Hundreds of thousands of children across the United States are in foster care and millions more across the world are looking for loving families to take them in.
Special Advisor for Children’s Issues Ambassador Susan Jacobs kicked off National Adoption Month on Nov. 1. Every year, during the month of November, the U.S. government calls special attention to the millions of children who are searching for families all across the world.
“Last year alone, Americans adopted over 100,000 children domestically and about 11,000 children from overseas. This is a testament to the generosity of the American people,” Jacobs said. “The U.S. government is committed to promoting stability for children. We support the desire of American families to provide for children in need of a permanent family through adoption.”
International adoptions can be difficult due to the sheer amount of paperwork involved and the costs of first visiting the child or children to be adopted and then transporting them home.
The process is further compounded after cases like last June, where a 7-year-old Russian boy adopted by a U.S. couple was sent on a one-way flight to Moscow with a note saying that he was “psychopathic.” Russia mulled an adoption ban with the U.S. after the incident, and is still threatening to cease all adoptions unless the two countries can sign an agreement to guarantee rights for adopted children.
Ambassador Jones reflected upon the importance of strong diplomatic relationships between countries in order for international adoptions to be successful.
“Our work on behalf of children through intercountry adoption requires strong, collaborative partnerships between the United States, foreign governments, and nongovernmental organizations,” she said. She then announced that Ireland and Kazakhstan joined the Hague Convention, which helps protect against fraud and abuse as it relates to international adoptions.
International adoptions differ greatly depending on whether the child is a citizen of a Hague country or a non-Hague country. Hague countries required potential adoptive parents to complete their documentation before the adoption process begins. They may not contact anyone who knows the child at this time. People adopting from non-Hague countries can begin their documentation at any time. The only stipulation is that the child must remain in his or her home country until the process is complete.
One adoption agency broke this rule in early 2010 when it brought 13 Haitian children to the United States after an earthquake devastated the country. The children had not been placed with a family and some had not even been placed up for adoption by their parents. Ambassador Jones addressed this in her speech.
“We sent a team down there to meet with the Haitian officials and with the parents of these children, and we expect that these cases will be resolved very soon,” she said.
Stewart Rabinowitz is President of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. Mr. Rabinowitz is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. To contact a Dallas immigration lawyer or Dallas immigration attorney visit Rabinowitzrabinowitz.com