If you cannot access the message below, view the Web version at http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old.


1. Law, Policy & Practice
- House Panel Eliminates Block Grant that Includes Child Welfare Funds
- House Bill Would Make Adoption Tax Credit Permanent and Refundable
- Louisiana Committee Blocks Bill to Allow Second-Parent Adoptions
- Missouri Legislation Could Undercut Birthfather Rights in Adoptions
- Law Goes into Effect Specifying Who Can Adopt Romanian Children
- Kazakhstan Revises Policies to Process Adoptions, Accredit Agencies

2. Research
- Children from Eastern Europe Seen as Having More Adjustment Issues
- Girls Adopted from China Report More Positive than Negative Exchanges
- Study Finds Significant Depression Among New Adoptive Mothers
- Research: Link between Maltreatment and Using Mental Health Care

3. News
- Guatemala Reportedly May Permit Pending Adoptions to Proceed
- Ethiopia Seeks to Dramatically Decrease Adoptions to Counter Fraud
- Colombia Accused of Kidnapping Children For Intercountry Adoption
- Virginia Court Recognizes Father’s Right to Seek Damages in Adoption

4. Resources
- Publication Focuses on Use of Resources for Evidence-Based Practices
- Amid Cuts for Subsidies and Services, NACAC Offers Advocacy Toolkit
- Article Assesses Reading Program for Special Needs Adoptive Families
- Web-Based Primer Reviews Guardianship Policies and Practices

5. From Our Partners
- Current AQ Issue: Study Examines Domestic Adoption in Romania
- Adoption Today and Fostering Families Today Win Media Award
- Spence-Chapin Offers Learning Opportunities, Birth Mother Day Event
- Adoption Learning Partners Hosts Webinar on Adoption and Identity

6. Institute Update
- ‘Taste Of Spring’ is in the Air ... and it’s Not Too Late to Get Your Ticket!
- In The Media: What’s Good for Our Kids, the Changing Face of Adoption
- Upcoming Staff Appearances

 

Law, Policy & Practice

HOUSE PANEL ELIMINATES BLOCK GRANT THAT INCLUDES CHILD WELFARE FUNDS
The House Ways and Means Committee voted on April 18, as part of the Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res. 112) mandates, to eliminate the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), which funds a multitude of state child and family services. According to the latest SSBG annual report, 22 states used $45 million in SSBG funds to assist in the adoption of children from foster care in FY 2009. The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is one of many child welfare organizations that signed a National Foster Care Coalition letter urging Congress to reject the proposed elimination. If the House approves it, the Senate is expected to reject it. To read a fact sheet on the issue, go to: http://bit.ly/IWBKEN.

HOUSE BILL WOULD MAKE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT PERMANENT AND REFUNDABLE
On April 17, Rep. Braley (D-IA) introduced the Making Adoption Affordable Act (HR4373) to increase the federal adoption tax credit to $13,170 and make it permanent and refundable, beginning in tax year 2012. Under current law, the credit of $12,650 is not refundable for 2012 and expires at year-end; in 2013, only families who adopt children with special needs are eligible for up to $6,000 in qualifying adoption expenses. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. There is not yet a companion bill in the Senate. To read the bill and see its status, go to: http://1.usa.gov/uCPGYA http://1.usa.gov/uCPGYA and search by bill number. To read an April 24 Reuters article, “Families race to adopt before U.S. tax credit ends,” go to: http://reut.rs/Ivtafp.

LOUISIANA COMMITTEE BLOCKS BILL TO ALLOW SECOND-PARENT ADOPTIONS
The Louisiana House Civil Law and Procedure Committee deferred consideration – in effect rejecting it – of legislation (HB1081) that would have allowed second-parent adoption for unmarried couples, regardless of their sexual orientation; current law permits adoption by married couples or single individuals. The bill would have allowed second-parent adoption by a person “who lives in the home of the child and has established a relationship with the child that is characterized by the exercise of parental affection, concern, obligation, and responsibility” and who is “committed to remaining in the home of the child on a permanent basis.” To read the bill and learn its history, go to: http://www.legis.la.gov/ and search by bill number. To read the Adoption Institute's latest report relating to adoption by gays and lesbians, "Expanding Resources for Children III," go to: http://bit.ly/uWHMyF.

