Parents who want to adopt a child from overseas will have a harder time doing so. The United States government has raised the fees. They have also made changes to the requirements that have to be met in order to adopt a child.
In 2004, there were 22,884 children adopted from overseas. Only 5,732 children were adopted from overseas in 2016. This is a nearly 80 percent decrease. The National Council for Adoption is fighting against the new fees. Chuck Johnson is the CEO of the organization. He stated that the fees will make it too hard for people to adopt a child.
Chuck also stated that the fees will make it harder for organizations to maintain their accreditation. There are fewer international adoption agencies today than there were in the past. There are currently 160 international adoption agencies in the United States. There were 200 over a decade ago.
Many of the remaining adoption organizations are faith-based. They think that adoption is a part of their mission work. Leaders of faith-based organizations have stated that they are also frustrated with the way that adoption is going.
Furthermore, American families are having trouble adopting children overseas because of all of this international turmoil. Many adoptions in other countries have been stopped because of scandals. Most of the children in the United States who are adopted from another country come from China.
However, fewer people are adopting from China because more Chinese children are being adopted domestically. In the past, many people adopted children from Russia. However, these adoptions have been stopped because of political strains.
Richard Klarberg is the president of the Council of Accreditation. He stated that several leaders of organizations have been forced to relinquish their duties.
On Monday, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Education and Science released new adoption numbers for 2017. Around 400 children were adopted last year in the country of some 17 million inhabitants. Kazakhstan’s government has started a new initiative to help funnel children out of the country’s system of orphanages.
As part of the government’s effort to trim down its orphanage population, they are encouraging the adoption and fostering of orphans. Their efforts paid off last year, as the number of orphanages in the country dropped by 35%. In 2017, more than 2,000 children were placed under legal guardianship, while more than 200 went into foster care.
While the government works to help orphaned children find homes, private citizens are doing their part as well. Murat Kabylbayev, a foster father from the village of Kenessary, has adopted 12 children so far. He is an advocate of adoption and fostering, working with the Kazakhstan Without Orphans project to find children loving homes. He was recently named one of the 100 New Faces of Kazakhstan for his work in promoting adoption and fostering.
Kazakhstan has allowed inter-country adoption since 1989, and Kazakhstani children have historically been a popular choice for American couples. Kazakhstan has consistently ranked in the top 10 countries from which Americans adopt the most children. Americans typically pay around $40,000 per child, and parents must provide post-adoption reports every six months for three years after the adoption date. Annual post-adoption reports are required until the adopted child reaches 18. Kazakhstan typically does not allow same-sex parents, single parents or unmarried parents to adopt children, and sometimes it can take up to two years to complete the adoption process.
Despite its popularity, Kazakhstan has not always remained open to inter-country adoptions. In 2013, Kazakhstan halted American adoptions after two Kazakhstani children were discovered staying at an improperly licensed facility in Montana. The children were returned to their parents, and the country put a temporary ban on the American adoption of Kazakhstani children.
Stories often fill the news about celebrities, religious leaders and others adopting children overseas. Recent changes in international adoption will make these adoptions more difficult. On February 16, Associated Press writer David Crary reported that the United States government had made changes to international adoption procedures, regulation and fees designed to prevent scams that have harmed the public. Increased fees passed on to prospective parents are expected to generate funds necessary to safeguard them by enlarging and improving accreditation and investigation staff and processes.
Business leaders at the National Council for Adoption and many adoption agencies are upset about the new changes. One adoption agency CEO, Greg Eubanks, told the press that international adoptions are a “life-and-death issue” for some kids who have mental health issues and need relocation from their birth countries. Yet, Eubanks’ claim seems to ignore that international adoptions have actually dropped over the last decade and a half from tens of thousands to less than 6,000. American families only adopted 5,372 children from other countries in 2016.
Although it is true that children are suffering in countries around the world, leaders at adoption agencies seem to have ignored the suffering taking place in the United States. Experts estimate that as many as one out of every 30 children in the U.S. don’t have a home. Although many of the estimated 2.5 million school-aged children without homes have families or guardians who are also experiencing their homelessness, a lot of children have no one to rely upon to help them. Additionally, a 2015 government report revealed that an estimated 400,000 children were waiting in foster care for someone to adopt them. Over 28,000 children had been waiting for five years or more.
Given these numbers, critics often ask why the government permits any foreign adoptions outside of special circumstances. Faith-based organizations usually see it as their mission to adopt children from foreign countries even though there’s an obvious need for an increase in domestic adoptions. Some U.S. citizens hope that the new international adoption fees and associated regulations will prompt more families to adopt here at home.
