Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute e-Newsletter - If you have problems reading this issue, please visit: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old

JULY 2006 E-NEWSLETTER

IN THIS ISSUE

1. Law, Policy & Practice
- Bill to Expedite Interstate Placement of Children Becomes Law
- New Statute Mandates More Scrutiny of Adoptive and Foster Parents
- One National and One State Entity Chosen for Hague Accreditation
- U.S. Senate and E.U. Ask Romania to Resolve Adoption Cases
- Proof of Citizenship Requirement for Medicaid May Harm Foster Kids

2. Research
- Analyses Show Wide Variation in Child Welfare Adoption Subsidies
- Research Links Some Adoptee's Identity Issues and Behavior Problems
- Independent Supports are Identified as Important for Foster Parents
- Study: Child Attention Problems Predict Mother's Feeling Incompetent
- Article Examines Ethical and Legal Dilemmas in Adoption Practice
- British Survey Finds Many Who Inquire About Adoption Left in Limbo

3. News
- Korea Implements Policies, Incentives to Promote Domestic Adoption
- Foster Parents in Ireland to Get More Rights in Caring for Children
- New Taiwan Facility Provides Biological Information to Adoptees
- Orphanages in China Reportedly Shun Locals, Prefer Foreign Adopters

4. Resources
- Updated AFCARS Statistics Indicate 517,000 Children in Care in FY 2004
- U.K. Children's Rights Office Reports Youth's Views of Social Workers
- Federal Manual Outlines Ways to Work with Fathers in Child Welfare
- CWLA Seeks Reverse in the Erosion of Federal Child Welfare Funding

5. Institute Update
- Institute in the Media; Informing Public Knowledge on Adoption
- Institute Seeks Support for Projects, Reports Triathlon a Success

6. About the Evan D. Donaldson Adoption Institute

1. Law, Policy & Practice
BILL TO EXPEDITE INTERSTATE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN BECOMES LAW
The "Safe and Timely Interstate Placement of Foster Children Act of 2006" (P.L. 109-239), introduced by former Rep. Tom Delay of Texas, was signed by U.S. President Bush on July 3. The new law is intended to accelerate interjurisdictional placements and improve the protection of adoptive and foster children across state lines. Under the new law, a state receiving a request to place a child for adoption or foster care must complete a home study within 60 days; the state making the request must then respond within 14 days of receiving the home study. In addition, the law authorizes funding for an incentive program of $1,500 for every home study completed within 30 days. To read the new law, go to: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:h.r.05403:; to read a 2005 policy brief by the Adoption Institute examining the Interstate Compact, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/publications/2005_Brief_Safeguarding_
Interstate_ Adoptions%20_April.pdf


NEW STATUTE MANDATES MORE SCRUTINY OF ADOPTIVE AND FOSTER PARENTS
On July 27 U.S. President George Bush signed into law legislation requiring states to investigate adoptive and foster parents in national crime and state child abuse registries prior to being approved to take custody of a child. The "Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006" (P.L 109-248), introduced by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., is a comprehensive statute intended to protect children from sexual and other violent crimes by expanding the national sex offender registry and establishing a national child abuse and neglect registry, increasing federal penalties for crimes against children, and protecting children from exploitation on the Internet. The new statute includes "Masha's Law" - named for Masha Allen, a Russian adoptee who was sexually abused and exploited by her adoptive father - which dramatically increases civil penalties for anyone who downloads child pornography off the Internet from $50,000 to $150,000. To read the new statute, go to: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:h4472:; to read the White House press release and fact sheet, go to: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/07/20060727-6.html

ONE NATIONAL AND ONE STATE ENTITY CHOSEN FOR HAGUE ACCREDITATION
The U.S. State Department finalized agreements this month with the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the Colorado Department of Human Resources as the two organizations responsible for the accreditation of U.S. service providers involved in international adoptions with Hague Convention nations. The COA will be the national accrediting body, while Colorado will only accept applications from providers licensed and operated within that state. It is anticipated that both will begin accepting applications as soon as the State Department approves a fee structure, which should be published by the end of the summer. To date, 68 countries have ratified or acceded to the Hague Convention on intercountry adoption. To read the July 6 memorandum of agreement with the Colorado Department of Human Resources, go to: http://www.jcics.org/Colorado%20Accrediting%20Entity%20Agreement.doc; to read the July 18 memorandum of agreement with COA, go to: http://www.jcics.org/
Council%20on%20Accreditation%20Accrediting%20Entity%20Agreement.doc


