22 04 2011

After two weeks of no updates (thanks to our very successful Annual Conference!), we’ve finally been able to update the website with news and information! Check them out at or see below for new specific country updates:


Ethiopia (1)

Ethiopia (2)

News regarding adoption, featuring Adam Pertman


Russia (1)

Russia (2)




No to corruption. Yes to families.

14 03 2011

by Rebecca Harris, Director of Programs & Services

The following as an excerpt from our newsletter, Mbali’s Message.  Sign up to receive it by clicking here.

Already in 2011 we’ve seen Ethiopia move to reduce intercountry adoptions by 90% and Kazakhstan officially suspend adoptions in anticipation of their ratification of the Hague Convention.  Haiti and Ukraine are on what we’ve termed our “high alert” list – countries that show indications of closing in the next 12-months. This is a scene we’ve seen play out over and over again, in country after country.  And every time a country has chosen to suspend or close intercountry adoptions, children suffer.  It’s a scene that is quite frankly, confusing, unneccessary, and very disturbing.
In allowing this to occur, we’ve failed the biological families who need preservation services, we’ve failed the children who legitimately need intercountry adoption and we’ve failed our global community.  I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of failure.  I’m tired of seeing children, like Addison, become “collateral damage” in the battle against abuse.  Allowing children to die needlessly and alone is simply unacceptable.

Over the last ten years we’ve fought the good fight.  But we’ve lost too many times.  And every time we lose, children lose.  This month we’ll release a report about the systematic elimination of intercountry adoption and the decrease in services to children.  And we’ll ask you to join us in changing the tide.  We’ll ask you to rally your friends and family to stand up and say “No” to corruption and “Yes” to families.  It’s not enough to just stop bad things from happening – we have to make good things happen too!

So, be on the look out over the next month – in your inbox and our website – I hope you’ll join me in standing up and demanding the fulfillment of every child’s right to a safe, permanent and loving family.  Join me in speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.

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.

Update: Ukraine

19 11 2010

As reported by the U.S. Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues, the Ukrainian legislature is preparing to vote on a bill (4313) that would suspend all intercountry adoptions from countries that do not have bilateral agreements with Ukraine.  This would appear to include new and pending adoptions from the United States.  In Ukraine, a bill must pass two votes in the Rada and be signed by the president for it to become law.  At this time, bill 4313 has passed the first vote with an overwhelming majority, thus showing favor towards the suspension of intercountry adoption from Ukraine.  We expect that the second reading could take place in the next few weeks.  It is our understanding that if bill 4313 is approved after the second reading, it could be signed into law as early as the end of 2010.  The approval of this bill would also mark the beginning of the implementation of The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption (The Convention) in Ukraine.

It is Joint Council’s opinion that that while this change may promote long-term protections for vulnerable Ukrainian children, immediate implementation without the proper safeguards is not in the best interest of Ukrainian children in need.  The Hague Guide to Good Practice clearly expresses that ratifying countries should access and strategically implement The Convention, rather than prematurely ratify.  The Guide to Good Practice also states that Intercountry Adoption should not be suspended during the period in which The Convention is implemented.  It is clear that passage of bill 4313 is not in line with the recommendations of The Hague Permanent Bureau and will effectively end intercountry adoption in Ukraine for an undetermined amount of time and, therefore, eliminate a viable option for children in need of families.

Joint Council and its Member Organizations remain committed to the children and families of Ukraine. We continue to work closely with both the U.S. and Ukrainian governments for the best interest of each child.  Joint Council urges the Ukrainian government to implement The Convention in accordance with the Guide to Good Practice.  Further, if the Ukrainian government chooses to continue down its current path, we urge the creation of a ‘grandfather’ provision, which would allow adoptions currently in process to continue.

We continue to seek clarity on the bill and continue to work with our colleagues in the Ukrainian and U.S. governments to ensure every child’s right to a family, the proper implementation of The Convention by the Ukrainian government and, if necessary, the creation of a ‘grandfather’ provision.  Joint Council will update our website and blog as soon as more information becomes available.  Interested individuals are encouraged to sign up for Joint Council updates regarding Ukraine by clicking here.

%d bloggers like this: