On behalf of Lake Toback Attorneys
Prospective parents in Illinois and elsewhere may be interested in knowing about a new foreign adoptions bill that has been introduced to the United States legislature. The bill was spurred forward in part by the dramatic fall in foreign adoptions in recent years; the U.S. saw 22,991 foreign adoptions in 2004, but in 2012, there were only 8,668 adoptions.
It is believed that there are a number of causes for the reduction in adoptions. One possibility is the increase in in-country adoptions for Chinese and South Korean orphaned children. Another is the U.S.’s placement of restrictions on foreign adoptions due to concerns over child welfare in certain countries. Though there are no statistics indicating specifically how many children are living in institutions worldwide, it is estimated that there are millions.
The bill has been backed by legislators from both Democrat and Republican viewpoints, as it is primarily a humanitarian concern driven by the belief that children deserve to grow up in families. One supporter of the bill is the founder of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, and she believes that international adoption should not be a last resort, as is the apparent stance of UNICEF. Instead, she says that international adoption should be viewed as one of the best options for these children.
While it is possible that some family law issues can result from foreign adoptions, child custody may not become an issue when children are adopted from foreign institutions. However, if the birth parents desire visitation rights instead of having a closed adoption, the laws for international adoption may prove difficult to navigate. It may be necessary to acquire professional aid.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Foreign Adoptions Bill Unites Liberals, Conservatives Alike“, David Crary, December 25, 2013