e-Memo for January 2004


Adoption community suffers a great loss with the death of NCFA founder and adoption pioneer, William L. Pierce, PhD

The National Council For Adoption is deeply saddened by the loss of its founding president, William L. Pierce, and honors his extraordinary legacy of serving the best interests of children through adoption. Dr. Pierce, who founded NCFA in 1980, and served as the organization's president for 20 years, passed away on January 13, 2004, following a long and heroic battle with cancer. Dr. Pierce earned distinction as a powerful defender of adoption on Capitol Hill, in state legislatures, and in the media and adoption community. Under Dr. Pierce's direction, NCFA led the way with a long list of policy improvements that enabled many tens of thousands of additional children to enjoy the benefits of adoption.

NCFA has received and will be posting personal remembrances and tributes to Dr. Pierce. Send your own tribute by e-mailing

Click here to read NCFA's press release.


NCFA presents testimony on federal and state oversight of child welfare systems to the House Human Resources Subcommittee

On January 28, 2004, NCFA testified before the House Human Resources Subcommittee of the Committee on Ways and Means, on federal and state oversight of child welfare programs.

Click here to read NCFA's testimony.


President Bush signs into law FY04 HHS funding legislation

On January 23, 2004, Present Bush signed into law FY04 appropriation legislation that provides funding to the Department of Health and Human Services. Included in the legislation is $405 million for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program (PSSF). This represents a $100-million increase from the previous fiscal year, but is one half of President Bush's proposed $200-million increase. PSSF benefits adoption by allocating funding that is available to the states to fund adoption promotion and support services.

Read the legislation by clicking on and entering PL 108-199.


NCFA unveils new website

NCFA unveiled its new website,, at the first of the year. Packed with information, the website is a useful tool for policymakers, journalists, adoption professionals, and anyone interested in or considering adoption. Whether you would like to keep up with adoption news, learn about ways to adopt, or track state adoption legislation, NCFA's website offers comprehensive, relevant information on adoption policy and practice.

Click here to visit the site.


National Adoption Report to be issued electronically

NCFA's quarterly newsletter, the National Adoption Report (NAR), keeps the adoption community well informed about the efforts NCFA is making to promote the adoption agenda, as well as in-depth analyses of adoption trends and developments. NCFA will begin issuing this publication on-line. To subscribe, please email Kelsey Larus at, and she will add you to the email list.

Click here to download copies of archived NARs from NCFA's website.


Oprah thanks you for considering adoption

Pick up a copy of the February "O, The Oprah Magazine," and you will find an NCFA “Thanks for considering adoption!” public service announcement, published by "O" free of charge. NCFA's Infant Adoption Awareness Training Program public service campaign was launched in 2003. The campaign uses print and electronic media to educate people about the option of adoption.

Thank you, Oprah, for helping millions consider adoption!

To view these public service announcements and to learn more about this NCFA program, click here.


Save the Date!! – Adoption Hall of Fame 2004 Awards Banquet

Don't forget to mark your calendar for Wednesday, March 31, to attend NCFA's Adoption Hall of Fame 2004 Awards Banquet. To be held at the Russian Embassy in Washington DC, this annual gala honors those who have proven their commitment to promoting sound and ethical adoption policies and practices. NCFA will soon be announcing its 2004 awardees. To purchase tickets and find out more about the event, please contact Megan Lott at (703) 299-6633 (ext. 104), or visit NCFA's website.

Click here for more information.


Save the Date!! – 2004 National Adoption Conference

NCFA's 2004 National Adoption Conference will be held Thursday and Friday, April 1-2, at the Washington Terrace Hotel in Washington, DC. The event brings together adoption professionals, child welfare advocates, and policymakers to discuss and learn about important domestic and intercountry adoption issues. It also offers a unique opportunity for adoption advocates to collaborate and network. Social work and other child welfare professionals can earn continuing education credit. The conference follows NCFA's March 31 Adoption Hall of Fame Awards Banquet. Visit NCFA's website for additional details.

Click here for more information.


Massachusetts and Safe Havens

The Massachusetts legislature has failed to enact Safe Haven legislation. HB4325 is the latest incarnation under consideration. In light of the hurdles being posed by state leadership, Safe Haven proponents are acting through municipalities to put in place these child protection measures. To date, seven municipalities have passed home rule petitions: Boston, Westfield, Ludlow, Framingham, Natick, Lexington, and Fall River. 22 other cities have home rule petitions under consideration. Towns that have Safe Haven petitions on the warrants of their spring town meetings are Arlington, Whitman, Swansea, West Boylston, Saugus, Belmont, Burlington, Billerica, and Wilmington. To find out how to place a Baby Safe Haven home rule petition in your town or city, contact Michael or Jean Morrisey at

The Boston Herald recently took its state legislators to task in an editorial published on Saturday, January 17.

Click here to read the editorial.


Subscribe to the Baby Saving Times by sending an email to The publication is emailed weekly, or as needed, to people interested in news from around the nation and the world about the ways baby Safe Haven laws are working to help save the lives of newborns at risk of unsafe abandonment that could have serious, even deadly outcomes.


Nebraska introduces Safe Haven bill

Senator Elaine Stuhr of the Nebraska state legislature introduced Safe Haven legislation this session. Nebraska is one of five states that have not enacted an infant Safe Haven law. LB933 would allow a birthmother to place her child with a Safe Haven within 72 hours of birth and be immune from prosecution. The bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee.

Click here to link to the Nebraska bill.


New CIS Certificate of Citizenship program launched

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Certificate of Citizenship program went into effect January 20. As part of this new program, CIS will automatically issue certificates of citizenship for foreign-born children who enter the country with an IR3 visa. Parents will no longer be required to file an application or pay a fee to obtain this documentation. Parents should receive their child's certificate of citizenship within 45 days of entering the United States. The program will not apply to children entering the country with an IR4 visa.


Hague intercountry adoption accrediting entities

According to the State Department, 3 private, nonprofit organizations and 8 public agencies have applied to become designated accrediting entities under the Hague intercountry adoption regulation process. These 11 organizations submitted their Statement of Interest in advance of the initial November 17, 2003 deadline. The State Department is giving potential accreditors a second opportunity to submit Statements of Interest. The application deadline for this second opportunity is April 30, 2004.

For a list of the accrediting entity applicants and to read the State Department notice, click here.


How to become an NCFA adoption agency member

As your agency kicks off the New Year, consider membership in NCFA. NCFA serves its adoption agencies in many ways, whether by making client referrals for those wanting to adopt or to make an adoption plan, hosting conferences and trainings addressing important domestic and international adoption developments and policy questions, promoting legislation that supports sound adoption policy, or being a liaison to key federal and state adoption policy makers and officials. NCFA's adoption agencies have a reputation for excellence in service delivery.

To learn about membership requirements and benefits and to download an application, log onto Join now and receive a 25% discount on the 2004 annual conference fee. Conference details are posted on NCFA's website.

Click here for more information about NCFA membership.


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National Council For Adoption
225 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

703-299-6633 (Phone)
703-299-6004 (fax)
Click here to visit NCFA's Web site.

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