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VIETNAM SUSPENDS NEW ADOPTIONS, TAKES STEP TOWARD HAGUE TREATY
Vietnam has suspended the acceptance of new adoption cases as of July 1 and will only process those received prior to that date, according to a notice issued by the U.S. State Department on July 18. The Vietnamese Department of International Adoptions reports that over 1,700 applications were pending as of July 1, of which about half will receive referrals prior to a September 1 deadline when the bilateral adoption agreement between the two countries is set to expire. In a related development, members of Vietnam's National Assembly Standing Committee, upon review of the legal issues involved in joining the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, reportedly concluded it was in full support of the country signing and ratifying the convention. The U.S. became a full party to the treaty on April 8, 2008. To read the DOS notice, go to:
to read the news article on support for Vietnam to join the Hague convention, go to: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/politics/2008/07/795620/
BILL AIMS TO INCREASE NUMBER OF ADOPTIVE PARENTS FOR FOSTER CHILDREN
Two U.S. House members, Chaka Fattah and Mark Souder, reintroduced legislation (HR 6459) on July 10 to establish a "pilot program of grants to child welfare agencies to effect long-range improvements in the adoption process by increasing prospective adoptive parent access to adoption information and strengthening agency responsiveness." The Adoption Improvement Act of 2008, first introduced last November by Senators Hillary Clinton and John Rockefeller, is based in part by a report released in 2005 by the Adoption Institute, "Listening to Parents: Overcoming Barriers to the Adoption of Children from Foster Care," which reported that over 90 percent of potential parents who express interest in adopting children from foster care do not wind up doing so because of frustrations with the system. The bill would allocate $50,000,000 and provide no fewer than 10 grants to child welfare agencies for programs that demonstrated improvements in the adoption process. To read the bill, which is before the House Committee on Education and Labor, go to:
http://thomas.loc.gov/ and search for HR6459 in the bill text field. To read the Adoption Institute report, go to:
AUSTRALIAN STATE CONSIDERS REFORMS IN ACCESS TO BIRTH INFORMATION
The state of Queensland in Australia issued a request on July 14 for comment on a proposal to update the Adoption of Children Act of 1964, specifically a section that allows parties to an adoption access to identifying information once the adopted person turns 18. Currently, Queensland gives those involved to an adoption prior to June 1, 1991 the right to prevent identifying information from being released - but is the only Australian state to allow the objection to operate in perpetuity and beyond death. Some of the issues being explored include setting a date after which no contact objections could be lodged and allowing a person to refuse to provide medical information. Comments will be included in an adoption bill to be introduced to the Parliament after September 19, 2008. To learn more, go to:
REVIEW ON ADOPTION OPENNESS IDENTIFIES FACTORS PROMOTING SUCCESS
A review of 14 studies from 1987 to 2000 identified factors contributing to successful open adoptions from the adoptive parent perspective; they include empathy for birthparent, face-to-face meetings before placement, being in control of contact arrangements, communication, role clarity, and meeting together with a social worker to plan for contacts, and others. "Openness in Adoption: What We Know So Far-A Critical Review of the Literature," by Susan Wolfgram, was published in the April issue of
Social Work (Volume 53, Issue 2). The author calls for more research on openness for placements involving older children and those with special needs. For an abstract, go to:
MISSOURI STUDY FINDS MANY FOSTER YOUTH LEAVE CARE PRECIPITOUSLY
Researchers in Missouri, where foster youth can remain in care until age 21, examined the circumstances surrounding exiting care by interviewing over 300 foster youth every three months between ages 17 and 19. On their 19th birthdays, 52 percent were not in care. Of those leaving, a minority (39 percent) initiated their own discharge, and many left in unplanned ways (1/4 said they were discharged without notice or thrown out). "Older Youth Leaving the Foster Care System: Who, What, When, Where, and Why?," by Henrika McCoy, Curtis McMillen, and Edward Spitznagel, was published in the July issue of
Children and Youth Services Review (Volume 30, Issue 7). Recommendations include ensuring that youth are informed of their options, that they are not prematurely discharged, and that preparation programs include content on living with their birth families. For a free abstract, click on Issue 7 in the left menu:
WELL-BEING OF LESBIAN, HETEROSEXUAL ADOPTING COUPLES SEEN AS ON PAR
A comparison of 36 lesbian and 39 heterosexual couples awaiting adoptive placement of their first child found that the two groups reported similar levels of well-being on standardized measures of anxiety and depression, and had similar levels of social support from friends; lesbian couples had somewhat less family support, however. "Social Support and Psychological Well-Being in Lesbian and Heterosexual Preadoptive Couples," by Abbie Goldberg and JuliAnna Smith, was published in the July issue of
Family Relations (Volume 27, Issue 3). Lower income and education were associated with higher levels of anxiety. To access a free abstract, go to:
RESEARCH CATEGORIES CHILDREN ENTERING CARE INTO 18 CASE TYPES
An exploratory study, using focus groups with caseworkers in five Minnesota counties and AFCARS data, identified 18 case types for children entering care under four specific categories (parents' capacity or behavior, child reasons, problems in parenting, and previous unsuccessful child welfare intervention). "Developing a Case Typology for Children in Out-of-Home Care: Child Welfare Worker Perspectives," by Margaret Skrypek, Susan Wells, Kristen Bauerkemper, Laura Koranda, and Amber Link, was published in the current issue of
Families in Society (Volume 89, Issue 2). Researchers discuss the case types in relation to existing research on outcomes and interventions and recommend use of the typology for targeting case issues and selecting interventions. To access a free abstract, go to:
RUSSIA REVOKES ACCREDITATION OF TWO U.S.-BASED ADOPTION AGENCIES
