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REGISTER NOW! Space still available for the two-hour February 10 webinar for adoption professionals, Adoptive Parent Preparation: Understanding the Psychological, Developmental and Medical Challenges that Adopted Children May Experience, presented by David Brodzinsky, PhD, Research and Project Director for the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. For more information or to register, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/education/training.php

1. Law, Policy & Practice
- Ireland Moves to Ratify Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption
- Liberia to Probe Treatment of Children in Adoptions, Set New Rules
- S.D. Measure Would Give Adult Adoptees Access to Birth Certificates
- Ohio Legislators Pass Bill to Streamline Adoptions from Foster Care

2. Research
- Study Finds Stronger Ethnic Identity Predicts Greater Well-Being
- Federal Report: Adopted Children Have Higher Rate of Health Needs
- Survey Identifies Age, Infertility as Factors in Seeking to Adopt
- International Adopters Overwhelmingly Have Positive Expectations
- Analysis Examines Assessment Process for Adoptive Parent Applicants

3. News
- New Canadian Law Criticized as Biased Against Foreign-Born Adoptees
- Rises Reported in China's Fees, Waiting Time for Adoption of Children
- Americans Allegedly Adopting to Let Kids Attend Schools on U.S. Bases
- Some Airlines Offer - But Don't Advertise - Special Adoption Fares

4. Resources
- National Association of Foster Care Managers Launches New Website
- American Adoption Congress Offers Principles for Open Adoptions
- ABA Center, Casey Publish Factsheets on Education of Foster Children

5. Institute Update
- Institute Op-Ed Criticizes Law Barring Some Parents from Adopting
- Questions Raised on Whether 'Safe Haven' Laws Work as Intended
- Fewer Adoption Options Overseas, Foster Adoptions Attract Attention
- Sign Up Now: 36th New England Adoption Conference March 27-28
- Join the Adoption Institute on Facebook and Become a Fan
- Adoption Institute Supporters Rally to Year-End Appeal
- Celebrities - And Celebrity Chefs - Sign On For Our Spring Benefit

Law, Policy & Practice

IRELAND MOVES TO RATIFY HAGUE CONVENTION ON INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION
Ireland's parliament passed a bill on Jan. 21 that will bring into force the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, as well as consolidate all existing laws on adoption into a single piece of legislation in the country. Ireland signed the Hague Convention in 1993 but had not yet ratified it. The Adoption Bill 2009 establishes a new Adoption Authority that will regulate adoptions and replace the current Adoption Board. Once the president signs the bill into law, Irish citizens will only be able to adopt children from countries that have also ratified the Hague Convention or with countries with which Ireland has bilateral agreements. To read the legislation, go to: http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/bills/2009/0209/b0209s.pdf

LIBERIA TO PROBE TREATMENT OF CHILDREN IN ADOPTIONS, SET NEW RULES
According to a U.S. State Department alert, the government of Liberia has suspended all intercountry adoptions as of Jan. 26. In a statement issued by Liberia's president, intercountry adoptions are expected to resume this year after "adoption law, policy and guidelines have been established." Specifically, adoptions being processed by two agencies, West African Children Support Network (WACSN) and Acres of Hope (AOH) were suspended so that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare could investigate if children were being properly taken care of and adoptions were being legally conducted. Canada had halted all adoptions from Liberia last year because of concerns of child trafficking and fraudulent adoptions. To read the Jan. 27 State Department alert, go to: http://adoption.state.gov/news/liberia.html

S.D. MEASURE WOULD GIVE ADULT ADOPTEES ACCESS TO BIRTH CERTIFICATES
New legislation was introduced in South Dakota's Senate on Jan. 29 that would set up procedures to permit adopted persons 18 years or older born in that state, or descendents, to obtain their original birth certificates. In addition, the bill would permit birthparents to file a contact preference form indicating whether they wish to be contacted directly, through an intermediary, or reject contact. The bill is now being considered by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. To read the bill, go to: http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2009/Bill.aspx?Bill=153; to read the Adoption Institute report on this topic, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/research/2007_11_for_records.php

OHIO LEGISLATORS PASS BILL TO STREAMLINE ADOPTIONS FROM FOSTER CARE
The Ohio governor on Jan. 2 received legislation passed by the state's legislature that would help expedite adoptions of children from foster care, including by creating a Child-Centered Recruitment Task Force to establish protocols for expediting the process; streamlining the rules to make it easier for foster parents to adopt children in their care; and reducing from 12 to 6 months the amount of time a child must reside with a foster family before the family can apply to permanently adopt the child. In addition, the bill would permit birthmothers to be paid up to $3,000 in living expenses connected with the adoption of a child, as well as expand training requirements for public child welfare workers. The measure (HB7) was approved by the state Senate in December and the House in May. To read the legislation, go to: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=127_HB_0007

