The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute e-Newsletter - November 2002

IN THIS ISSUE

1. Laws, Policy & Practice


2. Research


3. News

 

4. Facts & Stats

5. About the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute

 


1. Laws, Policy & Practice


ROMANIA EXTENDS ADOPTION MORATORIUM

Romania extended its moratorium on international adoption - set to expire this month - until February 2003, when its Parliament is expected to approve adoption legislation. The moratorium has been in effect since June 2001. Adoptions from Romania peaked in 1991, when there were over 2,500, and decreased to 168 in 2002. http://travel.state.gov/110802romanianadopt.html; http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/FactOverview/international.html.
http://travel.state.gov/adoption_romania.html

2002 INTERNATIONAL ADOPTIONS INCREASE BY NEARLY 1,000

International adoptions increased from 19,237 in 2001 to 20,099 in 2002, according to the State Department. The top five countries - China, Russia, Guatemala, South Korea and Ukraine - remained the same, though Guatemala and South Korea traded places, Guatemala moving from four to three. The number six sending country in 2001, Romania, fell to number 15. http://travel.state.gov/orphan_numbers.html.

CONGRESS DELAYS 2003 FUNDING DECISIONS UNTIL NEXT YEAR

Congress has passed a continuing resolution to fund federal agencies and programs for FY2003 (which began October 1, 2002) at 2002 levels through January 11, 2003. The Republican-controlled 108th Congress that convenes in January will determine funding levels for child welfare programs, among others.

 

NEW YORK STATE LAW REVISED TO REFER TO BIRTH PARENTS

New York became the first state to change references from "natural parents" to "birth parents" in its laws, thereby removing the value judgment and stigma the old laws perpetuated. The new language acknowledges that adoption is an accepted and valued way to form a family. Visit the New York State Citizen's Coalition for Children's website at http://www.nysccc.org for more information.


BRITAIN OVERHAULS ADOPTION LAW

Britain this month enacted the Adoption and Children Act, the first major revision to its adoption law in 26 years. While news coverage has focused almost exclusively on the change permitting gay adoption, the law is much broader. Among other amendments, it makes the needs of the child the most important consideration, regulates intercountry adoption, provides adoption support, attempts to minimize delay, and allows access to records with consent, in addition to permitting all unmarried couples to jointly apply to adopt. http://www.info.doh.gov.uk/doh/intpress.nsf/page/2002-0460?OpenDocument


2. Research


BIRTH MOTHERS EXPERIENCE GREATER SATISFACTION HAVING DIRECT CONTACT WITH ADOPTIVE FAMILIES

Research from a national, longitudinal study of the effect of openness on the participants in adoption reveals that "birthmothers in fully disclosed adoptions are more satisfied with their birthmother role in relation to the adopted youth than those with no current contact." The new study phase "Adoption Openness: Longitudinal Birthmother Outcomes," by Ruth McRoy of the University of Texas finds that birthmothers in fully disclosed adoptions, allowing direct contact between adoptive families and birthmothers, are significantly more satisfied with their role in the relationship to the adopted youth than those in confidential arrangements. The study of 127 birthmothers over thirteen years examines a range of open relationships and demonstrates that "no one type of adoption fits every person's wants and needs" and that adoption is a "ongoing process rather than a one-time event." http://www.utexas.edu/admin/opa/news/02newsreleases/nr_200210/nr_adoption021007.html


MANY ADOPTION AGENCIES OPEN TO HOMOSEXUAL PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS

A new national study of adoption agency practices towards gay and lesbian prospective adoptive parents shows that while discrimination persists, almost two-thirds of the 214 agency respondents said they accepted applications from homosexual individuals and nearly 40% arranged at least one adoption with gays or lesbians from 1995-1996. David Brodzinsky of Rutgers University discovered that factors most strongly associated with an agency's willingness to work with homosexuals were agency religious affiliation and the type of children placed. http://www.ascribe.org/onthewire/livewire.html.


ASFA EFFECT ON LIKELIHOOD OF ADOPTION NOT YET APPARENT

A study of adoptions from foster care finds that it is too early to assess whether the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act increased the likelihood of adoption for children who entered the foster care system after the law was passed. The August 2002 study by Wulczyn, of the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, also found that contrary to conventional wisdom that helped shape the ASFA expediting provisions, adoptions during the early- to mid-nineties were not taking longer to complete than previously. The analysis of data from the Multistate Foster Care Data Archive reveals that while the likelihood of adoption increased, the likelihood of family reunification decreased even before ASFA, and indicates that trend continues post-ASFA for children who entered foster care before 1997. http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/fostercare-issues02/ASFA/


COMPREHENSIVE, COMMUNITY-BASED HEALTH CARE SYSTEM RECOMMENDED FOR FOSTER CHILDREN

The Georgetown University Child Development Center recently released two reports on meeting the health care needs of children in foster care. The reports recommend creating a comprehensive, community-based health care system composed of eleven critical components, such as coordination of care and collaboration among systems, and provide examples of lessons learned from providers. The "Summary of State and Community Efforts" and "Strategies for Implementation" reports also identify challenges, promising approaches, implementation strategies, and policy recommendations. http://www.georgetown.edu/research/gucdc/foster.html.

 


3. News Update


PROMINENT AUTHOR/EDUCATOR NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ADOPTION INSTITUTE

Adam Pertman - an award-winning expert on adoption and family issues, as well as a Pulitzer-nominated journalist - will become the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute's new executive director on Dec. 1. Pertman is the author of "Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America" (Basic Books) one of the most important and influential books ever written in the field. He also founded the Adoption Nation Education Initiative, which will be integrated into the Adoption Institute as a new and innovative division devoted exclusively to educational activities.

 


4. Facts & Stats


AMERICANS SUPPORT EMPLOYEE BENEFITS FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS

Nearly all Americans (95%) think that adoptive parents should receive the same maternity and paternity employee benefits as biological parents.

Want more facts about adoption? Visit our website (http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/) to find facts and statistics on adoption, in a concise and easy-to-read format.


5. About The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute


ABOUT THE INSTITUTE
Since 1996, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a national not-for-profit organization, has advanced sound adoption policy and practice for adopted people, adoptive families and birth parents. The Adoption Institute gathers, analyzes and synthesizes the best available information from research and practical experience to identify and develop the most effective policies and practices to increase the numbers of permanent and loving families for waiting children, as well as to provide positive life-long experiences for all participants. Working with lawmakers, practitioners and researchers, the Adoption Institute strives to improve the ethics of adoption policy and practice, and the day-to-day experiences of everyone involved.

Our award-winning web site, www.adoptioninstitute.org/old, is a popular and reliable source for accurate adoption information.

SUPPORT OUR WORK
The Adoption Institute was established in 1996 with a one-time grant. To continue our work, we depend on new and renewable sources of funding. We need the financial support of people like you whose lives have been touched by adoption and who care about the future of vulnerable children everywhere. Please send a generous contribution to the Adoption Institute's annual fund today. To learn more about our initiatives and how you can help, visit http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/development/devintro.html or call 212-269-5080.

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