The Parke family had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Not only did the couple celebrate each other’s love, but they also added four children to their family. Jennifer Riedel-Parke and her wife Trudy have fostered several children over the years.
They are the proud parents of 6-year-old Kyle, 4-year-old Jazz, 3-year-old Bethann and 21-month Jonathan. The couple held a celebration at their house, which was attended by their family members and friends. They had a superhero-themed party. “Even Superman Was Adopted” was on the cake.
All of the children are biological siblings. The Parkes have been the children’s foster parents since 2016. They stated that they only take in siblings. The couple thought that they would temporarily foster the children. However, the biological parents gave up their rights. Jennifer is happy that things turned out the way that they did because she always wanted to have a family.
The children call their parents Mama Chewy and Mama Jen. Trudy stated that Jen cooks for the children every day. She cooks fruits, vegetables and homemade soups. She also makes homemade pancakes and sushi.
Trudy stated that the couple is open to adopting more children. Christine Dangrow was the case manager. She was in the courtroom when the adoption was finalized. Being a foster parent is not easy. They have to make sure that all of the children’s basic needs are met, which includes taking them to medical and dental appointments.
Christine stated that it warms her heart to see people care for children that are not biologically theirs. She believes that the children will thrive in the Parke home because it is an environment of love, nurturing, structure and discipline.
A Russian mother is fighting a battle in court after her adopted kids were stripped away from her by local authorities. The adopting mother, Yulia Savinovskikh said she had breast surgery because her large breasts were affecting her health and well-being. Right before having the breast surgery, Yulia said she wrote a blog where she pretended she was a man.
Her two adopted children were taken away from her in August of 2017. The court said that because she identified as being a man in her blog post before the surgery, she had no right to be an adoptive parent of the kids anymore. It is important to point out that the kids that Yulia Savinovskikh adopted were from an orphanage. They are also mentally ill.
The Russian district court in Yekaterinburg said that Mrs. Savinovskikh could no longer play the role of a mother and that she goes against what is considered normal in Russian society. The court in Yekaterinburg also said that she is violating family law principles in the country. This is a clear form of discrimination.
Yulia Savinovskikh has three older children which she has given birth and raised. She also says that her kids call her mum like any other child would call their mother. Savinovskikh has also added that she is not taking any hormones or undergoing a penis reconstruction surgery to make her more manly. She is also not changing her gender on her documents and will contain to be listed as a female. Savinovskikh is also married to a man who is her husband and was supportive of her breast surgery.
Mrs. Savinovskikh’s struggle to win back custody of her adopted kids who are only a few years old and are mentally ill is emblematic of a larger problem when it comes to adoption in Russia. Many parents who are homosexual or transgender face discrimination when adopting kids. Homosexuals and transgender people are also discriminated against and face persecution in Russia. Instead of focusing on giving these kids a happy and loving home by people that want to adopt them, the Russian courts are attacking their supposed sexuality and lifestyle. This is wrong and needs to change.
Keyaun is getting ready to celebrate the Chinese New Year with his family. A couple from Singapore fell in love with him after they saw a documentary about children in China with disabilities. Keyaun was born with no ears. He has had a fascination with airplanes ever since he was young.
Keyaun grew up in foster care. He was heartbroken when he watched other children get adopted. He wondered if he would ever have a family of his own. Keyaun’s dream of having finally came true after he turned 8. Dr. Lim Poh Liah and Mr Yap Von Hing fell in love with Keyaun when they saw him on television.
The couple already had three children who were almost grown. They were looking forward to being empty-nesters. However, that changed when they saw the documentary about children with disabilities. Many of the children are abandoned because their parents cannot afford to take care of them.
Keyaun was abandoned when he was just a few days old. He was 7-years-old during the time that the documentary aired and was considered by many to be too old to adopt. Children in China are no longer eligible for adoption once they turn 14. In the documentary, Keyaun stated that even though he wanted to be a part of a real family, he was not going to rush it.
Dr. Lim was touched by Keyaun’s world. She and her husband decided to fly to Beijing to meet Keyaun. He was just as eager to meet the couple as they were to meet him. They kept in touch via letter for months. He was officially adopted on January 29, 2018.
February 14th was a whole lot more special for one household in Jeanette, Pennsylvania, as it’s now become another sort of holiday to commemorate the day the Parkes became a family.
Trudy Parke and her wife Jennifer Riedel-Parke have been parents to many foster kids over the years, but this Valentine’s Day was when they finally decided to make an arrangement permanent. Since August of 2016, the two had been fostering four siblings. Though they initially thought the arrangement would be temporary, the children’s birth parents ended up terminating their rights to parentage, a duty the Parkes were more than happy to take up in their stead.
