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December 26, 2012

The Department of State continues to follow developments in Russia related to Federal Law No. 186614-6 and remains actively engaged in discussions with the Russian government regarding concerns that, if signed into law, this legislation will needlessly remove the opportunity for hundreds of Russian orphans to join loving families each year. The Federation Council (the upper house of the Russian Parliament) approved the legislation in a unanimous vote on December 26 and it will now go to President Vladimir Putin for signature or veto. The Department of State has not received any notice that adoptions to the United States are suspended, and both the Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continue to work closely with Russian authorities on intercountry adoption issues as set forth in the U.S.-Russia adoption agreement.

U.S. families currently in the process of adopting a child from Russia are encouraged to reach out to the Department of State at AskCI@state.gov to provide information regarding where they are in the adoption process. We encourage families to use the subject line “Intercountry adoption in Russia – family update.” We will seek to provide information directly to families that contact our office through email as it becomes available. Information regarding the passage of any legislation that affects U.S. citizens who are in the process of adopting a child from Russia will also be posted on adoption.state.gov.
As noted in an email (below) from Natash Shginian, the Russian media is looking for stories of Russian adoptees which will highlight the positive results of living in a safe, permanent and loving family.  If you know of an appropriate family or adoptee please have them contact Laris Mason, Executive Director of International Assistance Group and member of the NCFA Board of Directors.  Larisa can be contacted at larisamason@yahoo.com

Larisa is hoping to collect pictures, short stories and pertinent facts regarding the child’s and family’s adoption.

Recognizing the urgency of the proposed ban on intercountry adoption, please respond to Larisa by close-of-business on Friday, December 21st.

Thank you for all that you do for the children we serve.


Best Wishes,

Tom DiFilipo

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Dear Colleagues:

We all are very concerned by the critical situation in Russia regarding the possible ban of adoptions by American families proposed by the Russian Government.

I believe that using the Voice of the Child is the most important action right now. Governmental officials as well as representatives from the adoption agencies and other Non-Governmental Organizations cannot have the same strength as the voices of the children.

Children have the right to speak out and they will be listened to. We are working with the media in Russia to bring the Voice of the Child loud and clear to the Russian public and to the Russian government.

If you have any families who have adopted children with special needs, or children who were saved and are thriving because of international adoption, please, ask them to provide pictures of their children and a short story (half page) with any important or pertinent facts regarding the child’s medical condition and their past history. They will be published in the Russian media. Please, send the information by Friday to Larisa Mason, the member of the board of directors of NCFA specializing on Russia - larisamason@yahoo.com. We are working together on this very urgent matter. We also plan to have a few spokesmen - the adopted children - who will represent the entire community of other adoptees. They will write letters and everyone can sign. They also will speak through the social media.

JCICS is involved.

This is a way of protesting the proposed legislation and is a hope to stop the Russian Governmental action.


Best Regards,

Natasha Shaginian-Needham, M.D.
Executive Director and Co-Founder
Happy Families International Center, Inc.
The Senate passed a bill Wednesday night updating U.S. standards on foreign adoption services.

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act, S. 3331, which would apply universal intercountry adoption accreditation standards to any person providing adoption services in connection with a foreign orphan under age 16 adopted by a U.S. citizen. 

The bill brings U.S. law in line with the United Nation’s Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption and gives the U.S Attorney General authority to ensure adoption services in the United States are provided in connection the convention, among other things.

Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) co-sponsored the bill. The bipartisan bill, which passed by voice-vote, now heads to the House for further consideration.

We expect the House version, H.R. 6027 to be passed before the holiday recess.

Welcome Home from DRC!

Andrea | Wednesday, November 28, 2012 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
It's amazing to welcome Little Miracles home every time.   Yes, after 8 years of working for LMI, this never gets old :).  This family traveled over Thanksgiving to bring their little girl home from the Democratic Republic of Congo!  This adoption was a very smooth process, 18 months exactly from application to meeting.

After settling in, the family met their newest daughter and her foster mother.   I received a text, "She is the sweetest little thing, and is fitting right in!" They were safe, secure, and warm with their newfound love.

The question I've received all week:  Is it safe to adopt from DRC?  We're dealing with a country that is war torn in some areas.  It's heartbreaking, and the impact to the Congolese is enormous.  Here is a link to news today: http://news.yahoo.com/congo-rebels-begin-slow-retreat-masisi-141714419.html

Thankfully, there is a retreat.  Our family never felt in danger in Kinshasa -  none have.  The team takes extraordinary care, and LMI parents have been so impressed with the foster care their children receive.

Please join us in welcoming Kendi home.  I had the privilege of receiving her "Bonjour!" on the phone.    Bienvenue à la maison, little one!

Just a reminder that our teleconference is scheduled for tonight, November 8th, at 7:30pm CST.   If you're knee deep in research, planning finances, and looking to start the journey toward your child, this is the teleconference for you! 

We'll discuss finding the right country fit based on your priorities:
1. Age of Child
2. Timeline of overall adoption
3. Travel Process
4. Adopting special needs
5. Financing your adoption (grants, ideas, etc.)

We want families to find the best possible fit, and reaslistic expectations will be discussed.  

It would be a privilege to make 2013 the year you become closer to your child!

email us at info@littlemiracles.org to register for tonight's call.

Looking forward to meeting you!

The Little Miracles Team
www.littlemiracles.org

Welcome Home from Bulgaria!

Andrea | Wednesday, November 07, 2012 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
Do you ever feel like there is no light at the end of the adoption tunnel?    After three years of waiting, a bright light came into this family's life.   

Nick arrived the weekend of Halloween, and was joyfully inaugurated as an American kid!   His big brother, Alec (the pirate, adopted from Kazakhstan in 2007) dressed him up, and taught him the fine art of candy collecting. 

The adoption process in Bulgaria is very simple.  It's a Hague country, and the central Ministry of Justice accepts paperwork and matches children.   They focus primarily on special needs and school-aged child placement, and work with accredited agencies worldwide.  The tough part of this program?   The LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG wait for a younger child with minimal to no special needs.  

An adoption trip to Bulgaria is short and sweet- the attorneys are with you all the way, the trip is 5 days.    You return home while court occurs, and return several months later for another 5 days to bring your child home. 

One of the best parts of being an adoption coordinator is checking in with families after they return home.   I cannot tell you the joy of hearing the children chatter in the background.    Nick was talking with the family dog while I was on the phone with his Mom :).  

 

This article is surprising as Astakhov pushed for bilateral adoption agreement between Russia and US. Now, on eve of its implementation, he wants to pull the rug out?  What are your thoughts?

Russia Wants to Ban US Adoptions
Department of State (DOS) announced today that the Agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation Regarding Cooperation in Adoption of Children will enter into force on Nov. 1, 2012.

Both U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and DOS work to promote a safe, ethical, and transparent adoption process for prospective adoptive parents, birth families, and children involved in intercountry adoptions. This Agreement will enhance the safeguards and protections for all involved in adoptions between the United States and the Russian Federation.

The Agreement’s entry into force on Nov. 1, 2012, will begin a period of transition from the procedures in place before the Agreement to the new procedures called for in the Agreement. Not all of the provisions of the Agreement will take effect immediately on Nov. 1. We anticipate that the transition period will take six to nine months to complete. Most cases already in progress as of Nov. 1 will be able continue under the old procedures. However, it will be important to monitor and track the effective dates of various provisions in the Agreement to ensure that cases are in compliance with all the requirements throughout the transition period. USCIS and DOS will be conducting regular outreach in the coming months to ensure that new guidance and information is available.

The full text of the Agreement and an updated Frequently Asked Questions can be found online at http://adoption.state.gov. Additional information and guidance will be posted on the USCIS website in the future. Please visit www.uscis.gov/adoption and www.adoption.state.gov regularly for the most up-to-date information.

LMI Announces Hague Accreditation Renewal

Little Miracles International | Friday, October 12, 2012 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
Little Miracles International, Inc. is thrilled to announce that we have received notification that we have achieved the honor of Hague Re-Accreditation through the Council on Accreditation (COA) as authorized by the U. S. Department of State, according to an announcement made to Lori Scott, Executive Director on 10/12/12.  We thank our Board Members and Staff for their tireless hours and devotion to our accreditation process.   Our current Hague countries are:   Bulgaria, Colombia, Hungary, Kazakhstan.  We look forward to our continual service to families and children in these and other countries.
EurasiaNet - September 20, 2012

 For a group of prospective North American parents whose attempts to adopt Kyrgyzstani children wound up on the wrong side of a 2009 moratorium on foreign adoptions, the last four years have been a harrowing education in the cut and thrust of Kyrgyz politics. The lifting of the moratorium last year offered the group - sometimes known as the "Kyrgyz 65" - hope, but recent corruption scandals appear to have brought the whole process to a grinding halt once again. 

