Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let's Wrap-up, Look Forward, and Say, "Thanks!"

Wrap Up:
Let me begin this post by apologizing for not having written any updates since the petition worked it's magic last Tuesday. You might be surprised to know it, but running a petition took a huge amount of time. Dave and I were fielding a lot of questions through email, talking with the big-leaguers who could really help move our petition forward, and posting, posting, posting on various sites, groups, etc., to try to get notice and keep the ball rolling. And so, we had a lot of catching-up to do with our personal and professional lives. That's where we disappeared to. So please forgive us for our absence.
Secondly I would like to talk about something I saw out in web-land soon after the petition reached it's goal: depression. Is there such a thing as PPD (post-petition-depression?)? I think so. I saw quite a few people who were expressing a hopelessness over their Chinese adoptions, and basically feeling like, "so what the I600A is fixed? I'm still waiting, and this is hopeless."
I had the experience, while working on this petition, to run across another I600 plea, this one for speed of processing and from Vietnam-adopting parents. The petition was posted in January of 2008, is still active, and when I saw it had less than 2000 signatures. Our petition has over 17,000. How did we get those 17,000 signatures? Certainly not because parents thought, "Oh, this is hopeless." We got them directly because all of you, out there, waiting to adopt, worked your booties off and pushed and advocated for your adoptions and your children. That is a wonderful thing, and I hope you all feel like super-heroes, because you all are! All of you have made a huge difference in the life of a child.
Anatole France said that, "To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act." With an adoption from China and the current time-frames, many times our only choice is to dream of the reality we desire as we wait. And then, periodically, we must act, updating forms, preparing our lives for a child, and all of you were able to switch into high gear very quickly when your adoption needed you. You all acted quickly and with great strength to resolve the issue of the I600A. And so I wish for each of you that you can take away some feeling of power and success because of this. You all have done so much to make this a success. You were all wonderful!

Look Forward:
On the victory, a point of clarification on what we all accomplished. Before our success the process was Apply to you country of choice (ours was China) sometime before April 2008, using the I600A. If your adoption is not completed in 18 months, apply for your free renewal using the I600A again. If your adoption is not completed in the following 18 months, switch to the I800A process.
Now the process works in this way:
Apply pre-April 2008 using the I600A. Pay for the I600A and fingerprinting. After 18 months renew for free using the I600A again, and get free fingerprinting. After 18 more months, apply again using the I600A, but pay the fee and for fingerprinting. If your adoption is still not completed 18 months later, apply again using the I600A for a free renewal of the I600A and fingerprints. So, 1600A pay, free renewal. I600A pay, free renewal. All together that should give each parent 6 years to get logged in with their country of choice and bring their child home.
I really do expect that will be enough time for all of us. Dave and I are LID March of 06 for China, and for the past 5 months, each time the new referral dates come out, our referral date is predicted to be May of 2009 by these people: http://www.chinaadoptionforecast.com/. And, each month it moves up a bit, so last May, it said to expect referral May 26, 09. This month it said to expect referral May 6, 09. If that site's predictions are accurate, that will be three years one month for us. That is a drop of our wait time by one month. I'm thinking that what that is showing me is that the wait for China is stabilizing and maybe even changing direction a bit.
If that is the case, then the four I600As should be more than enough for everyone to finish and return home. And if not, we'll mobilize all of you wonderful people again!

Say, "Thanks!"
I would like to ask for one last favor. Our petition had a lot of impact on this process, but it did not accomplish it without some help from people of influence. I would like to ask that you take a moment and thank them, because, first of all, they like to know that they helped and that we appreciate it, and also because we may need their help again in the future.
So please say a quick thank you to:
  • Tom DiFilipo and staff at JCICS: Joint Council on International Children's Services117 South Saint Asaph Street; Alexandria, VA 22314 Phone: 703-535-8045 jcics@jcics.org
  • Your Congress-people
  • Kathleen Strottman at CCAI http://www.ccainstitute.org/about_bios.php 311 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002 P: 202-544-8500 mailto:202-544-8500info@ccainstitute.org
  • And please also thank Michael Valverde at USCIS, who really did try to find a workable solution to our problem that would also allow him to keep USCIS inside the Hague law as they understand it. Considering he didn't have to help us, we really should thank him. Michael Valverde, Chief, Children's Issues, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW., Suite 3300, Washington, DC 20529, telephone (202) 272-9176.