“Today is a trifecta,” said Trudy. “It’s Ash Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, and Adopt Some Kids Day.” Having always wanted a family of their own, the couple and their friends and family were overjoyed once the final hearing ended with Westmoreland County Senior Judge John Driscoll. There was even a cake donated by the local JessB Bakes bakery, with the message “Even Superman was Adopted” written in icing.
This became something of a family motto for the six, as their first pictures together after being legally recognized as a family had them all wearing shirts featuring the quote and Clark Kent glasses. The kids, Kyle, Jazz, Bethann, and Jonathan, all seem happy about the arrangement, having had ample time to adjust to the idea their stay with the Parkes would be permanent and coming to love their new mothers.
Even though they now have four children to care for permanently, the Parkes say they would be open to inviting even more foster kids to come live with them at some point in the future. With both big hearts and a big house, they hope to do as much good for children in need as they can by offering a nurturing, loving, and supportive environment for as long as needed.
A 18-year-old woman from China did not know that she was adopted until she was diagnosed with cancer. The woman, whose name is Peng Xin, is now trying to find her biological parents. She needs to have a bone marrow transplant and hopes that her parents will be a match. Peng underwent a variety of tests in order to diagnose her illness. That was when she found out that her parents were not her biological parents.
Peng will receive chemotherapy, which can extend her life by up to 10 months. However, she will eventually need to get a bone-marrow transplant. Peng’s adoptive mom stated that they have raised their daughter since she was an infant. They decided to keep the adoption a secret.
The woman stated that they were not wealthy and already had two children. However, they decided to take the infant in anyway because she would not have made it. Peng’s mom stated that they never intended to tell her about the adoption. They were forced to tell Peng the truth once they found out that she needed to have a bone marrow transplant.
Peng’s classmates have put together a video sharing her story. The video has pictures of Peng growing up. They hope that the video will reach their parents. One of the classmates stated that Peng may not have know about her biological parents if it had not been for her illness.
A classmate also stated that Peng is not only dealing with the pain of her illness, but she is also dealing with an emotional setback. They also stated that they do not know how Peng will deal with this, and they want to help her.
Blake Wilson received a Father’s Day gift he is sure to never forget. His stepson, Tyler Dukes, has been in his life for seven years and wanted to show him just how much he and his ore sense meant, so for a Father’s Day gift, Tyler framed a picture of the two and added a beautifully written tribute. The tribute goes on to say that Blake has been an amazing father figure and IS as real of a dad as any. This written proof of love made an amazing gift on its own, bringing Blake to tears, but Tyler did not stop there with showing the love. Taped to the back of the frame was an envelope. When Blake opened the envelope, he found papers that proved just how incredible their relationship is. Tyler had adoption papers drawn up, making Blake his adoptive father.
It was something he had wanted for quite some time, Tyler’s mom said, as his biological father was no longer in the picture. Tyler’s old enough at the age of 20 to be considered an adult, but still, he wanted to make the adoption official, so he could take Blake’s last name officially. Tyler’s mom admits that Tyler’s biological father had chosen to leave their lives many years before and broke all contact with Tyler. He was 13 when Blake came into his life and took on the role of dad full force. It was a choice that was not always simple and easy, but proved to be worth it day in and out as the two formed a bond that went beyond blood.
February 9th opens the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. While the festivities will bring athletes and spectators from across the globe, one special group will be coming home. For a group that left as orphans decades ago, this will be their first time stepping upon the shores of their homeland, and that makes these Olympic ceremonies even sweeter.
It is no secret that South Korea has had a large number of foreign adoptions since the 1950s. Beginning with the biracial lovechildren of the Korean War, others were quickly added that did not meet the expectations of the starkly conversative nation. This includes female infants, as well as children of families with more than two children and unwed mothers. The peak in South Korea’s foreign adoptions occurred around the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. The number of foreign adoptions steadily decreased after the country’s 2007 to 2013 adoption legislation which limited the number of foreign adoptions, set a five month waiting period, and encouraged home country priority adoptions.
Although adoptive parents love adopted children as their own, some adoptees still feel a desire to know about their birth families and where they came from. This need for ancestral roots is what inspired Keziah Park of the International Korean Adoptee Service to arrange the Olympic Homecoming. The week-long trip includes athletic events and seats at the Opening Ceremonies.
The trip will also include a visit with one special Olympic athlete, Marissa Brandt. Marissa understands what it is like to be an adoptee. She was adopted at four years old and moved to the US. After college, she became a dual citizen and is now playing on South Korea’s women’s ice hockey team.
Ms. Park hopes trip guests will connect with other adoptees and find the ties they’ve been looking for.