International Update: Status of U.S./South Korean Adoptions

On January 25, 2013, the U.S. State Department posted a notice on its website regarding South Korea’s implementation of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Special Adoption Act. This law, which went into effect on August 5, 2012 and governs intercountry adoptions from South Korea, prioritizes domestic adoptions and seeks to reduce the number of South Korean children adopted abroad.  Among the requirements, each intercountry adoption must receive the approval of the ROK Family Court.  It is believed there will be other significant changes in procedures but the ROK government has not yet given public notice of the new procedures. Read the rest of this entry »

International Update: Status of U.S./Ethiopia Adoptions

During a visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from December 8-11, 2012, U.S. Ambassador Susan Jacobs, Special Advisor for Children’s Issues, met with the staff of U.S.-based Adoption Service Providers (ASPs). On January 25, 2013, the Office of Children’s Issues posted a detailed notice on the U.S. State Department’s website to provide interested parties with information discussed at the meeting on December 11, 2012. Meetings between Embassy Addis’ Adoptions Unit and ASPs take place several times a year and are announced to in-country representatives in advance. This detailed notice can be accessed at the following link:   http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_alerts_notices.php?alert_notice_type=notices&alert_notice_file=ethiopia_19

International Update: Status of U.S./Russian Adoptions

The U.S. State Department has issued an update regarding the current status of adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens.  Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law, effective on January 1, 2013, a ban against the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. The law bars adoption service providers from assisting U.S. citizens in adopting Russian children, and requires termination of the U.S.-Russia Adoption Agreement. The details of implementation of this law have been uncertain; however, on January 22, 2013, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Supreme Court issued a letter to city and regional courts confirming that, for adoption cases in which court decisions involving U.S. citizen parents were made before January 1, 2013, (including those that entered into force after January 1, 2013 following the 30-day waiting period), the children should be transferred to the custody of their adoptive parents.  The fate of other adoptions that are in process but do not meet this criterion is still uncertain. Read the rest of this entry »

The Importance of Retaining Competent Legal Counsel in Sperm Donation Cases

A recent article illustrates the pitfalls that may await those who do not seek competent legal counsel before proceeding with a sperm donation arrangement.  According to the article, the State of Kansas is seeking child support from a Kansas man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple three years ago, even though both mothers object, and even though he signed a written agreement that relinquished all parental rights and held him harmless “for any child support payments demanded of him by any other person or entity, public or private.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Adoption Tax Credit

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 just extended the tax benefits of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, including the adoption tax credit.   The tax credit will now be a permanent part of the Internal Revenue Code and not subject to expiration.  Read the rest of this entry »