Wednesday, April 30, 2008

U.S. Families - What you can do...

I have had several comments and emails from families asking what they can do in regards to what is happening with the U.S. Embassy's adoption visa departments in Haiti, but also in Liberia and Vietnam.

One of my suggestions for any U.S. family who has adopted, plans to adopt or is adopting internationally is to join the international parent lobbying group in Washington D.C. called EACH.

It is free to join and you can read up about the work that EACH is doing in DC to ensure rights for internationally adopted children and to provide a voice for the adoptive families.

Also, the founder of EACH is a wonderful, smart and dedicated international adoptive mother and lawyer who helped write the legislation, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, that gives our adopted children automatic U.S. citizenship if they come on an IR3 visa (and for the kids who came on IR4 visas, automatic citizenship after re-adoption in the U.S.).

She also authored the ICARE legislation proposals. She is a strong advocate and we can utilize her as our voice in Washington D.C. Also, she has helped families stuck in the visa process in obtaining their children's visas.

As I mentioned, joining is for free, but you may also wish to donate some money toward EACH, any amount helps offset the costs.

Also, if you are family currently in the visa application process, I encourage you to email me with the following information:

Adoptive Parents' Names:

Orphanage adopting through:

Contact Information: (Include your State, telephone number and email address)

Adopted Child's Name:

: Give a summary of where you in the process, if your orphanage was denied access to an appointment, etc.

I am keeping a spreadsheet with current families and where they are in the process. This spreadsheet information is used to give updates to several entities in Washington D.C. that are interested in the process, dispositions, etc.

I am saddened by what is happening within our own government. Granted, we do not want corruption or fraud in adoptions, but we also do not want this type of "witch hunt" either.

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