Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"You can’t choose your sons, but you can choose your sons-in-law"

From the Freakonomics blog:

What happens when the heir to a family business isn’t up to the job? Not great things, apparently. But the Japanese have a solution: adult adoption. Rather than hand the firm to a less-than-worthy blood heir, Japanese families often adopt an adult to take over. This tradition is the subject of Vikas Mehrotra‘s paper “Adoptive Expectations: Rising Sons in Japanese Family Firms,” which is featured in our latest podcast and hour-long Freakonomics Radio special “The Church of Scionology.” (You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, listen live via the media player, or read the transcript here.) 

America and Japan have the highest rates of adoption in the world – with one big difference. While the vast majority of adoptees in the U.S. are children, they account for just 2% of adoptions in Japan. The other 98% are males around 25 to 30. Mehrotra believes this is the key to one of Japan’s unique differences. Across the developed world, family firms under-perform professionally-run businesses. But in Japan, it’s the opposite. Japan’s strongest companies are led by scions, many of them adopted. “If you compare the performance under different kinds of heirs, blood heirs versus adopted heirs, the superior performance of second-generation managed firms is pretty much entirely attributable to the adopted heir firms.”

Read more here.


November 23, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

National Adoption Day

From the Sacramento Bee:

National Adoption Day 2011 will be held on Saturday, November 19. Celebrated across the United States, more than 350 community events are held each year to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care and celebrate adoptive families.

This year, National Adoption Day will include events ranging from courtroom adoptions to local celebrations, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Thanks to the volunteer efforts of adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and lawyers, more than 35,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day during the last 11 years.

Read more here.


November 19, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Jurisdiction for Certain Adoption Proceedings

From the StarTribune:

Adoption proceedings for an Indian child whose parents' rights were terminated must take place within state courts, not tribal courts, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered Wednesday.

In the 4-2 decision, the court reversed two earlier orders granting the White Earth Band of Ojibwe permission to handle the child's adoption within its tribal court.

In its order, the Supreme Court reasoned that under the Indian Child Welfare Act, tribal authority is limited to foster care placement and termination of parental rights -- not adoptive placement.

Read more here.


November 8, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Adoption in Glee Misleading

From USA Today:

More than 2,600 people are asking Fox TV and its hit series Glee (Tuesdays, 8 p.m. ET/PT) to air public service announcements about the reality of adoption, arguing the show's current story line perpetuates "harmful" myths.

Amber Austin, who adopted a baby boy last year, began an online petition after watching Glee's Sept. 27 episode, in which Quinn (Dianna Agron) vows to get her baby girl back after placing her for adoption. Glee returns Tuesday after a two-week hiatus.

"What really bothers me," Austin says, is the suggestion that birth mothers can simply take back a child.

Read more here.


November 3, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nevada Receives Adoption Recognition

From the Nevada Appeal:

The federal Department of Health and Human Services has doubled its adoption program grant to Nevada's Division of Child and Family Services as a reward for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care.

Where last year's award was less than $500,000, this year's total is $995,455 based on 652 finalized adoptions statewide.

DCFS Administrator Diane Comeaux said the money will help finalize adoptions of older youths and the medically fragile.

Under the federal rules, states get $4,000 for every child adopted over and above their best year's total, plus $8,000 for every child aged 9 and older and $4,000 for every special-needs child adopted.

Read more here.


October 29, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Only 60 Babies Adopted in England Last Year

Unbelievable news from the Independent:

Only 60 babies were adopted in England last year – startling evidence of how Britain's system for adopting children is grinding to a halt despite record numbers being taken into care.

Thousands of children are being held in limbo in care homes, secure units and temporary fostering because so few adoptions are being signed off by social workers. Their guidance has been to try to keep families together, which has also led to some children being left with negligent or abusive birth parents for too long.

The number of adoptions of babies under the age of one has fallen from 150 in 2007 – and around 4,000 in 1976. Prospects for adopted babies are considered strong, as they have fewer difficulties bonding with new parents.

Read more here.



October 26, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chinese Officials Fired for Adoption-Process Violations

From the New York Times:

Twelve government employees have been fired and stripped of their Communist Party membership after an investigation into allegations that family planning officials kidnapped children in an impoverished rural area in the southern Chinese province of Hunan, People’s Daily, the party’s official newspaper, reported Thursday.


In a scandal that has drawn widespread coverage, parents and grandparents claim that officials from Longhui, a county that is administered by Shaoyang, illegally seized at least 16 children between 1999 and 2006 because of allegations that family planning rules were violated. Caixin Century Weekly, a Chinese magazine,  reported in May that some were later adopted by foreigners.

Read more here.


October 8, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Adoption in VA

From Pilot Online:

Gay rights advocates notched a victory Wednesday when the State Board of Social Services agreed to allow more time for public comment on proposed state adoption standards that lack protection against discrimination against gays and some other prospective parents.

But the extra 30 days granted by the board may do little more than delay the approval of the regulations, which govern private child placement agencies licensed by the state.

The extended comment period will begin next month and continue through Oct. 12, about one week before the next board meeting.

From there, the board has the option to approve the regulations as is or amend them.

Read more here.


August 22, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Adult Adoptions


Adult adoptions appear to be rising in America, according to Chuck Johnson, president and CEO of the National Council For Adoption. The advocacy group is the only organization that tallies the number of domestic adoptions taking place in the U.S., said Johnson, though it does not specifically track adult adoptions. Statistics are difficult to compile, experts say, because many states still mandate that adoption court records are sealed and confidential.

“But anecdotally, it does seem to be occurring more frequently,” Johnson said. The most common scenario he sees: former foster children — now adults — who are being adopted by their long-time foster parents. In rare cases, adoption experts say, adults who have lost or are estranged from their biological parents befriend older people who begin to feel like mothers and fathers — and they ultimately seek to legalize that emotional attachment.

Read more here.



July 25, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kanoy: "The Effectiveness of the Internal Revenue Code's Adoption Tax Credit: Fostering the Nation's Future?"

From Paul Caron's Tax LawProf Blog:

Leah Carson Kanoy (LL.M. (Tax) 2011, Florida) has published Note, The Effectiveness of the Internal Revenue Code's Adoption Tax Credit: Fostering the Nation's Future?, 21 U. Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 201 (2010). Here is the Conclusion:

The adoption tax credit was designed to further two congressional objectives: to reduce financial barriers to all adoptions and to encourage the adoption of special needs children, such as those in the foster care system. Unfortunately, the adoption credit of I.R.C. § 23 is expensive and has been unsuccessful at achieving the congressional goal of promoting adoptions from foster care. For the credit to successfully incentivize foster care adoptions, it must be structured in a way that it is accessible to lower-income taxpayers who do not have the requisite tax liability to claim the credit. This can be achieved by transforming the current credit into a refundable credit. With the sunset date quickly approaching, Congress must determine whether it should continue to allow millions in forgone revenue without the corresponding desired result, or whether it should consider implementing new spending alternatives that would effectively promote its objectives.


July 13, 2011 in Adoption, Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

RI Birth Certificate Access


PROVIDENCE — For the third year in a row, the House unanimously approved a bill to allow adults who were adopted to obtain copies of their original birth certificates, clearing the way for action in the Senate.

Read more here.


July 13, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Intercountry Adoptions

From the Washington Times:

NEW YORK, June 10, 2011 — The past month has been ripe with changes for Americans interested in international adoption.  Three countries—Ukraine, Mexico and the Democratic Republic of Congo—have issued new regulations that are expected to dramatically restrict and reduce intercountry adoption.

Read more here.


June 25, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Florida has a novel plan to increase adoptions of foster children.  Read about it here.


