• CDC Expands Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement to All Air Passengers Entering the United States

    January 12, 2021

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers entering the United States.

    Before departure to the United States, a required test, combined with the CDC recommendations to get tested again 3-5 days after arrival and stay home for 7 days post-travel, will help slow the spread of COVID-19 within US communities from travel-related infections. Pre-departure testing with results known and acted upon before travel begins will help identify infected travelers before they board airplanes.

    Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.

    This order was signed by the CDC Director on January 12, 2021 and will become effective on January 26, 2021.

  • Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card

    According to the Embassy of India Consular Services:

    It is informed that VFS Global is the service provider for OCI services for the Embassy of India, Washington DC or its Consulates in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco. Its operations have started from 04 November 2020.

    All the OCI applicants are requested to visit the link https://visa.vfsglobal.com/usa/en/ind/apply-oci-services for details.

    Apart from the applicable Government of India OCI fees, the applicants will also be required to pay US$ 15.90 as service charge to VFS Global and US$ 3 as contribution to Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF).

    In case of any other specific queries related to OCI services, please email to fsoci.washington@mea.gov.in

    The details of the VFS Global Application Centre are as under:

    1025 Vermont Ave, NW

    Suite 320,

    Washington, DC 20005

    (It may also be noted that due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, there will be no walk-in service at VFS Global until further notice.  All applications shall only be dealt with by post.)

  • Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Card

    According to the Embassy of India website, Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS) is no longer the service provider for OCI services for the Embassy of India, Washington DC or its Consulates in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York and San Francisco. The new service provider will start operations on November 2nd, 2020, the details of which will be provided in due course.  Until that time, OCI services will remain suspended, including OCI card applications and approvals.

    In case of any specific queries, please email to fsoci.washington@mea.gov.in

    You can visit the Embassy of India website to view the official statement and check for updates.  https://www.indianembassyusa.gov.in/pages/MjY

     

  • Congress Enacts Intercountry Adoption Information Act

    From the National Council For Adoption, October 1, 2020

    Yesterday, Congress enacted the Intercountry Adoption Information Act which is now awaiting the President’s signature to be made law.  The following is a description of this legislation by Congressional staff who worked on this legislation:

    The Intercountry Adoption Information Act would amend the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 to require the U.S. State Department to provide additional information on the following:

    • *Countries that have enacted policies to prevent or prohibit adoptions to the United States;
    • *Actions taken by the State Department which have prevented adoptions to the United States;
    • *The ways in which the State Department has worked to encourage resuming adoptions in both cases.

    This information is critical for American families to adopt from countries that have established barriers to adoption, such as Russia or Ethiopia, or other areas where the State Department has suspended intercountry adoption, such as abandoned children in Nepal. 

    You can read more about the Intercountry Adoption Information Act here.

  • Update: Indian Visas for Adoption Cases

    September 16, 2020

    From the U.S. Department of State:

    This is an update to our August 21, 2020 notice on the status of adoptions from India. Following discussions between Embassy New Delhi and the Indian government, Embassy New Delhi advises us that the Ministry of External Affairs has agreed to issue visas to adopting parents to allow them to travel to India and finalize their adoptions. We have shared this update with the relevant Adoption Service Providers, so that they can work with their families who are ready to travel.

    While the above information states that adoptive parents can travel to India to finalize their adoption, agencies received further clarification from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, Immigration Visa Unit:

    I am reaching out to let you know that we received confirmation from MEA today that they are ready to begin issuing visas to U.S. adoptive families! The Indian Government has agreed to approve the visa applications only for families whose adoptions have been finalized, and they tell us that they have passed this information on to their consulates.  Please reach out to your families and let them know they can submit their applications.  Let me know if any families experience any difficulties or are denied visas, and we will raise it with the Indians.

     If you have a family who needs to travel to attend a court hearing, unfortunately they will have to keep waiting to apply for their visas.

  • International Flights to India to Resume

    India has established individual bilateral air bubbles with France, Germany and the US that will allow airlines of each country in the pact to operate international flights, said the Civil Aviation Ministry on Thursday, July 16.

    An air bubble is a bilateral arrangement with a set of regulations and restrictions in which the carriers of the two countries can operate international flights.

    American carrier United Airlines will be flying 18 flights between India and the US from July 17 to 31, he added.

    “They (United) are flying a daily flight between Delhi and Newark and a thrice-a-week flight between Delhi and San Francisco,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri noted.

    From India, Air India will be operating flights to France, Germany and the US under these bubbles.

    Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic.  After nearly two months of suspension to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the government resumed scheduled domestic passenger flights on May 25.

    Various states like Maharashtra have put restrictions on the number of flights that their airports can handle per day, he said, adding that he expects this would change in coming 2-3 weeks.

    He said once the domestic capacity reaches 50-55 percent of its pre-COVID capacity, the government will get the confidence about opening international air travel further.

    Before traveling to India, please review the current information from the U.S. Department of State:

  • Renewal of IAN’s Hague Accreditation

    IAN has proudly been a Hague Accredited adoption agency since April 1, 2008, and we are very pleased to announce that the renewal of our Hague Accreditation has been approved for another 4 years!

    A little more about Hague Accreditation and what it means for adoptive parents:

    The Hague Convention provides protections for children, birthparents and prospective adoptive parents under internationally agreed upon rules and procedures. Under its framework, member countries work together to help ensure that children are provided with permanent, loving homes and that adoptions take place in the best interest of the child.

    In order to become Hague Accredited, and maintain Hague Accreditation, agencies are evaluated by the accrediting entity, Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME). IAAME was created for the sole purpose of the accreditation, approval, monitoring and oversight of adoption service providers providing intercountry adoption services, and assesses an agency’s policies, procedures, communications, recruitment of prospective adoptive parents, child placements, home study services, parent education and support, and more, in order to determine that substantial compliance with the Hague Accreditation standards has been demonstrated.

