THE EVAN B. DONALDSON ADOPTION INSTITUTE
JUNE 2004 E-NEWSLETTER
IN THIS ISSUE
1. Laws, Policy & Practice
- Romania Enacts Law Ending Nearly All Intercountry Adoptions
- Alberta Opens Adoption Records, With Temporary Contact Veto
- Measles Outbreak Over, U.S. Resumes Adoptions from China Orphanage
- Azerbaijan Suspends Adoptions During Ongoing Investigation
- Federal Legislation Introduced to Speed Interstate Adoptions
- HHS Issues Funding Notice for National Resource Centers
- Work, Welfare Found Key in Reunification of Children from Foster Care
- Attitudes, Resources of Foster and Kinship Caregivers Compared
- Report Examines Older Caregivers and Challenges They Face
- Study Compares Families with Special Needs Children
- Seattle Agency Operator Pleads Guilty to Cambodia Adoption Fraud
- Guatemala Commission Reports Babies Abducted in 1980s Were Adopted
- U.S. Campaign Seeks to Increase Adoptions from Foster Care
- New 'Kids Count' Data Book Cites Improvements, But Includes Cautions
5. About the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
1. Laws, Policy & Practice
ROMANIA ENACTS LAW ENDING NEARLY ALL INTERCOUNTRY
Romanian President Iliescu has signed into law a bill that effectively halts all international adoption of children from that country effective June 22, 2004, except by a child's grandparents, according to the U.S. State Department. American officials are seeking clarification from the Romanian Government about the status of adoption cases in which referrals have already been made, but which have not yet been approved by the Romanian Government. For more information, go to: http://travel.state.gov/adoption_romania_update.html.
ALBERTA OPENS ADOPTION RECORDS, WITH TEMPORARY CONTACT
The government of Alberta, Canada, announced this month that identifying information contained in adoption records will be accessible as of November 1, 2004, when the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act comes into effect. The change in law, which applies to all adoptions that have taken place in the province, will allow adult adoptees (age 18 and older) and birth parents to routinely obtain information on each other. For those who want to keep their information confidential, either party may file a veto with Alberta's Post Adoption Registry. Beginning January 1, 2005, the veto protection will no longer be offered, although non-legally binding contact preferences may be filed. For more information, go to: www.gov.ab.ca/adoptionrecords.
MEASLES OUTBREAK OVER, U.S. RESUMES ADOPTIONS FROM CHINA
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier this month lifted a temporary ban on adoptions from the Zhuzhou Child Welfare Institute in Hunan Province, China. Adoptions had been suspended because of an outbreak of measles, but Chinese authorities have since reported the completion of a measles vaccination campaign with no other reports of the disease beyond the incubation period of the disease (21 days). The CDC now recommends that standard adoption procedures be resumed at the affected orphanage. To read the CDC travel advisory, go to: http://www.phppo.cdc.gov/HAN/ArchiveSys/ViewMsgV.asp?AlertNum=00205
AZERBAIJAN SUSPENDS ADOPTIONS DURING ONGOING
The Republic of Azerbaijan has suspended adoptions pending an ongoing investigation, according to the U.S. State Department. The American Embassy in Baku reportedly continues to work actively with the Government of Azerbaijan about international adoption, and has urged officials to resolve all pending cases as quickly as possible. The nation's Parliament also recently approved the Hague Convention on International Adoption. For further information, go to: http://travel.state.gov/adoption_azerbaijan_notice.html
FEDERAL LEGISLATION INTRODUCED TO SPEED INTERSTATE
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), a foster parent, introduced the Orderly and Timely Interstate Placement of Children Act of 2004 (HR 4504) on June 3 after outlining the legislation in a speech in May. According to the Voice for Adoption (VFA) June 2004 newsletter, HR 4504 has bipartisan support and advances "much-needed efforts to reform the outdated Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children 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." To read the bill, go to: http://thomas.loc.gov and type in HR 4504.
HHS ISSUES FUNDING NOTICE FOR NATIONAL RESOURCE CENTERS
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/Administration for Children and Families (ACF) issued a funding opportunity notice on June 25 regarding the cooperative agreements for continued funding of National Resource Centers [Federal Register, Vol. 69, No. 122]. "To more fully meet the promise, potential and challenges of the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and other legislation that are transforming the child welfare field," ACF "proposes to establish a coordinated national technical assistance network that can address the range of challenges State child welfare systems confront in delivering effective services to children, youth and families. To accomplish this, seven new cooperative agreements will be awarded to establish National Resource Centers for Child Welfare Programs." The deadline for applications is August 24, 2004. To read the announcement, go to: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/06jun20041800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-14170.htm
WORK, WELFARE FOUND KEY IN REUNIFICATION OF CHILDREN
FROM FOSTER CARE
A study by Kortenkamp, et al. concluded that the rate of reunification of children placed in foster care with their biological relatives was greater if the child's birth family had employment when the child was moved, and the rate was lower if the family lost welfare benefits after the child's placement. The study considered 133 children of welfare recipients in California who entered foster care. To read the abstract of the article in the June issue of Children and Youth Services Review, go to: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01907409, go to Vol. 26, Issue 6 and choose article no. 5.