U.S. SENATE AND E.U. ASK ROMANIA TO RESOLVE ADOPTION CASES
The U.S. Senate passed a resolution (S.Res.359) on July 27 urging the Romanian government to modify its ban on all international adoptions (but exempts a child's biological grandparents) by allowing intercountry adoption by non-relatives and completing adoptions of the 1,100 "pipeline" cases of foreign families who had registered adoption petitions prior to the January 1, 2005, ban. An identical resolution was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on April 6 (H.RES.578.EH). The European Parliament also approved a written declaration on July 10 asking the Romanian government to resume without delay pending international adoption cases and to authorize international adoptions where appropriate. The Parliament also urged the Romanian government in its December 7, 2005 resolution - which dealt with Romania's readiness for accession to the European Union - to settle the pending international adoption cases. To read the Senate resolution, go to: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:sr359:; to read an article on the European Parliament's resolution, go to: http://www.noticias.info/
asp/aspComunicados.asp?nid=200502&src=0


PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENT FOR MEDICAID MAY HARM FOSTER KIDS
The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171), which became law on Feb. 8, 2006, requires states to verify the identity of all Medicaid patients, including children in foster care, and to provide proof of citizenship in order to obtain services. The new restrictions on Medicaid became effective on July 1 and are intended to prevent undocumented immigrants from claiming to be citizens and receiving benefits; however, the new requirements may delay or prevent access to health and mental health services for children in foster care who may have difficulty providing proof of citizenship and identity. Thirty national and state organizations representing child welfare, health care, and labor sectors have advocated for the exemption of foster and adoptive children from these requirements. To read a press release of these efforts by child welfare organizations, go to: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060630/dcf055.html?.v=19; to read CWLA's letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, go to: http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/medicaid060627.htm

2. Research
ANALYSES SHOW WIDE VARIATION IN CHILD WELFARE ADOPTION SUBSIDIES
Whether a child adopted from foster care receives a subsidy and the amount of that subsidy varies greatly from one state to another, according to analyses of AFCARS data by researchers at the Research Triangle Institute. Excluding Puerto Rico, the proportion receiving subsidy ranges from 16 percent in Connecticut to 100 percent in South Carolina, with average amounts ranging from $241 a month in Alabama to $856 in Iowa. "Determinants of Adoption Subsidies," by Deborah Gibbs, Barbara Dalberth, Nancy Berkman and David Weitzenkamp, is in the forthcoming issue of Adoption Quarterly (Volume 9, Issue 2/3). Overall, 88 percent of children adopted from foster care in FY 2001 received subsidies. Child factors associated with receiving higher subsidies include older age, gender (more to males), Title IV-E eligibility, special needs, and being African American. Parent factors include being foster parents and being a single female. To access a free abstract, go to: https://www.haworthpress.com/store/product.asp?sid=
VKC1Q49GP3WW9NRR74LKMDQSPBTW1L93&sku=J145&detail=TOCList#TOCList


RESEARCH LINKS SOME ADOPTEES' IDENTITY ISSUES AND BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS
A Dutch study of 176 children adopted internationally found an association between children's expressing "the wish not to be or to look different" and a higher rate of behavior problems, as reported by both parents and teachers. This association was true for children adopted from Sri Lanka and Colombia, but not from Korea. "Children's Awareness of Adoption and Their Problem Behavior in Families with 7-Year Old Internationally Adopted Children," by Femmie Juffer, is in the forthcoming issue of Adoption Quarterly (Volume 9, Issue 2/3). Five adoption awareness variables were examined based on coding of maternal interviews. Although the wish to be born into the family and the wish to be white were related to behavior problems, intensity of the child's interest in adoption was not. Almost half of the children had expressed the wish to be white and 27 percent had expressed the wish to be born into the family. For a free abstract, go to: https://www.haworthpress.com/store/product.asp?sid=VKC1Q49GP3WW9NRR74LKMDQSPBTW1
L93&sku=J145&detail=TOCList#TOCList


INDEPENDENT SUPPORTS ARE IDENTIFIED AS IMPORTANT FOR FOSTER PARENTS
"Surviving the System as a Foster Carer," a British study published in the most recent issue of Adoption & Fostering (Volume 30, Issue 1), explores the evolution of the dynamics operating in foster parents' experiences of handling conflicts with social workers. Authors Flora Maclay, Maureen Bunce and David Purves used qualitative analysis of interviews to identify common themes and developmental phases in foster parents' experiences of managing conflict with the foster care system. Foster parents' development of independent support networks and their becoming more assertive in interactions with social workers were common survival strategies of more experienced foster parents. Recommendations link needed supports to the developmental phase of the foster parent. For a free abstract, go to: http://www.baaf.org.uk/res/pubs/aandf/abstracts/06_1.shtml

STUDY: CHILD ATTENTION PROBLEMS PREDICT MOTHER'S FEELING INCOMPETENT
A study of the relationship between different types of child behavior problems, parenting stress, and feelings of competence in 70 adoptive mothers found that attention problems in adopted children were most predictive of low feelings of parenting competence in mothers. "Factors Associated with Perceived Parenting Competence among Special Needs Adoptive Mothers," by Angella Eanes and Anne Fletcher, is in the Spring issue of Families in Society (Volume 87, Issue 2). The researchers also found that mothers reporting greater parenting stress felt less competent as parents, and recommended that agencies create post-adoption services focused on reducing the level of parenting stress associated with specific child behavior problems. For a free abstract, go to: http://www.familiesinsociety.org/currentissue.asp

ARTICLE EXAMINES ETHICAL AND LEGAL DILEMMAS IN ADOPTION PRACTICE
Should negative information from a reference for an adoption applicant be kept confidential? How should a social worker respond when a biological mother is attempting to thwart the rights of a biological father by "jurisdiction shopping" to arrange an adoption? Harvey Schweitzer, a practicing attorney, and Daniel Pollack, a social work professor, analyze these and other ethical and legal dilemmas confronted in adoption practice in their article, "Ethical and Legal Dilemmas in Adoption Social Work," published in the April 2006 Family Court Review (Volume 44, Issue 2). By identifying the hierarchy of relevant questions and examining statutes that have sought to address these issues, they suggest answers to some dilemmas while leaving others without definitive answers. To access the article for a fee, go to: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1744-1617.2006.00084.x

BRITISH SURVEY FINDS MANY WHO INQUIRE ABOUT ADOPTION LEFT IN LIMBO
A British study, using both surveys and phone interviews, analyzed the response of 245 persons inquiring about adoption - two-thirds of whom were actively thinking about adoption at the time of their calls. "Counting the Losses: People Who Do Not Pursue Their Adoption Enquiry," by Lorraine Wallis, was published in the Spring 2006 issue of Adoption & Fostering (Volume 30, Issue 1). Six months after initial inquiries, 46 percent had begun the study process, 23 percent had decided not to adopt, 5 percent perceived that they did not qualify, and 26 percent had made no clear decision. Members of the last group were in limbo primarily due to lack of responsiveness from the agency or not receiving clear answers to their questions. Many people calling out of altruistic motives felt the response they received on the phone was inconsistent with the media messages stimulating their calls. To access an abstract, go to: http://www.baaf.org.uk/res/pubs/aandf/abstracts/06_1.shtml

3. News
KOREA IMPLEMENTS POLICIES, INCENTIVES TO PROMOTE DOMESTIC ADOPTION
The Korean government allocated 87.8 billion won (about U.S. $92.1 million) for adoption-related projects for the next year in order to promote domestic adoption and support overseas adoptees, according to the July 18 Korea Times article "Singles Can Adopt Children," by Park Chung-a. The incentives include: permitting single adults to adopt children, monthly grants of 100,000 won (U.S. $105)for an adopted child until the age of 18, removing the restriction on the number of adopted children per family (currently five), two weeks of "adoption leave", and education about adoption in school curricula. In an effort to reduce the number of overseas adoptions, the government will also pursue a "domestic adoption-first" system requiring that efforts be made to match children with Korean parents within the first five months of eligibility before they can be available for overseas adoption. Children with disabilities or in need of urgent medical care will be exempted from this requirement. The government is also planning to expand scholarships for Korean language education for overseas adoptees, as well as housing and tourism when they visit Korea. To read the article, go to: http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/200607/kt2006071817382810160.htm

FOSTER PARENTS IN IRELAND TO GET MORE RIGHTS IN CARING FOR CHILDREN
Foster parents who have provided continuous care to a child for more than five years will be given additional parenting rights under legislation passed this month, including consent to medical examinations and treatments, and every day issues such as permission to attend school trips. According to the article "Foster Carers to Be Given More Rights," published July 10 on Irishhealth.com, getting consents in the past often involved going to court, thus the Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2006 will streamline this process and reduce the number of court orders. The bill will be initiated by Minister Lenihan in Seanad Eireann in September 2006. To read the article, go to: http://www.irishhealth.com/?level=4&id=9853 ; to read the act, go to: http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2006/4006/b4006s.pdf

NEW TAIWAN FACILITY PROVIDES BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION TO ADOPTEES
The national Child and Juvenile Adoption Information Center (CJAIC) opened this month in XinDian, Taipei County, providing adopted people age 20 and older - including those adopted overseas - access to their biological parents' information; those under 20 must obtain permission from their adoptive parents. According to a July 5 China Post article, "Adoption Information Center founded in XianDian by CWLF," Taiwan's Child and Juvenile Welfare Law number 17 requires the Children's Bureau to establish a system allowing adopted children to gain information regarding their biological parents. The Children's Bureau had begun planning to open the center since August 2005. To read the article, go to: http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/detail.asp?ID=85310&GRP=B; to learn more about the CJAIC, go to: http://www.adoptinfo.org.tw or http://www.children.org.tw

ORPHANAGES IN CHINA REPORTEDLY SHUN LOCALS, PREFER FOREIGN ADOPTERS
Despite mainland China's policies to promote domestic adoptions, many native Chinese find it difficult to do so from an orphanage, according to a July 24 Globe and Mail (Canada) article by Geoffry York. "China: Easier for Foreigners to Adopt, Locals Unwelcome at Chinese Orphanages" states that in 2005, only 38,000 children were adopted by Chinese families, in part because orphanages are not required to publicize information - so Chinese families find it more difficult to find a child to adopt - and also because orphanages get larger payments from foreigners. Partly as a result of these barriers, China has a "thriving system of private and unofficial adoptions, including an underground system of kidnapping and baby-trafficking," according to the article. To read the article, go to: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/
servlet/story/LAC.20060724.CHINA24/TPStory/TPInternational/Asia/

4. Resources
UPDATED AFCARS STATISTICS INDICATE 517,000 CHILDREN IN CARE IN FY 2004
The U.S. Children's Bureau revised AFCARS statistics in June 2006 to report preliminary estimates of Fiscal Year 2004. These data report that 517,000 children were in foster care in September 2004, and 118,000 of them were awaiting adoption. An estimated 52,000 child welfare adoptions occurred over fiscal year 2004, which was a slight increase from the previous year. Children waited a mean of 15.8 months from termination of parental rights until adoption. To access the summary report, go to: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/tar/report11.htm. For a state by state count of child welfare adoptions from FY1995 through FY2004, go to: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/stats_research/afcars/adoptchild03b.htm

U.K. CHILDREN'S RIGHTS OFFICE REPORTS YOUTHS' VIEWS OF SOCIAL WORKERS
The Office of the Children's Rights Director of the United Kingdom published a new report entitled "About Social Workers: A Children's Views Report" on its website this month. There are 16 other children's views reports on this site; this latest one analyzes the perspectives of over 500 children receiving social care services (foster care, children's homes or within their own birth homes or adoptive families). Children returning question cards rated their social workers from 0 to 10 (best), giving them an average rating of 8. Nearly one-fourth gave their workers a 10, and 22 percent rated their workers as less than 5. Children also reported the best and worst things about their workers and what youth want from social workers. To access the report, go to: http://www.rights4me.org.uk./whatutoldus/default.htm#about

FEDERAL MANUAL OUTLINES WAYS TO WORK WITH FATHERS IN CHILD WELFARE
The Child Welfare Information Gateway has added a manual from the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, "The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children," by Jeffrey Rosenberg and Bradford Wilcox. This 125-page report addresses the need for child protective services workers to effectively engage fathers in case planning and service provision in order to meet the needs of their children. In addition to reviewing literature on the importance of fathers in child development, this report offers practical guidelines on working with fathers. To access, go to: http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/fatherhood/

CWLA SEEKS REVERSE IN THE EROSION OF FEDERAL CHILD WELFARE FUNDING
The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) held a press conference and released a report on July 17, "Ten Years of Leaving Foster Children Behind: A Long Decline in Federal Support for Children in Foster Care," written by John Sciamanna. This is the tenth anniversary of the federal policy linking Title IV-E eligibility for federal foster care assistance with the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children criteria, resulting in an 18 percent decline between 1998 and 2004 in the proportion of children entering foster care who can receive federal assistance. Based on a survey of member agencies, this report examines the impact of this policy on the child welfare system and calls for a policy change. To access the report, go to: http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/childreninfostercare.htm

