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CHOICES Thanks Victoria Foundation Lex Reynolds Permanency Trust Fund

CHOICES thanks the Victoria Foundation Lex Reynolds Permanency Trust Fund for their support of Today's Child. A grant of $20,000 was received from the Foundation to assist with recruiting and screening adoptive families for BC's waiting children. Watch for Today's Child in the Times Colonist coming early 2011!

Posted: Jan 4th, 2011


CHOICES Art Auction raises over $10,000

CHOICES Art Auction raises over $10,000 towards our Child in Foster Care Program, supporting BC's Waiting Children to find forever families. Thank you to all those who attended the event, and to all of our generous artists who donated their beautiful art for charity.

Posted: Nov 30th, 2010


Adoptions suspended from Haiti to BC families

The BC government announced today that post earthquake applications to adopt from Haiti are officially suspended. This suspension is a result of concerns being reported by child welfare organizations in Haiti regarding children who are not legally orphaned being placed for international adoption. For families who began the adoption process with Haiti before the earthquake in January 2010, BC has decided to allow processing of their dossiers. However, Letters of No Objection may be revoked if it is determined the legal process has not been followed in Haiti prior to child proposal. Likewise, Canada Immigration may prevent a visa from being issued, even if the legal requirements have been met in BC and Haiti. The Ministry will continue to work closely with Canadian federal departments and Haitian authorities, within the parameters of each country's legislation and policies, to ensure that these adoptions are being completed in children best interests. This will be done in accordance with all established intercountry policies and relevant laws. For updates and further information, please refer to the Ministry's website

The families and children of Haiti need support now more than ever. In light of the news regarding this suspension, and recognizing that many orphanages continue to be overcrowded, please consider supporting one of Haiti's many child welfare organizations. To find out more about how you can help, please contact us at choices@choicesadoption.ca.

Posted: Aug 1st, 2010


GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon 10/10/10

Join us in this year’s Victoria Marathon!! Run, walk or sponsor our eight year old team champion, Oscar Allen, in this year’s marathon!! Oscar will be running the 8 K and CHOICES staff, Marie Lapointe, with be running the half marathon.

There are over 30,000 children registered and waiting to be adopted in Canada according to the Adoption Council of Canada. CHOICES is committed to finding families for these waiting children. By running, sponsoring or partnering in this year’s marathon with CHOICES, you can make the difference in the life of a child.

Here's how you can help:

  1. Become part of the CHOICES Champion team by calling Kathy at CHOICES today!
  2. Register with GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon at http://www.runvictoriamarathon.com/ and choose CHOICES Adoption from the drop down box. Print out your pledge form here and you are ready to go!!
  3. Become a partner with CHOICES Adoption in the 10/10/10 Victoria Marathon. If you are a local business, organization or individual that would like to assist CHOICES in this year’s marathon call 1 888 479 9811.

Reasons to partner

Last year with the help of our sponsors and families we raised $8000.00 for children who need families.

This year our goal is to raise $16,000. All funds raised will go to finding families for children in foster care.

Top three pledge collectors will win great prizes!

View our 2009 champion Oscar http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWZ3HnFrKY4 and click here to sponsor Oscar on his 2010 race!

Posted: July 16th, 2010


CHOICES blog now available - check it out today!

http://www.choicesadoption.blogspot.com/

Posted: July 16th, 2010


Moratorium imposed on adoptions from Nepal

Ottawa, June 4, 2020 - Canadian adoptions from Nepal have been suspended due to concerns about fraud and child trafficking.

A recent report by the Hague Conference on Private International Law revealed that there is strong evidence that documents are being falsified on a regular basis and false statements are regularly made about a child's origins, age and status - and whether they have been abandoned.

Based on this evidence, and the recommendations of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and with the support of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), the provinces and territories have agreed to suspend adoptions from Nepal.

Provinces and territories are responsible for approving adoptions. CIC is responsible for granting the adopted child citizenship or allowing them to immigrate as a permanent resident. HRSDC's role is to encourage communications and co-operation with provincial and territorial, federal, and foreign government counterparts in the adoption community.

"We know how disheartening this must be for the parents concerned, but several authoritative sources, such as The Hague Conference and UNICEF, have raised serious concerns about the use of fraudulent documents and the prevalence of child trafficking in Nepal," said Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. "It is important to get a reformed system in place in Nepal before proceeding with adoptions."

Proceeding with adoption cases from Nepal could violate Canada's obligations under The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoptions. Both CIC and HRSDC work in close coordination with provincial and territorial adoption authorities and are monitoring the situation in Nepal.

"There are a number of Canadian parents seeking to adopt children from Nepal who are understandably anxious but our priorities remain the best interests of the child and the prevention of child trafficking," added Minister Kenney.

Original published on news.gc.ca

Posted: June 9th, 2010


CHOICES Raffle

Support CHOICES Adoption and enter to win great prizes, including two nights accommodation in Parksville, dinner and overnight at Chateau Victoria, and more! Contact Kathy at the office for tickets today! Draw date July 30, 2010.

Posted: June 8th, 2010


Thanks

CHOICES wishes to thank the students and staff of the Pacific Film & New Media Academy for their professional production of our documentary, "Adoption Matters". You can view the documentary at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moqHN9mnrZs. Please check out the website for the Pacific Film & New Media Academy www.vicfilm.com and check out their upcoming on-line series, Discovery Street, beginning April 1st.

CHOICES is also pleased to announce that we have received a grant from the BC Gaming Commission to help cover some of the costs for our Women Unable to Parent Program. Thank you to the Gaming Commission for their support!

Posted: April 13th, 2010


A message from the Executive Director

It is with great excitement and honour that I take on the role of Executive Director while Cheryl Fix takes parental leave for a year. Having worked with CHOICES the past 7 years, I have seen a small adoption agency grow into the organization we are today, with many new country programs and exciting adoption initiatives being offered. It is my goal to keep this growth in our agency moving forward as we continue serving families all across British Columbia and Canada, facilitating adoptions and ensuring excellence in our services, always with children's best interests in mind. CHOICES has facilitated the adoption placement of well over 1000 children since its inception in 1989, and we offer a wide range of adoption services to include home study, in-country facilitation, post placement support and reunion counselling. We are available to assist you with a full range of adoption services and our professional, helpful staff are available to take enquiries Monday to Friday, from 9-4:30. We also have a 24 hour emergency line to assist families who need support outside of business hours. We offer Russia, Bulgaria and Nepal in-house adoption facilitation, and a number of other countries which are listed here on our website. As international adoption becomes increasingly complex and lengthy, adoptive families often require extra support and assistance to reach their dreams of bringing a child home. We are here to help you at each stage of your adoption and to celebrate with you as your family grows through adoption.

Thank you for visiting CHOICES website and we look forward to assisting you with your adoption journey!

Rachel Warren, Executive Director


Russia Update - March 15, 2020

Last week's news of the tragic death of seven-year old Nathaniel Craver, who allegedly died at the hands of his adoptive parents in Carrol Township, Pennsylvania, has raised many questions regarding the future of international adoptions from the country.

Unfortunately, this is not the first case of a former Russian child dying after being adopted to foreign parents. Russian authorities are understandably outraged at this news, and are calling for a tightening of international adoption rules. Complicating matters is the fact that US authorities failed to report the boy's death within the time period as required by Russian law. This situation has put further strain on an already delicate US-Russia relationship, and will likely lead to investigations into US agency practice, and into the preparation and screening of adoptive families.

Nathaniel's death marks the 15th case of Russian children dying following adoption to the US, allegedly all at the hands or due to negligence by their adoptive parents.

This case reminds us of the importance of proper adoptive parent screening, preparation and support needed before and following the adoption. It also brings to light how important it is for families to be realistic about the needs that children often come with when adopted from institutional care, and the importance of seeking help early on to address those needs.