ATTITUDES, RESOURCES OF FOSTER AND KINSHIP CAREGIVERS
In a study by Harden, et al., "Kith and kin care: parental attitudes and resources of foster and relative caregivers," to be published by the Children and Youth Services Review (in Press), a comparison was made between caregivers in foster care and kinship care situations. Parental attitudes and resources were examined in the study of 51 traditional and 50 kinship foster care situations. Kinship care providers, who tended to be older than traditional foster parents, "endorsed more problematic parental attitudes than traditional foster parents did (i.e., less warmth/respect, more parent-child conflict/anger, more strictness/overprotectiveness)." But when parenting attitudes were controlled for age, there were insignificant differences between the two groups. To read an abstract of the study, go to: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2004.02.001
REPORT EXAMINES OLDER CAREGIVERS AND CHALLENGES THEY
The Council on Adoptable Children (COAC) in New York released a report this month, "Forging Connections: Challenges and Opportunities for Older Caregivers Raising Children." According to the Voice for Adoption (VFA) June 2004 newsletter, the percentage of grandparents acting as caregivers is increasing, but they often face challenging obstacles. The COAC report makes many policy recommendations to lawmakers - from educating older caregivers about resources and eligibility for financial and social service assistance, to informing and training child welfare professionals of the needs facing kinship care and elderly or grandparent-headed families. To read the report on the COAC website, available there beginning in July, go to: http://www.coac.org.
STUDY COMPARES FAMILIES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN
Asbury, et al. issued a study of the special needs child from the perspective of different types of families: biological, adoptive, and mixed. In addition to other genetic and prenatal factors leading to special needs, early childhood circumstances such as institutionalization have become more prevalent with the increase in international adoptions. Study participants consisted of 91 mothers who provided data on 231children. According to "Biological, Adoptive, and Mixed Families: Special Needs and the Impact of the International Adoption," parental satisfaction was found to be lower in adoptive families with a special needs child, but the overall satisfaction rating was still relatively high. To see the abstract in Adoption Quarterly Vol. 7 No. 1 (2004), go to: http://haworthpress.com/store/ArticleAbstract.asp?ID=34836
SEATTLE AGENCY OPERATOR PLEADS GUILTY TO CAMBODIA
Lauryn Galindo, who operated an adoption agency called the Seattle International Adoptions, with her sister Lynn Devin, pleaded guilty to visa fraud and money laundering in U.S. District Court, and admitted that some Cambodian children for whom she had arranged adoptions were not orphans. According to a June 24, 2004, story in the Seattle Times, "Guilty plea in federal adoption fraud case," by Maureen O'Hagan, prosecutors said some of the children had been bought from poor families for as little as $100; prospective parents paid approximately $11,000 for each adoption, with several thousand dollars going to Cambodian government officials to facilitate the process. The plea deal covered the period from 1997 through 2001. Galindo, a resident of Hawaii, had been praised over the years for her humanitarian work with Cambodian children. Devin has pleaded guilty to related charges but has not yet been sentenced. To read the story, go to: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2001963987_adoptions24m.html
GUATEMALA COMMISSION REPORTS BABIES ABDUCTED IN 1980s
According to an article from Reuters written by Noel Randewich, "Army abducted Guatemalan children adopted in 1980s," a Guatemalan Commission reported on June 21 that hundreds of Guatemalan children adopted in the early 1980s were stolen from their parents by the army during the country's civil war. More than 1,000 children disappeared between 1979 and 1984, an estimated 500 of whom were subsequently adopted. The national commission coordinator, Axel Mejia, said that most of the children were abducted by the army in a move against Mayan Indian villages suspected of sympathizing with leftist guerrillas. A National Abducted Child Search Commission was set up to reunite abducted children with their biological parents and has made contact with a number of families who had unwittingly adopted stolen children, including in the United States and France. Parents of the abducted children want the army and adoption agencies from the 1980s to open their records. To read the article, go to: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/108790151328.htm
U.S. CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO INCREASE ADOPTIONS FROM FOSTER
The Children's Bureau Express announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is working with the Collaboration to AdoptUSKids on a public education campaign, "Answering the Call: A National Campaign to Encourage Adoption of Children from Foster Care," to increase public awareness and encourage adoption of children from the foster care system. The campaign will include multimedia public service announcements on television, radio, and in print. There are currently more than 500,000 children in foster care, with approximately 129,000 available for adoption. To read the announcement, go to: http://cbexpress.acf.hhs.gov/articles.cfm?issue_id=2004-06&article_id=819
NEW 'KIDS COUNT' DATA BOOK CITES IMPROVEMENTS, BUT
The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2004 Kids Count Data Book this month, tracking several state-by-state indicators of child well-being. Although most indicators have improved nationally, the essay "Moving Youth From Risk to Opportunity" cautions that nearly 15 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are not working, have no degree beyond high school, and are not enrolled in school. These "disconnected youth," including teens in foster care, are without degrees or employment and face a tough transition to adulthood. To view the Kids Count Data Book, go to: http://www.aecf.org/kidscount/databook/
5. About The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
Since its establishment in 1996, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute has been a pre-eminent, independent voice for improving adoption for everyone it touches - particularly children - through innovative programs, educational initiatives, research and analysis, and advocacy for better practices, policies and laws.
Our award-winning web site, www.adoptioninstitute.org is a popular and reliable source for accurate adoption information. Read past e-Newsletters at http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/newsletter/archive.html.
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