- China is now allowing single women to adopt through their Special Needs program. Singles were allowed years ago, then when eligibility guidelines changed a few years back, they no longer were allowed to adopt.
- The Soviet Union had their first Down Syndrome adoption court hearing, and that family was denied approval to adopt the child that they had been pursuing for over a year. The judge in the case stated that Down Syndrome children aren't "acceptable" for adoption, but should be institutionalized instead. Many people stateside are petitioning the Soviet Union's government to reconsider.
- China has instituted new requirements for the homestudy procedures for all future adoptions. Mainly, all homestudy agencies have to be Hauge certified, they've increased the number of follow up visits by the agency after the adoption, increased the number of training hours, and they are requesting additional written reference letters.
- Ethiopia is so far sticking to their decision to reduce adoption court hearings from 50 a day down to 5 a day. They feel this will reduce fradulent adoptions, but most feel that it's an over-reaction to some isolated cases. Stateside petitions are being passed and signed, requesting that the Ethiopian government reconsider. This new policy of reduced hearings would add an additional 1 year wait to most Ethiopian adoptions.
We did manage to sneak in and get our fingerprints done on Wednesday at the USCIS office- one more thing checked off of the list!