Wednesday, July 8, 2009


On an adoptive forum I frequent, someone has posted a link to a petition in support of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (FACES). The response has been enthusiastic, with forum members reporting that they have signed, and posted links to the petition on blogs, facebook, etc.

Meanwhile, Resist Racism has questioned various aspects of the bill, including its privileging of international adoptees over other immigrants to the US, its possible negative effects on adoptee's legal ties to country of birth, and its possible loosening of safeguards that screen adoptive parents. I have not had time to review the language of the bill, but Resist Racism's intelligent analysis has stood me in good stead in the past, so I am inclined to investigate further... (But, believe me, I am all for one part of the bill, which would allow internationally adopted children to become president.)

Also on the adoptive forum is a link to a petition in support of a Department of Health and Human Services regulation that supports lifting the immigration and travel ban on those with HIV. This is particularly relevant to US parents who plan to adopt from Africa, because adoption of HIV-positive children is becoming increasingly common. (Adoption of an HIV-positive child currently requires a waiver). Disturbingly, however, this petition is getting very little attention. I can't help wondering why? Why all the support for the one, where there seem to be legitimate concerns, but little support for the other, which, from a human rights point-of-view alone seems hard to argue with?

1 comment:

  1. I just read the whole bill, and it seems to sufficiently answer any of the concerns of Resist Racism -- it does not ignore, diminish, or in any way replace the birth history of a foreign born child, it just allows them to be considered a life-long citizen (citizen from birth) once they are adopted by US citizens. They still will have an original birth certificate, medical history, etc. in their birth country. This offers the child the opportunities as any other American child. Otherwise, they enter on an immigrant visa and can obtain citizenship but never the full rights of a citizen born to US parents. It basically says "you're parent/parents are Americans so you are too, period". It does not take away requirements for BCIS and other criminal background checks -- just transfers all the decision-making to the Department of State, removing immigration offices from the process. It makes a lot of sense.