CHOICES is known in each of our regions and in Moscow as a reputable agency, and we are diligent in forwarding post placement reports and Consular registrations of children following placement within the time period as required by law. We are also an agency which follows the legal procedure for proposals in all of our regions, which as a result, can lead to longer wait times for referrals. Families should be assured that we are operating our program in Russia according to the laws and rules of the country.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the recent events in Russia, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Our hearts and thoughts go to Nathaniel's twin sister, Elizabeth, and the extended family on their loss.

Posted: March 15th, 2010


Nepal Closure

We received official notice on March 10, 2010, by the BC Central Authority on Adoption regarding the decision to suspend adoptions from Nepal following February 2010 report issued by the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Convention. As a result, no matches will be forwarded to BC families registered with our Nepal Program. Fortunately, we do not currently have any families who are matched with children from Nepal. However, we recognize this news will be devastating to those families who are in the process and have made the financial and emotional commitment to adopt from this country. At this point, Germany, Sweden and British Columbia have officially closed adoptions from Nepal.

CHOICES wants to ensure that all of our adoption programs and facilitators representing us in other countries are operating in an ethical, transparent manner. We have not received any specific concerns pertaining to the activities of our facilitator or our adoption program in Nepal, or concerning the adoptions completed in the past by Canadian families. We will be exploring the terms and conditions required by the BC and Canadian Government to consider resuming adoptions from Nepal, and will place updates on our website as we receive them. At this point, those families who are currently registered to adopt from Nepal should contact CHOICES to discuss their options.

At this point, the suspension is temporary until Nepal can meet the recommendations outlined in the Hague report; however, there is also a risk that this could be a permanent country closure.

Posted: March 10th, 2010


The Situation in Haiti

Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti during this most difficult and challenging time. All of us at CHOICES are grateful to learn that the children from the Faith and Love Orphanage and Rivers of Hope Orphanage are ok. We pray and hope that their birth families, extended families, caregivers, the IBESR staff and the Canadian Embassy staff are also all ok. We will be sending a donation to Faith and Love and if anyone wishes to donate and have their donation sent as well, we can arrange that.

Carrie Craft who writes a blog on the About.com Guide to Adoption articulated the state of adoption in Haiti particularly well.

After the earthquake, rated a 7.0 on the Richter scale, rocked Haiti I have been seeking information on how this will impact adoptions.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and was already suffering before the earthquake hit early morning on January 12th. Some of the issues that may delay adoptions, or getting word on the welfare of your child or their birth family include:

Keep in mind that at this time the focus will be on search and recovery of survivors and then on to basic survival. The toughest will be waiting to hear, be patient and lean on your faith and the support people in your life.

It's easy to feel helpless, but there are ways you can help. One way is by donating to different agencies that are sending aid –


Embassies push for transparency in adoptions

KIRAN CHAPAGAIN

KATHMANDU, Dec 7: Embassies of 12 countries entertaining inter-country adoptions from Nepal have jointly asked the government to ensure transparency and meet international standards while processing inter-country adoption cases.

The embassies passed their concerns in the form of a note verbale (a diplomatic memorandum) to the government via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 24 after they found that the "inter-country adoptions from Nepal were not meeting international standards and practices determined by the Hague Convention". The convention says that adoption should take place in the best interest of the children.

"The group offers its support and urges the Government of Nepal to strengthen the beneficial cooperation with the Hague Conference [Hague Convention], e.g. to ensure that internationally recognized standards and practices," reads the note verbale possessed by myrepublica.com from its sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Submitted by the German Embassy on behalf of the countries on inter-country adoption, the note verbale was initially issued by Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Later, France, Italy and Spain also signed on it. Australia, Canada and the US have also supported it.

A diplomatic source told myrepublica.com that the embassies are particularly concerned over lack of a central authority with responsibility to ensure that inter-country adoptions met international standards and the lack of laws on a par with the convention.

"We also agree [with the countries] that the inter-country adoptions are not taking place as per the international standards. There should be a central authority to see the inter-country adoption," said advocate Upendra Keshari Neupane, who is also an executive committee member of Child NGO Federation.

The embassies have also asked the government to make public the number of adoptable children, their age and sex and the organizations they are staying in. They have also sought information on the status of adoptable children -- voluntarily waived or orphans.

The countries entertaining inter-country adoption from Nepal, diplomatic sources said, are concerned over the rise in the number of adoptable children after the resumption of the inter-country adoption in 2009.

"The number of adoptable children dropped when adoption was suspended in 2007. But we have noticed a sudden rise in the number of such children in child homes and orphanages after the inter-country adoption was resumed in January 2009. How such children´s homes and orphanages see decrease in the number of children when the adoption was stopped and rise when the adoption was resumed?" the source asked.

The countries are also concerned over the representation of the Child NGO Federation in the Recommendation, Investigation and Monitoring Committee at the Ministry of Social Affairs that is responsible for investigating the facts about any children before granting approval for adoption.

"International standards require that there should be no representation of a federation of child NGO that also represents children´s homes and orphanages involved in inter-country adoption," said another diplomatic source.

But advocate Neupane, who represents the federation in the committee, said, "Only the individual who is not involved in inter-country adoption is sent to represent the Child NGO Federation in the committee."

In the note verbale, the embassies have also questioned the existence of two different committees to match a foreign family for any adoptable child. Advocate Neupane agreed that the works of the matching committee have not been transparent.

Similarly, the countries are also doubtful that the paper works on the situation of adoptable children might be fake. They have also expressed concern over deprival of foster care, kinship and domestic adoption to children at child homes and orphanages. "To encourage domestic adoption, the existing laws should be amended," said Neupane, who is also the President of Democratic Lawyers´ Association.

Original published at MyRepublica.com

Posted: December 20th, 2009


Information on adoption processing from Nepal

Due to changes in the Nepal government, there will be a delay in processing adoption from Nepal for the time being.

Posted: May 11th, 2009


Are you a Chinese adoptee, adopted between the years of 1991-95? Considering a homeland trip back to China?

(November 21, 2020). Picture This Productions, an award winning, Montreal-based film production company is currently looking for potential participants to be a part of a Canadian-based television documentary. They are looking to follow a few young women on their first journey back to China since being adopted, documenting the experiences along the way. This film is slated to be shot in 2009-2010, taking place both in Canada, as well as on the road in China.

To learn more about Picture This Productions, please visit the following website: www.picturethis.ca.

To learn more about becoming part of this exciting new documentary, please contact Marc Griebel: marc@picturethis.ca or 514.484.1145.

Posted: May 11th, 2009


RVM Charity Pledge Program for CHOICES Adoption

We need your help! CHOICES Adoption has been chosen as a recognized charity for the Royal Victoria Marathon (RVM) Charity Pledge Program. Our goal is to raise $15,000 in support of children who need permanent families and supporting adoptive families.

All proceeds from the Royal Victoria Marathon will go to Teen Adoption across BC and the Humanitarian Aid Fund with a focus on assisting orphanages in Nepal.

Find out how you can help CHOICES

Posted: March 15th, 2009


CHOICES Fall 2008 Newsletter Available

Issue 13 of the CHOICES newsletter is now available for download.

Posted: December 9th, 2008


Lifting of Nepal child adoption ban

Nepal has lifted a ban on adoption to countries it deems acceptable. [AFP]

Nepal's Government says it will allow 58 foreign agencies to process requests by families wishing to adopt children from the Himalayan nation, ending months of uncertainty.

Nepal put on hold adoption of its children last year after news of widespread corruption and criticism that some children were being sold off, leaving hundreds of families in confusion.

Prakash Kumar Adhikari, a senior official in the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare says foreign agencies could work as "intermediaries" between potential adopting families in their respective countries and the Nepali authorities.