May 17, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Appleton & Pollak: "Exploring the Connections between Adoption and IVF: Twibling Analyses"

Susan Appleton (Wash. Univ. School of Law St. Louis) & Robert Pollak (Wash. Univ. Saint Louis Buss. School) have posted "Exploring the Connections between Adoption and IVF: Twibling Analyses" (95 Minn. L. Rev. Headnotes 60 (2011)) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

This essay responds to Trading-Off Reproductive Technology and Adoption: Does Subsidizing IVF Decrease Adoption Rates and Should It Matter?, in which I. Glenn Cohen and Daniel L. Chen analyze what they describe as an arm-chair principle called “the substitution theory”–the claim that facilitating treatment for infertility, including subsidizing in vitro fertilization (IVF), decreases adoptions. Cohen and Chen venture well beyond the arm chair, closely interrogating the substitution theory both normatively and empirically and concluding, contrary to the substitution theory, that IVF subsidies do not decrease and might actually increase adoptions.

Returning to the arm chair, this Response offers two different perspectives. First, we use a family law lens to focus on important elements of Cohen and Chen’s analysis, both explicit and implicit, including adoption, IVF, genetic connections, reproductive autonomy, and gender. We show how these elements are shaped by the authors’ assumptions, prevailing legal principles, and our culture more generally. Next, we use an economic lens to reveal how mandated subsidies for IVF produce varied conduct, depending on the preferences and resources of those who would consider adoption and IVF. Approaching Cohen and Chen’s analysis from these two different vantage points demonstrates that arm-chair theorizing, properly done, can illuminate the relationship between IVF and adoption.


May 15, 2011 in Adoption, Alternative Reproduction, Scholarship, Family Law | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Troubling Adoptions

From the Chicago Tribune:

The "Baby Tamia" case shined a light on the unregulated corners of for-profit adoption and sparked a new law, ensuring that adoption was about building families, not making money.

Some six years later, the Adoption Reform Act has gone a long way in shutting down shady operators, but the Internet has opened up troubling new loopholes, say child welfare advocates.

"The Internet and adoption is like the Wild West," said Adam Pertman, director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, a research and advocacy organization. "Stuff is happening out there that no one is moderating, regulating or paying attention to."

Read more here.


April 23, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

U.S. 5th Circuit Rules Against Gay Dads in Birth Certificate Case

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled, on en banc rehearing, against two men who legally adopted a child in New York and then sought a Louisiana birth certificate for the Louisiana-born child listing both of them as fathers.  The court held that neither equal protection nor full faith and credit required Louisiana to change their birth certificate practice to recognize the adoption.

Read the lengthy opinion and multiple concurrences and dissents here.  Download Adar v. Smith.


April 13, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Conservative VA Governor Weighs Gay Adoption

From the Washington Post:

Republican Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is considering whether to try to derail proposed regulations developed by his Democratic predecessor that would for the first time allow gay couples to adopt children in Virginia.

McDonnell has less than two weeks to act on the regulations that would force state-licensed private and church-run agencies to allow unmarried couples — heterosexual or homosexual — to adopt children.

Conservatives, including Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), are lobbying McDonnell to ask the State Board of Social Services to kill the proposal because they do not think it is healthy for gay couples to raise children.

Marshall said that he considers the change part of a “radical anti-family proposal” and that he does not even think single people should adopt, which is currently allowed by law. “Children need a mother and a father,” he said.

Eric Finkbeiner, McDonnell’s policy director, said that the governor was considering his options but in general “supports and encourages” adoption of children by married couples and single parents.

McDonnell must make his recommendation to the State Board of Social Services, a nine-member panel in which all but four members are holdovers from his Democratic predecessor, by April 16.

Kaine, who is expected to run for U.S. Senate next year, proposed the change to the regulations in November 2009, less than two months before he left the office to become the full-time chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Currently, only married couple and single men and women — regardless of sexual orientation — can adopt in Virginia. The proposal, according to the governor’s office, would mandate that gay singles and unmarried couples be able to access faith-based groups, such as Catholic Charities and Jewish Family Services, to adopt children.

