Weekly News Digest: November 2nd through November 9th

The Adoption Experience

  • The Human Rights Campaign issued a blog recognizing National Adoption Awareness Month and shed light on the hundreds of thousands of children awaiting permanency in the foster care system. The blog calls special attention to the needs of LGBTQ youth in care and the Human Right’s Campaign All Children All Families program which provides training and education to ensure appropriate supports and service to LGBTQ families. 
  • An article in Korea Bizwire asserts that more than 25,000 South Korean born adopted people are currently living in various countries without citizenship, more than 18,000 of whom are in the United States. It is estimated that before the Revised Special Adoption Act was introduced in South Korea in 2012, around 165,000 children were adopted out of South Korea by families from international countries, again the majority of whom came to the United States.
  • In the United States the rate of intercountry adoption has continued to decline over the past decade. There are individuals who blame this trend on increasingly rigid and difficult to implement regulations that have been developed while others believe that the reason for the decline in intercountry adoption is too little regulation, asserting that many countries have decreased adoptions overseas because of scandals. The Springfield News Sun reports on this trend as well as last month’s announcement from the Council on Accreditation that the organization will step down in serving as the national accrediting entity. The Council announced that it will provide accreditation services for 14 months as a transition period. 

DAI Reflection: It is critical that during National Adoption Month, as well as throughout the year, we ensure that services in adoption are transparent, ethical, and truly serve the unique needs of a child. Check out DAI’s blog from last year’s NAAM which highlights some areas in need of change.

On the Hill

  • CNN reports that In Washington, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would eliminate the adoption tax credit which has been provided for more than twenty years. Advocates raise concerns with the plan to eliminate the tax credit asserting that the tax credit can make adoption a more viability reality for families which is significant given the numerous children in foster care awaiting a permanent family. Texas Representative Kevin Brady, who is a proponent of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts, is quoted in the article as asserting that the tax credit does not help all families and that his proposal would provide yearly relief to families. The Hill reports that religious groups as well as many conservative Senators and Representatives are critical of the plan to eliminate the adoption tax credit.
  • The Chronicle of Social Change reports that foster youth gathered in D.C. recently for the annual Leaders For Change Conference which organizes foster youth led advocacy groups from across the country to come to Washington to educate and advocate surrounding critical issues they face. Among this year’s important topics were maintaining sibling connections, support for foster youth transitioning into adulthood and more training and support for foster parents. 
  • In an interview with Acting Commissioner of the Administration for Children, Youth and Families Jerry Milner, the Chronicle of Social sheds light on key issues the Commissioner highlighted. Among these include the main themes the Commissioner will focus on in his role, primary prevention program development and the need for community based, collaborative services to support kids and families. 

DAI Reflection: Legislative changes are needed in a variety of areas that impact adoption and foster care services and experiences. Advocacy work is never easy but it is necessary if we wish to ensure the safety and well-being of children and work to support families in being strong. See where DAI is working to educate, advocate and change perceptions in adoption and foster care.