He says the Government will accept requests through firms from Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Norway, the United States and Canada for adoption of Nepali children.

"These countries have a good social security system, including education and health care," he said.

"We'll soon start accepting applications from prospective families for adoption through the accredited agencies."

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and a Swiss child relief agency Terre des hommes said in a report in August that the sale, abduction and trafficking of children was common and Nepal should press for adoption by local families.

Posted: November 1st, 2008


Thank you to BC Ferries Media Golf Charity

CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is pleased to have received a generous donation from the BC Ferries Media Golf Charity. CHOICES and our adoptive parents who coordinate the Humanitarian Aid Fund would like to thank Les Layne and Keith Baldry for their kind donation. Thank you to all of you for your hard work and dedication. Donations are greatly needed for the many children in our orphanages who require social, medical and educational resources while they wait for families.

If you are interested in donating to CHOICES please contact Holly at 1 888 479 9811.

Posted: April 5th, 2008


CHOICES Russian Reaccreditation

After a long wait, CHOICES is very pleased to announce that we have been successfully re-accredited by the Ministry of Education and Science in the Russian Federation! Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding during this period of re-accreditation.

For more information on adopting from Russia, please contact Rachel Warren at CHOICES.

Posted: March 23rd, 2008


Kids for Kids Art Fundraiser for CHOICES

Visit the Kids for Kids Art Fundraiser for CHOICES site.

Posted: March 22nd, 2008


Bill C-37

On 10 December 2007, the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, tabled Bill C-37, an Act to amend the Citizenship Act.

This Bill proposes a broad and generous legislative solution to address outdated provisions of the existing and former act. It also preserves the value of citizenship by limiting citizenship by descent to first generations born abroad to a Canadian parent.

For more information on this Bill, please consult the following links:

Bill C-37
News Release
Backgrounder [1]
Backgrounder [2]

Posted: December 20th, 2007


CHOICES launches India mini site

CHOICES is proud to announce the launch of its new India mini site.

Posted: September 12th, 2007


CHOICES launches Bulgaria mini site

CHOICES is proud to announce the launch of its new Bulgaria mini site.

Posted: September 3rd, 2007


Russian registrations re-open

CHOICES is once again taking registrations for Russian adoptions.
Please contact CHOICES for more information.

Posted: September 3rd, 2007


CHOICES launches Vietnam mini site & Taiwan Blog

CHOICES is proud to announce the launch of its new Vietnam mini site.

Also visit the Taiwan minisite, and read the newly added blog for an insight into the adoption process.

Posted: August 29th, 2007


Open House and Silent Auction

Join CHOICES Adoption & Counselling for an evening of entertainment and celebration!

Tuesday May 27, 2020

5:00 – 5:30 AGM

5:30 – 7:30 Reception & Silent Auction

Refreshments & Live Jazz Trio

RSVP 479 9811 or 1 888 479 9811
choices@choicesadoption.ca

Posted: May 15th, 2008


Annual NACAC Conference in Canada

34th Annual Conference
Ottawa, Ontario
July 31 – August 2, 2020
Pre-Conference Sessions on July 30
http://www.nacac.org/conference/conference.html

Posted: January 16th, 2008


CHOICES Open House

CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is having an open house on December 14th, Friday at 100-850 Blanshard Street from 1-4pm.

We would like to invite you to join us for eggnog, goodies and holiday cheer.

Hope to see you there!

Happy Holidays from all of us at CHOICES.

Posted: November 28th, 2007


ECHO Fundraiser

ECHO is having a Fundraiser selling donuts all of the proceeds will be made available through a grant for adoptive parents who require financial assistance.

The Fundraising event in Victoria BC on August 18th will be in front of Zellers at Tillicum Mall! ECHO will be selling KRISPY KREME DONUTS!!! We are taking pre-order sales for anyone wanting donuts in the "dozens." We want to ensure we order enough donuts to fulfill all of our orders. If you would like to support us be purchasing a dozen (or more) donuts ... or to make a donation, please contact Yasmeen Hinton of ECHO at info@embracingchildren.com

Posted: July 31st, 2007


Shoot for Hope Family Day Event

Shoot for Hope Logo

It's on August 11, 2020 from 11am - 2pm. There will be burgers and hotdogs for sale, bake sale, bouncy castle, trampoline, games for kids and door prizes. There will also be a 3 point shoot out competition happening simultaneously. If anyone would like to register for the 3 point shoot out, it's $20 and this will include a t-shirt, lanyard, bottled water and the game. There's prizes for the top three winners!

Registration is required. To register, email karenq@uvic.ca or call (778) 318-4860. There is no admission charge for the family day but the food are for sale and there's a small charge for the rides.

Location: Lafarge Town Centre in Coquitlam, located on Pinewood Avenue in Town Center Park, Coquitlam.

Directions: from the corner of the Barnett & Loughheed Hwys go north on Pinetree Way until you get to the Community center and Highschool. Turn right on Pinewood Ave and you'll see it up on your left.

Notes: Lights until 11:00 / washrooms & pay phones at rec center

Visit http://www.fishersministries.com/ for more details.

Posted: July 31st, 2007


CHOICES Update on Re-accreditation

Dear Clients and Adoption Colleagues:

The Ministry of Education and Science in Moscow has requested additional documents to complete the process for CHOICES Adoption and Counselling to become re-accredited as an adoption agency in the Russian Federation. As our Provincial license, issued by the Ministry of Children and Family Development, expires on July 29, 2007, the Russian Ministry of Education now requires us to wait until our new BC license is issued. This will cause even further delays in our re-accreditation, and we expect now that the process will not be completed until sometime in September or October of this year.

Given these further unexpected delays, we are required to put a hold on processing any further dossiers, as we currently have several families who have completed their first dossiers and are awaiting a proposal. We will therefore not be accepting any further applications to adopt from Russia until we are officially re-accredited. For those families who have completed their first dossiers, we expect proposals to start coming in the fall.

Please continue to check our website for updates on re-accreditation, or contact CHOICES and ask for Rachel Warren or Marie Lapointe. We apologize for these further delays.

Posted: July 1st, 2007


Waiting Children in Taiwan

Meet three Waiting Children from Taiwan! Please visit the Taiwan page for details.

Posted: July 1st, 2007


Letters of support for Bill C-14

Yesterday, the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, appeared before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. She advised them of proposed changes to the Citizenship Act that will resolve the citizenship of those called “lost Canadians.” There has been much in the press lately about people who have either lost their citizenship or were never able to get it. The amendments will address these issues, and these citizenships will be retroactive to 1947. The government wants to table the bill as soon as possible, likely in the fall, so needs to get it through the last stages.

Although the urgency is not about the adoption amendments in Bill C-14, it means that the Bill now is likely to move forward quickly. But it needs our support to make sure it gets through. The Adoption Council of Canada has supported the Bill in principle, recognizing that it is not a perfect Bill. I understand that the amendment proposed in the spring to add an appeal provision was opposed by the provinces, so CIC has removed that provision. Although this is a worry, I understand that this issue can be addressed later, when regulations are developed.

At this point, it seems more important for adoptive parents to get this Bill through as quickly as possible. It will allow parents to apply for citizenship early and not have to go through the steps for their children to become landed immigrant first. This is a real step forward.

For all of you who wish to see the Bill go through, please send your comments about how important it is to have automatic citizenship upon adoption. You should send your emails as quickly as possible. The Bill is at Report stage and, and the voting could start as soon as today.

You can send your letters of support to the Ministers (see their emails below). The Honourable Diane Finley is the Minister; Omar Alghabra is the Liberal; Bloc is Madam Meili Faille; NDP is Bill Siksay. Also you could send something to Bloc Gilles Duceppe, NDP Jack Layton, as well as Stefane Dion. You can find their emails on the Government of Canada, under the Members of Parliament section.