What drives one person to help another, a stranger, I don't know, but it is one of the more miraculous qualities of life. So, please thank those folks listed above for sprinkling some "miracle" on our adoptions, and thanks again to all of you who signed and helped promote the petition.

We're always open; if you have questions or comments please feel free to write us:


If you have an adoption that will be affected by this ruling, we would love to update this blog from time to time with pictures of families that were completed due to this ruling. That would make a lovely visual "thank you" for all those involved, so please consider sending us your photos and a little story. We can turn this blog into the I600A story project!

Bye for now!

Love to all~

Dave and Di

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Be Ashamed to Die Until You Have Won Some Victory for Humanity." Horace Mann

You and I know that even the smallest pebble makes a ripple on the water, but it is amazing when it makes a whole wave.
Dave and I are so very pleased to have the privilege of forwarding this announcement:

Joint Council Update

Program Advocacy
Date October 14, 2008
Regarding I-600A Process

Dear Families & Friends,
After advocating on behalf of adoptive families for the past 6 months, Joint Council is very pleased to confirm that USCIS has announced a very positive ruling concerning the I-600A process.

In summary, it is our understanding that, effective immediately, families who filed Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, prior to April 1, 2008 and whose USCIS approval of that petition (aka the I-171H) has not expired, will be able to proceed with their adoption under the I-600A process if they take certain steps while their approval remain valid. This means that families with valid Form I-600A approvals will not be required to transition to The Hague process via Form I-800A. In order to maintain their status as ‘grandfathered’ cases, families with non-expired Form I-600A approvals must request a one-time free extension. Then, prior to the expiration of the one-time free extension, families must file a new Form I-600A and pay the appropriate fee.

It is also our understanding that families with a Form I-600A approval that has expired and who have not obtained an extension or filed a new Form I-600A, will need to undertake the Hague process. The Hague process will also apply to any petitioner who has not completed their adoption by 2014.

As we noted in our Position Statement, this ruling will save adoptive families thousands of dollars, eliminate countless sleepless nights and ensures that their adoption can proceed to completion.

On behalf of over 10,000 adoptive families, Joint Council extends its appreciation to the following individuals and organizations for their tireless efforts.
· Diane Kunz, Executive Director of the Center for Adoption Policy
· Dianne Pearce, Waiting Parent and Co-Organizer of the Fairness for Families Petition
· Debbie Reynolds, Joint Council China Caucus Co-Chairperson
· Kathleen Strottman, Executive Director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute
· David Yurkovich, Waiting Parent and Co-Organizer of the Fairness for Families Petition
· Members of the United States Congress
· United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
We offer our collective congratulations to everyone who participated in the Joint Council Call-To-Action and the Adoption for All: Fairness for Families petition. And we also send our congratulations to all who participated in the countless meetings, conference calls and emails over the past 6-months. Joint Council is built on a principle of collaboration and this very successful effort clearly demonstrates this principle in action. Our collective voice is definitely stronger than any singular organization or individual.
Joint Council notes that our interpretation of the ruling is offered as a courtesy only and should not be used in making determinations or decisions. Please refer to the full text of the announcements by USCIS which can be found at USCIS Announcement and USCIS Q&A in making any decisions.
Joint Council will provide more specifics as they become available and asks you to visit our website for the latest news and updates.
Thank you to every single one of you who signed our petition, and directly helped to win a "...victory for humanity!"

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword; The Parent Is Mightier Than the Board?

Okay, I've been in class all morning trying to teach 18 year olds that writing skills are important. They don't believe me. And then I come home and see that we have passed 15,000! HA! I win this round college freshman!

I have to echo what Dave said in his earlier post. Each and everyone one of you have made an impact on the numbers, and we are grateful to you all.

October 2nd we had 4700 signatures.
Today we have over 15,000.
Okay, I teach English not math, but that's a heck of a lot of signatures in like, what, 10, 11 days?

Dave and I got to see some new arrivals from China yesterday, and earlier last week I got to meet a new arrival from Russia. I'll tell you all, I would work day and night on 100 petitions after that. Each child I met was so precious, beautiful, and captivating. What miracles they are, and what they have been through. The child from Russia lived in a hospital for (I believe the mommy said) almost a year because there was "no room at the inn" in any of the orphanages. Some of the children came from institutions, some from foster care, and some had SNs beyond those of being an orphan, and everyone was an amazing little survior, thriving and smiling and adapting to a family so quickly and easily. All is right with the world at those moments. Children are supposed to grow in families.

