Every child deserves a loving, caring family, including children in other countries who have been orphaned. The adoption community-waiting families, adoptive families, adopted adults, licensed agencies, faith communities, child advocates, and support organizations-believes that connecting children with families provides the best opportunity for many of these children to live healthy, cared-for, productive lives. There are millions of children waiting, many dying, and most aging out of orphanages, with little hope for the future. And there are many thousands of families in the U.S. waiting to offer themselves to a child needing a family.
Oklahoma passed legislation which could improve outcomes for more children. H.B.2858 makes a significant addition to what courts must do at the initial hearing when a child is removed from the parent(s) by the state for drug exposure or allegations of abuse or neglect. Beginning November 1, 2018, courts will be required to tell a parent at the initial hearing that he/she has the right to make a voluntary adoption placement through a licensed child-placing agency.
According to the latest report published by the U.S. Department of State, International Adoptions continue to decline to the U.S., with another drop reported for 2017. Since the peak in 2004, we have seen an 80% decline in international adoptions to the U.S.
Yesterday, The Federalist published an article regarding the State Department making international adoption rarer and more expensive than ever to consolidate government control over private agencies. Please read "Bucking Trump Deregulation Agenda, State Department Chokes International Adoption".
Positive news for internationally adopted adults who fall into loophole, but we still need your help!
Nothing is more important than our children, and no role is more significant than advocating for children, especially the most vulnerable children who have suffered abuse or neglect or who have been removed from their biological families.
As Congress works to resolve the important issues around DACA, please do not forget another group of foreign-born children who were brought into United States legally, and adopted by U.S citizens, yet do not have U.S. citizenship. There are the internationally adopted persons who fell into a loophole that was created when Congress passed the Child Citizenship Act of 2000. (Read Adopted Persons Deserve Equal Protection.)
ALL ADOPTED PERSONS DESERVE EQUAL PROTECTION
UNDER U.S. LAW
"100 years ago, children who were adopted were not automatically able to inherit from their adoptive parents in the same way biological children were. Today, we cannot imagine how adopted children could have fewer rights than other children born into a family. Unfortunately, another significant discrepancy continues to exist for certain internationally adopted persons: A child who was adopted in complete compliance with U.S. law and the laws of the birth country may not be a U.S. citizen, even though the person’s sibling, who was born in the same foreign country to the U.S. parents, would be a full U.S. citizen. Now as adults, one sibling has all the rights of U.S. citizenship, while the adopted sibling may not have automatic rights of citizenship, and is vulnerable to deportation."