THE EVAN B. DONALDSON ADOPTION INSTITUTE
June 2003 E-NEWSLETTER

IN THIS ISSUE

1. Laws, Policy & Practice

2. Research

3. News

4. Resources

5. About the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute


1. Laws, Policy & Practice


GOVERNOR OF HAWAII VETOES SAFE HAVEN LEGISLATION
Governor Lingle of Hawaii vetoed the state legislature’s recently passed safe haven legislation (HB133) legalizing anonymous infant abandonment, noting that “any good that might be accomplished by this bill is likely to be outweighed by the harm that it would cause.” Her concerns included the absence of requirements for the abandoning individual to prove parenthood or provide any information about the newborn. The Governor further stated that the “focus should be on the long-term well being of the newborn, and that safe haven measures like this one fall short in that critically important respect.” To read the Governor’s statement of objections, go to: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/sessioncurrent/gms/hb0133.htm.

CONGRESS REAUTHORIZES ADOPTION OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM
Congress passed legislation this month reauthorizing the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (S342), which includes the Adoption Opportunities program. The bill authorizes $40 million for Adoption Opportunities; $27 million was appropriated for 2003. The reauthorization includes renewed efforts to remove obstacles to interjurisdictional adoption and finding permanent families for special needs children. The legislation awaits the President’s signature. To read the bill, go to: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_bills&docid=f:s342enr.txt.pdf; to read the Congressional report, go to: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_reports&docid=f:sr012.108.pdf.

CHINA RESUMES PROCESSING OF ADOPTIONS
The China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) announced that it is resuming “the normal adoptive formalities of traveling to China” on June 24, 2003, after suspending dossier processing for prospective adoptive parents on May 15, 2003, as a result of the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The announcement comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) lifted its ban on travel to China and removed China from its list of countries with recent SARS transmissions. To read more, go to: http://www.china-ccaa.org/zxwj/030624hfgz-english.htm

U.S. ADVISES AGAINST FILING FOR ADOPTION IN GUATEMALA
The State Department reported on June 15, 2003, that the Guatemalan Central Authority for Adoptions (PGN) is considering "a temporary suspension of adoption cases pending implementation of new procedures in conformity with the Hague." Prospective adoptive parents are advised to contact the PGN concerning their cases. The State Department advised that, due to the uncertain situation, "adopting families should not file for adoption in Guatemala until the current problems are resolved." To read the State Department's notice and get the PGN's contact information, go to: http://www.travel.state.gov/guatemala_notice.html

ROMANIA EXTENDS ADOPTION MORATORIUM
Romania has extended its moratorium on intercountry adoptions, according to a June 2003 State Department update. The moratorium had been set to expire June 1, 2003, pending the implementation of new adoption legislation. The State Department reported that it was unclear when such legislation will be enacted and be put into effect. For more details, see the Romanian Embassy website at http://www.roembus.org. The U.S. Department update can be accessed at http://travel.state.gov/adoption_romania.html.

UK ENACTS INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION REGULATIONS
The United Kingdom enacted regulations, effective June 1, 2003, to implement the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption in England and Wales. The Intercountry Adoption (Hague Convention) Regulations 2003 outline procedural requirements for Convention adoptions, eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents and adoption agency responsibilities. In addition, the UK announced it was implementing new regulations The Adoption Support Services Regulations 2003 to improve support services for all adoptive families in England by providing additional funds for the system. To read the Adoption Regulations go to http://www.hmso.gov.uk

PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE PASSES BILL SHORTENING REVOCATION PERIOD
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill this month that limits birth parent revocation of consent to adoption to twenty days (HB1423). Under current law, birth parents are allowed to revoke their consents to adoption prior to termination of parental rights or finalized adoption, whichever comes first. The bill does not change the current law’s requirement that consent to adoption is not valid within three days of the child’s birth. The bill also changes the terms “birth” mother and father to “natural” mother and father. The Senate will now consider the legislation. To read the bill, go to http://www2.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/BT/2003/0/HB1423P2185.pdf


2. Research


FEW WHITES REPORTED TO ADOPT BLACK FOSTER CHILDREN
A study, “Willingness to Adopt Black Foster Children,” by Brooks and James, found that while 60% of white adoptive parents indicated that they would be willing to adopt a black foster child, only 5% actually did so. On the other hand, 82% of the adoptive parents responded that they were willing to adopt a foster child, and 63% of them did. The research, published in Children and Youth Services Review Vol. 25. Nos. 5/6, surveyed 541 white parents in California who adopted domestically. The study also found that parents who adopted a black child are almost nine times more likely to adopt a black foster child than those who adopted a white child. To read an abstract of and purchase the article, go to: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0190-7409(03)00031-8.

