Important Potential Changes to International Adoption – What You Can Do!

6
Oct

Yesterday, we shared some information on the new proposed regulations by the Department of State, and the significant negative effects it could have on international adoption (you can read the post here.) Today, we’re sharing some of MLJ Adoptions’ advocacy efforts, including some ways that you can get involved.

What is MLJ Adoptions Doing?

MLJ is very involved with the National Council for Adoption (NCFA), and we have been collaborating with this advocacy organization often. MLJ’s advocacy includes actively participating in NCFA’s working group responding to these regulations as an adoption community. We have also initiated contact with the Small Business Administration – Office of Advocacy who has taken interest in the cause. We have also enlisted other members of the adoption community to join this small business initiative as well.

We have only just begun our advocacy efforts, and there is so much more to be done. We are now in the process of reaching out beyond the adoption community. We will be contacting our representatives as well as influential individuals touched by adoption, and we encourage you to do the same.

What Can You Do to Help?

  1. img_5969Familiarize yourself with the Proposed Regulations: Part One of this blog outlined several of our concerns, but you may find that there are additional concerns that you want to highlight. You can read the regulations in their entirety.
  2. Make a Formal Comment: It is important that when submitting your formal comment that you utilize language that has been used in the regulations. Use your formal comment to share your family’s personal testimony about how these proposed regulations could have affected your child or could affect your adoption process; the most influential comments are personal ones. If the reviews look too similar to one another, they will be counted in the total number of comments, but the content will not necessarily be reviewed. The formal comment period ends on November 7th, so be sure to submit your comment before then. Photos can be included with your formal comment.
  3. Contact Your Representatives: You may want to pick up the phone and call your representatives because calling can be much more impactful than writing an email. However, a phone call and either an email or a letter will draw the most attention. Don’t feel intimated when calling your representative’s office. The person on the other line should really just be a listening ear for your concerns. Make sure you tell the office what you want the representative to do to help. MLJ Adoptions will be asking that the representatives push the Department of State to withdraw the proposed rules in their entirety.
    • Contact your U.S. Senators – Visit this website to find your senators
    • Contact your U.S. Representatives – Visit this website to find your representative.
  4. Sign the Save Adoptions Petition: An initiative has been started on saveadoptions.org, and has been promoted on social media. You are welcome to visit the site, sign on and leave a comment if you agree with the petition. Do understand that while this may be a helpful effort, this petition is not a part of the formal process to oppose the proposed regulations.
  5. Create Awareness: Share your concerns on social media! Get your social network involved in this important initiative! MLJ Adoptions will be reaching out to our personal and professional contacts to raise awareness of how these proposed regulations could negatively impact international adoption, prospective adoptive families and vulnerable children worldwide.

Thank you for taking the time to consider how your family can advocate. Your voice is important and has the ability to change the trajectory of international adoption. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Use your voice, it matters!

Defend international adoption! Raise your voice on behalf of families, children and agencies who will be negatively affected by these proposed regulations!

Nicole Skellenger works as MLJ Adoptions’ Chief Executive Officer and Adoption Attorney. Nicole has spent time in orphanages with children who have nothing and are desperate for affection and has committed herself to using her skills to create better futures for these deserving children.