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providers stepped up and signed an open letter to the Department of State urging that these proposed regulations be withdrawn.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  On April 4th, our collective voices were heard and the proposed regulations were withdrawn.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)

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Update on Intercountry Adoption Proposed Rule Advocacy!

Hello Everyone!

SaveAdoptionsNormalLogo Keep making calls – there are some new names coming in, but we could still use many more. Just a reminder that offices now have until MONDAY to get signatures on that letter. So, keep up that polite persistence.

Some news you may have already heard is the Small Business Administration letter and comments have been publicly shared.  A tremendous amount of gratitude for their advocacy and support in opposing these overreaching and detrimental proposed changes.  This might be info that is helpful to your Members of Congress to hear! Attached is a sample letter (thanks to MLJ Adoptions) using that resource. Check it out and consider using it yourself if you find it helpful.

Finally, these are the names who have signed onto this letter as of a few hours ago… If yours aren’t on here, another outreach might be helpful. And a quick thank you to the staffer is always remembered, if they did sign on.  Share, share, share! 

Senate

  • Blunt
  • Klobuchar
  • Risch
  • Wicker
  • Tillis
  • Thune (Tentative)
  • Lankford

House

  • Lawrence
  • Franks
  • Huizenga
  • Mullin
  • Barr
  • Stewart

Did you make the call? Advocacy Day! Don’t quit!

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As you may know, the U.S. Department of State has proposed new regulations that may significantly impact international adoption. While National Council For Adoption supports some of the themes these proposed regulations set out to address, the impact of these rules is worrisome to adoptive families and adoption professionals.

That’s why we need your voice on November 15th for a special Adoption Advocacy Day!


What’s it all about?

“If adoptive families had any idea of what was going on, I think they would be outraged … We’re so busy just doing paperwork for adoptions that frankly we barely have time to fight this.”
– Lucy Armistead, Adoption Professional

We encourage you to learn more about the proposed regulations! NCFA has highlighted our top concerns about these regulations and The Federalist has published a detailed article examining the concerns of adoptive parents and adoption professionals.

We have an opportunity to provide feedback on these regulations. This week, Congress drafted this letter to the Department of State expressing their concerns. In order for this letter to have maximum impact, we need as many Representatives/Senators to sign it as possible!


Make a difference on 11/15!

During National Adoption Month, help us celebrate adoption by using your voice to create a better future for children living outside of family care. Call your Senators and Representative TODAY and ask them to sign their name to the Congressional letter by Friday, November 18th.

Here’s how to be an awesome adoption advocate:

Step 1. Call your Representative and both Senators. (Yes! All three! Find contact information for your Members of Congress here.)

Step 2. Ask to speak with the person who handles international adoption issues.

Step 3. Make it personal! Introduce yourself and your connection to adoption. Educate the staffer about the Department of State’s proposed regulation changes that will impact intercountry adoptions. Staffers juggle dozens of issues every day, so they may not have heard about these regulations. This is your opportunity to inform and educate! (Here is an example of what to say on your phone call.) Remember staff time is limited, so be clear and concise.

Step 4. Ask their office to sign the congressional letter to Secretary Kerry expressing concerns by Friday, November 18, 2016. They can contact any of the following Congressional offices to sign on:

House of Representatives
Office of Rep. Trent Franks (R)
Contact Chelsea Patterson: chelsea.patterson@mail.house.gov

Office of Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D) 202-225-5802
Contact: Alex Huang: alex.huang@mail.house.gov

Senate
Office of Senator Roy Blunt (R) 202-224-5721
Lauren McCormack: lauren_mccormack@blunt.senate.gov

Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) 202-224-3244
Lindsey Kerr: lindsey_kerr@klobuchar.senate.gov

Step 5. Ask for the staffer’s email address! This way, you can:

  1. Thank them for talking to you. Kindness Counts!
  2. Forward them the letter with written instructions. (See our follow-up email template below!)

Dial the phone first! Then use social media to boost the impact!

The BEST way to make your voice heard is by calling. It’s easy and only takes minutes! Social media posts are largely ineffective and emails or letters can be overlooked in a mountain of messages. Here are tips from former staffer Emily Ellsworth on how to be an effective advocate, and why phone calls are the best method of communication. Social media is a great way to educate your friends and family about this issue. Get the word out by sharing this Adoption Advocacy Day post TODAY. Tell Congress why adoption matters to you!


Sample Follow-Up Email

Dear [name of the international adoption staffer],

Thanks for taking my call today! I hope Representative/Senator XYZ will support this letter to prevent the Department of State’s proposed regulations from negatively impacting adoptive families.

Join Senators Blunt and Klobuchar and Representatives Franks and Lawrence (the Congressional Coalition on Adoption co-chairs) and others in this important effort to support adoptive families.

Please contact any of the following offices by Friday, November 18th to sign on to this important letter.

House of Representatives
Office of Rep. Trent Franks (R)
Contact Chelsea Patterson: chelsea.patterson@mail.house.gov

Office of Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D) 202-225-5802
Contact: Alex Huang: alex.huang@mail.house.gov

Senate
Office of Senator Roy Blunt (R) 202-224-5721
Lauren McCormack: lauren_mccormack@blunt.senate.gov

Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) 202-224-3244
Lindsey Kerr: lindsey_kerr@klobuchar.senate.gov

Thanks for supporting adoption and let me know if you have any questions!

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 www.saveadoptions.org, 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!

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