Russian officials revoked the accreditation of two U.S.-based adoption agencies after inspections found they had failed to submit post-adoption reports on the well-being of the children placed in their care. According to the July 15 article, "2 Adoption Agencies Barred After Boy's Death," by Svetlan Osadchuk of the Moscow Times, the two agencies - the Cradle of Hope Adoption Center and Family and Children's Agency - were among 33 licensed agencies to operate in Russia. Russian officials denied the decision was related to the death of a 21-month-old boy who died after his father left him in a hot car this month in Virginia, but the Russian ministry reportedly is considering toughening conditions for agencies seeking to reapply for licenses after being revoked. To read the article, go to:
CENTER PROVIDES RESOURCES ON DISPROPORTIONALITY IN CHILD WELFARE
The National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning published "Disproportionate Representation of Children and Youth of Color" at the end of June. The website offers an extensive listing and description of 40 resources that analyze this issue and explore solutions to the issue, which involves the disproportionate number of children of color in foster care. There also are many links to reports on states' initiatives to address this issue. To access the website, go to:
CHAPIN HALL REPORT EXAMINES WELL-BEING AS CHILD WELFARE OUTCOME
A new paper on the Chapin Hall Center for Children website, "Child Well-being as Human Capital," by Fred Wulczyn, examines the construct of well-being for children served through the child welfare system within the context of child development and the construct of human capital, including areas such as education and physical and behavioral health. These are elements of well-being, including safety and permanency, and cut across a range of social institutions, in addition to the child welfare system necessitating distributed responsibility of services. The author calls for policy initiatives that focus on cross-system collaboration. To access the paper, go to:
ISSUE BRIEF CALLS FOR CHANGES IN HEALTH PLANS COVERING FOSTER CHILDREN
The Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc., with the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, published an Issue Brief in April, "Medicaid Managed Care for Children in Child Welfare," by Kamala Allen. The brief examines the high level of physical and behavioral health needs of foster children and explores how states' Medicaid and other health plans can shape managed care to more effectively meet their needs. The brief concludes that foster children rarely receive appropriate and timely care, and need care management programs that customize care. To access the report, go to:
FACES OF ADOPTION: WE WANT TO PUT YOU IN THE PICTURE!
At the Adoption Institute, we care about the rights and needs of everyone for whom adoption is a part of everyday life - including birth families, adoptive families, adopted children and adults, siblings, and all their relatives. We want to represent the many faces of adoption in our publications, in our e-mail updates, on our website, on the cover pages of our studies, etc. If you are willing to have us include photos of you and your family, please email a couple in electronic form to
[email protected]. We will send you back a release form that will let you indicate in what ways your photos can be used. Thanks for helping present a fuller picture of the extended family of adoption!
HELP MATT DONALDSON RIDE OVER THE ROCKIES TO BENEFIT THE INSTITUTE
In past years, Matt Donaldson has completed the Iron Man triathlon to raise support for the Institute named after his mother, Evan B. Donaldson. This year, for a change, Matt is not swimming or running, he's just going to ride his bike - for 100 miles through the Colorado Rockies, on forest trails and mountain roads as high as 12,600 feet above sea level. Matt will be riding in the Leadville Trail 100 - "The Race across the Sky" - on August 16-17, 2008. Please support Matt in this tremendous effort - be the wind at his back, pushing him up those mountains - by supporting our important work. To donate, you can either send a check to the Adoption Institute at 120 E. 38th Street, New York, NY 10016 (Please write "Matt Donaldson" or "100 Mile Race" on the memo line); or you can donate online through
Network for Good or through our support page at http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/about/support.php. Please put "Matt Donaldson" or "100 Mile Race" in the designation box. Finally, you can also donate by emailing Laura James, External Relations Director, at [email protected] or calling her at (212) 925-4089.
WEST-COASTERS SAVE THE DATE: OUR NEXT L.A. BENEFIT IS ON OCTOBER 23
Those of you who live on the West Coast - or plan to travel there! - please mark October 23, 2008, on your calendars for the next Adoption Institute Benefit in Los Angeles. This is always a fun party, full of "stars" and movers and shakers in the entertainment industry, all devoted to supporting the work of the Institute to make adoption fairer and more beneficial for everyone it touches. The event will be at a private home, so please contact Laura James for more information on sponsorship opportunities, and how to attend.
If you are interested in hosting an event in your area, please contact Laura James at [email protected].
or consider advancing our many initiatives by:
• Making a donation - and asking friends and relatives to honor birthdays and anniversaries with gifts to the Institute
• Making a gift to the Institute in a loved one's honor or memory
• Including the Institute in your estate plans
• Using your contacts to introduce us to foundations, corporations and other sources of support
• Making "in-kind" donations of computer equipment, air miles and hotel vouchers
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.
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 print and complete this form http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/donate/donatereply.pdf,
and fax it to 775-796-6592, or mail it with your check or credit card information to:
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
120 East 38th Street
New York, NY 10016
The Adoption Institute e-Newsletter highlights laws, policy, practice, news, research, and public opinion to educate readers about emerging issues and new information that may impact adoption. The Adoption Institute does not make any representations about the accuracy or reliability of the information reported in the newsletter, and inclusion of items in the newsletter does not signify Adoption Institute support of author perspectives or positions.
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