Family Law Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Adoption Law in Washington

From kirotv:

A new law will open access to original, pre-adoption birth certificates for all Washington-born adult adoptees beginning in July, state officials announced Tuesday.

That means people who have wondered who their birth parents are may now find out without a lengthy court process. The state is taking pre-orders for original birth certificates now.

Read more here.


May 28, 2014 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

International Adoption

From the Washington Times:

A bipartisan bill to reform international adoption in the U.S. is running into stiff opposition.

Proponents say U.S. foreign policy and programming need to be reorganized to help ensure that millions of orphans are relocated from institutions to families, and that ethical, inter-country adoption by Americans is part of that solution.

Read more here.


May 27, 2014 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Adoption Tradition

Read and hear an audio here about the only known family in the United Kingdom with 3 generations of adopting.

May 13, 2014 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Last American Adoption from Crimea

From ABC:

As the overnight train pulled up to Crimea’s new border with Ukraine, Kristine Proctor held her breath. Armed soldiers outside the window peered inside.

“Are there any foreigners?” they asked the conductor. He pointed at Proctor and her companions: the girl she was adopting from a Crimean orphanage and Inna, the Ukrainian woman who was helping them escape.

“Two Americans,” the conductor replied. The soldiers didn’t ask any more questions and moved on. Eventually the train continued on its way to Kiev, Ukraine’s capital.

Proctor exhaled. Her daughter had made it out as the last Crimean orphan adopted by Americans.

Read more here.


April 23, 2014 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Utah on Adoptions

From Time:

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has approved a measure that will require unwed mothers to tell birth fathers that they plan to give custody of their children to adoption agencies.

Read more here.


April 22, 2014 in Adoption, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Breakdown of English Adoptions

From Family Law Week:

The most comprehensive study ever to be carried out into adoption in England has confirmed that the rate of breakdown is lower than anticipated, but it also reveals a stark picture of the problems faced by families.

In Beyond the Adoption Order: challenges, intervention, disruption researchers from the University of Bristol analysed national data on 37,335 adoptions over a 12 year period to show that 3.2 per cent of children – around three in 100 – move out of their adoptive home prematurely, known as a 'disruption'.

Adoptions were more likely to breakdown if a child was placed once they were over the age of four. Most adoptions breakdown during the teenage years with teenagers 10 times more at risk of disruption compared with children under the age of four.

Read more here.


April 8, 2014 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 3, 2014


From NBC News:

n an Internet forum where parents sought takers for adopted children they no longer wanted, a teenager from Haiti was offered more frequently than any other girl.

Starting at age 14, Nita Dittenber was passed among four families over two years through a practice called “private re-homing.”

In September, Reuters exposed an underground marketin which desperate parents use online bulletin boards to offer adoptees to strangers, often illegally and with no government oversight. The Internet forums, including the Yahoo group where Nita was advertised, can enable abusers to acquire children easily; in one case, an Illinois man who’s now in prison on child pornography charges took home a 10-year-old boy hours after an ad for the child was posted online.

Read more here.


April 3, 2014 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Foreign Adoptions Down

From US News:

The number of foreign children adopted by U.S. parents plunged by 18 percent last year to the lowest level since 1992, due in part to Russia's ban on adoptions by Americans. Adoptions from South Korea and Ethiopia also dropped sharply.

Figures released Friday by the U.S. State Department for the 2013 fiscal year showed 7,094 adoptions from abroad, down from 8,668 in 2012 and down about 69 percent from the high of 22,884 in 2004. The number has dropped every year since then.

Read more here.


March 28, 2014 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Adoption/Foster Care Funds in VA

From Greenwich Time:

Gov. Bob McDonnell is proposing nearly $28 million in state funding in the next two-year budget cycle for the foster care system and adoption efforts.

Read more here.


December 28, 2013 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Facebook Adoption

Read about a family adopting thanks to Facebook here.


September 27, 2013 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 23, 2013

In Re Adoption of C.B.M.: Adoption Must Be Set Aside When Termination Order Is Reversed

In a recent opinion handed down by the Supreme Court of Indiana, the adoption of twin children was set aside after a reversal of the termination of the birth mother’s parental rights.  In re Adoption of C.B.M.,  ---N.E.2d ----, (Ind. 2013).

C.B.M. and C.R.M., fraternal twins who were determined to be children in need of services were removed from their natural mother’s home in 2006.  Id. at *1. Approximately eighteen months later, the termination of parental rights (TPR) proceedings began and were granted six months later “over the strong objections of the twins’ guardian ad litem.”  Id.  The natural mother promptly appealed the judgment.  Id.  A few months later, the foster parents petitioned to adopt the children and the petition was granted approximately ten weeks after that.  Id.  However, after a couple of months had passed, the court of appeals reversed the judgment terminating the birth mother’s parental rights. Id.