Research

STUDY FINDS STRONGER ETHNIC IDENTITY PREDICTS GREATER WELL-BEING
A study of 83 Korean-born adopted adults found that higher cultural socialization to Korean culture predicted stronger ethnic identity and personal growth, and that both higher levels of ethnic identity and more positive adjustment to adoption were associated with greater psychological well-being. "Identity Development and Psychological Well-Being in Korean-Born Adoptees in the U.S.," by Susan Basow, Elizabeth Lilley, Jamila Bookwala and Ann McGillicuddy-DeLisi, was published in the most recent issue of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (Volume 78, Issue 4). The authors conclude that adoptive parents' provision of cultural socialization experiences to their children adopted across race and culture facilitates their identity exploration and ultimately their psychological well-being. To access an abstract, go to: http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/ort/78/4/

FEDERAL REPORT: ADOPTED CHILDREN HAVE HIGHER RATE OF HEALTH NEEDS
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a research brief, Adopted Children with Special Health Care Needs: Characteristics, Health, and Health Care by Adoption Type, by Matthew Bramlett and Laura Radel, reporting a higher rate of health care needs among adopted children. It estimated that in 2005, there were 470,000 U.S. adopted children with special health care needs; that constitutes 4.6% of all children with special health needs. The types of adoption were from foster care (46%), private domestic sources (35%) and international (19%). The brief also provides a descriptive profile of adopted children with special health needs. To access the brief, go to: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/08/CSHCN/rb.pdf

SURVEY IDENTIFIES AGE, INFERTILITY AS FACTORS IN SEEKING TO ADOPT
"Exploring Adoptive Motherhood: Adoption-Seeking among Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Women," by Kathleen Lamb, was published in a recent issue of Adoption Quarterly (Volume 11, Issue 3). Using data from the National Survey of Family Growth, predictors for seeking to adopt were identified for Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women who were married or cohabiting. For all women, infertility was highly related to adoption-seeking. Among non-Hispanic White women, being married, older and attending religious services were predictive of ever having sought to adopt. For Hispanic women, being born outside the U.S. and speaking Spanish primarily predicted a lower likelihood of seeking to adopt. To access an abstract, go to: http://www.haworthpress.com/store/

INTERNATIONAL ADOPTERS OVERWHELMINGLY HAVE POSITIVE EXPECTATIONS
Based on surveys of 256 persons who had accepted child referrals for international adoption, researchers assessed characteristics of these adopters, finding that 94 percent had overall positive expectations and few anticipated any serious problems in their children's future adjustment. (Approximately 40% of referred children had a medical diagnosis, and medical professionals had rated 64% of these medical problems as severe.) "Ready to Adopt: Characteristics and Expectations of Preadoptive Families Pursuing International Adoptions," by Janet Welsh, Andres Viana, Stephen Petrill and Matthew Mathias, was published in a recent issue of Adoption Quarterly (Volume 11, Issue 3). The two most prevalent motivations for adopting internationally were "just wanted to adopt" and concerns about birthparent issues in domestic adoptions. To access an abstract, scroll to the second article on the link below: http://www.haworthpress.com/store/

ANALYSIS EXAMINES ASSESSMENT PROCESS FOR ADOPTIVE PARENT APPLICANTS
"Assessing Candidates for Adoptive Parenthood: Institutional Re-formulations of Biographical Notes," by Martine Noordegraaf, Carolus van Nijnatten and Ed Elbers," analyzes the ways in which social workers utilize autobiographies written by adoptive applicants in their interviews and written assessments. This article, in the January issue of Children and Youth Services Review (Volume 31, Issue 1), is based on an analysis of eight cases in the Netherlands. The authors analyze dynamics of social workers' assessments of prospective parents, finding that some workers turn statements by adoptive parents into facts or include worker interpretations in the record that were not discussed with candidates. To access an abstract, go to: http://www.sciencedirect.com/

 

News

NEW CANADIAN LAW CRITICIZED AS BIASED AGAINST FOREIGN-BORN ADOPTEES
New federal regulations seek to prevent children born to or adopted by Canadians outside the country from automatically passing citizenship to descendents born or adopted overseas - a change that critics argue will create a two-tier system, with foreign-born adoptees as an "inferior" class of citizens. According to a Jan. 15 National Post piece by Glen McGregor, "New Immigration Rule Creates Two-Tier Canadians," the new rule will take effect April 17 and follows changes in Canada's immigration law enacted last year (Bill C-37). The new rules affect only those children whose parents choose to declare citizenship while still abroad. Although this had always been an option for Canadians who give birth outside the country, this option was only recently granted to adoptive parents in December 2007. Now, adoptive parents reportedly are confused as to whether they should have their children declared citizens while still overseas, and risk the possibility that their grandchildren (if born or adopted outside the country) could be left stateless, or to go through the naturalization process. To read the article, go to: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=1182083