MISSOURI LEGISLATION COULD UNDERCUT BIRTHFATHER RIGHTS IN ADOPTIONS
The Missouri Senate Health, Mental Health, Seniors and Families Committee held a hearing on April 24 on legislation concerning mothers' voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and fathers' rights and responsibilities (HB Nos. 1258, 1259 & 1260). The bills, which passed the House on March 8, provide standards that could diminish fathers’ ability to assert paternity, and thus rights to object to adoptions and intervene in proceedings. The Adoption Institute submitted a letter to the Committee asking it to consider incorporating elements of sound policy and practice to protect birthfathers’ rights, while also safeguarding those of birthmothers. To read the bill and learn its status, go to: http://1.usa.gov/JMdNlE. To read the Institute’s letter, go to: http://bit.ly/K7uU35;to read the Institute’s report, “Safeguarding the Rights and Well-Being of Birthparents in the Adoption Process,” go to: http://bit.ly/Ivtnzn.

LAW GOES INTO EFFECT SPECIFYING WHO CAN ADOPT ROMANIAN CHILDREN
An April 10 State Department Notice, “Romania New Adoption Law in Effect,” reports on a Romanian Office for Adoptions’ announcement that a new law effective April 7 “allows for intercountry adoptions of Romanian children by relatives of the fourth degree of kinship, the spouse of the child’s natural parent, and Romanian citizens who are habitually resident abroad.” Romania suspended international adoption in 2001, citing systemic corruption. In 2000, there were over 1,100 adoptions of Romanian children by U.S. parents. Because the Intercountry Adoption Act in the U.S. requires prospective adoptive parents to be U.S. citizens, “Romanian citizens legally residing in the United States will be able to adopt from Romania only if they or their spouses are also U.S. citizens.” To read the Notice, go to: http://1.usa.gov/Jr9qNr.

KAZAKHSTAN REVISES POLICIES TO PROCESS ADOPTIONS, ACCREDIT AGENCIES
An April 5 State Department Notice, “Kazakhstan Approval of New Hague Convention Adoption Process,” reports that Kazakhstan’s Central Authority on April 5 put into effect a decree approving new policies to process intercountry adoptions and accredit adoption agencies. The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption entered into force in Kazakhstan in Nov. 2010, but the country is not a U.S. “Hague Adoption Convention Partner.” In March 2008, Kazakhstan temporarily halted most – but not all – new adoption cases. U.S. adoptions from that country have ranged from a high of 835 in 2004 to a low of 77 in 1999, with just 86 in 2011. To read the Notice, go to: http://1.usa.gov/IgRzJ8.

 

Research

CHILDREN FROM EASTERN EUROPE SEEN AS HAVING MORE ADJUSTMENT ISSUES
Researchers in Spain analyzed the social relationships of 116 internationally adopted children, ages 8-11, using the child as the informant. Children from Eastern European countries reported more adjustment problems than those from other countries (fewer were securely attached and more experienced high social stress). “Social Relationships in Children from Intercountry Adoption,” by Natalia Barcons, Neus Abrines, et al, is in the May issue of Children and Youth Services Review (Volume 34, Issue 5). Overall, the percentage of adopted children rated with secure attachments (60%) compared favorably to normative samples (62%), and these children were more likely to do well on other measures. Researchers recommended providing early interventions to children coming from higher-risk situations. To read an abstract, go to: http://bit.ly/Iw5QAG.

GIRLS ADOPTED FROM CHINA REPORT MORE POSITIVE THAN NEGATIVE EXCHANGES
A study of 41 families that included interviews with elementary-aged daughters adopted from China (mean age = 6.95) found the majority of girls reported more positive than negative experiences related to public interactions about adoption and ethnicity. However, 25 percent of the children described more negative experiences. “Just Beyond my Front Door: Public Discourse Experiences of Children Adopted from China,” by M. Vashchenko, M. D’Aleo, and E. E. Pinderhughes (an Adoption Institute Senior Fellow), is in the March issue of the American Journal of Community Psychology (Volume 49, Issue 1-2). Researchers found that being from a two-parent family and parents scoring lower on bicultural competence were associated with the child reporting a lower incidence of public discourses and fewer negative experiences. To read an abstract, go to: hhttp://bit.ly/IdRm7V. To read the Institute’s study on positive identity formation, “Beyond Culture Camp,” go to: http://bit.ly/cqvnBY.

STUDY FINDS SIGNIFICANT DEPRESSION AMONG NEW ADOPTIVE MOTHERS
“Rates and Predictors of Depression in Adoptive Mothers: Moving Toward Theory” investigated depression in 300 adoptive mothers, most within the first year after placement. Their rate of depression (18-26% on two different measures) was found to be higher than the rate for postpartum depression in the general population (10-15%). The study by Karen Foli, Susan South and Eunjung Lim is in the current issue of Advances in Nursing Science (Volume 35, Issue 1). A major factor leading to depression was unmet parental expectations (of themselves, the child, and of family and friends). For example, being informed before adoption that the child had special needs was not associated with greater depression; however, if the mother was not informed and later found it to be the case, she was more likely to have depressive symptoms. Other predictors included bonding difficulty, marital dissatisfaction, fatigue, low perceived support, and past and present mental health difficulties. To read an abstract, go to: http://bit.ly/Ih3V5G.