The dispute in the supreme court centered on two issues: “whether the adoption mooted Natural Mother’s TPR appeal because of her failure to seek a stay of the TPR judgment pending appeal,” and “whether letting the Twins be adopted without Natural Mother’s notice or consent violated her Due Process rights.”  Id. at *3.  The court considered the situation “no-win” but eventually concluded that the “no-consent adoption that followed on [the] heels” of the TPR judgment “became voidable;” thus the trial court abused its discretion in failing to set aside the adoption. Id. at *8. 

The Indiana Supreme Court held that the birth mother was not required to file a stay of the TPR action “to preserve a meaningful appellate remedy” and that the birth mother was “entitled to relief from the adoption judgment when the TPR was ‘reversed or otherwise vacated’ on appeal.”   Id. at *5-6. 

 For the text of the opinion, click here.


September 23, 2013 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Overseas adoptions rise -- for black American children

From CNN:

Elisa van Meurs grew up with a Polish au pair, speaks fluent Dutch and English and loves horseback riding -- her favorite horse is called Kiki but she also rides Pippi Longstocking, James Bond, and Robin Hood.

She plays tennis and ice hockey, and in the summer likes visiting her grandmother in the Swiss Alps.

"It's really nice to go there because you can walk in the mountains and you can mountain bike ... you can see Edelweiss sometimes," said the 13-year-old, referring to the famous mountain flower that blooms above the tree line.

It's a privileged life unlike that of her birth mother, a woman of African American descent from Indianapolis who had her first child at age 15. Her American family is "really nice but they don't have a lot of money to do stuff," said Elisa, who met her birth mother, and two siblings in 2011. "They were not so rich."

While the number of international adoptions is plummetting-- largely over questions surrounding the origin of children put up for adoption in developing countries -- there is one nation from which parents abroad can adopt a healthy infant in a relatively short time whose family history and medical background is unclouded by doubt: The United States.

For the full article, click here.


September 22, 2013 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Iranian Single Women Can Adopt

From Tehran:

TEHRAN – The director of children and adolescence office at the Welfare Organization has announced that a regulation is being introduced that would allow single women over 30 to adopt girls.

Read more here.


July 8, 2013 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, February 18, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court Adoption Case

The Supreme Court is hearing an adoption case this term.  Read about it here.


February 18, 2013 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

More on Russian Adoption Ban

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial measure on Friday, December 28 banning the adoption of Russian children by U. S. families.  This is a significant blow to those wishing to adopt a child, as Russia is the third most popular country for U. S. citizens to adopt.  The law also "bars any political activities by nongovernmental organizations receiving funding from the United States" if the activities could affect Russian interests and "imposes sanctions against U. S. officials thought to have violated human rights."  The law goes into effect on January 1.

Read more here.


February 5, 2013 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Online Adoptions

This story, featured recently on an airing of NPR’s Morning Edition, spotlights the growing trend of online adoption.  More and more birth mothers are taking to the internet to find prospective parents for their unborn children.  As a result, traditional adoption agencies have had to deal with increasingly long client waitlists; some agencies are even advising their clients to create an online presence to help bolster their chances of finding a child faster.  Supporters of this avenue say it is less expensive, faster, and a better way for parents to get involved in the adoption process.  Skeptics are worried about the lack of screening and the ease of birth parents being scammed and conned.

Read more here.


January 19, 2013 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stalled Adoptions

From the New York Times:

The Carrs are among the 4,000 Americans who found themselves stuck in limbo when Guatemala shut down its international adoption program in January 2008 amid mounting evidence of corruption and child trafficking. Officials here and in Washington promised at the time to process the remaining cases expeditiously.

But officials and prospective parents say that bureaucratic delays, lengthy investigations and casework hobbled by shortages of staff and resources have left hundreds of children stranded in institutions for years. Today, 150 children — including Geovany — are still waiting in orphanages and foster homes here while the Guatemalan authorities weigh whether to approve their adoptions to families in the United States.

Read more here.


December 29, 2012 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cambodia Lifts US Adoption Ban


Cambodia has decided to lift its 3-year-old ban on adoptions of children by U.S. citizens, the country's foreign ministry has announced.

Secretary of State Long Visalo made the announcement Monday after meeting with U.S. Ambassador Susan Jacobs, a special adviser for children's issues, the Phnom Penh Post reported.

Read more here.


December 18, 2012 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Child Custody Dispute

From ABC News:

A judge has ordered a Utah couple to return their adopted toddler to her biological father after it was revealed that his wife gave up the child without the father's knowledge or permission.

The couple, Jared and Kristi Frei, now has 60 days to return the 21-month-old girl to her father Terry Achane, a U.S. Army drill instructor. But the Freis' lawyer told that they will not give up the girl, whom they call Leah, and will appeal the judge's ruling.

Read more here.


December 14, 2012 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Internet Changing Adoption

For an interesting account of how the internet is changing adoption, Download Adoption1 and Download Adoption2.


Hat Tip: Naomi Cahn

December 13, 2012 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)