 PLEASE SEE FULL STORY HERE: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/65938

Hungary Adoption Success!

Anne Bentley | Thursday, August 16, 2012 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
Our family in Hungary asked me to share this with everyone, "This country's adoption process is so predictable, it's an amazingly comfortable trip, and our 4-year-old loves to be snuggled at every chance.....seriously, what more could you want?"

Adoption Alert: Russia

LMI Admin | Monday, July 23, 2012 | Links to this post | 0 Comments

Notice: Federation Council approves the Agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation Regarding Cooperation in Adoption of Children

On July 18, 2012, the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian Parliament, approved the bilateral adoption agreement signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on July 13, 2011.  This followed the Russian Duma’s approval of the Agreement on July 10, 2012.  Both of these actions mark a significant milestone toward the entry into force of the Agreement, which will provide additional safeguards to better protect the welfare and interests of children and all parties involved in intercountry adoptions.  To find out more about the agreement, please visit the U.S. Department of State's FAQs and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) FAQs on the agreement and its implementation. 

The Agreement will now be sent to President Putin.  Following President Putin’s signature, the parties will need to establish procedures to implement the Agreement, which we are committed to doing as expeditiously as possible.  Following the establishment of these procedures, the Agreement will enter into force upon the exchange of notes between the U.S. and Russian governments.  The Department of State and USCIS will provide guidance on their websites related to the Agreement.  Please monitor adoption.state.gov and uscis.gov for more information.

Getting Started Telecon July 24

Anne Bentley | Tuesday, July 17, 2012 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
Are you considering international adoption but not sure where to start?  With programs in Kazakhstan, Colombia, Hungary, Congo, Uganda, Bulgaria and Ukraine we can help you find a program that suits your family's needs.  Join us on July 24th at 7:30 p.m. Central time to learn about:
  • children available in each country
  • travel times
  • bringing siblings along
  • planning finances for your adoption. 
So many families coming home now started their journey on this teleconference.  It would be a privilege for us to help you bring your child home!   

To sign up send an email to info@littlemiracles.org with the subject: Getting Started.

Adoption Notice: Rwanda

LMI Admin | Tuesday, July 03, 2012 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
Notice: The Hague Adoption Convention Enters into Force for Rwanda

On July 1, 2012 the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force for Rwanda. However, the Government of Rwanda has notified the U.S. Embassy in Kigali that the current suspension on intercountry adoptions will remain in effect until the country has a fully functional Convention process in place. The Government of Rwanda believes implementation will take several months.

We caution adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents that important steps to ensure intercountry adoptions from Rwanda comply with the Convention must take place before intercountry adoptions between the United States and Rwanda resume. Adoption service providers should neither initiate nor claim to initiate adoption programs in Rwanda until the Department of State notifies them that the Government of Rwanda has lifted its suspension on intercountry adoptions and that Rwanda’s procedures meet the requirements of the Convention.

The Department of State will provide updated information on adoption.state.gov as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States. Email inquiries may be directed to AdoptionUSCA@state.gov.
Kazakhstan's new Hague-compliant system is in effect.  If you want to learn more about adopting from Kazakhstan then join us tonight at 7:30 p.m. Central time.  We be discussing the changes to the process, children available, parent requirements, travel scenarios and how we can help you realize your dream of adopting from this fascinating country.  There will be a Q&A session at the end of the presentation.  To sign up please send an email to info@littlemiracles.org with the subject KAZ TELECON.
Join us June 7 to hear all about our wonderful Colombia adoption program! We are thrilled to offer this program to families wanting to adopt from Latin America. We'll discuss the children available, parent requirements, timelines and paperwork. To receive information and sign up just send and email to info@littlemiracles.org with the subject line COLOMBIA TELECON.
Guatemala
May 14, 2012
Notice: Guatemala Update
This Adoption Notice is a follow up to the Notice of December 12, 2011.

Universal List 

In March 2012, after months of meetings to gather information, U.S. officials presented a list of known pending cases to Guatemalan officials. This list is a compellation of USCIS records of all properly grandfathered Form I-600A applications and pending Form I-600s filed by U.S. citizens on behalf of Guatemalan children, and lists provided by each of the adoption processing entities in Guatemala. This “Universal List” reflects all known Guatemalan records of pending cases involving U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents. The goal is a consistent and universally agreed upon list of cases for both U.S. and Guatemalan officials to work from, allowing officials to focus on the necessary steps to bring each of the transition cases to resolution. The initial response has been positive, with all Guatemalan agencies agreeing to work from this Universal List.