RESEARCH: LINK BETWEEN MALTREATMENT AND USING MENTAL HEALTH CARE
Research using data from the National Survey of Adoptive Parents (including infant, intercountry and foster care adoptions) explored whether parents’ suspicion of pre-adoptive maltreatment was associated with usage of any of five post-adoption services. An association was found for children 6-12 years old, but not for teens. “Adoptive Parents’ Suspicion of Preadoption Abuse of their Adopted Children and the Use of Support Services,” by B.W. Ward, is in the March issue of Child: Care, Health and Development (Volume 38, Issue 2). Overall, 65 percent of children experienced at least one of the five types of maltreatment and 71 percent used at least one support service. There was an association between use of mental health care/counseling (40%) and parents’ suspicion of three specific types of maltreatment – neglect, physical abuse and sexual abuse – even after controlling for several characteristics of the child and parents. To read an abstract, go to: http://bit.ly/Iw5VEw; to read the Institute’s report on post-adoption services, “Keeping The Promise,” go to: http://bit.ly/eMHxzT.


Please go to the "From Our Partners" section to read the latest research from Adoption Quarterly.
 

News

GUATEMALA REPORTEDLY MAY PERMIT PENDING ADOPTIONS TO PROCEED
An April 11 Associated Press article, “Guatemala president to proceed on 350 adoptions for US parents stuck in limbo after ban,” reports that following a meeting with U.S. Sen. Landrieu (D-LA), Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina held out the possibility of facilitating 350 in-process adoptions by Americans. These cases were pending before Guatemala suspended intercountry adoptions in 2007 after allegations of fraud and baby theft. In a review of 3,000 adoptions, the International Commission Against Impunity found fraud, including falsified paperwork and fake birth certificates. U.S. State Department statistics show that Americans adopted a high of 4,726 children from Guatemala in 2007, and a low of 32 in 2011. To read the article, go to: http://politi.co/KgEs70.

ETHIOPIA SEEKS TO DRAMATICALLY DECREASE ADOPTIONS TO COUNTER FRAUD
An April 15 Ezega.com article by Meron Tekleberhan, “Ethiopian Delegation Visits China to Share InterCountry Adoptions,” reports that the country’s Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs seeks to cut international adoptions by up to 90 percent to stop “unscrupulous operators” from placing children for adoption even though they have parents. An Ethiopian government delegation visited the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption to learn about its intercountry adoption regulations. According to the U.S. State Department, U.S. families adopted 1,732 Ethiopian children in 2011, from a high of 2,511 in 2010. “In the absence of a strong tradition of domestic adoption and with community care still in the nascent stage . . . adoption remains an important factor and that requires all due diligence and attention,” the article said. To read the article, go to: http://bit.ly/Jf0N44.

COLOMBIA ACCUSED OF KIDNAPPING CHILDREN FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION
According to an April 16 Colombia Reports article by Arron Daugherty, “Colombian state 'kidnaps' children for overseas adoption: Reports,” several sources state that the country’s Family Welfare Institute kidnaps children to place them for intercountry adoption. The article notes similar allegations have been made in the past. The Institute director said the accusations apply to old cases, which new policy reforms address, and that children are only forcibly removed from parents if they are in at-risk situations. To read the article, go to: http://bit.ly/IYyn0T.

VIRGINIA COURT RECOGNIZES FATHER’S RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES IN ADOPTION
An April 20 Salt Lake Tribune article by Brooke Adams, “Virginia father gets green light to seek damages in Utah adoption,” reports that Virginia’s Supreme Court ruled that a father was "purposefully kept in the dark" about his now 3-year-old daughter’s placement for adoption in Utah as an infant. The decision permits him to seek monetary damages and argue in federal court that the adoption disregarded his parental rights; his case is pending against an adoption agency and employee, adoption attorneys and the adoptive parents. The court found the defendants went to "great lengths to disguise their agenda from the biological father, including preventing notice of his daughter’s birth and hiding their intent to have an immediate out-of-state adoption, in order to prevent the legal establishment of his own parental rights." To read the article, go to: http://bit.ly/JK95rw; to read the Adoption Institute’s report, “Safeguarding the Rights and Well-Being of Birthparents in the Adoption Process,” go to: http://bit.ly/Ivtnzn.

