News Brief: Comment on a Pending Amendment to Adoption Regulations

The Department of State has proposed changes to accreditation requirements for adoption service providers, and is currently welcoming comments from the public.

The Department of State has proposed changes to accreditation requirements for adoption service providers, and is currently welcoming public comments

The Department of State has proposed amendments to accreditation requirements for adoption service providers (ASP), and is currently welcoming comments from the public at large about the proposal.

The proposed changes would establish a secondary accreditation level, known as “country-specific authorization” (CSA), for ASPs to act as primary providers in designated countries. The DOS believes CSA will “enhance existing protections in the intercountry adoption process,” and specified improvements in documenting compensation and fees and obtaining medical and social information about the child as examples.

Among changes the proposed rule would bring include:

  • ASPs would be required to distinguish fees that cover services in the U.S. from those that are applied in a foreign country.
  • ASPs would be prohibited from charging prospective adoptive parents fees to care for a child prior to adoption.
  • Recognizing that the current profile of children adopted internationally is quite different in terms of age and special needs than it was just a decade ago, pre-adoptive parent training would cover a greater scope of topics, and align with the training for parents adopting through the U.S. foster system. The time requirement would also increase. ASPs would not be permitted to make a referral until prospective parents had completed their training.
  • Anyone wishing to file a complaint against an ASP will no longer have to submit his or her complaint to the ASP in question before submitting it to the accrediting entity.

Read the full text of the proposed changes and submit comments at regulations.gov (search for docket number DOS-2016-0056). Public comments may be submitted through November 7, 2016.

 

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