A lot of times, when you're in the process, you're doing what you need to do, and what you have to do, and you jump through the hoops thinking, "Yes, ghost child out there somewhere, I would jump through a million hoops for you," but you do it without really knowing for sure. You trust yourself and try to find the motivation inside for each hurtle. Sometimes, I think, we all have moments were we are just, tired, would you say that is how to describe it?

Well, when I saw all those children this past week they were all so very real and wonderful that I knew suddenly for certain that there wasn't a hoop in existence that I wouldn't jump through for Sophie.

Yes, I would jump through any darn hoop they can throw at me for Sophie, and I know you would too.

Here's hoping that we don't have to. Here's hoping that USCIS hears our voices, and feels our love for these little souls out there waiting for someone to call their own. And here's hoping that they let compassion rule the day and help the process along rather than slowing it down, or stopping it completely.

And if they do hear us, it will be because of each name on the petition, and each question on the blog, and each posting you put on a group, and each email you sent to your friends, your congress, etc., and because of each time one of you worked the JCICS plan, and for each time you encouraged someone waiting for their child, and finally it will be because of the effort of each individual one of you.
Di & Dave too


We just hit 15,000 signatures. We are awestruck and grateful to everyone who has signed the petition. Thank you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's Saturday night...

...As I write this.
Dave and I received some messages today that concerned us as they were from people saying that they are just now getting information about this from their agencies. Please send this to your agency, just in case you have other WPs from your agency who haven't received it yet. I know it's hard to believe in this computer-age we're in, but some people don't visit the web. They prefer to only hear from their agency. So please send this to yours so that they can help spread the word!
We are really hopeful that we will have good news for you soon.
Also please keep working the JCICS plan: http://www.jcics.org/5WaystoHelp.htm
We are so fortunate that JCICS is helping us, so please help them to help us.
Not sure what to do to help JCICS?
Check our post on who to email:

Well, as I said, it's Saturday night. What are you doing this weekend? Dave and I are going to meet with some other local WPs for brunch tomorrow (and some have their children now!), so we are very excited about that. We really couldn't have imagined how much it feels like "home" to meet up with other WPs when we began this journey. But then, we have over 13,000 signatures on the petition; time and time again we keep re-learning that the adoption community is a very supportive place. And I hope you all have found some support, family, friends, other WPs, to help keep your spirit fed and watered on this long journey to our children!

So, what's the buzz phrase for today?
6642, that is all we need from you!
Yup, why, once I thought we'd never hit 6 thousand with this little petition. Now we only need 6 thousand (and change) to hit our goal of 20,000!
So, I wish you goodnight, good weekend, and remember:
6642, that is all we need from you!
D & D too

Friday, October 10, 2008

13,000 Signatures Approach'th

The weekend approach'th, and so does our 13,000th signature. We are very excited to be closing on 20,000. As you may know, the petition end'th on Halloween. So we still need to aquire an additional 7,000 sigs in 21 days; I think this is highly do-able given the fantastic support we've received thus far. Based on some of the more recent comments posted on the petition, it's become apparent that some agencies are only now making their waiting parents aware of the petition and advocating for them to sign it. Better late than never, say'th we.

Wishing everyone a good weekend, and hoping that next week brings good news for all of us waiting parents...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Approaching 12,000

It seems that no sooner did we reach 10,000 signatures then that number was ancient history. It's the end of the the day, Thursday, here on the west coast (well, a few more hours until midnight), and we've already passed 11,500 signatures. Let's keep the momentum going!

We hope to have good news to report soon! ;) ;) The more signatures the better!
Daddy2B Dave


Sometime in the early morning hours...

we passed the 10,000 mark!

Here's a shout-out to Jason from TX who was # 10,000!!!

As I write this we are at 10668. I am in awe.

Jason is very special, but you are all very special, giving people.

Thank you so much for your love, and your belief in the USA's intrinsic fairness and love for children!

Hopefully all of you are showing USCIS and NBC the way to best help those thousands of waiting children!


D&D too!

PS. See the post below, and keep working the JCICS plan!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What to Email and Who to Email It to:

Hopefully this will help make following JCICS' plan quick and easy.

There are two emails you and everyone who's helping you need to send.

Send the first email to this guy: mark@ccainstitute.org
(Make sure to change the signature to yours!)