    While challenging at times, IAN’s Hague accreditation renewal process was a learning experience, and we’ve come through it even stronger, as an agency, which we believe will benefit our adoptive families and their children. It’s not only our job to provide you with information and guide you through the legal steps of the adoption process, that’s the “easy” part.  Most importantly, we are here to prepare and support you and your adopted child on this emotional, life changing journey.

    For more information on Hague – https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/Adoption-Process/understanding-the-hague-convention.html 

    Please contact us for more information on our programs and how to get started on your adoption with IAN!

  • India Travel Ban

    India has shut down travel until mid-April. Please read this release for more information. If this affects you or you have questions about how COVID-19 will change the adoption process, your adoption coordinator would be happy to take your call at 303-691-0808. Thank you in advance for your patience with us. Stay healthy!

  • Referral Review: University of Minnesota Adoption Medicine Clinic

    International Adoption Net has recently completed a training from the University of Minnesota Adoption Medicine Clinic. During this training they shared with our staff more in-depth ways of reading a medical referral, what types of special needs they have seen in the countries IAN works with, and what the quality of life is for specific special needs. Judith K. Eckerle, M.D. is very knowledgeable in the international medical field and was so helpful in answering all our staff’s questions with detailed information.

    IAN is very grateful to have connected with this program to receive ongoing training about specific special needs. We are now referring families to University of Minnesota Adoption Medicine Clinic when reviewing a referral and needing medical professionals’ opinions. The Adoption Medicine Clinic has helped many families since 1986 review referrals, discuss the resources needed for the specific special need and what the severity of the need may be. The Clinic will look at the medical report, any background information on the child, and review pictures and videos. They then will discuss with the family any concerns they may see and discus how to best care for the child.

    Families can connect with this clinic by going to their website at https://adoption.umn.edu/. They have many resources for families to learn from such as how to measure head growth, fetal alcohol syndrome, child development, mental health, etc.

    They do have a fee for their different services. On their website they have a breakdown of what each service would cost. Their turn around time for looking at a referral is 1-3 days and can go quicker if it is time sensitive.

    We recommend families look at the University of Minnesota Adoption Medicine Clinic when considering or in the process of foster care, domestic or international adoption.

  • China Waiting Children: Special Needs Spotlight on Dwarfism

    Let me tell you a little about Leo. I recently came across Leo’s file when I was searching China’s shared list of children available for adoption. My specific search was for “limb differences” because we have several families who are hoping to adopt children with this need. When I saw Leo’s picture, I wanted to learn more. His file specifically states “limb and trunk deformities” while it appears that his true diagnosis is likely dwarfism. I saw the sweet face of eleven year old Leo in pictures of him riding a bike and playing on the slide and wondered how this boy has waited so long for a family.

    Little People of America defines dwarfism as “a medical or genetic condition that usually results in an adult height of 4’10” or shorter, among both men and women, although in some cases a person with a dwarfing condition may be slightly taller than that. The average height of an adult with dwarfism is 4’0, but typical heights range from 2’8 to 4’8.” There are several different types of dwarfism, with the most common being achondroplasia , spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, and diastrophic dysplasia . You can read more about the different types of dwarfism on WebMD .

    A concern with adopting a child with dwarfism is what life looks like from a medical standpoint. Little People of America states, “It varies from condition to condition, and with the severity of that condition in each individual. However, the majority of LPs enjoy normal intelligence, normal life spans, and reasonably good health. Many will require surgeries or other medical interventions to address complications and maximize mobility.

    Orthopedic complications are not unusual in people with disproportionate dwarfism such as achondroplasia and diastrophic dysplasia, and sometimes surgery is required. A common problem, especially in adults, is spinal stenosis — a condition in which the opening in the spinal column is too small to accommodate the spinal cord. People with this condition suffer from numbness and/or pain. It can be treated with a type of surgery called a laminectomy.”

    International Adoption Net recommends that all families talk to a licensed pediatrician or international adoption clinic for all medical advice and information when considering a child for adoption. Families are approved for children with medical conditions on a case by case basis after reviewing the family’s qualifications as best determined by the placement agency.

    Now back to Leo! Leo is initially shy with adults or unfamiliar people. He listens carefully, and he is thoughtful about his response. However, he really comes out of his shell around his classmates and peers. He is outgoing around other children, and in his school environment, he answers questions eagerly and loudly. Leo’s fine and gross motor skills are great. He can walk on a balance beam, use his fingers deftly, hold scissors well, and he completes all sorts of tasks such as drawing patterns and folding paper. He enjoys art and origami, but jigsaw puzzles are his favorite. He can use open ended toys such as blocks, legos, and such to create all sorts of things. He is very creative. All of his peers care for him greatly, as he is always met with a hug and teasing from his friends.

    Leo’s face is always filled with a happy smile. He is good at hands-on activities, and his painting ability is admirable. After watching an art video, the teacher provides animal pictures, and Leo can imitate the pictures well with careful attention to detail. Leo grasps new knowledge quickly, and his concentration

    and learning ability are greater than his peers. Leo is a team leader in class, and he enjoys assisting the teachers. Over the years, his language skills and confidence have grown greatly.

    Want to learn more about Leo? Email Brandie . We have several pictures of Leo to share with families who are considering adopting him!

    Little People of America offers a $1,000 retroactive grant to families adopting a child with dwarfism, and a $5,000 retroactive grant to families adopting a boy with dwarfism age 11 or older. You can find a wealth of medical information and support, as well as links to regional skeletal dysplasia clinics, at Little People of America .