Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Couple Adopts Baby Through Instagram

From WSB-TV Atlanta:

Some people hoping to adopt a baby are turning to social media rather than traditional agencies.

Jaimie and Brian Dorn of Long Island in New York, who have two children from his previous marriage, used Instagram to help them expand their family.

After struggling to have a baby together, the Dorns started pursuing adoption. When they decided that traditional adoption agencies weren't for them, a friend suggested that they try independent adoption and advertise using Instagram, they said.

Read more here.

July 18, 2018 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Indiana Unseals Thousands of Adoption Records

From WISHTV :

For the first time in decades, thousands of adoption records are unsealed and available to adoptees across the state after a new state law went into effect on July 1.

She was born at Riverview Hospital in Noblesville: That's about all Indianapolis resident Barbara Allen, who was adopted, said she knows about where she came from.

"I've never been given a lot of information about me. I don't know anything, other than my father was Greek. That's what I was told," Allen said.

Allen said she has searched for years to answer questions such as why her eyes are so distinctly green.

"My son can say 'Oh, I get it from my mom, or I get it from my dad.' I have no idea where I got it (her green eyes) from. I don't know why they're like that. I wish I knew," said Allen.

Read more here.

July 10, 2018 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

California Bans Travel to Oklahoma Based on its Discriminatory LBGT Adoption Law

From USA Today:

Add Oklahoma to the list of states to which California is banning state-funded and state-sponsored travel.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Friday that as a result of "discriminatory legislation" that became Oklahoma law last month, the western state will prohibit travel to its midwestern counterpart.

A 2017 California law requires that its attorney general keeps a list of states subject to a state travel ban because of "laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression," Becerra's office said in a statement.

Read more here.

June 16, 2018 in Adoption, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Louisiana Teachers Will Get Paid Leave Time After Adoption

From NOLA:

Louisiana's public school teachers will be allowed paid leaves of absence for up to 30 days after adopting a child.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed into law the measure by Rep. Rick Edmonds, a Baton Rouge Republican, requiring school districts to grant the leave time.

Schools already had been required to allow maternity leave for teachers and certain other school employees. Edmonds' bill extends the provisions to include adoption.

Read more here.

 

June 12, 2018 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act Passes Senate

From Senator Susan Collins:

Today, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Bob Casey (D-PA) celebrated the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act (S. 1091), which would create a federal task force charged with supporting grandparents raising grandchildren as the opioid epidemic increases their numbers. The U.S. House of Representatives must pass the legislation before it becomes law. The bill is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 15 senators and supported by a wide array of child welfare and aging organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics and AARP.

Approximately 2.6 million children are being raised by their grandparents and experts say this number is rising as the opioid epidemic devastates communities across the country. Senators Collins and Casey, who are both members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, introduced the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act last year after an Aging Committee hearing during which witnesses testified about the need for grandparents to have easy access to information about resources available to assist them.

Read more here.

June 10, 2018 in Adoption, Child Abuse, Current Affairs, Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Connecticut Encourages LGBT Families to Adopt

From The Hill:

Connecticut is working to actively recruit LGBT families to adopt and foster children, even as other states pass laws allowing agencies to ban them.

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) has launched an outreach campaign and will begin working with LGBT organizations and community centers to encourage people to apply to become adoptive or foster parents, according to The Associated Press.

Similar efforts are also underway in New York City and San Francisco.

Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) said that he wants Connecticut to be known as a state that welcomes the LGBT community, adding that more than 4,000 children are in state care and about half of them likely won't return to their biological parents.

Read more here.

 

May 25, 2018 in Adoption, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Northern Territory Parliament Passes Same-Sex Adoption Law

From Australian Broadcasting Corporation: 

In the remote community of Hermannsburg, about 130 kilometres west of Alice Springs, married couple Kara and Bronwyn Blair-Stuart are celebrating.

The Northern Territory Parliament, overlooking the Arafura Sea in Darwin, might be a long way from the Red Centre, but a change in law has given this married bush couple more choice.

Last week both sides of Parliament agreed to axe an old adoption law that only allowed married heterosexual couples, or those in a traditional Aboriginal marriage, the right to adopt children.

Read more here. 

 

March 19, 2018 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

ACLU Fights Michigan Faith-Based Adoption Law

From The Wichita Eagle:

Kansas adoption and foster agencies could refuse placements that go against their religious beliefs — including placements with gay and lesbian couples — under bills in two legislative committees.

Opponents of the bills say they would allow discrimination against same-sex couples, decreasing the number of foster and adoptive parents in a system struggling to keep up.

Proponents say that many faith-based adoption agencies in Kansas would be forced to close if required to place children against their religious beliefs. The bill wouldn’t change anything, supporters say, but put into law practices that are already in place.