Dear Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute,
I am writing to inform you that we fully support the Joint Council Position Paper on I-600A Renewals. Please take every effort possible to ensure that waiting families who began their adoptions with I600-A are allowed to continue their adoptions with I-600A.
Thank you!
(Sign with your Name, Address, & Phone #)

Send the second email to JCICS: advocate@jcics.org
(Make sure to change the signature to yours!)

I am writing to inform you that I fully support the Joint Council Position Paper on I-600A Renewals. I commend your efforts to ensure that waiting families who began their adoptions with I600-A are allowed to continue their adoptions with I-600A.
Thank you!
(Sign with your Name, Address, & Phone #)

If Grandma or Aunt Ruth don't have emails, send one for them and include their contact information in the signature line so their existence and support can be verified. We don't want to exclude anybody who can help! Same goes for signing the petition.

That'll do it. We topped 8000 on the petition as I write this. JCICS is also asking for us to send 10,000 of those emails listed above, so, the time for writer's cramp is now!

Let's pause to give a shout-out to the RQ, who put us on the BLOG today! http://chinaadopttalk.com/

And thanks to all you future (or current) mommy and daddies who are already protecting your childrens' futures by doing these letters, petitions, and emails! I wish I could write each one of you a personal letter of endorsement for your home studies!

We love you folks!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Follow the JCICS Plan!

Action! Action! We want action! A-C-T! I-O-N!
Action! Action! We want action! A-C-T! I-O-N!

Did you have that cheer for your HS teams? We did.
Action is our key word now too. Don't forget our action plan; that's the way to get the job done.
Follow the action plan at JCICS today!

The Milk Issue In China

Just FYI, JCICS would like everyone to know that they also have collected a lot of good information about China's current trouble with tainted milk.
You can find the information here:
That is their China page. Scroll down past the petition news to the FAQs for the milk information.
Also, Ask Jane in China (a Yahoo group for adoption from China) has a lot of milk information in it's group messages as well:
If you know of other milk-related resources, please let us know.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Excellent Update News! We Are On JCICS!

Hello Everyone, and thank you for signing the petition! We are now officially part of JCICS' website! YOU did that! Everyone of YOU! You are fantastic people!

Thank you for what you have done, and please visit JCICS to see what you still can do!


Here is the Copy and Paste from that page:

5 Ways to Help Us

1. Today, please read the Joint Council Position Paper on I-600A Renewals at www.jcics.org.

2. Today, send an email in support of the Joint Council Position Paper on I-600A Renewals to Joint Council at advocate@jcics.org and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute at mark@ccainstitute.org.
a. Joint Council will deliver a petition supporting an immediate resolution, including all emails, to USCIS on October 18th. To be sure that your email is included, please send your email no later than October 16th.

3. Today, go to Adoption for All: the Fairness for Families Petition and sign the petition.
a. Joint Council, in collaboration with Adoption For All organizers David Yurkovich and Dianne Pearce, will present the petition and all signatories to Congressional leaders on October 18th. To ensure that your signature is included, please sign the petition no later than October 16th.

  • 4. On October 14th, 15th, and 16th, contact your Congressional representatives, both in the House and Senate.
    a. Joint Council is working with Members of Congress and seeks their participation in resolving this issue.
    b. You can find your Senators’ phone numbers and email addresses at www.senate.gov.
    c. You can find your Representative’s phone number and email address at www.house.gov.
    d. Include the following in your calls and emails.
    · A brief explanation of the situation.
    · “I/we understand that USCIS is actively engaged in seeking a resolution to the I-600A issue. I/we respectfully ask the Senator/Congressperson to contact USCIS and express their support of efforts to find an immediate resolution to the I-600A Extension issue.”
    · A kind ‘thank you’.

5. Stand ready to expand and intensify your efforts if needed.
Joint Council may contact you with a revised Call To Action if needed

Okay, so, we wanted help, and JCICS is once again helping adoptive families. Please visit their website for more in-depth information and answers to your questions and concerns.


Thank you, and thank you, and thank you again for your help, your efforts, and your friendship!



Saturday, October 4, 2008

UPDATE: Good News?