Senator Mary Landrieu and Representative Karen Bass Led Delegation to Guatemala April 10-14, 2012

Senator Mary Landrieu and Representative Karen Bass led a congressional delegation to Guatemala April 10 -14, 2012. USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas traveled with the delegation along with the Office of Children’s Issues Guatemala Adoption Officer. The delegation attended meetings with President Otto Perez Molina, Vice President Roxana Baldetti, Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros, the Attorney General, the Ministerio Publico (MP), the Comisión Internacional Contra la Impunidad en Guatemala (CICIG), the Procuraduría General de la Nación (PGN), the National Adoption Council (CNA), UNICEF, and Ministry of Social Development. 

Senator Landrieu provided all of the above officials with a copy of the Universal List of cases. Senator Landrieu urged Guatemalan officials to resolve all of the pending cases by the end of 2012, and to move forward with adoptions involving U.S. prospective adoptive parents where there is no evidence that the child was taken fraudulently from his or her birth family. USCIS Director Mayorkas offered to return to Guatemala to learn more about the Guatemalan adoption investigation process and to encourage Guatemalan authorities to continue to complete cases. President Perez-Molina expressed his hope that the pending cases will be resolved within the next 6 to 12 months, and all other Guatemalan authorities -- as well as CICIG -- generally agreed that the pending transition adoption cases should be resolved as soon as possible in the best interests of the children, but also stated that a lack of resources is a potential obstacle to resolution. Guatemalan authorities noted the possibility that some of the notario cases may not be able to proceed as notario cases when the investigation reveals that the case does not fall within the parameters of the relevant law. However, they also advised that in these cases, if a judge makes a finding of adoptability for the child, such a case may be considered eligible under the CNA Acuerdo process. 

Update on possible legislative solution

In February 2012, Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros travelled to Washington, D.C. and met with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Special Advisor for Children’s Issues Susan Jacobs, as well as congressional leaders and adoption stakeholders. The new Perez-Molina Administration announced that they would have a plan to resolve the pending transition cases by June, and suggested that the Guatemalan Administration was looking at a legislative solution. 

In April, Foreign Minister Caballeros informed the congressional delegation and Embassy officials that the Guatemalan administration did not believe it was necessary to pursue a legislative solution, and that the pending transition cases could be resolved within the existing framework. 

CNA Acuerdo Update

In December 2011, the CNA confirmed the details of a processing plan for a limited group of pending adoption cases already under CNA processing authority. Please refer to our adoption notices from December 13, 2011 and September 27, 2011 for more background. 

To date, the CNA has initiated only five cases under the Acuerdo process, out of 22 that it has identified as currently eligible. This is less than the number of cases that the CNA represented would be in progress by this time. Embassy officials continue to meet frequently with the CNA to identify and address causes for delay and to urge the CNA to initiate all of those cases that are eligible to proceed. 

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City submitted a formal request to the Guatemalan government in early May 2012 for extension of the Acuerdo beyond the current August 2012 expiration date to ensure continued processing of adoptions. The Guatemalan government has not responded. Embassy officials continue to press for the extension.

Adoptions in Acuerdo Process

Progress has been slow on those cases that have been initiated and submitted to the CNA by the U.S. Embassy under the Acuerdo process. After its review of the first case, the CNA requested supplemental documents in addition to those required documents confirmed in writing by the CNA in December 2011. Embassy officials responded urging the CNA to abide by their original documentary requirements. We will provide updates when they are available. 

Note: Only the CNA can determine whether cases are eligible under the CNA process. The Office of Children’s Issues, USCIS, and the U.S. Embassy can only advise on whether or not the CNA has initiated the case, and if so, what documents the CNA requires. The Office of Children’s Issues can also provide general information on the CNA process. 

Working Group Update

Although the working group (known as the “mesa tecnica” in Spanish) is reportedly continuing to meet on a weekly basis to investigate and move cases closer to resolution, this has not translated into significant numbers of cases moving to final adoption. The U.S. Embassy continues to communicate on a regular basis with each institution that participates in the working group on a regular basis, but the working group itself refuses to provide a comprehensive status update for those cases already reviewed. 