5. Institute Update
INSTITUTE IN THE MEDIA: INFORMING PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE ON ADOPTION
An important component of our mission is shaping more-informed public opinion by providing the media with accurate, research-based materials on a broad range of adoption-related issues. This month, the Adoption Institute was highlighted in a number of articles:

Executive Director Adam Pertman was interviewed for various stories on the experiences of late discovery adoptees - adults who learn of their adoptions late in life; the articles included one in the July 11 Philadelphia Inquirer, "For Late-Discovery Adoptees, Pain and Betrayal," by Jeff Gammage, and one in the July 8 Gainsville Sun, "At 50 the News, You were Adopted; the Reaction: Joy," by Amy Reinink. Pertman explains adoption's history of secrecy made it "common practice to keep an adoption a family secret" despite current trends toward greater openness and honesty. To read the Philadelphia Inquirer article, go to: http://www.philly.com/
mld/inquirer/news/local/15009414.htm
; to read the Gainsville Sun article, go to: http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2006207080327

The media also turned to the Adoption Institute for insights on two little-examined, diverse occurrences: adoption depression and adoption scams. In a July 12 CBS report, "Adoptive Parents Battle Unique Form of Depression" by Dr. Mallika Marshal, Pertman discusses the reasons adoptive parents can feel depressed. In a July 9 report on NBC's "Dateline," Pertman comments on ways to avoid being scammed and recommends counseling for those involved in the adoption process. To read the CBS article on depression, go to: http://cbs4boston.com/
specialreports/local_story_193201544.html
. To read part of the Dateline story and see a film clip of Pertman, go to: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13303883/

Pertman provided insightful commentary about the growing trend in search and reunion with birth families in a July 22 Petersburg Times (Florida) article, "The Soldier that Becomes a Seeker," by Waveney Ann Moore. Among other observations, Pertman says many adoptees are reluctant to tell their adoptive parents about their decision to search for birth family because they don't want to hurt them. To read the Petersburg Times article, go to: http://www.sptimes.com/2006/07/22/Tampabay/The_soldier_becomes_a.shtml

Adoption Institute research is frequently used to inform news accounts nationally and around the world. For instance, Pertman cited research on infant abandonment ('safe haven' laws) in a July 23 Associated Press article, "Few Taking Advantage of PA's Law for Unwanted Babies," by Jennifer C. Yates, pointing out there is a lack of evidence that these laws work as intended. He cited another Institute project, on positive outcomes in adoptions by gays and lesbians, in two Associated Press articles, "Alabama Gay Partners Seek Court's OK on Adoption" and "Lesbians, Gay Add Element to Debate" by Thomas J. Sheeran, both published on July 10. To read the article on infant abandonment, go to: http://www.centredaily.com/
mld/centredaily/news/politics/15106145.htm
; to read the Institute research on this issue, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/whowe/lastreport_coverpage.html. To read the AP article "AL Gay Partners", go to: http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ci=108
&ch=news&sc=glbt&sc2=news&sc3=&id=13411
; to read the AP article by Sheeran, go to: http://www.chroniclet.com/2006_Archive/07-10-06/Daily%20Pages/071006head9html; to read the Institute's most recent policy brief on this issue, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/
policy/2006_Expanding_Resources_for_Children.php

INSTITUTE SEEKS SUPPORT FOR PROJECTS, REPORTS TRIATHLON A SUCCESS
The Adoption Institute is delighted to report that contributions for Matt Donaldson's fourth annual Iron Man Triathlon yielded more than $20,000 in support of our work - and we thank everyone who helped make this event a success. We are also very grateful to Rosie's for All Kids Foundation for its commitment to further our efforts in the area of helping children in foster care, and to the David Bohnett Foundation for its major grant for an initiative to expand the pool of parents for children who need permanent, loving homes. We are asking all our supporters for additional contributions to help implement our unique projects - including on the rights and well-being of birth parents, on identity in adoption, and on restoring adoptive people's rights to their records. To find out how you can contribute to the important work of the Institute, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/about/support.php


6. About the Evan D. 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/research/enewsletter.php.

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 donate, please call 212-925-4089 or go online to http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/about/support.php. Or you can print and complete this form, http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/donate/donatereply.pdf, and fax it with your credit card information to 775-796-6592, or mail it with your check or credit card information to:

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