We think the petition just may be working!
We were told in confidence that the petition is helping, and we were asked by callers to please keep increasing the petition numbers as much as we can.
We were also asked to have a cut-off date on the petition of 10/31.
So, I would like to ask everyone to please keep getting signatures on the petition. Ask your neighbor, your pastor, your aunt Margie, everybody who cares about you, to please sign on.
*REMEMBER, for the petition to be VALID, you cannot sign twice, so get everyone you know to sign once instead! Signers must be of voting age and a US citizen. :o)http://www.gopetition.com/online/22112.html for the petition, or click those adorable pair of eyes in the top right corner to go directly to it.
We cannot thank you enough for all your help!
And remember, if this does work it will universally help all of us who filed pre-April 2008.
Here's to all of us!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Comment on Upsetting People:What Is True?

Hi All~
We received this comment today:

~I just talked with my agency because I was freaking out about the getting out of line thing. They said the comment about changing agencies is not true. The i600/i800 only has to do with the us govt, not with china. No one is in danger of losing their place. Please take this off this blog as it is not correct and causing undue stress to waiting families. ~

Well, the commentor is right, and wrong.
It is true, this paperwork is only a USA thing, and has nothing to do with China.
If your agency is not Hague-accredited (and many are not; I personally know of 10 that aren't), the USA will force you to switch agencies.
WHEN you switch agencies, you will be forced to tell China.
So, if the US government FORCES you to go I800A, and that FORCES YOU to change to a Hague-approved agency, China WILL force you to pull your dossier and resubmit.
How do I know this? I asked agencies; I asked LWB; I asked China.
I know that in the China adoption process we are often subject to sensationalistic rumours that get us upset and go nowhere. If you know me at all, or belong to the Rate Your China Adoption Agency group or the Worth Waiting For group, you know that I have consistently de-bunked those rumours. I think saying stuff that is upsetting without knowing if it's true is wrong. I don't/won't do that.
I really appreciate the comment, because I'm sure a lot of people think the same thing.
TRUTH: if your agency is not Hague-approved, and you get forced to switch to I800A, you will have to get a new agency (with all the fees that entails).
TRUTH: if you get a new agency, China will recognize you only as a new dossier with a new LID.
Do you want an LID of 2009 after having an LID of 2006? I do not.
Please sign the petition and pass the truth on.
Thanks so much again for the great question!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

4700 Signatures (and counting)

MORE THAN 4700 have signed the adoption petition since it was posted online on September 23, 2008. I've sent copies to our Congress people, and have talked with their local liaisons. Several people have contacted me, stating that they plan to take further action (by meeting personally in Washington, DC, with members of Congress). I hope it's enough. I hope that our combined efforts will be enough to move this seemingly immovable wall known as USCIS.

Monday, September 29, 2008

We're #1!

We are currently the #1 most active petition on the Go Petition website.
That is so wonderful! Keep it going folks! Only you can keep the flame burning in our own version of the torch run for China!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fame Helps The Game

One thing we are trying to do by having this petition is to get noticed by our government officials.

To that end we have been reaching out to groups like National Public Radio and the American Civil Liberties Union.

We also live in a country where news of celebrity adoptions are news.
Is there anyone out there who knows someone who knows someone who knows a politician who has adopted, or a local newscaster who has adopted, or knows Meg Ryan or Angelina Jolie? (The adoption-world's connections are, after all, strong and far-reaching.) If we can get some media attention for our petition it will increase its impact, and increase our signatures by the thousands we need. If you know someone, can you put the six degrees of seperation rule into affect and reach out?

If you are out there and you have not yet signed the petition, would you please help us? If you know someone who has not yet signed, would you please ask them to do so?

Several people have written me wanting more information, and I am only too happy to tell you everything I know and everything I can about this situation. Please feel free to email me anytime: dianne@sleepinggiantcreations.com

The response so far in signatures on the petition from the posts on the adoption sites we have access to has been wonderful. As I write this it is day 3 of the petition and we are up, so quickly, to 1499! We should all be proud of that number and our outreach efforts.

I personally am very moved by the response, and very moved by the comments of need and support and fighting spirit some people have attached to their signatures. I am also moved each time I signatures from entire families who have come out to support the issue, and help their friends and loved ones bring their children home. And each signature that has been put on the list, whether you sign for yourself, or sign in support of others, each name on the roll helps us all, and is so valuable, and is a great gift. Keep the spirit going!

Thank you all so much for your help, and have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How Do I Know If This Is My Situation? Q&A

What if you read all of this and you say, "I don't understand this all." or "My agency has not told me this." Or, "How do I know if this is my situation?"
I will try to short-cut it all for you. And I admit it is complicated and confusing!

