e-Memo for June 2004

Romanian orphans in jeopardy again: Romanian president signs law essentially eliminating international adoptions

Despite many months of pressure from the entire U.S. international adoption community and the U.S. Department of State, members of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies have voted essentially to eliminate adoptions of Romanian orphans by foreigners. Signed into law by President Ion Iliescu, the policy effectively ends international adoptions from this once adoption-friendly nation.

For information from the U.S. Department of State, click here.

Read NCFA’s press release. Click here.

DeLay introduces legislation to speed interstate adoptions

On June 3, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), a foster parent, introduced the Orderly and Timely Interstate Placement of Children Act of 2004 (OTIPC), HR 4504. DeLay detailed the legislation in a speech in May, stating that the bill has bipartisan support and advances “much-needed efforts to reform the outdated Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children (ICPC) by setting enforceable time limits for the placement of children across state lines and by removing other potential barriers to timely, permanent placements for children.”

Among other provisions, the OTIPC calls for incentive payments for timely interstate home studies; requires child-abuse registry checks; allows courts to access federal parent locator services; and establishes guidelines for interstate casework, case reviews, and the use of interstate resources. Many adoption advocates seek to end altogether ICPC involvement in private domestic infant adoptions.

To read the bill, click here and type in “HR 4504.”

Call for nominations: HHS accepting nominations for 2004 Adoption Excellence Awards

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is requesting nominations for the 2004 Adoption Excellence Awards. The Department of Health and Human Services honors annually those states, agencies, organizations, businesses, and individuals that have demonstrated excellence in providing stable, permanent homes for children in foster care.

If you know someone or some organization that deserves this prestigious award, please take a few moments to submit your nomination(s). (Self-nominations are accepted.) All nominations must be received by Monday, August 2.

To read more about the Adoption Excellence Awards and the nomination process, please click here.

“Baby for Sale” premieres Monday, July 12 at 9 PM on LIFETIME Television

Emmy Award winner and Golden Globe Award nominee Dana Delany (“China Beach,” “Presidio Med,” “A Time to Remember”) and Hart Bochner (“Die Hard,” “Anywhere But Here”) star in the LIFETIME Original Movie “Baby for Sale,” a drama inspired by the troubling true story of a courageous couple who agree to go undercover in a dangerous sting operation after discovering the baby they are seeking to adopt is being auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The National Council For Adoption provided expert advice to LIFETIME Television to help inform families about safe, ethical, and legal intercountry adoptions.

Look for the public service announcement, refering inquiries to NCFA and featuring Dana Delany, airing immediately following the movie.

Click here to learn more about the movie.

Plan to attend: 2004 National Adoption and Foster Care Recruitment Summit, July 15-16, in Washington, DC

On July 15-16, in Washington, DC, the 2004 National Adoption and Foster Care Recruitment Summit will bring together state agency staff, adoption and foster care organizations, and the faith community to help build partnerships to recruit adoptive and foster families. The event is hosted by the Children’s Bureau and AdoptUSKids, and there is no fee to attend.

Universal to America's faiths is the admonition for believers to care for children whose biological parents cannot or will not parent them. Clearly, there is an opportunity to help America’s deserving foster children enjoy the love and security of a forever family by recruiting adoptive parents from faith-based communities.

Click here for Summit info, or to register online.

New Jersey Senate Committee approves bill that would eliminate privacy in adoption; but no Senate vote this summer

The New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee reported favorably on SCS Nos. 1093 and 620 at a June 7 hearing. If enacted, this legislation would eliminate the option of privacy in adoption in New Jersey, and unjustly and unnecessarily disrupt and harm the lives of many innocent people involved in adoption. It would open without birthparent knowledge or consent the records of birthmothers and birthfathers who had been promised confidentiality. And it would deny women with unplanned pregnancies the right to choose a confidential adoption.

The NJ legislature is adjourned for the summer, but may take the matter up in the fall.

Click here to learn more about SCS Nos. 1093 and 620, and how you can voice your opinion.

Canada: Alberta opening adoption records

Access to Alberta's adoption records will change on November 1, when the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act comes into force. For all adoptions granted prior to January 1, 2005, adult adopted persons and birthparents will be able to access identifying information about each other. Adult adopted persons and birthparents wishing to keep their information confidential must file a disclosure veto with Alberta's Post Adoption Registry. By filing a veto, individuals can ensure that their identifying information remains confidential. But it is NCFA's view that it should not be the responsibility of the party to adoption whose privacy is at stake to be forced to defend that privacy. He or she should have to take an affirmative action to waive the right to privacy, not to protect it.

For more information about this troubling development, click here.

U.S. lifts measles-related suspension of China adoptions

On April 16, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended a temporary suspension of adoption proceedings for children from the Zhuzhou Child Welfare Institute, which was experiencing an outbreak of measles. Subsequently, Chinese health authorities completed a measles vaccination campaign for all eligible children, and have reported no additional measles cases in children from the orphanage.

Accordingly, on June 3, CDC recommended that the temporary suspension of adoptions from the affected orphanage in China be ended and standard adoption procedures be resumed.

Additional information for prospective parents adopting children internationally is available from CDC. Click here.

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National Council For Adoption
225 N. Washington Street Alexandria, VA 22314
703-299-6633 (Phone)
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