International Adoption Update

For parents hoping to start or expand their family, adoption has been instrumental in helping dreams come true. Millions of children across the globe are in need of permanent homes and because the adoption process within the U.S. can oftentimes be difficult many parents look outside our country’s borders to find the right child. But, as with any other international affair, things are constantly changing and adoption is no exception.

If you’re interested in adopting a child from overseas, here’s a quick update on the status of international adoptions in Russia and Haiti:

Adopting a Child from RUSSIA:

It’s been nearly eight months since Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation into Russian Federal Law prohibiting the adoption of Russian children by parents in the United States. The sudden ban on adoptions between Russian and the U.S. came only a few weeks after the U.S. passed a law critical of Russia’s human rights record and was seen by many in the U.S. as a related and retaliatory strike. Though the political climate between the U.S. and Russia has long been volatile, over the past two decades American families have provided loving homes to over 60,000 orphaned Russian children. Russia is home to more than 700,000 orphaned children, many of whom are ill or disabled, requiring special care. Presently, the U.S. Department of State is urging the Russian government to honor the bilateral adoption agreement between the two nations.

Adopting a Child from HAITI:

A new adoption law in Haiti went into effect at the end of 2012. The new law centralizes the system for referring children for international adoption and requires that Haiti’s adoption authority (l’Institut du Bein Etre Social et de Recherches (IBESR)) to interview children’s surviving biological parents to obtain their informed consent prior to determining a child’s eligibility for intercountry adoption. The practical effect of the new law is to prohibit “independent” adoptions, instead requiring that all cases be processed by U.S. adoption service providers that are licensed by the IBSER to perform adoption services in Haiti. According to estimates by the International Organization for Migration, there are presently 50,000 children living in Haitian orphanages, and an additional 250,000 to 500,000 Haitian children being forced to work as domestic servants.

The adoption process can be emotionally challenging and legally complex. If you’re interested in expanding your family through adoption, contact our office to set up a consultation with one of our knowledgeable international adoption attorneys.

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