Read more here.


April 6, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fewer International Adoptions in the United States

From the Telegraph:

In 2004, American families adopted almost 23,000 children from around the world, but by 2010 that figure had more than halved to 11,058, according to US State Department figures.

"We have stopped organising adoptions for overseas clients because it was just too hard to find good families," said Leah Kigutha, director of Maji Mzuri Children's Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

A surge in enquiries up to 2010 "attributed to publicity surrounding Madonna's case" had stalled as increased legislation governing adoptions was discussed by the US authorities, Ms Kigutha said.

The Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption entered into force in the US in early 2008, at the same time as Madonna's case to adopt David Banda, a Malawian toddler, was bogged down in a Lilongwe court.

Read more here.

March 26, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wells Conference on Adoption Law

Seventh Annual Wells Conference on Adoption Law 
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Maintaining a Family:  Post Adoption Challenges for Families

Join us at this year’s Wells Conference, Thurs., March 17, to hear from nationally-recognized professors and practitioners on such timely issues as:

  • Procuring Pre-Adoption Safeguards to Secure Post-Adoption Success
  • Overcoming Health and Assimilation Issues Facing Adopted Children and Their Families
  • What Happens When an Adoption Fails?

The Wells Conference strives to include both academic ideas and practical advice for attorneys. 6.0 CLE and CEU credit hours are pending approval. 

For more information and to register, visit the Wells Conference website.  For questions about the conference, call Ashley Blackburn, Symposium Editor, at 937-418-8599 or e-mail her at [email protected].

The theme for this year’s conference was inspired by the case of the young Russian boy who was sent back to Moscow after his adoptive mother in Tennessee became overwhelmed with his emotional problems.  Our hope is to focus this year’s conference on ways to prevent an adoption from going wrong, and to recognize potential issues early in the adoption process in order to prevent situations like what happened in Tennessee.

 Capital University Law School is home to the National Center for Adoption Law & Policy.  In light of the Law School’s strong focus and dedication to adoption and family law, the Capital University Law Review initiated the Wells Conference on Adoption Law in 2005, and, due to its success, is proud to announce the Seventh Conference on Thursday, March 17, 2011, at the Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio.


January 30, 2011 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Two Adoption Bills Signed Into Law

The Adoption Simplification Act does more than simplify the process for families. It helps ensure the safety of adopted children. Previously, the U.S. required all children adopted from Hague Convention countries – including China, Thailand, the Philippines and India – to receive all their vaccinations before entering the U.S. Delivered all at once, these immunizations can be unsafe to young children. “It’s good public health,” Susan Cox, Holt director of public policy and external affairs, says of ensuring everyone receives routine vaccinations against infectious diseases. “But not for babies.”
With the passage of this act, all children 10 or younger – adopted from any country – may wait to get their shots until after they enter the U.S. Delaying immunizations has one additional effect on the adoption process – an effect important to every parent and every child eager to be united as a family. “It means the children won’t have to wait so long (to enter the U.S.),” says Cox.

The Adoption Simplification Act includes one additional provision. Families who’ve adopted from Hague signatories may now adopt their child’s siblings, up to 18-years-old. Previously, the cut-off age was 16. For the siblings who will now be able to reunite in an adoptive family, this news is monumental – as well as a major step forward in protecting the rights of orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children.

Another breakthrough for adoptive families occurred December 9th. . . Obama signed into law the Help HAITI Act, ensuring citizenship for every child brought to the U.S. from Haiti on humanitarian parole visas.

Following the earthquake, the U.S. issued these visas to approximately 100 children already matched with adoptive families. Unlike children adopted through the usual process – who are automatically naturalized – these children faced years of waiting for the legal protections entitled to U.S. citizens.

Read more here.


January 7, 2011 in Adoption, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)