Read more here.

March 14, 2018 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Most Inclusive Adoption Grant Program: HelpUsAdopt.org

From Forbes:

When Becky Fawcett and her husband pursued adoption twelve years ago, she quickly learned that the adoption process was suited for families defined as “a white woman married to a white man who worshiped a certain way and planned to adopt a certain way.” Fawcett didn’t accept this definition of family and was frustrated that more adoption agencies weren’t empowering families, including single and LGBTQ parents, to build the families they envisioned.

Feeling frustrated, Fawcett directed her energy into writing a business plan “for the nation’s only non-discriminatory adoption grant program that does not define family, does not define religion, does not define adoption and does not charge an application fee.” The result is HelpUsAdopt.org, founded 2007.

Read more here.

March 10, 2018 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ethiopia Bans Foreign Adoption

From CNN:

Ethiopia has banned the adoption of Ethiopian children by foreign families, according to the country's state-run News Agency ENA, citing concerns over abuse.

Ethiopian officials previously suspended adoptions back in November, but allowed pending cases to continue through the process, according to the US Department of State.
 
Children adopted by foreign families in the past have been exposed to "various crimes and social crisis in the country they grew up in," ENA said.
 
Read more here.

February 20, 2018 in Adoption, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Man in Singapore Not Allowed to Adopt His Child

From BBC News:

Gleaming Singapore is every bit the modern city, but the struggles of one father to adopt his child has shown how modern values are butting up against traditional concepts of family, writes the BBC's Yvette Tan in Singapore.

The first sound his parents ever heard him make was a loud cry.

After a six-hour labour, Noel was safely delivered in a US hospital by his surrogate mother, on behalf of two hopeful parents.

The parents cried together as they cut his umbilical cord, bonded as they fed Noel his first bottle of milk, and later, proudly took him home to his new life in Singapore.

Noel's life since then has been as typical as that of any other boy his age in Singapore, except for the fact that under Singaporean law, he is an illegitimate child, a status that could have implications throughout his life.

Read more here.

January 31, 2018 in Adoption, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Grandmother Fights Without Lawyer For Custody of Grandchild

From BuzzFeedNews:

A grandmother who wanted to care for her grandchild had to fight a local authority with no lawyer after a social worker recommended that the baby be put up for adoption.

As the parents were unable to look after the baby, the paternal grandmother – who cannot be named to protect the child’s identity – put herself forward to be the special guardian, similar to a foster carer.

The case, heard in Gloucester’s family court last month, could not be reported until now because Gloucestershire County Council was demanding anonymity. After this was challenged by BuzzFeed News, The Guardian and the BBC, a judge ruled on Monday that they should be named and that the grandmother’s account of her experience should be made public.

Read more here.

November 11, 2017 in Adoption, Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Pennsylvania's New Adoption Law

Under a law that goes into effect Friday, adoptees over age 18 can apply for their birth records for the first time in 33 years. The law allows them to get their birth records — just like non-adopted people.

Who's affected?

Adoptees — people who were adopted as children — who are at least 18 years old and have finished high school may now apply to the state Department of Health for a copy of their birth certificate. Before this law was passed, adoptees could petition the courts for their birth certificate, but a judge could deny the request. Since 1984, adoption records in Pennsylvania have been sealed.

Why was the law proposed?

Read more here.

November 3, 2017 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fosters from Drug Addicted Homes

From CNN:

Dayton, Ohio (CNN) When Cyndi and Jesse Swafford were certified to become foster parents 10 years ago, they were told to expect to wait for a baby up to two or three years. Fast forward to today -- with a foster license, a new baby can be placed with them within a week.

"It blows my mind," Cyndi says. "There are babies in the hospital waiting because of this heroin epidemic for a family that will be able to take care of them."

Read more here.

August 15, 2017 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

New Surrogacy Law in D.C.

From The Washington Post:

Edward Palmieri and Christopher Schriever were on the George Washington Bridge, barreling north on Interstate 95, when their twin babies were born. The couple arrived at the hospital after dawn to meet their children and settled into a room that had been reserved for their new family.

Kelli Rapp, a Vermont woman they had contracted with to carry their children, was recovering from an emergency Caesarean section in a room nearby. The Washington couple spent the next two days wheeling the babies’ bassinets between their rooms, visiting with her family and extended relatives.

The first days after birth were “a mix of complete joy and fear: This is really happening,” Palmieri said. “It was such a process.”

The couple’s journey to parenthood involved an egg donor, a surrogate, legal teams in six states, and well over $150,000 spent over the course of 2½ years.