 

Resources

PUBLICATION FOCUSES ON USE OF RESOURCES FOR EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES
The Spring 2012 issue of Permanency Planning Today, published by the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections, is devoted to the utilization of evidence-based practices in child welfare and providing resources to support this usage. Two sections, “A Guide to Evidence-Based Practices on the Web” and “Resources to Support Evidence-Based Practice,” offer a variety of useful resources for practitioners. To read the newsletter, go to: http://bit.ly/JMf9g5.

AMID CUTS FOR SUBSIDIES AND SERVICES, NACAC OFFERS ADVOCACY TOOLKIT
As more state legislatures are voting on proposed cuts to adoption assistance subsidies and post-adoption services, the North American Council on Adoptable Children is offering an Adoption Advocacy Toolkit, funded by Jockey International. The toolkit contains fact sheets, advocacy tips and strategies and other resources for advocates. To access the toolkit, go to: http://bit.ly/mCnOH2; to read the Adoption Institute’s report on post-adoption services, “Keeping The Promise,” go to: http://bit.ly/eMHxzT.

ARTICLE ASSESSES READING PROGRAM FOR SPECIAL NEEDS ADOPTIVE FAMILIES
“Fostering Empathy through Stories: A Pilot Program for Special Needs Adoptive Families,” by Catherine Faver and Erika Alanis, reports on a Texas pilot project – patterned after the Red Rover Readers program – which uses stories of companion animals that often involve themes of abandonment and finding a nurturing home. This article in the April issue of Children and Youth Services Review (Volume 34, Issue 4) describes the parallel group program for children and their adoptive parents focused on fostering empathy and enhancing communication; it reports that the qualitative evaluation found increased empathy and self-esteem in children. To read an abstract, go to: http://bit.ly/IYzduo.

WEB-BASED PRIMER REVIEWS GUARDIANSHIP POLICIES AND PRACTICES
The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections’ “Guardianship: A Web-based Primer,” reviews power of attorney and guardianship arrangements for children, federal legislation that addresses guardianship, and state policies and practices. It also includes an organizational self-study guide. To access the primer, go to: http://bit.ly/IdRVi7.

 

From Our Partners

CURRENT AQ ISSUE: STUDY EXAMINES DOMESTIC ADOPTION IN ROMANIA
“The Adoptive Family Within the Romanian Cultural Context: An Exploratory Study,” by Victor Groza (an Adoption Institute Senior Fellow), Ana Muntean and Roxana Ungureanu, is in the current issue of Adoption Quarterly (Volume 15, Issue 1). This study examined efforts to improve domestic child welfare services in Romania since the 2001 ban on international adoptions and also evaluated 59 Romanian adoptive families, finding that overall the children and families were doing well. In 2008, there were 45,609 children in out-of-home care, 24,427 in institutions and 1,300 adoptions. To read an abstract, go to: http://bit.ly/JwjP81.

ADOPTION TODAY AND FOSTERING FAMILIES TODAY WIN MEDIA AWARD
Adoption Today and Fostering Families Today recently were awarded the 2012 National Association of Social Workers Media Award for the magazine category. Each publication matches content with its unique readers to provide information and education to foster and adoptive families. For every subscription to Adoption Today, a donation is made to the Adoption Institute; to subscribe, go to: www.adoptinfo.net.To read about the NASW Media Awards, go to: http://bit.ly/IDIIB6.

SPENCE-CHAPIN OFFERS LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES, BIRTH MOTHER DAY EVENT
For the month of May, Spence-Chapin is providing a number of engaging adoption information events. On May 2, there will be an International Information Meeting Webinar; on May 5 and 12, Kids’ Groups Workshops; on May 8, the 15th Annual Birth Mother’s Day Gathering; and on May 16, a meeting for single applicants. To learn more and register, go to: http://bit.ly/IvuMpC.

ADOPTION LEARNING PARTNERS HOSTS WEBINAR ON ADOPTION AND IDENTITY
On, May 22, Adoption Learning Partners will host a webinar, An Insider’s Guide to Identity and Adoption: Real Life Stories. Expert Advice. The webinar will be led by Dr. Gina Samuels, a researcher, educator and adopted person; it will focus on the impact adoption has on identity formation, and will include a guided discussion and a panel of adults who were adopted. To learn more and register, go to: http://bit.ly/JGJJaU.

 

Institute Update

'TASTE OF SPRING' IS IN THE AIR ... AND IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO GET YOUR TICKET!
The Adoption Institute’s 9th Annual Taste of Spring benefit – which is a fun and delicious way to support our work – will be held on May 10. We will celebrate the achievements of former New York City Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and salute Bank of America for its support of the adoption community. There is still (a little) time to buy your tickets, place an ad in the tribute book or purchase a sponsorship. For more information, please contact Development Director William Boltz at (212) 925-4089 or wboltz@adoptioninstitute.org. To buy tickets, please visit our website, http://bit.ly/GX07pE.

If you cannot be with us, you can still support Taste of Spring. Our friends at CharityBuzz are once again hosting an online auction, which will run from May 2 to May 23. Among the great items are: VIP passes to the NY Jets training camp, rounds of golf at three of the Hamptons’ most exclusive courses, an impossible-to-get reservation at New York's legendary Rao's restaurant, Kristin Chenoweth concert tickets in New York and Chicago, lunch with Tina Brown and a tour of the Daily Beast offices, and home game tickets to the greatest soccer team in the world, Manchester United. Go to http://bit.ly/JESm7L to place your bids. Good luck!

IN THE MEDIA: WHAT’S GOOD FOR OUR KIDS, THE CHANGING FACE OF ADOPTION
On April 16, Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman participated with CNN political contributor Hilary Rosen in a panel discussion, “All Families Matter: A Conversation About Election Year Politics, LGBT Families, and What’s Good For Our Kids,” at Manhattan’s LGBT Community Center. “What candidates say at the state and local level have real consequences” said Pertman, who added that the “Adoption Institute has a real impact in the realm of LGBT families.” To read about the event, go to: http://bit.ly/JESvYY.

On April 22, nj.com featured an article about the recent trend of adoption search and reunions utilizing social media. Executive Director Pertman is quoted as saying that “this phenomenon is changing the face of adoption, period. The explosion of social media has taken it to a new level.” He also comments that “the common denominator for people who search is that, generally speaking, they are glad they did it, however it turned out,” and that “filling in those personal blanks is important.” To read the article, go to: http://bit.ly/IJHt1D.

On March 15, Adam Pertman appeared on Good Morning America to discuss celebrity adoptions – a segment that keyed off the recent adoption by actress Charlize Theron of a baby boy named Jackson. Pertman discussed the many variables in the process of adoption and said it opens the door to parenthood to many people, not just celebrities. To see the segment, go to 42 minutes in the link: http://abcn.ws/GStWI5.

UPCOMING STAFF APPEARANCES
The following is a partial listing of upcoming appearances and/or presentations by Pertman and Institute senior staff. For a complete list, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/events/appearances.php. To inquire about Institute staff availability for speaking engagements, call 212-925-4089 or email info@adoptioninstitute.org.

  • May 3 – David Brodzinsky, the Institute's Research & Project Director, will present two sessions, entitled "Preparing children for adoption" and "Critical issues in adoptive parent preparation," at the Statewide Adoption Conference, a half-day seminar for adoption professionals in Wisconsin Dells, WI. For more information and to register, go to: http://bit.ly/IgSWHI.
  • May 17 – Executive Director Adam Pertman will conduct a Webinar hosted by the Center for Adoption Support and Education, entitled “Untangling the Web: How the Internet is reshaping search, reunion and adoption itself.” For more information and to register, go to: http://bit.ly/I7KB6D.
  • May 12– Brodzinsky addresses "Attachment issues in dependency cases" in a symposium on Early Childhood Mental Health & Development entitled “Science Driving Practice in Juvenile Dependency Court.” The symposium is sponsored by Advokids, UCLA and Children's Advocacy Institute, and it takes place at UCLA from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To learn more, go to: http://bit.ly/Ia0TdW.

 

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. Re-read our past e-Newsletters at: http://bit.ly/archivednewsletter.


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://bit.ly/SupportEBDAI.

Or you can print and complete this form, http://bit.ly/DonateCard, and fax it with your credit card information 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

Join The Adoption Institute On Facebook And Become A Fan

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is on Facebook. Go to the Adoption Institute's Facebook page, http://bit.ly/EBDAIfacebook, and become a fan!

Share The Adoption Insitute E-Newsletter

Please forward this e-Newsletter to a friend or colleague. They can sign up for the Adoption Institute E-Newsletter here: http://bit.ly/EBDAIsignup.


Disclaimer

The Adoption Institute e-Newsletter reports information to educate readers about issues that may impact adoption. Reports in the e-Newsletter do not constitute representations of sources' accuracy or reliability or endorsement of authors' perspectives or positions.


Comments?

We welcome your thoughts about the e-Newsletter. Please let us know how we can make it better. Comments, questions and news tips may be directed to info@adoptioninstitute.org.

Your Privacy

The Adoption Institute will never trade or sell your e-mail address. Our policies can be accessed here: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old.