Faithful Remembrances Blog

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Time to Act July 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithfulremembrances @ 6:48 pm

I’m not trying to be a broken record here…it’s just that THIS IS THAT IMPORTANT. Even if you have not adopted, or never intend to, you probably know a family that has or will…help secure their children’s future in this country.

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visit http://www.equalityforadoptedchildren.org for more information

Support the FACE and FFO Acts!
Exciting things are happening! Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to promote equal rights for adopted children.

The Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (FACE Act) has been introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives. The FACE Act will allow American families to bring their internationally adopted children home as American citizens instead of as immigrants.

The Families for Orphans Act (FFO Act) has been introduced into the House of Representatives. The FFO Act would establish the Office of Orphan Policy, Diplomacy and Development within the Department of State and provide diplomatic authority to help the 30 million children orphaned worldwide and the 100 million plus vulnerable children who have lost one parent or are at risk of losing parental care.

What you can do:
Sign the petition here: http://www.gopetition.com/petiti… . This petition will be delivered to the U.S. Congress and Senate.

On July 7th, 8th, and 9th, call your three Members of Congress (two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives). You can find your Representative at http://www.house.gov . You can find your Senators’ phone numbers at http://www.senate.gov . Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff. For maximum effect, we are asking you to make these calls within this 72-hour window!

Get the word out! Send this email to friends and family. Post to your Facebook, My Space, Twitter, blog or website.

What should you say to your Members of Congress?
This is an issue that is critical to children in need, so speak from your heart. Tell them why ensuring that internationally adopted children have citizenship rights and more children have loving families is so important to you!
Ask your Senators and Representatives to become Co-Sponsors of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act and the Families For Orphans Act.Please feel free to use the following text as a guideline when speaking with your Member of Congress. “As a constituent of we are requesting that you support the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the legislation. For information on becoming a Co-Sponsor, please contact Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator James Inhofe, Representative Diane Watson or Representative John Boozman. Thank you for representing your constituents by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act. We also are requesting that you support the Families For Orphans Act by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the legislation. For information on becoming a Co-Sponsor, please contact Senator Mary Landrieu, Senator James Inhofe, Representative Diane Watson or Representative John Boozman. Thank you for representing your constituents by becoming a Co-Sponsor of the Families for Orphans Act.”

More about the FACE Act:
Spearheaded by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) and Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR), the FACE Act simplifies the acquisition of citizenship for internationally adopted children and removes these children of American citizens from the immigration process. As it stands now, the internationally adopted child of a U.S. citizen receives U.S. citizenship once the child enters the U.S. to reside permanently. If enacted, the FACE Act would allow such children to acquire U.S. citizenship at the time their adoptions are finalized in the country of the child’s birth. The child would then enter the U.S. as a U.S. citizen with citizenship documentation in hand.

“Passage of the FACE Act will eliminate the need for an immigration visa for internationally adopted children and instead will treat these children as children of American citizens, not immigrants subject to immigration regulations,” said McLane Layton, President of Equality for Adopted Children (EACH) and a member of the Families for Orphans Coalition. “Additionally, the FACE Act classifies internationally adopted children as “citizens from birth” just like children born of Americans overseas, thus providing them with equal rights of citizenship, including the right to run for President of the United States.” “Under current law, the type of immigration visa an adopted child is given to enter the United States determines whether the child receives U.S. citizenship upon entry. Those children who do not receive U.S. citizenship upon entry and whose parents overlook the bureaucratic steps necessary to secure citizenship for their children are often later denied scholarships, passports, and the right to serve in the U.S. military. Most tragically, some young adults who have lived in the United States with loving, American families their entire lives have been deported to their birth countries — places they have no knowledge or memory of — for committing minor juvenile offenses.

Half the children adopted internationally each year currently enter the States on the visa that places them at risk,” said Chuck Johnson, a Coalition member and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the National Council for Adoption. “The Face Act will resolve these issues and provide U.S. citizenship to all internationally adopted children of American citizens.” The FACE Act also provides older orphans the ability to be adopted – children who were overlooked in the Hague Treaty on Inter country adoption. “Prior to the Hague’s passage, children age 16 to 18 whose younger siblings had been adopted by an American were able to be adopted by the same American family,” said Terry Baugh, President of Kidsave. “The Hague eliminated all adoption opportunities for children 16 and over. The FACE Act will fix this oversight and expand the opportunity of a permanent family to all children up to age 18.” The full press release is available here http://www.equalityforadoptedchi… . For more information, go here http://www.kidsave.org/advocacy_… .

The Families for Orphans Act (FFOA) will empower the US government to proactively address a global gap in the most basic of human rights – a permanent family for every child. Spearheaded by Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR), The Families for Orphans Act would establish the Office of Orphan Policy, Diplomacy and Development within the Department of State and provide diplomatic authority to help the 30 million children orphaned worldwide and the 100 million plus vulnerable children who have lost one parent or are at risk of losing parental care. The new office would be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to support diplomacy and policy focusing on the preservation of families and the provision of permanent families and legal, permanent relationships for orphans.

The new office will elevate the plight of children, giving the US a clear, dedicated, diplomatic authority to represent the interests of orphaned children. The office will advise the Secretary of State and President in all matters related to global family preservation and permanent parental care for orphans, as well as developing global strategy, including the coordination of all foreign policy and assistance related to global family preservation. The new office will also conduct research designed to better understand the size of the population of children living without parental care and global efforts to support these children. “The Families for Orphans Act emphasizes that activities that keep a child in the country of birth through family preservation, domestic adoption, legal guardianship and kinship care, are always the preferred child welfare methods. However, when these are not timely options, a family through international adoption is clearly in the best interests of those children languishing in orphanages or living in temporary foster care,” said Chuck Johnson, Coalition member and Chief Operating Officer for the National Council For Adoption.

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