CCAI Foster Youth Congressional Briefing

2 08 2011

As a summer intern with Joint Council, I’ve had great opportunities to meet inspiring people, learn tons about international child welfare, and participate in the meaningful work Joint Council does. As my internship rapidly approaches its conclusion, I can say attending the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Foster Youth Intern Briefing last week has been one of the highlights of my summer.

At the Briefing, CCAI’s Foster Youth Interns, fifteen young adults who have personally been in the US foster system, presented the policy recommendations they developed this summer for US foster care. Well-researched and well-formulated as they were, the personal experiences the interns interwove was what gave the recommendations the most weight.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget when one of the interns told the spellbound audience that he had just been adopted at the age of 25. Whether born in Baltimore or Beijing – whether 2, 12, or 22 years old – every child needs the opportunity to have a permanent home so they can experience the love only family can provide.

Sarah Neville
Community Outreach Intern





Adoption Alert: Ukraine

12 01 2011

Adoption Notice: Ukraine


January 12, 2011


U.S. Embassy Kyiv has learned the proposed bill to place a moratorium on intercountry adoptions in the Ukrainian parliament has once again been postponed. There has been no announcement of a rescheduled date.

In order to best prepare for all possibilities in Ukraine, Embassy Kyiv encourages any prospective adoptive parents with cases currently open in Ukraine to contact the U.S. Embassy Kyiv Adoption Unit with their case status and contact informa­tion.  The Embassy maintains a listserv to communicate with U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents and will use this to send updates as information is available.

The U.S. Embassy Kyiv and the Department of State will continue to post updates on their websites as new information is available.





Adoption Tax Credit Extended

20 12 2010

As of Friday, December 17, 2010 the adoption tax credit has been extended through December 31, 2012. There remains some confusion regarding the effect of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 which President Obama signed this past Friday. To provide some clarity, we offer the following which represents Joint Council’s understanding of the laws impact.

  • The adoption tax credit has been extended through December 31, 2012.
  • The refundability of the adoption tax credit will remain in effect for 2011.
  • The refundability expires on December 31, 2011 and will not be available for 2012.

The full text of the law can be found in Section 101 of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. We extend our appreciation to the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys for their assistance in providing this information.





Update: Help Haiti Act

18 11 2010

The last week has been full of twists and turns for the Help Haiti Act.  Monday it was on the Congressional calender for a vote, then removed.  Tuesday and Wednesday we discovered that the House Democratic leadership intended to tie a somewhat controversial piece of legislation, the DREAM Act, to the Help Haiti Act (click here for more information).  Doing so could mean that the Help Haiti Act might not pass this year and would have a long upward fight in 2011.  Today, however, we have seen a little bit of light.  Sen. Reid announced that he plans to introduce the DREAM Act into the Senate.  Doing so would likely mean the DREAM Act would not be tied to the Help Haiti Act.

Politics can change very quickly here in Washington and everything could change again tomorrow, or later today. Therefore, over 1200 adoptive children from Haiti without a clear path to citizenship need you to continue to to call and email your Representative, asking them to support the Help Haiti Act.  Please don’t forget to ask your friends and family to do the same.  The children need a loud and powerful voice – the voice of thousands of America’s granting them the right every U.S. adopted child should have – citizenship.  So, please keep the phone calls and emails coming!

How You Can Help


Today, as early as possible, please do the following:

1) Contact via phone and/or email your Representative and respectfully request their support of the Help Haiti Act.  For detailed information regarding the legislation, please read below.  To find your Representative, please click here.

2) Once you have contacted your Representative, please let us know by e-mailing betheanswer@jointcouncil.org.

3) And the new step…ask your friends and family, post on your facebook page, blog and twitter.  Ask them to call their Representative and request their support of the Help Haiti Act and email the support to betheanswer@jointcouncil.org.

4) Follow our blog for updates on the Help Haiti Act until it passes – betheanswerforchildren.wordpress.com

As always, we extend our appreciation for your continued partnership with Joint Council and your anticipated participation in supporting the Help Haiti Act.

What is the Help Haiti Act (H.R. 5283)?

The HELP Haiti Act was introduced by Representative Fortenberry in response to the needs of 1,200 children who entered the U.S. through Humanitarian Parole after the earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010.

Using Humanitarian Parole to unite children with their adoptive families was a true act of humanitarianism.  Unfortunately, a barrier still exists which causes significant and undue delays in providing American citizenship to these children.  This is especially critical for older children who continue to ‘age out’

This bill grants no special considerations to the children but rather places them on the same path to citizenship enjoyed by all other internationally adopted children.





We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program…

16 11 2010

Yesterday the Help Haiti Act and the International Adoption Simplification Act were both on the House calendar for a vote.  While the International Adoption Simplification Act passed, the Help Haiti Act was unexpectedly removed from the voting calendar.  Additionally, it is not currently on the calendar for a vote either today or tomorrow.  The Help Haiti Act will provide citizenship to Haitian children who came into the United States after the January 2010 earthquake on the Humanitarian Parole Program (for more information, read more about the Help Haiti Act below).  Joint Council and our colleagues are still determining the reason behind the removal of the Help Haiti Act from the calendar.  However, in the meantime, if the Help Haiti Act is going to pass before the end of the year the children need your help…and the help of everyone you know.  Over 1,200 children from Haiti do not have a clear path to citizenship without the passage of this bill.  So what can you do?

How You Can Help
Today, as early as possible, please do the following:

1) Contact via phone and/or email your Representative and respectfully request their support of the Help Haiti Act.  For detailed information regarding the legislation, please read below.  To find your Representative, please click here.

2) Once you have contacted your Representative, please let us know by e-mailing betheanswer@jointcouncil.org.

3) Ask your friends and family, post on your facebook page, blog and twitter.  Ask people to call their Representative and request their support of the Help Haiti Act and then let us know about their support by emailing betheanswer@jointcouncil.org.

As always, we extend our appreciation for your continued partnership with Joint Council and your anticipated participation in supporting the Help Haiti Act.

What is the Help Haiti Act?

The HELP Haiti Act was introduced by Representative Fortenberry in response to the needs of 1,200 children who entered the U.S. through Humanitarian Parole after the earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010.

Using Humanitarian Parole to unite children with their adoptive families was a true act of humanitarianism.  Unfortunately, a barrier still exists which causes significant and undue delays in providing American citizenship to these children.  This is especially critical for older children who continue to ‘age out’

This bill grants no special considerations to the children but rather places them on the same path to citizenship enjoyed by all other internationally adopted children.








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