BIRTH MOTHERS IN MARSHALL ISLANDS CITE FINANCES, PRESSURE
A 2001 study of 73 birth mothers in the Marshall Islands found that the most frequent response to the open question of why they relinquished their children for international adoption was financial, and just 14% said that counseling was available to them during pregnancy. More than two-thirds of the birthmothers on the West Pacific island nation had thought they would receive financial compensation for the child. The research by Robi and Matsumura, in Adoption Quarterly 2002 Vol. 5, No. 4, also found that 82% of the women believed at the time of relinquishment that their children would reunite with them at adulthood – a promise they said was made by adoption agencies and adoptive parents. Moreover, 41% felt pressured by the agency to relinquish their child. To read the abstract, go to http://www.haworthpressinc.com/store/product.asp?sku=J145 .

SOCIAL WORKERS’ RACE LINKED TO TRANSRACIAL ADOPTION ATTITUDES
"A1997 survey of 363 social workers found that white social workers on average had relatively favorable attitudes toward transracial adoption –defined in the study as black children adopted by white parents – while black social workers on average had relatively unfavorable attitudes. “Transracial Adoption in Black and White: A Survey of Social Worker Attitudes” by Fenster, in Adoption Quarterly 2002 Vol. 5, No. 4, also reported that a strong identification with one’s ethnic group and higher income among African American social workers were associated with more negative views on the subject. To read the abstract, go to http://www.haworthpressinc.com/store/product.asp?sku=J145


3. News


CRITICS ALLEGE CORRUPTION IN ADOPTIONS FROM INDIA
Alleging corruption and child trafficking, a group in India is challenging the legality of several intercountry adoptions from that nation and is advocating a nationwide moratorium on international adoptions for several years, pending an investigation into the issue and changes in domestic practices. “A Challenge in India Snarls Foreign Adoption,” in the June 23, 2003, New York Times, reports that Indian police have discovered a baby-selling operation and that there have been cases of parents selling their babies for $20. To obtain an archived copy of the article, go to: http://query.nytimes.com/search/advanced/

SHIFT TOWARD INSTITUTIONAL CARE WORRIES CHILD WELFARE EXPERTS
One hundred thousand children in foster care live in institutions like shelters and residential treatment facilities, and many child welfare experts believe the number is growing, reports a June 19 Christian Science Monitor article, “Warehousing Our Children.” Such a trend has serious consequences, since research has consistently shown that institutional care is detrimental to children’s development. To order the article, go to: http://www.csmonitorarchive.com/csmonitor/archivesearch.
jhtml;jsessionid=Z1DLZJJXQL20RKGL4L2SFEQ

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES ADOPTION REFORMS
Bulgaria’s Parliament amended its law to permit the intercountry adoption of Bulgarian children only if no appropriate Bulgarian adoptive parents are found after three attempts within six months, according to the June 20-26, 2003, edition of the Sophia Echo. To read the article, go to http://www.sofiaecho.com/art.php?id=7526&brojid=144&catid=5.


4. Resources


ADOPTION HISTORY PROJECT ONLINE
Created by University of Oregon Professor Ellen Herman, the Adoption History Project is a digital public history resource – the first of its kind. It profiles the people, organizations, topics and studies that have shaped contemporary American adoption. For more information, go to: http://www.uoregon.edu/~adoption/.

NY STATE FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION PAYMENT SURVEY
The New York State Citizens' Coalition for Children reports results from a 2003 survey of foster care rates and adoption subsidies provided by each New York State social service locality. To access the survey, go to: http://www.nysccc.org/boardrates/ratedirectory.htm.


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/old, is a popular and reliable source for accurate adoption information. Read past e-Newsletters at http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/whowe/newsletter_archives.html.

SUPPORT OUR WORK
Special Event:
Matt Donaldson, son of Evan B. and William Donaldson, is an avid outdoorsman. He is currently training for the Iron Man Triathlon scheduled for July 19th in Lake Placid, New York. Please join him in honoring his mother and her passion for helping children in need of permanent and loving homes, by sponsoring all or some of his 140 miles in this extreme athletic challenge. To see more about this special event: www.adoptioninstitute.org/old

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 donate, please call 212-269-5080 x10 or go online to http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/development/devintro.html.

Or you can fill out this form, http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/development/form.doc, and fax it with your credit card information to 212-269-1962, or mail it with your check or credit card information to:


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