Initiatives to Improve our Adoption Culture
June 26, 2009

It has been a beautiful week here in Virginia (after a lot of rain). 

This week in my blog I want to update you on two very different initiatives that are being taken to improve adoption, our “adoption culture” in the U.S.A. and hopefully have a positive impact for orphans.  We also have a very exciting announcement:  We had a successful court date in El Salvador!  We are very grateful for this and look forward to many more.  We’ll update you more about this adoption and others in the coming weeks.

Adoption Legislation
I have had the privilege of serving on the Steering Committee for the Families for Orphans Coalition.  This is a network of organizations that seek to find permanent families for orphans.  We’ve worked over the last year to help draft and advise on legislation before Congress.  We’re proud to announce that this week in Congress two pieces of legislation have been introduced that America World supports.  The Families For Orphans Act and the Foreign Adopted Child Equality Act (FACE) which have both been introduced today in the House and Senate, respectively, are pro international adoption.

If enacted, the Families for Orphans Act would create an office in the U.S. Department of State dedicated to promoting the right of children throughout the world to grow up in a loving, permanent family.  The Act emphasizes that activities that keep a child in the country of birth through family preservation, domestic adoption, legal guardianship and kinship care, are always the preferred child welfare methods.  However, it also recognizes that when these are not timely options, a family through international adoption is clearly in the best interests of those children languishing in orphanages or living in temporary foster care.

Similarly, the FACE Act addresses needed changes to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) which was enacted to provide automatic U.S. citizenship to internationally adopted children of American citizens. As it stands now, the internationally adopted child of a U.S. citizen receives U.S. citizenship once the child enters the U.S. to reside permanently. If enacted, the FACE Act would allow such children to acquire U.S. citizenship at the time their adoptions are finalized in the country of the child’s birth.

In the coming weeks, I’ll provide additional information via email on ways you can contact your Congressional Representatives to show your support for this adoption reform.

Opposition to Warner Bros.’ Movie
We want to let families know about America World’s position on the new horror movie, Orphan.  We’re joining with the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) in our opposition to this movie.  The Alliance is launching the Orphans Deserve Better campaign to counter Warner Bros’ film.  CAFO’s mission is to enable the Church to speak with a strong, unified voice to “defend the cause of the fatherless.”  This campaign seeks to do that.  We encourage you to check out more information about CAFO and their campaign against this movie.

Sincerely,
Brian Luwis

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