Begin by taking the I800 test, if one of the following statements is true for you, than you will be affected by USCIS and NBC choosing to ignore the law:
  • If you filed an I600A when you began your adoption, and the country you are adopting from is a Hague country, and your child is not home with you yet, this applies to you. (Therefore, although a lot of the information we have is about the effect on China adopters, if you are with a Hague country and expecting to need to re-file/renew your I600A, this affects you too.)
  • If you have filed for an I600A renewal before, and your child is still not home with you, and you will need to renew again before your child comes home, this applies to you.
  • If you filed an I600A to begin your adoption, and your adoption is not finalized, and your agency does not currently have a "Hague Approval," this applies to you.

Q: Will every China WP have to get out of line for China?
A: No, the following people will not have to get out of line for China:
  • People who are expedited due to Chinese Heritage (CH). The CH people are being processed (currently) over one year faster than all the other Chinese adopters. The United States government is not allowed to favor one group over another, but China is, and does. So, all the CH adopters are finishing their adoption in time not to have to worry about this. This also begs the question of USA discrimination, because, due to China's choice for CH parents, and due to the USCIS' contravene of the Hague law, the US is unintentionally favoring one group over another.
  • People who began their adoption with an I800A are not affected by this no matter where you are adopting from.
  • People who may be forced by USCIS to switch to the I800A, but are working with a Hague-approved agency will not (to our knowledge) have to get out of line for China.

Q: Who will lose their place in line in China if the congress doesn't force USCIS to comply with the law?
A: Any family who has to refile their paperwork (for their I171H form) before they will get their referral, and who is working with an agency who did not receive Hague-accreditation, will have to get out of line for China.
  • Well, in order to pass the I800A NBC review, those parents will have to change adoption agencies to find one that is Hague-accredited. Once they do that, they will have changed agencies. China no longer allows agency changes for any reason. So, anyone who changes agencies because they are forced to do so by USCIS will also be forced by China to leave their place in line, and re-apply.
  • That also means that to re-apply they will have to meet China's new rules. So, if this happened to you, and you were, for example, a single woman adopter, your adoption in China would be over. No more China adoption. No kidding.
NOTE: Your agency may be accredited by Hague, but you still may not be with a Hague-accredited agency.
Q: HUH? How can this be?
A: China only allows a limited number of licenses to be a China adoption agency. So, throughout the USA, many agencies will work together and share a license that, in reality, only belongs to one agency. My agency, for example, which is Adoption Guides, passed Hague accreditation, but, they were sharing the China license of West Sands, which did not. Therefore all the WPs from my agency (and the 9 or so other agencies sharing with West Sands) will be forced by USCIS/NBC and the I800 process to sign with a new agency. When China sees that we are no longer with West Sands, we will have to re-apply to China. Hello, and welcome to the back of a very long line.

Q: Is there any other way my adoption can be affected by this?

  • Yes. All I800 forms must go through the new office (one for the whole country) called National Benefits Council (NBC). It is our understanding from discussions with agencies that NBC currently has 4 employees processing I800 forms. The process is slow, taking on average 6 months. This slow processing time could impact your legal right to accept the referral of a child. If the referral comes and the USA has not approved you to adopt, you will not be able to accept the referral.
  • Also, it is our understanding from agencies that the I800 process is much more rigorous, and to date they are "passing" applications at a rate of 5%, with 95% being sent back to the WPs for a re-do. That will also lengthen the already long process.
  • Finally, when that office becomes deluged with all the I600A people being forced to switch by USCIS, we expect the processing time will get even longer.

Are their more questions you may have? If so, please leave them as a comment to this post, and we will research the answer for you.

Okay, one last Q: Can any of this mess be avoided?

  • Yes. All that has to happen is the Congress has to tell USCIS and NBC to stop creating their own rules, and to follow the law as written.
  • Please send a letter to your federal officials to ask them to do this today, and please sign the petition (click the photo in the top right corner to find the petition.).

PS. Please only sign the petition once. Everyone you know who is an American of voting age can sign it, but just one signature per person. Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cut-and-Paste Letter for Your Congress-Person

Please use this letter to request help from congress.
Please feel free to edit as needed. (FYI: Items in RED need to be personalized with your info.)
Please send the letter by US Postal Service. Your Congress-Person needs a paper letter in order to "take-on" your case.
Best of luck, and please let us know your response.


Dear Representative/Senator (and add NAME OF your REPRESENTATIVE or SENATOR):

I am writing to ask you to intercede (on my behalf / on behalf of my friend/son/daughter/etc) with a government agency.

Recently, the rules and regulations in the United States of America regarding international adoption have changed. Congress passed The Hague into law. When this was done, Congress explicitly stated that families who are in the process of adopting a child internationally and who have been in process prior to April 1, 2008, are considered “transition cases.” As such, these families are, by law, grandfathered into the adoption rules and regulations that existed PRIOR TO April 1, 2008 until their adoptions are completed, and these families DO NOT have to re-file under the new Hague guidelines. However, the Department of State and the US Department of Homeland Security’s CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services, aka USCIS) bureau are blatantly ignoring this law and forcing all transitional families to abide by the new regulations. This not only contravenes the law as written, but also creates undue hardship for the thousands of US families affected, and will likely cause the disruption of the adoption.

The Hague Convention on International Adoption, which was implemented this year, states the following regarding the transition rule:

"SEC. 505 (b) TRANSITION RULE The Convention and this Act shall not apply--(1) in the case of a child immigrating to the United states, if the application for advance processing of an orphan petition or petition to classify an orphan as an immediate relative for the child is filed before the effective date described in subsection (a)(2)" which was April 1, 2008.

I/we am/are therefore asking for your help. We are asking for you to intercede for us (for our daughter/friend/etc.) with the government agencies of USCIS and NBC, and allow us (our son’s family/my friend/etc.) to complete the adoption that is in process under the I600A as an I600A case until the adoption is finalized.

Very Best Regards,


The Reason for This Blog

We have created this blog to help American families who are in process for an international adoption, and who began that adoption as an I600A case, and are now being forced to switch to an I800 case by the United States Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the National Benefits Council (NBC).
In 2008, the US Congress passed the Hague Adoption Treaty into law. When they did, they wrote into the law that ALL ADOPTERS who had begun their adoption prior to April 2008 as an I600 or I600A case could continue their adoption that way until it was completed.
USCIS and the NBC have since decided that they don't want to do it that way and are informing adoption agencies (AAs) and waiting parents (WPs) that they have no choice but to do the new I800 Hague process.
First of all, this is unfair, as it directly goes against the law as passed by Congress.
Secondly, this is having, and will continue to have, disastrous effects on the in-process adoptions as all will be faced with increased costs and will have their adoption process severely delayed, and some will have their adoption journey ended completely by this rule.
The number of WPs/adoptive families in the USA this affects is easily over 10,000, and adoption agency insiders estimate it to be over 23,000!
This affects many international adoptions, including Guatemala and China, where adoption referral waits have grown.
This "change" demanded by USCIS and NBC is not required by the countries referring the children. It is not even required by the US government. It is only required by those two offices.
That civil servants, office workers, feel that they have the right to indelibly alter WPs' lives for their own convenience is criminal, and should be stopped by our Congress.
We know that in the USA now we face elections, and our politicians are busy with that, but serving their people is what their job is about and they should make time to serve us in our time of need.
We also know that the USA is having a financial crisis, and we understand that much of that crisis was brought on by lack of government oversight, just like the crisis WPs face with their adoptions. However, unlike fat-cat corporations, we are not asking for a financial hand-out or money from the American tax payers. We are asking that the law our Congress passed be followed as written, and that all the affected WPs be allowed to complete their adoptions as they were begun. We will gladly pay the continued I600A fees and the fingerprint fees. We do not want anything for free; we simply do not want random bureaucrats re-interpreting a law designed to help us so that it instead helps them. That is wrong, and we need Congressional oversight.
If you click on the photo in the top right corner of this blog you will be taken to the online petition where you can sign on to help your own adoption, or the adoption of a friend or loved one. Or, to simply help one less child grow up without a family.
Please check back periodically for blog updates to see how many signatures we have collected and any changes that have occurred in this situation.
Remember that we are competing with elections and Wall Street for Congress' attention, so please pass this on and try to "collect" as many signatures as possible.
Thanks so much for your time and effort. It means the world to so many Americans, and to so many children.

PS. Although the petition asks for your email address, no emails will be visible to the public. As several people have already signed the petition, you can see that this is true. We need to collect the emails to prove you are real people, and not just names we pulled from a phonebook. We will not email you or spam you. We very much respect your privacy, and your contribution to the petition.
ALSO NOTE: We are not asking for any money from anybody for anything. Should anyone contact you requesting financial assistance it is not us. We are all volunteers.