e-Memo for January 2004
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
here to read NCFA's press release.
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.
here to read NCFA's testimony.
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.
the legislation by clicking on http://thomas.loc.gov
and entering PL 108-199.
NCFA unveiled its new website, www.adoptioncouncil.org,
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.
here to visit the site.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org,
and she will add you to the email list.
here to download copies of archived NARs from NCFA's
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!
view these public service announcements and to learn
more about this NCFA program, click here.
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.
here for more information.
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.
here for more information.
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 BabySafeHaven@aol.com.
The Boston Herald recently took its state legislators
to task in an editorial published on Saturday, January
here to read the editorial.
Subscribe to the Baby Saving Times by
sending an email to BabySafeHaven@aol.com. 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.
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.
here to link to the Nebraska bill.
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.
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.
a list of the accrediting entity applicants and to read
the State Department notice, click here.
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 www.adoptioncouncil.org.
Join now and receive a 25% discount on the 2004 annual
conference fee. Conference details are posted on NCFA's
here for more information about NCFA membership.
You can contact NCFA by mail, phone, fax, and email:
National Council For Adoption
225 N. Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
here to visit NCFA's Web site.
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