Posted: May 31st, 2007


Annual General Meeting, Open House and Silent Auction!

Join us for our Annual General Meeting, Open House and Silent Auction!

Silent Auction Fundraiser

CHOICES for Children: Humanitarian Aid Fund Supporting orphanages in China, Nepal & Russia

Help a child in need.
Tuesday May 29, 2020

5:00 – 5:30
AGM
5:30 – 7:30
Reception & Silent Auction
 
Refreshments & Live Jazz Trio

CHOICES
100 – 850 Blanshard Street
Victoria, BC

RSVP (250) 479-9811
choices@choicesadoption.ca

Posted: May 15th, 2007


Update on CHOICES Adoption and Counselling Services’ re-accreditation process with the Ministry of Education and Science in Russia

CHOICES’ accreditation to conduct adoptions from Russia expired on May 17, 2006. Despite all of the required documents being presented to the Ministry long before this date, delays occurred due to the new requirement that all adoption agencies become registered as a Non-Governmental Organization with the Ministry of Justice in Moscow. This was achieved October 17, 2020 and CHOICES was moved onto the next stage of the re-accreditation process.

At a meeting between the Ministry of Education and the agency representatives in Moscow last month, all adoption agencies were asked for additional documents to meet the new accreditation standards in Russia. Since receiving these guidelines, CHOICES has been working at gathering the required documents to present to the Ministry of Education and Science. These documents are now at the stage of translation and legalization, and will be in Russia in the coming weeks. At that point, the documents must be reviewed by four other Ministries in Russia before re-accreditation will occur (Ministry of Health, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The Russian government has not announced how long this review is expected to occur. Due to the number of adoption agencies all applying for re-accreditation at the same time, we expect this process to take at least three months. The Ministry of Education and Science can only re-accredit adoption agencies once the approval is given from the other four Ministries, according to new Russian law.

All adoption agencies from around the world are in the same position, as the Ministry of Education and Science has not re-accredited any agencies under the new requirements since January 2006. CHOICES continues to have a very good reputation in Russia as an ethical and professional adoption agency, as families have ensured timely post-placement reporting and registration of their adopted children with the Russian Consulate in Canada.

For families who have completed their first dossier for registration and are awaiting invitation to Russia, it is likely that many documents will need to be renewed, as the expiry date on most documents is one year. When you are proposed with a child, you will be contacted by Social Worker Rachel Warren to discuss the proposal and the steps involved in updating your dossier for acceptance by the Ministry of Education and Science.

Many rumours abound concerning the closure of Russian adoptions. While the Ministry of Education and Science is trying to limit the number of foreign adoption agencies operating in Russia, there is no immediate indication that complete closure will occur. However, international adoptions are unpredictable by their nature, and country programs can change or stop without much notice. CHOICES will do our best to ensure you receive the most updated information as we receive it.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Rachel Warren or Marie Lapointe at CHOICES.

Thank you for your patience during this period of re-accreditation.

Posted: May 3rd, 2007


CHOICES launches Ethiopia & Taiwan mini sites

CHOICES is proud to announce the launch of its new Ethiopia & Taiwan mini sites.

Posted: April 26th, 2007


CHOICES launches Nepal mini site

CHOICES is proud to announce the launch of its new Nepal mini site.

The site features more information about adopting from Nepal.

Posted: January 29th, 2007


CHOICES Fall & Winter 2006 Newsletter Available

Issue 9 of the CHOICES newsletter is now available for download.

Posted: January 25th, 2007


CHOICES For Chilren: Humanitarian Aid Fund

The Humanitarian Aid Fund was launched at our Annual general meeting on September 28, 2006. At our annual meeting we raised almost 4000 dollars for our orphanage in Nepal! It was a very succesful evening. Thank you to all of you that helped make it a success. If you are interested in donating to our Humanitarian Aid Fund or donating shares to the Fund please contact us for more information at CHOICES at 1 888 479 9811.

Posted: January 22nd, 2007


International adoption: beware slow processes or closed countries

BY ROBIN HILBORN, Family Helper editor

(Sept. 20, 2006) Which country should I adopt from? For Canadians considering adopting from abroad, choosing a country is no easy task. How can you narrow down the dozens of possibilities?

A survey of adoption conditions in 24 countries by Robin Hilborn of Family Helper web site, www.familyhelper.net, reveals what Canadian adoptive parents-to-be can expect ... and what to avoid, including countries where the process is slow, or has just shut down to foreign adoption.

According to the Family Helper survey, ten of 24 countries are open as usual, seven have a slow process, and seven are closed either permanently or temporarily.

The 2006 survey of international adoption for Canadians is at "Country Survey", http://www.familyhelper.net/news/summary.html.

Here is the status (open, slow or closed) in fall 2006 of 24 countries which have been popular in the recent past with Canadians adopting abroad.

Below are descriptions of the status in 24 countries, but first the highlights:

The trend in intercountry adoption is for options to become more limited. More and more governments are giving preference to domestic adoption; they want their children to grow up in their own country. That makes international adoption harder, with fewer countries available, longer waits and higher costs. Would-be parents have to be more flexible, ready to accept a longer process, and a choice of children available for adoption who tend to be older or have special needs and challenges (i.e. harder to place domestically).

For the annual numbers, see International Statistics for Canada, www.familyhelper.net/news/stats.html.

Descriptions of the status in 24 countries: see http://www.familyhelper.net/news/summary.html.

From: Family Helper

Posted: September 21st, 2006


New China Fee Schedule

CHOICES has a new fee schedule for China. Call CHOICES for more information, or view some details online.

Posted: July 21st, 2006


Intercountry adoptions between Ukraine & Canada.

UPDATE: the Ukraine is not accepting new dossiers until January 2007.

In June a meeting took place between Canada's federal Intercountry Adoption Services and Ukraine officials. The following is a summary update regarding intercountry adoptions between Ukraine/Canada.

Adoption Authority
Processing Cases
Available Children:

Posted: July 15th, 2006


Annual General Meeting & Open House

Speaker Dr. Sue Kalaher

Pediatrician, Neonatologist and Adoptive Parent
Dr. Kallaher will speak on intercountry medical issues

Silent Auction

Fundraiser for Sagarmatha Orphanage, Nepal

Founding Members Honoured

Judith Armstrong, J. Victor Belknap, T. Donald Bingham, Joanne Burgess, Patricia Calveley, Joyce Masselink, Lynn Lawrence, Daphne Williams

Thursday, September 28, 2020

CHOICES
100 – 850 Blanshard Street
Victoria, BC

RSVP (250) 479-9811

Posted: August 28th, 2006


CHOICES Annual Russian Re-accreditation

CHOICES must go through an annual re-accreditation process with the Russian authorities to continue conducting international adoptions from Russia. Our current license in Russia expires on May 17, 2006. There are several agencies (22 American) whose accreditation will expire on this date, and who all must go through the same re-accreditation process. CHOICES submitted all of the required documents well in advance of the expiry date, with the anticipation that it would be processed fairly quickly. However, at a meeting on May 11th, 2006 of adoption agencies and the Ministry of Education, it was announced that all foreign adoption agencies must now register with the Federal Registration Service of the Ministry of Justice within a three month period. This requires a very complicated process of compiling documents, and our Moscow Representative is now meeting with the Ministry of Education to ensure that documents are prepared in an acceptable manner. We are working now to have these documents translated and legalized, however we do expect a delay in re-accreditation of at least two months. This will mean that no new proposals will be issued during this period, until re-accreditation is complete and our new license is issued. At this time, it appears that we will be able to complete the adoption process for those families who have taken their first trip prior to May 17th.

The Government is also preparing amendments to Decree 268 regulating adoptions. The Ministry of Education and Science officials hope that this decree will come into effect within the next two months. Until it becomes effective, none of the agencies whose accreditation expired will be re-accredited. When accreditation resumes, no applications for re-accreditation will be reviewed without a permission to open a Representative office issued by the Federal Registration Service. At the time of application for accreditation, the Commission will make sure that agencies seeking re-accreditation are in full compliance with the requirements for consular registration of adopted children and for progress reports.

If you have any questions about how this re-accreditation will affect your application to adopt from Russia, please contact CHOICES and ask for Rachel Warren.

Posted: May 15th, 2006

Update:

The annual re-accreditation process with the Ministry of Education has been delayed due to new requirements in Russia to register with the Federal Registration Service of the Ministry of Justice. Once documents have been submitted to the Federal Registration Service, the Ministry has 30 days to give their response as to whether the documents have been accepted. Following this, CHOICES can apply for re-accreditation with the Ministry of Education to continue conducting adoptions from Russia. To date, no foreign adoption agencies have been successful in completing their registration with the Federal Registration Service.

Given the delays with these new requirements and issues with legalization of documents here in Canada, we now expect that re-accreditation will not be completed until the end of September at the earliest. CHOICES will post updates on our website as they become available. If you have any questions, please call CHOICES and ask for Rachel Warren or Agnes Fraser.

Posted: July 25th, 2006


Automatic Citizenship and Intercountry Adoption

In a teleconference today, CHOICES was given some advanced details of significant amendments to the Citizenship Act that will benefit adoptive families. Though there will still be an application process, children adopted internationally by Canadian parents will be able to obtain Canadian citizenship without the child first having to become a permanent resident.

The features of the legilsation are:

This is an important time for your voice to be heard -- we need a strong voice from our community to ensure that this legislation is passed as quickly as possible. Over the next couple of days we will be sending details of how you can help by contacting your member of Parliament.

CHOICES is delighted at the comittment shown by Minister Monte Solberg, his staff, and the Canadian Government, in priortizing this long-awaited legislation.

Also see: http://www.news.gc.ca/cfmx/view/en/index.jsp?articleid=213119.

Posted: May 15th, 2006


CHOICES Fall 2006 Spring/Summer Newsletter Available

Issue 8 of the CHOICES newsletter is now available for download.

Posted: May 10th, 2006


Victoria Adoptees Discussion Group

CHOICES is now offering Adoptees in the Victoria area an opportunity to join a monthly discussion group in a supportive, friendly environment. This is a great opportunity to meet other adoptees, share experiences, or simply listen and enjoy. All Adoptees are invited to come for refreshments and insightful conversation as we explore the many sides of life through the eyes of Adoptees.

From Tammy, an adoptee
"I'm very excited about meeting Adoptees like myself through the Adoptees group and I invite you to come and join me in what promises to be an enriching and fulfilling experience for us all!"

Please feel free to call Jae at 479-9811 for the time and location of the next meeting.

Posted: April 12th, 2006


Adoption Tax Credit

Families who adopted a child or children during 2005 can now claim some of the expenses incurred in their adoption as a tax credit. Eligible expenses are outlined at the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency website.

Posted: April 10th, 2006


India Alert effective March 17, 2020

Please read the India Alert regarding Adoptions of Children from India by British Columbia Residents.

Posted: March 17th 10th, 2006


CHOICES launches four new Adoption mini sites

CHOICES is proud to announce the launch of its new Russia, China, USA and Domestic sites.

The sites feature more background information, information about adopting, and photos and stories from families that have adopted with CHOICES.

Visit them at:

Posted: December 4th, 2005


CHOICES Fall 2005 Newsletter Available

Issue 7 of the CHOICES newsletter is now available for download.

Posted: October 7th, 2005


CHOICES launches new Russia Adoption site

CHOICES is proud to announce the launch of its new Russia Adoption site.

It features more information about adopting from Russia, background information about Russia, and photos and stories from families that have adopted with CHOICES.

Visit the Russia Adoption site.

Posted: September 14th, 2005


Foreign adoptions in Russia become political issue: abuse claims disputed

Foreign adoptions in Russia become political issue; abuse claims disputed Weir, Fred. Canadian Press NewsWire. Toronto: Jul 4, 2005. pg. n/a

MOSCOW (CP) - Marianne and Bob Maljaars have adopted four Russian children since 1999, including two boys they brought home to Chilliwack, B.C., from the northern Russian city of Perm last January.

"We spent five weeks in Perm and visited the boys 11 times before we were finally allowed to take them home," says Bob. "There were a lot of frustrations."

The Maljaars succeeded despite a slowdown in international adoptions from Russia, triggered by nationalist politicians who allege that Russian children are being "trafficked" abroad.

In separate incidents last month, Russian police seized adoptive children from an Italian and an American couple after accusations of child abuse were phoned in. Russian newspapers carried extensive and, in some cases, lurid coverage.

Both the U.S. and Italian embassies, however, issued strong statements casting doubt on the abuse claims and warning of political manipulation.

"My neck hairs stand up when I hear about situations like that," says Bob Maljaars. "That's just someone making political hay out of children."

Child-care professionals argue that while domestic violence and corruption may be factors in specific cases, Russia's orphans are generally being used as a political football by nationalist politicians who have little interest in their welfare.

"About 2,000 Russian children perish each year in domestic violence, yet this attracts no media outrage," says Boris Altshuler, head of Child's Rights, a Russian non-governmental organization that works with children.

"This is a top-level political game, to which children are hostages," Altshuler says.

A group of deputies in the State Duma, or legislature, claim that Russia's adoption process, overseen by the Ministry of Education, is riddled with corruption, leading to the virtual sale of Russian kids to foreigners.

"We see many cases of cruel treatment of children by foreign adopters," says Nina Ostanina, deputy chair of the Duma's powerful commission on women, family and youth.

"We need them to stop the practice of demanding and receiving money for selling our children abroad."

The Education Ministry, the main target of the criticism, is fighting back.

The minister, Andrei Fursenko, said in a statement that "all too often unfortunate orphans are being used as a pretext for unscrupulous political campaigns. Suffering children shouldn't be the subjects of such speculation."

Still, a review initiated by the top prosecutor at the Duma's behest led to the cancelling of the licences of several international adoption agencies working in Russia.

Of five Canada-based agencies working in Russia, four are waiting for their accreditation to be renewed, according to the Canadian Embassy in Moscow.

"We are very concerned about the slowdown in adoptions and the review of agencies," says a Canadian Embassy official who asked not to be named. "Many adoptions are on hold, because they cannot be finalized until the agency accreditation issue is cleared up." Canadians adopted 123 Russian children in 2004, down from an average of 200 in previous years. Visas granted to adoptive parents fell by another third in the first half of 2005, the Canadian Embassy says. Experts say the situation has happened elsewhere.

Adoptions from Vietnam came to a halt in 2002 amid charges of corruption and "infant trafficking." Canada and Vietnam signed a bilateral agreement June 27 that may put the process back on track.

And a tough child-protection law enacted by Romania in 2002 placed such onerous restrictions on foreign adoptions that the practice stopped, leaving thousands of eligible children in institutions.

"Romania is the prime example of this kind of problem," says Sandra Scarth, executive director of the B.C.-based Choices Adoption and Counselling Services, the only Canadian agency so far reaccredited in Russia.

"I am very supportive of attempts to strengthen supervision over adoption, but done wrongly it can end up leaving children with no alternatives to staying in orphanages," she says.

Foreigners who adopt through accredited agencies typically pay about $20,000 US in agency fees, travel expenses, legal and translation costs.

