencies and guaranteed the continued decline in intercountry adoptions.

Eighty-eight agencies and other adoption service providers stepped up and signed an open letter to the Department of State urging that these proposed regulations be withdrawn.  In addition, almost 28,000 adoption supporters joined us and signed our Petition to the Department of State.  On April 4th, our collective voices were heard and the proposed regulations were withdrawn.

Whether you supported our efforts or not, we urge you to continue to fight the attack on intercountry adoptions.  We have tasked our SaveAdoptions.org web site to continue the fight.  For the next 4-6 weeks, we will be highlighting the travesty in Nepal.  Whether you have, or would like to adopt from Nepal, or maybe you just care about suffering children, you can’t be happy about the blanket suspension of adoptions from Nepal which has been in place for over 6 years, despite no proof of the fraudulent documentation alleged by USCIS.

First, take a look at the updated www.saveadoptions.org web site.  Second, please use your mailing lists to urge your family and friends to sign the plea to lift the Nepal suspension.  We had 27,949 signatures before updating the web site, so we will know how many adoption supporters sign on for this next phase of intercountry adoption support.  Your signature will Support the Cause of Nepalese orphans. If you have already signed the original petition, know that this is a new petition and your signature is vital. 

Thank you for considering this important issue and getting involved.  (Share, re-tweet, or send an email)

Adoption Notice – Poland Restructure of International Adoption Process

unnamedDear Adoption Community,

Adoption Notice: Poland – Restructure of international adoption process on March 6, 2017

“The Government of Poland is revising its policies on intercountry adoptions under the Hague Adoption Convention. Poland has indicated its intent to prioritize domestic adoptions, except in the case of intercountry adoptions of siblings related to children already adopted through intercountry adoption, intrafamily adoptions, and adoptions by Polish citizens living abroad. It is unclear how these intended changes will impact intercountry adoptions from Poland sought by U.S. citizen families that are already in process, but in cases in which referrals have not yet been received, parents may see extended delays. The actual impact and form of these changes is still to be determined, and we will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.”

Your Foreign Born Child: What You MUST Know

Hosting Yu YuYour Foreign Born Child:
A Checklist of All Documentation Needed

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Russian Orphans May Become Political Pawns

Adoption Notice Regarding Impact of January 27 Executive Order 01/01/2017

world The Office of Children’s Issues has received inquiries about the January 27, 2017 Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals, and how it may impact intercountry adoptions involving children from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

Travelers, including adopted children, who are nationals of one of these countries, are not permitted to enter the United States or be issued an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa for 90 days, beginning January 27, 2017.

The Executive Order provides that “the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.” We are working closely with the Department of Homeland Security to identify exceptions to this Executive Order that are in the national interest.

We will update adoption.state.gov as more information becomes available. Please contact adoption@state.gov with inquiries related to specific intercountry adoptions already in process.

Are You Thinking About Summer Already?

Source: http://www.adoptioncouncil.org

By Erin Bayles and Sarah Alger

crazy%20wild%20summer%20ride%20team%20family%20adventure%202016 “The camps are a lot of fun for me because I grew up in a pretty small town where there was not a huge Asian population, so it was a very special experience to get together with so many other Asian kids who were also adopted.”
– Nora Burgess, reminiscing about her experiences at adoption culture camps

Introduction

After being adopted from China as an infant, Nora Burgess and her mother, Phebe, attended two different culture camps. When Nora was in preschool they attended a three-day camp in Maine, run by Families with Children from China, where they met other families with adopted children from China. Year later, they went to another camp held at a YMCA facility in Asheville, North Carolina. Nora recalled that the camps heightened her interest in Chinese culture, as “they covered so many different topics: dance, singing, calligraphy, traditional children’s games, cooking, speaking, etc.” One special memory stuck with her: the camp counselors would perform traditional Chinese stories and dances and encourage the children to join in. Her mother Phebe’s favorite memory was the closing ceremony, which included a Dragon parade and performances by the children.

Now twenty-one years old, Nora continues to learn about her Chinese heritage through her studies at college. Overall, she said, she was glad her mother went with her to the culture camps, as they offered extended resources on her birth culture and supplemented her family’s own exploration in a fun, memorable way.

Continue reading.

IMPORTANT: Adoption Notice-Update on Convention Entry into Force for Ghana

Dear family,

The Department of State has issued an adoption notice regarding adoptions from Ghana after January 1, 2017.  The short of the notice is as follows:

1. Though the country of Ghana has signed the Hague Convention treaty, the government has not yet passed the Children’s Bill of 2016, nor have they installed a Central Authority.  Both of these must be in place before adoptions can proceed after January 1, 2017

2. Families that file an I-800A or I-800 before the Children’s Bill of 2016 and the Central Authority has been installed, will be denied. 

3. Families that have already filed a I-600A or I-600 do not yet have a clear path to be Grandfathered at this time.  The Department of State is seeking clarification from the Ghanaian government if they will permit I-600A and I-600 petitions filed prior to January 1, 2017 to proceed under the non-Hague process.

We will continue to monitor the implementation of the Children’s Bill of 2016 and installation of the Central Authority.  Until then, all cases are in a holding pattern as of today, per the Department of State’s notice to Adoption Service Providers and families.   

With encouragement,
Your Hopscotch Team   

Adoption Notice: Adoption Notice: Adoptions from Ghana after January 1, 2017

January 3, 2016

ghana-flagOn January 1, 2017 the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) will enter into force for Ghana.  However, please be advised that the Department of State has determined that it will not be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates for adoptions from Ghana that are initiated on or after January 1, 2017 under the Convention because Ghana’s implementing legislation, the Children’s Bill of 2016, has not yet been signed into law, and a Central Authority has not been established.  As a result, consular officers will be unable to issue Hague Adoption Certificates.  Without this certification, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot approve Form I-800 Petitions to Classify Convention Adoptees as an Immediate Relative.

Once the Children’s Bill is signed into law, and the Central Authority is established, the United States will be able to partner with Ghana as a Convention country.  However, until that time, families interested in adopting from Ghana should not file the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative for a child from GhanaIf a Form I-800 petition is filed on behalf of a child from Ghana, USCIS will have to reject the petition.  Once the Children’s Bill is signed into law, and the Central Authority is established, families will be able to file Form I-800 petitions.  The Department of State will notify USCIS and the public immediately once the bill is signed into law, and the Department is able to confirm that it will be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates for  adoptions from Ghana.

In the meantime, we are confirming with Ghanaian officials whether Ghana will permit cases in which a U.S. citizen filed a Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, or a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an immediate relative, prior to January 1 to continue under the non-Hague adoption process.  Once we are able to confirm this information, we will post an updated notice on adoption.state.gov.  As of January 1, 2017, families initiating an adoption in Ghana should not file, and USCIS will not accept, a Form I-600A or Form I-600 for a child from Ghana.  Please contact adoption@state.gov with the details of the case if this situation applies to you. 

We are in the process of updating our Country Information Sheet for Ghana.  Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information as it becomes available.  If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at adoption@state.gov.  You may also reach us at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States.  

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