Other News

Between June 2011 and April 2012, the PGN informed the U.S. Embassy of approximately 40 children no longer available for adoption because the child was either reunited with the biological family or placed in domestic adoption. Upon receiving written confirmation of this from the Guatemalan government, USCIS informed the U.S. families associated with those cases.

Visas statistics

From July 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011 the U.S. Embassy issued eight (8) IR3 adoption visas. From January 1, 2012 to May 1, 2012, the U.S. Embassy has issued only one (1) IR3 adoption visa. These visa statistics represent only the cases which have completed ALL processing steps with Guatemalan authorities, USCIS Guatemala, and the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy.
Adoption Notice: Kazakhstan Adoptions from Kazakhstan to Begin With Approval of U.S. ASPs May 10, 2012 

The Ministry of Education and Science, the Central Authority of Kazakhstan, has confirmed approval of two U.S. accredited adoption service providers (ASPs) to process Hague Convention adoptions from Kazakhstan to the United States.

The ASPs are: Little Miracles and Across the World Adoptions. Approval of ASPs was the final step needed for Kazakhstan to complete its implementation of the Hague Adoption Convention.

Each of the U.S. ASPs approved by the Government of Kazakhstan may begin accepting applications for adoptions under the new procedures on its date of authorization. The U.S. Department of State is pleased to have the opportunity to work with Kazakhstan as a Hague Adoption Convention partner and to complete Convention intercountry adoptions of eligible children from Kazakhstan by qualified adoptive parents in the United States.


~~~~~~~~~

Go to:   Little Miracles Interrnational's Kazakhstan program
Join us Thursday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m. to learn everything we know about the new Hague adoption process in Kazakhstan!  We are very excited that this company is reopened and are ready to take families into the program right now.  Little Miracles has assisted families adopting from Kazakhstan since 1999 and we'd love to share our experience with you!  Send an email to info@littlemiracles.org to attend!

Adoption Alert Haiti

LMI Admin | Friday, May 04, 2012 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
Alert: Temporary Suspension of New Adoption Cases    5/4/12

Haiti's adoption authority, l'Institut du Bien Être Social et de Recherches (IBESR), informed U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince that it will suspend processing of new adoption cases effective May 7, 2012. 

IBESR indicated that the suspension will enable it to expedite processing on its backlog of pending cases and begin internal restructuring to bring it closer to international standards. The U.S. Embassy has been assured the suspension is temporary and that IBESR will continue to process all cases that are filed before May 7. If you have questions about the status of your adoption case, please work closely with your adoption agency or facilitator. Please refer to State Department website at for updates on the temporary suspension.

Important Notice From US Department of State- New Application Fees: Nonimmigrant and immigrant visa application fees will change on April 13, 2012. The fees for most nonimmigrant visa applications and Border Crossing Cards will increase, while all immigrant visa application fees will decrease. All visa applicants must pay the fee amounts in effect on the day they pay, including immigrant visa applicants who pay fees to the National Visa Center (NVC). 

Fees for Adoptive families are reduced from $400 to $230.  

Fees that will decrease are not refundable - If you paid a visa fee before April 13, 2012 and that fee decreased, we cannot give you a refund.      

Adoption Immigrant Visa Fee Change Press Release
Little Miracles is pleased and overjoyed to announce that we have received Accreditation in Kazakhstan on May 2, 2012! We will be updating the website and will be taking applications for this program immediately.   Once we receive new details they will be posted on our website.  

All of the rules, fees, parent criteria, child criteria, travel etc. will be changed to Hague compliance. Families can get in the queue with your application. We will be releasing more information as we learn the new protocols and criteria.   Thank you all for your support and most of all patience. This has been a very long couple of years in the making of the Hague transition for Kazakhstan.

This is an honor and privilege to have been chosen by Kazakhstan to begin processing adoptions again.  Although we don't have a start date yet, or know the exact details of the program under the Hague, we feel these details and the start of families through the process will be coming very soon.

Little Miracles has been working in Humanitarian Aid and Placing children from Kazakhstan since 1999,  Three of our Adoption Coordinators that assist our families through the program, have adopted from Kazakhstan.  They bring their own experience to your process to partner with  you throughout your journey.   Nina, Our Russian speaking communication specialist works  daily with Kazakhstan and will prepare you for your travels.

Please join us in our celebration today!  

For more information on the application process please call (806) 351-1100 or write info@littlemiracles.org

LMI Adoptive Families in Kazakhstan

Adoption Notice: Romania

LMI Admin | Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | Links to this post | 0 Comments


New Adoption Law in Effect