One expert says agencies usually make some sort of donation to the originating orphanage, but not in cash. The financial outlays made by foreigners is the key controversy, since adoption is supposed to be free under Russian law.

Ostanina says the Duma critics want "bilateral treaties" with foreign countries that would empower Russian officials to intervene in the lives of children adopted by foreigners.

"For Canada, it would be very difficult to sign such an agreement," the embassy official says. "Canada has no federal legislation covering inter-country adoptions; it's all at the provincial level."

"No one can control what happens in another country," says Scarth. "Very few issues have ever come up with Russian children adopted to Canada. They're all doing very well."

"Of course it would be better if Russian children could stay within their own culture," Scarth says. "But if they clamp down on foreign adoptions, while there are so few alternatives, the children will pay the price."

Child-care experts say Russian children face grim alternatives.

Domestic adoptions have dropped by half over the past decade, with just 6,000 orphans taken in by Russian adoptive parents last year.

Russians who have adopted say the process is no easier for them.

Svetlana Sorokina, a TV news anchor who adopted a girl two years ago, says she searched for over a year and endured a maze of bureaucratic obstacles.

"Even with all my contacts as a journalist I found it very difficult," she says. "Our state does nothing to help."

Last month, the Education Ministry launched a Russian-language website (www.usinovite.ru) to provide better access to a database of 260,000 Russian orphans, along with information on rules for adoption and a list of accredited agencies.

Officials say an English-language version of the site may be added later.


Russia Moves to Tighten Adoption Rules

By STEVE GUTTERMAN
The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 12, 2005; 12:02 PM

MOSCOW -- Russia's Education Ministry called on Tuesday for tougher rules governing foreign adoptions, following the death of a 2-year-old Russian girl whose American adoptive mother has been charged with murder.

The ministry, which oversees adoptions, seeks legislation to introduce mandatory training programs and psychological testing for foreigners seeking to adopt Russian children. It also wants to remove what it says is a loophole that allows adoptions organized by groups or individuals not accredited with the Russian government.

The ministry said it suspected the adoption of Nina Hilt, whose mother has been charged in her death this month in Virginia, was carried out with illegal assistance from Russian middlemen.

That position contradicted regional prosecutors, who found that the girl was adopted with no violations of federal regulations, the Interfax news agency reported Monday, citing a senior aide to prosecutor Alexander Semyonov in the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

Hilt's adoptive mother, Peggy Sue Hilt, 33, of Wake Forest, N.C., was arrested last week and charged with murder. An autopsy showed the girl died from one or more blows to her abdominal area, police said.

Just weeks before, Russian authorities had stripped three U.S.-based adoption agencies of accreditation, saying they failed to monitor the children's well-being with their adoptive families.

Russian nationalists often accuse foreigners of "buying" Russian children _ some 260,000 of whom live in orphanages and similar facilities _ and cases of abuse by foreign adoptive parents are widely reported in the Russian media.

Earlier this year, an Illinois woman was imprisoned for 12 years for the death of her 6-year-old son just weeks after he was adopted from Russia.

About 10,000 Russian children are adopted each year by foreigners, with about half going to the United States. Russian families rarely adopt, and the Education Ministry has launched a campaign aimed at increasing domestic adoptions.

The Education Ministry statement said cases of abuse among the 62,741 Russian adopted by foreigners since 1991 were rare, with 12 violent deaths caused by the adoptive parents _ 11 of them in the United States.

Still, the ministry called for an urgent "review of the demands for foreign adoption candidates." A ministry spokesman said most of the proposed changes would have to be reviewed by the government before being submitted to parliament.

An independent Russian expert on children's issues, Paulina Filippova, said the recommended mandatory training and psychological testing could be "extremely helpful" if done correctly.

But she warned against banning what the ministry called "independent" adoptions, saying that "could sharply decrease the number of adoptions" by foreigners who often use middlemen who help negotiate bureaucratic procedures.

With foreigners adopting about as many children as Russians _ and, in particular, more older and disabled children _ that's not a good idea, she said.

"In the interests of the children, it would be better not to limit the opportunities for adoption by foreigners but to improve the system of control over the fate of the child after adoption," Filippova said.

Article originally from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/12/AR2005071200675.html (Washington Post)


CHOICES Summer 2005 Newsletter Available

Issue 6 of the CHOICES newsletter is now available for download.


Travel to Nepal

(April 7, 2020) Anne Carin and Laura Thompson are off to Nepal next week! They will spend two weeks exploring opportunities for the adoption of Nepalese children by families in Canada. If you would like to track their progress and receive information as it happens, you can read CHOICES' online travel journal at http://choicestravel.blogspot.com/.


CHOICES Spring 2005 Newsletter Available

Issue 5 of the CHOICES newsletter is now available for download.


Adoption Tax Credit of up to $1,600NEW!

(Feb. 23, 2005) The federal government today introduced the very measure which opposition party members have sought for years. The 2005 Budget includes a tax credit based on up to $10,000 in adoption expenses and worth up to $1,600.

The "Adoption Expense Tax Credit", says the Budget Document, is "a non-refundable tax credit to recognize specified adoption expenses, up to a maximum of $10,000. This measure will be effective as of the 2005 taxation year, and is estimated to reduce federal revenues by $5 million per year." The aim is "to give adoptive parents tax relief for "exceptional costs" which are unique to adoption, including adoption agency and legal fees".

The way that Finance Minister Ralph Goodale will "recognize" your adoption expenses is by giving you a credit for 16% of your expenses. That means the most you could save on your 2005 income tax is $1,600 per adoption finalized in 2005. (Since the credit comes into effect in 2005, it doesn't apply to adoptions finalized in 2004 or earlier.)

The federal tax credit of up to $1,600 pales in comparison to the one in Québec. Québec's Adoption Tax Credit allows adopters to deduct 30% of adoption expenses. Since maximum expenses allowed are $20,000, Quebeckers can save up to $6,000 on their provincial income tax. Even more generous is the United States, where you get a tax credit of up to US$10,390 for adoption expenses (about Can$12,500).

M.P. Jay Hill, who worked hard trying to get an adoption expenses bill passed, said he is "thrilled federal Liberals gave in after a four-year battle". His Bill C-246 seeks a federal tax deduction of up to $10,000 for adoption expenses. (A tax deduction lets you deduct expenses from your income, whereas a tax credit is subtracted from the income tax you owe.)

Mr. Hill, Official Opposition House Leader and Conservative M.P. for Prince George-Peace River, said in a statement today, "For four years I have been fighting this battle to have the Canadian tax system reflect the tremendous contribution to society made by adoptive parents and adoption in general. To see the overall provisions of C-246 written into the budget is one of the most rewarding moments I have ever experienced as a Member of Parliament. I've always said it didn't matter whether it was my bill or some form of government legislation that got the job done. All that matters is that the incredible financial burden that adoptive parents willingly accept to give a child a family and a home has been lightened." For more on Bill C-246, see "Tax Credit Bill", http://www.adoption.ca/news/041020tax.htm.

Here are details of the federal adoption tax credit.

The credit

Adoptive parents may claim up to $10,000 in eligible expenses for any particular adoption. (The amount will be indexed after 2005.) It's a 16% non-refundable credit. When calculating your tax payable, you get to deduct 16% of up to $10,000 in expenses during the "adoption period". That's a maximum saving of $1,600. The adoption period starts when you open an adoption file with your provincial or territorial ministry responsible for adoption, or with a licensed adoption agency. It ends at finalization. "Non-refundable" means that if the credit takes you past the point of owing zero taxes, you wouldn't be refunded any excess. (And if the government owed you a tax refund, then the adoption tax credit wouldn't be worth anything to you.) The credit may be split between two adoptive parents, but combined expenses can't exceed $10,000.

Eligible expenses

Adoptions which qualify

The tax credit takes effect in the 2005 taxation year. The year in which the adoption order is issued is the year in which you can claim expenses. So for an adoption finalized in 2005, you can claim for expenses dating back to when you opened an adoption file with a government or private adoption agency, even if they were before 2005. An adoption finalized in 2004 or earlier wouldn't qualify, and you couldn't claim for any expenses.

You must submit proof of an adoption in the form of a Canadian or foreign adoption order, or otherwise show you've met all the legal requirements of the jurisdiction you live in.

A summary of the adoption tax credit is at "Supplementary Information",
http://www.fin.gc.ca/budget05/bp/bpa8ae.htm#IncomeTax.

The wording to amend the Income Tax Act is at "Annex 8 - Tax Measures",
http://www.fin.gc.ca/budget05/bp/bpa8be.htm#NoticeITA.

If you wish to advocate for a larger tax credit,
please contact your Member of Parliament.

You can also contact Jay Hill, MP with any concerns.


Amendments to the Russia Family Code    NEW!

On January 10, 2005, new amendments to the Russian Law pertaining to adoptions came into effect. The principal amendment is the extension of the period of registration of orphans in the Federal Databank from 6 months to 8 months. According to Article 122, Para 1(3) of the Family Code, the 8 month waiting period is spread out as follows:

One month is given to local child welfare authorities for placement of a child without parental care locally.

One month is spent in the Regional Databank if the child is not placed locally within the first month of registration.

6 months must be spent in the State, or Federal, Databank for Children Left Without Parental Care. If no acceptable option for placement has been found lococally, regionally, or state-wide, then the child can be proposed for adoption to foreigners.

Given this, the youngest a child will be at the time of proposal to CHOICES clients is 8 months. The youngest a child will be at time of placement will be closer to a year old.

This new law will not affect cases retroactively (ie, applications of children that have been matched to adoptive parents before December 20, 2004, will be completed in accordance to the old procedures).


Tsunami Disaster in Asia

The Ministry of Children & Family Development have posted an article about the adoption issues relating to the Tsunami in Asia. The article can be viewed at http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/adoption/alerts_fact_sheets/asiatsunami.htm.

The Adoption Council of Canada also has an article about the Tsunami. The article can be viewed at http://www.adoption.ca/news/050107tsunami.htm.


Adoption Awareness Month - Connecting for Life

"Connecting for Life" - The BC Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund was established with a $ 3 Million Trust from the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development. The Adoption Council of Canada (ACC) is the secretariat for the fund and the Victoria Foundation is the Trustee... download the PDF.


CHOICES Fall 2004 Newsletter Available

Issue 4 of the CHOICES newsletter is now available for download.


Countries closed for adoption

Cambodia, Guatemala, Sarawak and the Republic of Georgia are currently closed for adoptions. Vietnam is also closed for non-relative children, but we are able to process relative adoptions.


Changes Coming to Adoptions from Russia

The Ministry of Education in Russia has announced that there will be changes coming to the requirements of families wishing to adopt from Russia. These changes may include more comprehensive medical assessments required of adoptive parents, as well as some changes to the processing of adoption applications. There has been no specific news to date on how this will impact on families adopting from Russia. There is no indication that Russia is closing for adoption; they are simply changing some of the rules regarding foreign adoptions. We are continuing to proceed with applications to Russia, and several families have recently returned home with their adopted child. More information will be posted on this site as it becomes available. You may also call CHOICES and ask to speak to our Russia Program Coordinator, Rachel Warren, for more information.


Tax Credit Bill goes to Finance Committee

(April 20, 2020) Federal M.P. Jay Hill's Bill C-246, the adoption tax credit bill, was debated at second reading on Feb. 19 and April 2. M.P.s voted in favour on April 20 and the bill was sent to the Finance Committee for review.

Since the Third Session of the 37th Parliament started Feb. 2, 2004 two out of three bills of interest to the adoption community have made progress. The three had died at the end of the Second Session, but now two are reborn.

Here is the current standing of three bills, on adoption expenses, human reproduction, and citizenship.

The three bills died when the government prorogued Parliament on Nov. 12, 2003. Here is the status of the bills at the end of the Second Session:

For the status of bills in the House of Commons, see "Status of House Business".

Legislative summaries of bills from the Second Session are at www.parl.gc.ca/common/....

Source: Adoption Council of Canada, www.adoption.ca


CHOICES Spring 2004 Newsletter Available

Issue 3 of the CHOICES newsletter is now available for download.


NEW INFORMATION on the Ukraine:

"Information received from the Embassy of Ukraine outlines the amendments in the Procedure for foreign adoptions adopted by the Ukrainian Cabinet of Minister's Decree No. 1377 of August 28, 2020 which became effective on January 1, 2004. This information can be found on the consular section of the Ukraine Embassy's web-page at http://www.infoukes.com/ukremb/ under consular issues in the section "other services" and is entitled "Adoption of Children Who are Citizens of Ukraine and Their Consular Registration."

Please read the section on "Effectuating the supervision to preserve the rights of children adopted by foreigners." This notes that there is a new requirement for annual post placement reports for the first three years of the child's adoption and then once every three yeares thereeafter until the child reaches the age of 18. The adoptive parents also agree to have the child retain Ukrainian citizenship until age 18.


Canadians see adoption in a positive light: MIALL/MARCH study

What do Canadians think of adoption? If adoption professionals better understood this, they could more effectively recruit adoptive parents, educate the public and inform policy makers... read the full article.


Intercountry Adoption with the Republic of Georgia

Amendments to the Civil Code of Georgia approved by Georgian President Shevardnadze eliminate private direct adoptions by foreigners and suspend pending adoptions. The changes were instituted by the Georgian Government because of serious concerns about child trafficking and protection of children proposed for private direct adoption. During 2003, criminal investigations of activities of some adoption facilitators were undertaken.

Georgian government officials will not take any steps to facilitate the completion of cases already in process, until after an announcement of a new Parliament. The announcement will be made after November 20.

Intercountry adoptions are now regulated by the “Law on the Rules of Adoption”. Under this law, the Ministry of Education is the only institution responsible for adoption.

The Ministry of Education maintains the State Databank for Children Left without Parental Care. Within three days of accepting children into care, local child welfare authorities must transfer information on the children left without parental care to the Ministry of Education of Georgia. Upon registration in the Databank, the children are available for domestic adoption in the area of their residence. If not adopted in the first three months, they become available for domestic adoption in all Georgia for the next three months. Only after six months of registration in the State Databank, do they become available for adoption by foreigners.

At the moment, only 112 children are registered in the Databank. Seventy of them are severely handicapped infants. Not all these children are available for adoption because they have not been granted “orphan status”--a procedure now being developed by the Ministry of Education.

It is still unclear how foreign governments and agencies should work with the Ministry of Education to adopt children registered with the State Databank. As soon as that information becomes available, it will be transmitted to provincial and territorial adoption authorities.

A legislative proposal for further regulating intercountry adoption is being developed by the Georgian Ministry of Education. The Ministry has asked the Government of Canada to share our legislation/experience in the implementation of the Hague Convention so that Canadian models could be used to develop this proposal.

Given the amendments to Georgian legislation, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) cannot process any private adoptions that are pending, until Georgian authorities decide how they will handle them. Once Georgia has a process in place, CIC will process the pending adoptions on a case-by-case basis.

Because Georgia and all provinces and territories except Quebec are signatory to the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption, CIC will process all future adoptions only if they meet all the requirements of the Hague Convention. Quebec adoptions must meet all Canadian immigration legislation requirements.


When love and greed collide

Adoption anguish: Foreign adoptions can bring great happiness. But in poor countries like Guatemala, grappling with a lucrative black market in babies and toddlers, they bring heartbreak as well... read the full article.


US State Department Issues Proposed Regulations for Intercountry Adoptions

The U.S. Department of State issued long-awaited proposed regulations in mid-September to implement the Intercountry Adoption Act. Signed into law in 2000, the Act implements the Hague Convention, a global treaty that should provide greater safety, accountability, and transparency for the tens of thousands of adoptive families who seek to adopt children from other nations each year. Comments are being accepted until November 14, 2020.

The proposed regulations were created to ensure:

Commenters may send hard copy submissions or comments in electronic format. For complete submission instructions, see the Federal Register announcement.


Citizenship bill could pass this fall (Sept. 1, 2003)

This fall Members of Parliament are debating Bill C-18, the Citizenship Bill. Second reading was Nov. 8, 2002, and when the House resumed Sept. 15, 2003 C-18 picked up where it left off at summer recess June 13. Deliberations will continue at the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, followed by third reading. As with all federal legislation, C-18 becomes law after it's passed by both the House of Commons and the Senate and receives the Governor General's Royal Assent. C-18 could pass the House and Senate this fall.

C-18 is much like its predecessors, C-16 and C-63. It would make children adopted abroad by Canadians immediately eligible for Canadian citizenship. This would apply to both Canadians living in Canada and Canadians living abroad.

If the bill becomes law, all children adopted abroad after Feb. 14, 1977 become a Canadian citizen "upon application". Citizenship would not be automatic: parents would still have to apply for it on behalf of their child. However, the child would no longer have to live three years in Canada before being eligible to apply for citizenship.
For more: ACC, http://www.adoption.ca.

The new law would benefit Canadians who adopt abroad while living outside Canada, since they currently cannot apply for citizenship for their children (because to apply for citizenship a child must be a permanent resident in Canada). Pending new legislation, Citizenship and Immigration Canada made special arrangements for Canadians living and adopting abroad, issuing a policy on July 16, 2020 stating it would allow them to get citizenship for their child.


National conference in New Brunswick in 2004 (August 2003)

The next national adoption conference will be held in Saint John, New Brunswick, Oct. 14-16, 2004. It's a joint effort of the Adoption Council of Canada (ACC), New Brunswick's Family and Community Services and the New Brunswick Adoption Foundation and is in fact the first time ACC has worked with a provincial government to host a national-provincial adoption conference.

ACC is accepting workshop proposals until Nov. 1, 2003. There is a conference brochure, available from ACC, 211 Bronson Ave., #210, Ottawa ON K1R 6H5, acc@adoption.ca,. ACC will open a web site Oct. 1, 2003 at www.lifelongconnections.ca. For more: ACC, http://www.adoption.ca.

The conference theme is "Building Lifelong Connections: Permanency Options for Children and Families" and promotes the belief that every child deserves a permanent family and promotes awareness of adoption and other permanency options. The last national conference in Canada was that of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, held Aug. 7-9, 2003 in Vancouver, B.C.

SOURCE: Family Helper web site (http://www.familyhelper.net/news.html)


Countries Closed for Adoption


Adopting from an Area of Crisis or Disaster

Information on adopting a child from an Area of Crisis or Disaster.


Attention all Permanent Residents

As of December 31/03, all permanent residents of Canada, including children, must hold a valid Permanent Resident Card. Anyone travelling out of the country and returning to Canada on a commercial carrier (including airplane, bus, boat or train) without a PR Card will not be permitted to board. They will have to contact the nearest Canadian Embassy or consulate to obtain a limited use travel document to re-enter Canada at a cost of $50 for each one. All new permanent residents will be issued one of the cards as part of the immigration process. If you or your child does not have a card, you should apply for one immediately, as the deadline for receiving the card by December 31/03 has passed. Please contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada at 1-800-255-4541 or http://www.cic.gc.ca for more information.
(Posted on the AFABC website)


Ministers Vow To Tighten Rules For Foreign Adoption

By Ruzanna Khachatrian

Prime Minister Andranik Markarian and a member of his cabinet confirmed on Wednesday plans to tighten rules for the adoption of Armenian children by foreign nationals, admitting that the existing procedures leave room for government abuse.

But they said law-enforcement authorities have no compelling evidence to prosecute any government official in a position to affect foreign adoption on charges of bribery.

That the process is tainted with corruption was suggested by an RFE/RL report last June. It was based on the online correspondence of an Armenian-American businessman based in Nagorno-Karabakh with U.S. adoptive parents. Some of them told Ara Manoogian that their adoption expenditures included thousands of dollars worth of bribes paid to relevant Armenian officials.

Social Security Minister Aghvan Vartanian asked the office of Armenia's prosecutor-general to examine the report. The prosecutors have questioned several individuals but, according to Vartanian, have found no grounds to launch criminal proceedings against anyone.

"A criminal case has not been opened because it is difficult to find concrete evidence [of corruption]," he told RFE/RL. "But it is obvious that there are some worrisome practices."

Markarian likewise admitted "some problems" with the foreign adoptions, but claimed that his government has rendered the process more stringent in the last two years. Speaking to RFE/RL, he said the requirements will be tightened further soon.

Vartanian confirmed this, saying: "The number of foreign adoptions has grown in recent years, and that worries us. Our ministry is now drawing up appropriate changes to the adoption rules."

The process is currently handled by a high-level government commission comprising the ministers of justice, education, health and social security and other officials. It usually takes between four and six months and also requires positive decisions by several other government bodies. The final clearance is given by the full cabinet of ministers.

According to the Social Security Ministry, 62 Armenian children, mainly orphans, were adopted by foreigners last year, and 37 others in the first half of this year. Vartanian complained that the existing procedures are too "simple" as they mainly require adoptive parents to make only one trip to Armenia and have a minimum annual income of $24,000 per person. He said a foreign adoption should be allowed only in cases where the government can not find Armenians parents for an orphan.

Markarian said the government commission has already decided to allow foreign citizens without ethnic Armenian roots to adopt only mentally and physically disabled children.

The change was first announced in early August by a representative of a U.S. adoption agency that has for years been involved in Armenia. "We are completing [the adoption by] our last non-Armenian family next week and will no longer accept non-Armenian families into the program," she wrote to an Internet discussion group.

Received from Ministry of Ontario – September 16, 2020


CCAA Travel Restrictions Lifted

Travel restrictions imposed by the CCAA are lifted. The CCAA office is open and continuing to process dossiers and match children with families. Mailing of proposals and notices has resumed.


Temporary closure of new adoption applications to the DSDW, Thailand

We have been advised by the Canadian Embassy in Thailand that the Department of Social Development and Welfare (DSDW) is not accepting new applications for children under the care of the department for one year, January 2003 - January 2004.

The DSDW advised that they are not processing new applications due to the long waiting list of parents for limited numbers of available children. However, the DSDW is still accepting new applications from applicants who are requesting a special needs child or when one of the applicants is of Thai origin.

The two licensed agencies, Thai Red Cross and Friends for all Children are accepting new applications for all children including special needs children. The DSDW will process applications presented to them by these licensed agencies.


Thai Government Announces SARS Quarantine Policy

Effective April 3, 2003, the Royal Thai Government has announced that SARS quarantine inspections will be conducted on all airplanes and airline passengers arriving at points of entry in Thailand from Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Vietnam. Arriving passengers must fill out a Health Control Document, and anyone suspected of SARS infection may be isolated and quarantined for up to 14 days. (This doesn't apply to passengers who don't disembark from a plane that stops in Bangkok.) The announcement expires on July 3.

If you plan to travel to Thailand soon, you may want to try to find a direct flight, or at least a flight that doesn't connect through one of the areas listed in the quarantine announcement. Please continue to check the WACAP Web site, as well as the CDC Web site and the World Health Organization (WHO) Web site, for the latest information.


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