Adoption advocates urge President Obama’s outgoing administration and President-elect Trump’s incoming administration to unite now, despite their many differences, over international adoption policies meant to protect orphaned children around the world “against the horrors of institutional life, and enabling prospective parents to bring those children into their homes and hearts.”
This opinion piece for The Washington Times, written by Elizabeth Bartholet, a Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Child Advocacy Program, and Chuck Johnson, president and CEO of the National Council for Adoption, is a strongly worded message to adoption advocates against the State Department’s actions, saying that the office has “failed miserably in carrying out the fullness of their responsibilities to implement policies and practices that allow the United States to serve this very vulnerable population of children through intercountry adoption. The policies enacted by the State Department have helped create a human rights crisis of historic proportions.”
Bartholet and Johnson call the proposed changes to intercountry adoption “so controversial that more than 27,000 concerned supporters of intercountry adoption signed a petition asking the State Department to withdraw the proposed regulations and start anew; this time working with the full community of people impacted by adoption.” The concerns seem to be falling upon deaf ears in the State Department’s efforts to push forward with the changes both in policy and personnel.
The State Department is also trying to force through an appointment for the key position in charge of adoption policy, the special adviser to the secretary on adoption and abduction, a position that serves at the will of the secretary. The person now holding that position has been principally responsible for the department’s current adoption policies, and has made known her plans to retire in the spring of 2017. Instead of allowing the incoming secretary of state to select his own adviser, Secretary of State John Kerry has already selected her replacement, and there is every reason to expect that this person would continue the disastrous policies initiated by the current special adviser.
You can read the full article here. Creating a Family has filed an official response to the State Department’s proposed changes to international adoption regulations. Those comments can be found in our 2016 Adoption Year in Review post, as a pdf linked at the end.
To make your feelings known on this upcoming appointment and on the State Department’s detrimental and gravely concerning proposals, please consider contacting your representatives: