Thursday, April 4, 2024

Tennessee passes bill permitting non-accepting parents to adopt LGBTQ children

From The Hill:

Tennessee passed a bill Monday that will allow potential parents who hold anti-LGBTQ beliefs to adopt and foster LGBTQ children.

The bill, Senate Bill 1738, passed 73-20. The bill will prohibit the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) from requiring prospective or current adoptive and foster parents to agree with government policy regarding “sexual orientation or gender identity” that conflicts with their own beliefs.

Under the bill, DCS is prohibited from deeming parents unfit to be a child’s guardian based on their own “religious or moral beliefs regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The bill noted that DCS can still consider the values of the child and parents when determining the “most appropriate placement.”

If signed into law, the bill would conflict with federal rules that place safeguards on LGBTQ children. After passing the Senate, the bill now heads to Gov. Bill Lee (R-Tenn.).

The bill mandates that non-affirming foster parents have access to LGBTQ children for fostering or adoption. It states that a parents’ beliefs about sexual orientation or gender identity do not create “a presumption that any particular placement is contrary to the best interest of the child.”

“This bill clarifies that an action taken by a parent that is protected by this bill does not give rise to a claim or cause of action against the parent,” the bill’s text said.

State Rep. Justin Jones (D-Tenn.) argued the bill is discriminatory and “cloaked under the guise of religion.”

Read more here.

April 4, 2024 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Colombia Upholds Abortion Laws as Legalization Battle Shifts to Argentina

From Wall Street Journal 

Colombia’s top court Monday opted not to expand abortion rights but campaigners for the procedure now look to Argentina, where the new leftist president said he will propose a legalization bill to Congress by next week.
Both countries have become the focus of abortion legalization activists working to loosen Latin America’s strict laws against the procedure. But the effort in Colombia has for the moment been put on ice after magistrates of the Constitutional Court here voted 6-3 against a motion brought by the justice handling the case, Alejandro Linares, that sought to lift all restrictions on abortion through 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Arguing that abortion decriminalization was out of the purview of the court, the decision by the judges for now keeps intact a 14-year-old law here that permits abortion in three cases: rape, fetal abnormality or health risks to the mother.
The court’s move was a partial victory for conservative lawyers and politicians that had fought against efforts to expand abortion rights. But it also gave assurance to pro-abortion campaigners that the three broad grounds to legally perform the procedure would be protected.

Read more here 

March 3, 2020 in Abortion, Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Court Takes Another Look at Native American Adoption Law

From Journal Review 

Federal appellate judges closely questioned attorneys for the government and Native American tribes Wednesday over whether a law meant to preserve Native American families and culture unconstitutionally intrudes into state adoption issues.

It was the second time in a year that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was considering the future of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act. A three-judge panel of the appellate court upheld the act in August .

Opponents of the law — including non-native families who have tried to adopt American Indian children — sought and got a full court re-hearing. Sixteen judges heard the latest arguments.

Aside from strictly legal issues, the case sparks strong emotions. Matthew McGill, representing families challenging the law, told the court that one set of would-be adoptive parents had a child “pried out of their arms because she was not an Indian.”

Outside the courthouse, Rosa Soto Alvarez, of Tuscon, Arizona, held onto the flag of the Pascua Yaqui tribe. She said the ICWA helped her and her three siblings get adopted by a Native American family after her mother's suicide when she was 11.

“Because I grew up in a Yaqui home, and knowing our culture and tradition, I was elected to be in tribal leadership,” said Alvarez, a member of the tribal council.

Read more here 

January 22, 2020 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Adoptees Can Access Birth Certificates Under New NY Law

From The Associated Press

New York has become the 10th state to allow adopted adults unrestricted access to their original birth certificates, a step that will help some people investigate their family histories.

A new law effective Wednesday does away with restrictions dating back to the 1930s that required an adoptee to seek a hard-to-get court order to access original birth records.

Those rules had originally been intended to protect the privacy of parents who relinquished their children. But attitudes about the rights of adopted individuals have shifted, while social media and DNA technology have made it easier for long-separated relatives to connect.

Read more here 

January 16, 2020 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Supreme Court Names Koch to Innovation Initiative


State Senator Eric Koch (R-Bedford) has been appointed to serve as a member of the Indiana Innovation Initiative established by the Indiana Supreme Court

The 13-member group appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court will work to foster innovation within the legal profession. The Court issued an order establishing the Indiana Innovation Initiative to maintain Indiana’s place as a national leader in legal reform.

“We must actively seek and cultivate opportunities to improve the practice of law and the justice system in Indiana, and that includes welcoming innovation,” explained Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush.

Read more here

October 30, 2019 in Abortion, Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 28, 2019

Arizona official charged in adoption scheme is suspended

From Fox News

    An Arizona elected official was suspended Monday after being charged in a multimillion-dollar adoption scheme that allegedly brought pregnant women to the U.S. to give birth and then paid them to put the babies up for adoption.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors suspended assessor Paul Petersen --  he has refused calls to resign --  for 120 days without pay. The board doesn't have the power to remove him from his office, which determines the value of properties for tax purposes in Phoenix and its suburbs.

Read more here



October 28, 2019 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Arkansas Judge: Court to Hear 19 Adoption Scheme Cases

From U.S. News & World Report 

An Arkansas judge ruled Friday that the court will decide individual outcomes to 19 statewide adoption cases against an Arizona elected official accused of human trafficking.

Paul Petersen, a Republican county assessor in Arizona, was arrested Tuesday for running what authorities call a human smuggling scheme. He's accused of paying thousands of dollars to pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to travel to the U.S., where they were crammed into houses to await giving birth for adoption.

Read more here 

October 15, 2019 in Adoption, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Dispute over Adoption of Native American Child

From The New York Times:

The 3-year-old boy who could upend a 40-year-old law aimed at protecting Native American children barreled into the suburban living room, merrily defying his parents’ prediction that he might be shy. He had a thatch of night-black hair and dark eyes that glowed with mischievous curiosity. As he pumped a stranger’s hand and scampered off to bounce on an indoor trampoline, his Superman cape floated behind him, as if trying to catch up.

Read more here.

June 8, 2019 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Man Sues Judge Who Ruins Wedding Day

From The Pocono Record:

A man who says he was unlawfully detained on his wedding day by a Pennsylvania judge who wrongly suspected he was in the United States illegally filed a federal lawsuit Thursday, alleging violations of his constitutional rights.

Alexander Parker sued Camp Hill-based District Judge Elizabeth S. Beckley, two court entities and an unidentified court officer who, Parker says, told him he was not free to leave.

The federal lawsuit claims Guatemala-born Parker and his fiancee went to Beckley’s court office to get married in May 2017, but Beckley’s suspicions prompted her to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Read more here.

March 3, 2019 in Adoption, Current Affairs, Marriage (impediments) | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Hardship of an Open Adoption

From The Atlantic:

In America today, it’s quite normal for a family to adopt a child and maintain some degree of contact with the child’s birth parents. But as accepted as this is now, it’s a significant departure from the adoption practices that dominated for most of the 20th century, when “closed” adoptions were preferred (that is, adoptions in which children’s biological parents cease to be a part of their life after the adoption).

Slowly, in the later decades of the century, experts came to favor these more open processes. As the journalist-turned-adoption-advocate Adam Pertman wrote in his 2006 book, Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution Is Transforming Our Families—And America, “Social-work and mental-health experts have reached a consensus that greater openness offers an array of benefits for adoptees—from ongoing information about family medical issues to fulfillment of their innate desire to know about their genealogical histories, even if the expanded relationships prove difficult or complicated for some of the participants.”

Some 13 years later, Vanessa McGrady’s new book, Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption, reads like a real-life manifestation of Pertman’s theory on open adoptions—but it sheds some revealing light on the “difficult or complicated” part. Like Pertman, McGrady posits in her book that “open adoption is better … for the mental health of all involved,” but what Rock Needs River does most effectively is lay bare the stressful, painful, psychologically taxing situations that can result from open adoption. (Full disclosure: I am adopted, and my adoption is closed.)

Read more here.

February 10, 2019 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Transracial Adoptees On Their Racial Identity and Sense of Self

From NPR:

The story Nicole Chung was told about her adoption was always the same: "Your birth parents had just moved here from Korea. They thought they wouldn't be able to give you the life you deserved."

Her adoptive parents were white Catholics living in Oregon who told the story with joy: explaining that Chung was born 10 weeks premature, that her birth parents worried she would struggle all her life, that they believed adoption was the best thing for her.

As a child, Chung, the editor-in-here.chief of Catapult and a founding member of The Toast, accepted this story much in the same way all of us accept the narratives presented to us about the lives our families had before us. Chung writes that the story was a "kind of faith, one to rival any religion, informing our beliefs about ourselves and our families and our place in the world." Though she liked the prepackaged myth of her birth parents as selfless, wanting only the best for their daughter, as she became older Chung started to wonder if the story was the entire truth.

Read more here.

October 28, 2018 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 14, 2018

Georgia Adoption Process Made Easier

From Politically Georgia:

A major overhaul of Georgia’s adoption laws went into effect this month, lifting some of the hurdles facing couples who want to adopt a child.

The adoption law, which took force Sept. 1, will ensure that Georgia residents can stay in-state rather than traveling elsewhere to adopt, said state Rep. Bert Reeves, the sponsor of the House Bill 159.

"It will make it easier for prospective parents to navigate the adoption process and adopt a child right here in Georgia,” said Reeves, R-Marietta.

“This law makes it easier for Georgia’s most vulnerable children to find permanent, stable and loving homes,” said House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge. 

Read more here.

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

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Childhood Trauma Brings its Own Health Problems for Foster Families

From The Washington Post:

“Raise your hand if you think every child deserves a loving home,” the social worker said.

She held up a photo of five brothers and sisters, all teenagers.

I glanced around the room and tried to read the eyes of other potential foster-care parents at the information session. A dozen couples and a handful of singles ranging in age from late 20s to mid-50s sat in the conference room of a private nonprofit agency in Maryland that handles foster placements. Did they feel as uncertain as I did?

People often say they can’t be a foster parent because it would be too painful to grow close to a child only to say goodbye. But with more than 430,000 kids in foster care in the United States and a decline in the number of available beds in licensed foster homes, according to the Chronicle of Social Change, I wondered whether the real reason for the shortage of foster parents stems from the unspoken fear I harbored: concern about the health and behavioral challenges of kids who had experienced trauma.

Read more here.

September 4, 2018 in Adoption, Child Abuse | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ireland Repository Refuses Release of 70,000 Adoption Records


Tusla has refused repeated requests from the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) for access to certain adoption records it holds.

Tusla is the largest repository of adoption records in the country, holding around 70,000 records from former adoption societies. A further 30,000 are held by the AAI, and some 50,000 are held by accredited agencies.

As the regulatory body for adoption in Ireland, the AAI has the power to inspect and copy all records held by bodies accredited under the Adoption Act 2010.

However, despite holding almost 50% of all adoption records in existence, Tusla is not an accredited body under the act and the AAI has no power over how it holds these records.

Read more here

August 28, 2018 in Adoption | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 24, 2018

Australia Revokes Ban on Adoption of Children from India

From Sputnik International:

India's Ministry of Women and Child Development confirmed on Tuesday that Australia has revoked a ban it imposed eight years ago on the adoption of children from India over trafficking concerns.

Earlier on Monday, Australia's Assistant Minister for Children and Families David Gillespie said that India had "improved its processes" to comply with The Hague Convention on Adoption and could rejoin the 13 countries still on Australia's approved adoption list. 

Indian law mandates that adoption shall be finalized by a court order within a period of two months from the date of filing of the application. To address a delay in the adoption process, the Ministry of Women and Child Development has proposed empowering local level administration (District Magistrates), instead of "Courts" for issuing orders under adoption proceedings.

Read more here.

August 24, 2018 in Adoption, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Migrant Children Face Threat of International Adoption

From The Intercept:

WHEN NEWS REPORTS first began to emerge that 81 of the migrant children recently separated from their parents had been sent into the care of one of the largest adoption agencies in the country, the response was swift alarm. Was the government planning on creating “social orphans” out of the children, then offering them up for adoption?

Horrified observers had already drawn parallels between the separation crisis and the blatantly assimilationist treatment of Native American children, starting with their mass removal to boarding schools in the late 19th Century and continuing through the Indian Adoption Project, which from the late 1950s to early 1970s removed 25 to 35 percent of all Native American children from their families. Or how U.S. slavery systematically broke apart families, selling children away from their parents. A number pointed out that the forcible transfer of children from one group of people to another fits the United Nations definition of genocide.

To adoption reform advocates, who monitor unethical and abusive practices in child welfare, it looked like any number of adoption crises in the past, like the airlifts out of Haiti in the wake of its cataclysmic 2010 earthquake. Then, masses of unaccompanied children were suddenly labeled orphans and became the focus of a deafening campaign in the U.S. to rescue them through inter-country adoption, even as Haitian adults were being warned not to try to come themselves.

Read more here.

August 4, 2018 in Adoption, Current Affairs, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Religious Adoption Agencies in Philadelphia Can't Exclude Gay Couples

From Metro Weekly:

Last week, a federal judge ruled that religiously-affiliated child placement agencies do not have a right to refuse to place children with same-sex couples by citing religious beliefs.

Judge Petrese B. Tucker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the city of Philadelphia can keep in place its policy requiring all the foster and adoption agencies with which it contracts to abide by the city’s nondiscrimination policies, which prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Tucker found that because CSS refuses to place children with same-sex couples or LGBTQ individuals, they had violated the city’s nondiscrimination law, and are therefore not entitled to continue to receive taxpayer dollars. Currently, the organization has a $19.4 million contract with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, reports NBC News.

Read more here.

July 23, 2018 in Adoption, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

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


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)