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We know that news coverage and access to timely information drive awareness and, ultimately, the ability to influence positive change. Widely recognized as a leading authority on issues related to adoption, DAI is often featured in major media outlets. We also monitor, and share, developments in adoption and foster care policy, research, resources, as well as news, to keep practitioners, advocates, and those touched by adoption informed.

Kinship Care Eats Away at Senior Budgets

Public News Service - 07/06/2015

Retirement planning doesn’t usually include preparing for the expenses of raising children – but that’s the scenario for about 11,000 Idaho grandparents, according to the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force. Figures from the task force indicate 14 percent of those seniors are also living in poverty. Jessica Gross, Relatives as Parents support group coordinator in Coeur d’Alene and North Idaho, says grandparents raising children often have to forgo their own basic needs to make ends meet.

Adoptions, birth certificates, successions, divorce decrees next big topics for same-sex marriage in Louisiana

New Orleans Advocate - 07/06/2015

In the first week following the Supreme Court ruling, the immediate focus was on the document at the center of the change: the marriage license. But a host of other legal documents also will be involved as same-sex couples wed: birth certificates, adoption certificates, successions and divorce decrees… Having the names of both parents on birth and adoption certificates is not just a matter of symbolism. Family law attorney Edith Morris said same-sex clients formerly worried that a surviving spouse might lose custody of children if the adoptive parent died.

Building families through embryo adoption - 07/04/2015

Similar to domestic adoptions, couples attempting an embryo adoption must go through background checks and home studies and are then matched with a genetic family through an adoption agency… The embryo adoption process, combined with medical treatment, costs about $15,000. A domestic adoption runs from $25,000 to 30,000, Tyson said. Through Nightlight, couples who do not become pregnant can be rematched for more embryos for $2,000. If none of the embryos survive the thaw, Nightlight will rematch the couple for no fee.

State sees sharp spike in number of children in foster care - 07/03/2015

The 2014 child-welfare reform law was accompanied by an increase of $21.2 million for new child-protective investigators. However, because there is still a high rate of turnover among the CPIs, as they’re known, many are relatively new and more likely to err on the side of removing a child from the home.

And while the community-based care organizations got $10 million in new funding last year and $29.1 million in new funding this year, they say it won’t meet the need caused by the uptick of children in foster care.

“It will not be enough,” Watkins said. “The new dollars don’t take in the projections we’re seeing.”

Former state senator Ron Silver, who handles legislative affairs for Our Kids, the community-based care lead agency in Miami, agreed.

“We’re very grateful for what they’ve done,” he said. “But that was catch-up time. They gave us more money, but they had not given us (increased) money for a long period of time.”

According to DCF, between May 2013 and July 2014, the number of children receiving Our Kids in-home services in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties increased more than 63 percent, while the number in out-of-home care increased nearly 36 percent.

The increased numbers also have revealed statewide gaps in family services that allow children to stay with their parents after verified findings of abuse or neglect.

Christina Spudeas, executive director of the advocacy group Florida’s Children First, said she found the most troubling aspect of the DCF report to be the fact that “in-home services to prevent removal have declined since a peak in 2012.”

“The key to successfully leaving children in the home after an allegation of abuse or neglect is to have the right services provided to the family at the right time, with sufficient oversight,” Spudeas said. “If the lead agencies are not working hard to have those services in place, then they are part of the problem.”

But DCF’s Thomas, who has worked in child welfare for more than 30 years, said the new methodology was still being implemented and would ultimately succeed.

“The practice we’ve established is the best I’ve ever seen,” she said. “It’s the best we’ve ever practiced in Florida, in my opinion. … People are still learning it.”

Bill to outlaw ‘rehoming’ of adopted children to become law

BDN Maine - 07/03/2015

Later this summer, Maine will become the sixth state to criminalize the transfer of adopted children from one family to another without approval from a court.
LD 1342, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Craig Hickman of Winthrop, an adoptee himself, outlaws the transfer of long-term care and custody of a child younger than 18 years old without a court order. The bill amends Maine’s child abandonment laws and makes unauthorized rehoming punishable as a Class C crime when it involves children 6 years old or younger and a Class D crime for children 7 to 18 years old.
Hickman’s bill received unanimous support in the Legislature on initial enactment and gubernatorial veto override votes earlier this week.

Simple Dreams on the Fourth of July


Our dream is for all adopted persons to gain access to the very information that affirms their humanity. In this dream we see our brothers and sisters in adoption made whole again not simply because of a piece of paper that proclaims their humanity, but moreover because they have the unique and intense opportunity to use this piece of paper to delve into rich exploration and potentially know all elements of their identity.

Over-Medicated Kids in Foster Care Get Some Relief

The Fix - 07/02/2015

There is a growing concern that kids in foster care are inundated with psychiatric medication, which is why California’s Legislature passed four bills into law making it much more difficult for children in foster care to be put on psychotropic drugs.
California State Senate Committee on Human Services reported that nearly one in four adolescents in foster care are on some form of psychotropic medication, and 56% are on medications in general.

Thinking About Independence, and the Freedom to Explore My Identity, on the 4th of July

The Huffington Post - 07/02/2015

As I began to get a better sense of my identity related to adoption, freedom took on a different meaning. While I had a strong and loving family, legally I did not have the freedom to know my genealogy, understand the circumstances of my beginnings or connect to blood relatives.

Civil grand jury recommends changes in county foster care, adoption systems

Thousand Oaks Acorn - 07/02/2015

The first change the 19-person jury is advocating for, according to the report, is improved training for foster parents considering adoption. The grand jurors recommend the VCHSA establish a training program so prospective parents can become better informed of everything the adoption and foster care processes entail.
The grand jury found that parents were often unaware of a sixto eight-month home study that is required with any adoption. The study involves a caseworker who records information about the prospective parents, including family background, education, employment, social life and daily routine.

Langevin, Rather host documentary screening on re-homing

Warwick Beacon - 07/02/2015

The briefing was held in Washington, D.C. and screened a 20-minute clip from “Unwanted in America,” a documentary following the story of children who have been re-homed, produced by Emmy-award winning journalist Dan Rather and Sarah Gross and directed by Yasmeen Qureshi and Lisa Desai. After the viewing a Q&A was held with producers, directors, as well as Addy Steinhoff, Belaynesh Hehn and Samuel Hehn, all of whom have personally experienced re-homing and were featured in the documentary.
Rather said he was “shocked and saddened” to learn about re-homing and just how often it happens around the United States.