Federal Laws

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Laws enacted by the U.S. government affect and impact adoption and foster care in all states.

Adoption 2002
Federal initiative to move waiting children into permanent homes expeditiously and compassionately.

Adoption 2002: One Size Doesn't Fit All

Was paying states to push forward with timely and appropriate placements for children in foster care the best we could do? The Adoption 2002 Initiative in review.... [more]

Child Citizenship Act of 2000

The new Act became effective on February 27, 2001 and it still frequently misunderstood. The Act allows for automatic citizenship for many foreign-born adoptees. Read about the Act and how it works. ... [more]

The Hague Convention

Background to ratification of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. The Convention was ratified by the U.S., however implementation has not yet been accomplished.... [more]

Hague Convention Becomes U.S. Law

An explanation of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption which has become law in the U.S.... [more]

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
This U.S. federal law covers adopted children as well as biological, step, and foster children, legal wards, and child of a person standing in loco parentis.

Indian Child Welfare Act, The (1)
This excellent clear language description of the Act and its effect on adoption is provided by Illinois attorneys Crouse Cobb & Bays.

Indian Child Welfare Act, The (2)
This Act, and its many disputed amendments, has been at the center of adoption controversy for several years. From the National Indian Child Welfare Association.

Federal Legislation: Overview
Overview of federal laws and pending legislation affecting child welfare, adoption, and foster care from the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse.

Federal Legislation: Full Text
Links to the full text of recent legislation affecting child welfare, adoption, and foster care, from the Children's Bureau.

Legislation Affecting Native Americans
A legislative and Supreme Court alert regarding anything that may impact the American Indian community. Updated regularly.

Multi-Ethnic Placement Act, The
Enacted in 1996, the law prohibits discrimination in the placement of children based on race, color, or national origin.

Visitor Comments (2)
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John - 2 months ago
I can't get a passport or prove citizenship to the State department because in California I can't get my sealed birth record. I was adopted before 1984 so no accommodation is published for adoptions prior to that date of getting records unsealed. It seems to me that that it is a violation of the right to equal protection under the law to provide access to sealed birth records to adoptees who were adopted after Jan. 1 1984, but not to those adopted prior to 1984. Also, no one in Santa Clara County Superior Court Seems to be willing to even provide the case number of my adoption -- even after weeks of effort on my part to get it. I have a close relative who wants to see me before she dies she is 97 and in very poor health and too week to fly to the U.S.. I can't even walk across our border for a day and expect to be allowed back into the country of my birth! Since 9/11 they now require a passport. I was born in San Francisco. Suggestions? E-mail: xxxx #1
Anthony - 12 months ago
0 1 0
I am having a hard time trying to find out how the shutdown impacts. the foster care agencies. #2
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