April 11, 2012

The Romanian Office for Adoptions announced that its new adoption law went into effect on April 7, 2012.  The new law allows for intercountry adoptions of Romanian children by relatives of the fourth degree of kinship, the spouse of the child’s natural parent, and Romanian citizens who are habitually resident abroad. 

Please be aware that the U.S. law implementing the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Convention), the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA), requires prospective adoptive parents to be U.S. citizens in order to be eligible to apply for intercountry adoption using U.S. procedures.  This means that Romanian citizens legally residing in the United States will be able to adopt from Romania only if they or their spouses are also U.S. citizens. 

Moreover, the U.S. Hague Adoption Convention accreditation regulations (22 CFR 96) provide that in each Convention adoption case, an accredited agency, a temporarily accredited agency, or an approved person will be identified and act as the primary provider.  More information on the role of U.S. accredited ASPs and the role of U.S. accrediting entities is available on the Department’s adoption website, adoption.state.gov.   

The Department of State has provided information to the Romanian Office for Adoption about the U.S. requirement for a primary provider to serve in each Convention adoption, explaining the critical monitoring and oversight role of U.S. accrediting entities in ensuring that ASPs remain in substantial compliance with the IAA and the Convention.  We look forward to the opportunity to expand our cooperation with Romania as Convention partner countries. 

Hungary Adoption Teleconference

Anne Bentley | Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
If you are interested in learning more about adopting from Hungary please plan to attend our Hungary Adoption teleconference March 15 at 7:30 p.m. Central time. This has been a wonderful program for families adopting children age 3-5 and up. We will discuss the overall process, the children available for adoption, timelines and travel and will have a Q&A session at the end to answer all your questions.

To sign up for the teleconference please send an email to info@littlemiracles.org.
From the US Department of State:

According to the Government of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Education (MoE), all pending adoption dossiers that were not matched with children by December 15, 2010, will be returned and will have to be re-filed as Hague Convention cases once the Hague Convention is fully implemented. The Department of State will continue to monitor the developments in Kazakhstan and seek the confirmation of the Government of Kazakhstan when the new Hague Convention adoption process is in place. U.S. prospective adoptive parents whose dossiers are returned may refer to the description of the Hague Convention intercountry adoption process (the Form I-800A/I-800 process).

Affected prospective adoptive parents with an approved Form I-600A for Kazakhstan wishing to request a transfer of their approved Form I-600A to enable them to adopt from another non-Hague Convention country should refer to the USCIS website.

Access the full alert here.

Ukraine Adoption Alert

LMI Admin | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
January 17, 2012, From the US State Department
Alert: SDA resumes processing adoptions in Ukraine

On July 14, 2011, the presidential order which extends the State Department on Adoption’s (SDA’s) authority to process adoptions was published in Ukraine. We have been informed by the SDA that they have resumed processing adoption applications. As described in a previous alert, the SDA will have the authority to continue processing adoptions until the Ministry of Social policy is ready to take over as the new adoption authority in Ukraine. The Ministry does not yet know when they will be prepared to take over adoption processing.

The SDA also informed the embassy that the new amendment to the Family Code is now in effect. This requires orphans to be registered on the central adoption registry for one year and to be at least five years old before they are eligible for intercountry adoption. The amendment exempts children with certain special needs, relative adoptions, and sibling adoptions. Please note that the Ukrainian government is in the process of updating the definition of special needs, a process which by law should be completed by October 11, 2011.
We will continue to encourage the Ministry of Social Policy to protect adoptions where U.S. prospective adoptive parents have already been approved by the SDA to adopt a particular child. We will also be following new developments closely to understand how they will affect the families currently in process and will be posting relevant updates.
Kazakhstan New Family and Marriage Code Signed into Law

U.S. Mission Kazakhstan has reported that President Nazarbayev signed into law the new Family and Marriage Code on December 26, 2011. The Ministry of Education now awaits government approval of its new policies to accredit agencies and process adoptions.

The Department will post information on the new accreditation process and the new adoption procedures on www.adoption.state.gov as soon as we receive it, and will confirm when the new Hague Convention adoption process is in place in Kazakhstan.

From the US State Department
Kazakhstan Adoption Alert

Please note:  This was posted under the country UKRAINE on the Department of State website.   This link most likely will be reposted in the correct category country at some point.