RISES REPORTED IN CHINA'S FEES, WAITING TIME FOR ADOPTION OF CHILDREN
According to a Jan. 27 story published in the New Zealand paper The Press by Kim Thomas, "Costs Rise on Chinese Adoption," one agency reported the fees charged by the Chinese government for adoption rose this month from $5,000 to $9,000. Chinese officials said the increase was due to the rising costs of caring for children prior to placement. In addition, the wait to receive a child reported increased to 2 to 3 years from 1 year to 2 years just a couple of years ago. To read the article, go to: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4830014a11.html

AMERICANS ALLEGEDLY ADOPTING TO LET KIDS ATTEND SCHOOLS ON U.S. BASES
The United States Forces Korea (USFK) said it had not yet decided whether it would investigate allegations that some Americans working at military bases were adopting Korean children in exchange for money so that they could attend school on U.S. army bases, according to a Jan. 20 Korea Times article by Kang Shin-who, "U.S. Schools Here Blind to Adoption Abuse Cases." The story said one U.S. personnel accepted 200 million won ($146,000) to adopt a Korean child and ensure his education at the American school on base. To read the article, go to: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2009/01/117_38175.html

SOME AIRLINES OFFER - BUT DON'T ADVERTISE - SPECIAL ADOPTION FARES
Many adoptive parents could benefit from special airfare discounts that airlines offer but do not advertise, according to a Jan. 18 Chicago Sun Times article by Jae-Ha Kim, "Adopting Overseas? Ask for Discount on Airfare." The story says that Northwest Airlines "Special Delivery" program includes a 65 percent discount off of full-fare coach tickets, open returns and no penalties for cancellations or changes. Delta, United and Cathay Pacific also indicated they offer discounted fares when asked, but recommend that - given the complexities of airline policies - adoptive parents use a travel agent to book flights. To read the article, go to: http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/travel/1382675,TRA-News-adopt18.article

 

Resources

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FOSTER CARE MANAGERS LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE
The National Association of State Foster Care Managers has launched a website with several presentations and other information from the organization's national conference held in October 2008. Among the resources included are files from Dr. Penny Maza on Relative Care Data and from Dr. Joe Crumbley on Kinship Care. To access, go to: http://www.nasfcm.org/

AMERICAN ADOPTION CONGRESS OFFERS PRINCIPLES FOR OPEN ADOPTIONS
"Top Ten Ethical Considerations in Open Adoption Practice," by Mary Martin Mason, presents principles for guiding open adoption practices and is available on the website of the American Adoption Congress. Among the principles are that the adopted child and birthfather should be given the option of participating in contact, and open adoption should not be used as an enticement for a parent to choose to relinquish a child for adoption. To access, go to: http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org/open_mason_article.php

ABA CENTER, CASEY PUBLISH FACTSHEETS ON EDUCATION OF FOSTER CHILDREN
The Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, a collaboration of Casey Family Programs and the American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law, issued a series of factsheets throughout 2008, addressing issues related to the education of children in out-of-home care. These 12 factsheets (scroll down to box on left entitled monthly fact sheets) and other reports related to the education of foster children may be accessed at: http://www.abanet.org/child/education/publications.shtml

 

Institute Updates

INSTITUTE OP-ED CRITICIZES LAW BARRING SOME PARENTS FROM ADOPTING
The Arkansas Times on Jan. 15 published a commentary by Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman criticizing the state's new law - aimed at gays and lesbians - that prohibits unmarried, cohabiting couples from becoming foster or adoptive parents. Citing the Institute recent report, "Expanding Resources for Waiting Children," Pertman argues that "the debate about gay and lesbian parenting (within or outside of marriage) is not a close call. The research is clear: Children grow up far better in families than in temporary care or institutions, and their outcomes are comparable whether their parents are straight or gay." To read the op-ed, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/media/20090115_arkansastimes_oped.php; to read the Institute paper "Expanding Resources", go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/research/2008_09_expand_resources.php. To listen to Pertman's comments on the subject on NPR's "Here & Now" program, go to: http://archives.here-now.org/shows/2009/01/20090108_9.asp