Three years later, they have reason to hope that the path to parenthood will be more streamlined for other District residents: A 25-year-old law that banned surrogacy contracts was recently reversed by the D.C. Council. That means would-be parents will no longer need to leave the District to contract with a surrogate. The law, passed in December, became effective in April after a required congressional review.

Read more here.

June 15, 2017 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Texas Adoption Legislation Targets Religious Beliefs and Lifestyle Choices

From Newsweek:

The Texas House of Representatives has passed a bill that allows adoption agencies and foster care providers to reject applicants based on their religious beliefs and lifestyle choices.

The bill will let state-funded and private organizations make decisions about prospective parents based on their religious beliefs, meaning that couples who are gay, Jewish, Muslim or interfaith could be rejected when seeking to take care of a child. The bill could also affect people who have been divorced and remarried, or those who are single. Additionally, the bill provides a legal cover for agencies that use “religious freedom” as the basis for making their decision.

While five other states have passed similar laws, Texas’s is one of the few that extends to state-funded agencies. 

Read more here.

May 15, 2017 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Kentucky Judge Won't Hear Gay Adoption Cases

From The Washington Post:

Two years after a Kentucky county clerk stirred national attention for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, a family court judge in the same state announced he will no longer hear adoption cases involving gay parents, calling his stance on the issue “a matter of conscience.”

Judge W. Mitchell Nance, who sits in Barren and Metcalfe counties in Kentucky, issued an order Thursday saying he believes that allowing a “practicing homosexual” to adopt would “under no circumstance” promote the best interest of the child, he wrote in the order obtained by The Washington Post.

The judge disqualified himself from any adoption cases involving gay couples, citing judicial ethics codes requiring that judges recuse themselves whenever they have a “personal bias or prejudice” concerning a case. Nance’s “conscientious objection” to the concept of gay parents adopting children constitutes such a bias, he argued.

Read more here.

May 1, 2017 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Complicated custody battle between a child's adoptive parents and birth father

From ABC News:

Braelynn Dalsing is like any 3-year-old growing up in South Carolina. She’s fascinated with backyard chickens, loves the movie “Zootopia” and is attached to her mom and dad at the hip.

But really, Braelynn isn’t like most other girls her age at all. She’s at the center of a complicated custody battle, one that could have implications for adoptive families all over the country.

Braelynn is adopted. In December 2016, her adoptive parents were told that their adoption had been vacated and that, with conditions, the state intended to return their daughter to her biological father.

“It breaks our heart. Braelynn is the one at the middle of this,” Ed Dalsing, Braelynn’s adopted father, told ABC's “Nightline.”

Read more here.

March 8, 2017 in Adoption, Custody (parenting plans) | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, February 6, 2017

National Adoption Agency Unexpectedly Closes

From CBS Sacramento:

A nationwide adoption agency abruptly closes their doors and files for bankruptcy leaving hundreds of employees without jobs and nearly 2,000 families with questions.

Independent Adoption Center sent a note to clients and employees announcing the bankruptcy due to a “changing adoption climate.”

Jim Jensen and his wife Candy spent a decade trying to make a family.

Jim says it was like Christmas morning when they adopted two day old Alex six years ago.

They used Independent Adoption Center and had success. Everything was smooth. They were currently on the list for the last three years waiting to give Alex a sibling.

“There are so many kids out there who need a family. We have a lot of love to give,” said Candy, “we just want to complete our family.”

Read more here.

February 6, 2017 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Adoption App Sparks Controversy

From The Observer:

There’s a new app that’s supposed to make adopting kids quick and easy. Like most startups, it’s targeting millennials. The tagline: “Parenthood is just a swipe away.”

As its motto reveals, the app, Adoptly, is just like Tinder. You filter by your preferences (ethnicity, age, gender and distance), swipe left and right and then chat directly with children you match with. But to be clear, it’s not the company who’s dubbed it “Tinder for Adoption”—they denied it was molded after the pioneer swiping app, but the idea of swiping left on kids has the public and especially those in the adoption industry (but more on that later) feeling uneasy.

So it wasn’t a huge surprise when Kickstarter shut down the Adoptly campaign after just a few days. But now the company has relaunched on Indiegogo, and with a smaller goal. This time the team is seeking $100,000 rather than $150,000, and they told the Observer it’s because they’re in the process of closing a deal for VC.

“We feel it’s really unfair that Kickstarter would take down a legitimate idea, like Adoptly, just because some media outlets were debating its validity or felt uncomfortable with such an innovative and disruptive idea. Furthermore, we are really disappointed in Kickstarter for not reaching out to us beforehand,” co-founder Alex Nawrocki told the Observer, adding that Kickstarter suspended the campaign without an explanation or due process.

Read more here.

January 27, 2017 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)