QUESTIONS RAISED ON WHETHER `SAFE HAVEN' LAWS WORK AS INTENDED
A Jan. 5 Columbus Dispatch story by Rita Price, "Will More Time Save Any Babies? Extending Window Seen as Dubious Act," raises questions about whether "safe havens" are achieving the goal they were enacted to accomplish - saving babies who are unsafely abandoned. Executive Director Adam Pertman is quoted as saying there is no evidence that the laws are working as intended, but may instead be promoting abandonment by women who never thought to harm their children. Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio signed into law last month legislation (SB 304) that expands the timeframe during which a baby in his state can be legally abandoned at designated "safe haven" sites, from 72 hours to 30 days after birth. Pertman says the experience of Nebraska, which briefly allowed legal abandonment of children up to age 18, illustrated that there are "lots of reasons parents would abandon children other than their being in danger." To read the article, go to: http://dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/01/05/HAVENS.ART_ART_01-05-09_A1_VDCD7FC.html?sid=101; to read the Adoption Institute report on this issue, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/whowe/lastreport_coverpage.html

FEWER ADOPTION OPTIONS OVERSEAS, FOSTER ADOPTIONS ATTRACT ATTENTION
A Jan. 29 Boston Globe article by Lisa Kocian, "Open Hearts," explores the decision of one couple to adopt a child from Massachusetts foster care rather than from overseas. In the story, Executive Director Pertman comments that the number of foster care adoptions have been rising over the past decade as attitudes have changed about such subjects as transracial adoption. "The uptick in foster care adoptions will probably start up in earnest again," he says, "when economic times become more certain." To read the article, go to: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2009/01/29/open_hearts/?page=full

SIGN UP NOW: 36th NEW ENGLAND ADOPTION CONFERENCE MARCH 27-28
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is proud to co-host the 36th Annual New England Adoption Conference presented by the Adoption Community of New England (ACONE), "Understanding Adoption: Enhancing the Well-Being of Families." This year's conference will feature a keynote by Dr. David Brodzinsky, who is the Adoption Institute's Research & Project Director, along with presentations by dozens of professionals including several members of the Adoption Institute staff - including Policy & Research Director Jeanne Howard, Policy & Operations Director Hollee McGinnis, Executive Director Adam Pertman, and Program & Project Director Susan Smith. The conference includes a Professional Day of Training on Friday March 27, 2009, and a full-day conference for pre-adoptive parents, adoptive parents, birthparents, adopted people, professionals and other interested parties on Saturday, March 28, 2009. To learn more, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/events/acone_2009.php

JOIN THE ADOPTION INSTITUTE ON FACEBOOK AND BECOME A FAN
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is now accessible via Facebook! We are developing our presence in this exciting medium and invite all who are already Facebook members to become a fan. To go to the Adoption Institute's page, go to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Evan-B-Donaldson-Adoption-Institute/50866416745; to join Facebook, go to: http://www.facebook.com

ADOPTION INSTITUTE SUPPORTERS RALLY TO YEAR-END APPEAL
We extend our deepest appreciation to all of our subscribers who made a year-end donation to support the work of the Adoption Institute. Thanks to your contributions, and the extraordinary generosity of our Board of Directors, this year's total has matched what was raised in last winter's appeal: almost $35,000. In this time of financial crisis, that is something to be grateful for - and we truly are. Your gifts will help us continue our work to improve adoption for all concerned, and to keep this monthly e-newsletter coming your way! If you have not yet donated, please consider doing so now so that the Institute can continue employing its world-class staff and can keep working on its life-improving projects! To contribute, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/about/support.php

CELEBRITIES - AND CELEBRITY CHEFS - SIGN ON FOR OUR SPRING BENEFIT
On May 14, 2009, the Adoption Institute will hold its annual "Taste of Spring" event in midtown New York. The benefit, our major fund-raiser of the year, will once again feature boutique wines from around the world, live music, and celebrity chefs from many wonderful New York restaurants. Participating chefs include Jake Klein of the soon-to-open Singapore Sling; Cyril Renaud of Fleur de Sel and Bar Breton (joining us for the fifth consecutive year!); and Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto (contributing his talent - and delicious creations - for the first time). Board members Kim Donaldson, Kathleen Hricik, Caroline Fitzgibbons and Sandra McManus are serving as the event's Co-Chairs. The Honorary Chairs include Institute Board member Jurate Kazickas and her husband Roger Altman, Board member Jim Stevens and his wife, Mimi, and Institute supporters Jane and Bill Donaldson.

This year's Honorary Co-Chairs include Daryl McDaniels (DMC of Run DMC), who is an adopted person and advocate for adoptee rights and foster children; and last year's honorees (and adoptive parents) Tony-award-winning Broadway star Christine Ebersole and her husband, musician and composer Bill Moloney.

This year, we are thrilled to honor Wendy's, founder and supporter of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which exists to be an agent of change in the lives of children in North America waiting to be adopted out of foster care. Please contact External Relations Director Laura James at ljames@adoptioninstitute.org with questions, to reserve tickets, or to become an individual/corporate sponsor. Also considering supporting our work 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
•    Volunteering

To find out more about contributing to the important work of the Institute, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/about/support.php

 

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.


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
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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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