International Child Foundation
Providing International & Domestic “ABC” Adoption Services
Adoption Updates
Issue: No. 7 of 2013
August 2013
In This Issue
Quick Links




National Council for Adoption

PAL Center


BG Center for Cognitive Developmental Assessment


Joint Council for International Children’s Services


Adoption Learning Partners


Heart of the Matter Seminars

Remember ICF Humanitarian Aid in your Giving Budget!


ICF Humanitarian Aid

ICF Staff
Jackie Semar, MEd

Ricardo Gallego, Attorney (MX)

Peggy Bartel, MA

Lori Chang, MSW

Tracy Anderson

Tiffany Ragels

Jennifer Rosenfeld, LMSW

Mariann Rubin, LCSW

Teresa Doud, MSW

Cindy Womack, MSW


Home Study Services

Contact Us!

520 531-9931

480 751-1015

877 542-8813


Birthmother Counselor

623 692-7913


Child Foundation

11449 N Mandarin Ln

Tucson AZ 85737


Try us, you’ll like us!



US Dept of State

Post Adoption & Post Placement Reports



these reports are mandatory and essential for the continuation of international adoption

USCIS Adoption Forms


Applicants in the United States who are filing an I800a or I600a to adopt an orphan must submit applications and all supporting documents and fees to the following addresses:


via U.S. Postal Service

for I600a — PO Box 660088 Dallas TX 75266

for I800a — PO Box 660087, Dallas, TX 75266

via Express Mail & Courier USCIS ATTN: Adoption 2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business Suite 400 Lewisville, TX 75067
USCIS has dedicated a toll-free NBC Adoption telephone line, 1-877-424-8374 and an Orphan Home Study Tip sheet (Form M-760) to aid adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents.


For more information on orphan adoptions visit


Other Resources


National Council for Adoption


Joint Council on International Children’s Services


Beyond Consequences Institute


Tapestry Adoption Books


Center for Cognitive-Developmental Assessment


Care for Children International Dr Ronald Federici, PsyD


Pediatricians with Specializations in International Adoption Medical Issues




Dear Families & Adoption Advocates,

I know that it is September, but this is really the August update.  September just snuck up on me a little fast!
It’s been a very busy month, with both domestic adoptions and with Mexico.  Two more families completed their Mexico adoptions — yippee!  We’ve got seventeen Mexico-bound families in various stages of process, from waiting for a referral to meeting children to waiting for court dates.  Ricardo left for Hermosillo today to meet with two families there, one hoping to be matched with a child and another on their way home from Mexico City.  We are very grateful that this program is growing.  We’ve gotten referrals from DIF offices across Mexico and Ricardo has been providing trainings to state DIFs to explain the Hague Convention adoption process.  We are also developing a strong collaboration with other agencies who are working in Mexico.
Tracy has been extremely busy, with babies born in Tucson and Phoenix and one due soon in Kingman.  A few of these have been very stressful, with the birthmothers really having second thoughts and lots of tears before signing consents.  We have had one birthmother change her mind about placement, just one so far in three years.  We are hopeful that we can match the family again, soon, after they recover from their disappointment.
We’ve had lots of calls from families interested in both the Mexico and domestic adoption programs!  We really appreciate the referrals from our other families and the support and confidence of the adoption community.  Thank you, everyone, for helping us help kids have great families!
Tiffany leaves for Burundi mid-October and we are excited about getting our first referral.  Burundi has been a joy to work with, to date, and I am excited about seeing this program grow.
We welcome your calls and questions… and any donations you may like to make to the humanitarian aid fund.  We continue with aid to Mexico, Haiti and Ghana, and plan an educational program for Burundi!

What we focus on expands.

Jackie Semar, MEd

Executive Director

PS Thank you Kala for sharing the photo of her son with us!  Just darling — a boy and his poodles! :)

33+ families and growing!

Two more families completed, adopting from Sonora!  Congratulations!  News from Mexico City… National DIF is now asking for post adoption reports for three years at six month intervals and then annually until the child reaches age 16.  Sorry folks — but we have to comply.  Please be prepared to get the reports to us in a timely way so that we can stay in good standing with Mexico.

We have other families reaching the end of the adoption process with Chihuahua, Coahuila, Baja California and Michoacán.


We have been asked to find families for two kids — one has special needs and is a 4 yr old girl with Downs Syndrome.  The other is a 13 yr old boy.  Please let us know if you might be interested in adopting these children!

If you have any questions about Mexico adoption, the ICF website has a good overview and a link to the US Dept of State for further information about regulations governing adoptions between the US and Mexico… MEXICO ADOPTION

Burundi Adoption
ICF’s new program! 


Tiffany returns to Burundi in October!  She will be meeting a family there, and visiting the Ministries and shelters.  We are very happy about this trip and the way the program is developing.  Our experiences with Burundi have been very positive.  If you have an interest in Burundi, please let us know.  For families who are home study ready, we can include information about a child or children you would like to adopt when Tiffany meets with the Ministers.  This can pave the way to a faster referral.

Burundi is a fairly clear cut process as it is a Hague Convention country, but traveling there will be an eye-opener for many people.  It is poor, though not the poorest.  There are children toddler to teen-age waiting for families.  Many have siblings.  Please let us know if you are interested or review the program on the website…  We would love to have a few more families — we think it would be good to have 5-6 families and plan for some of them to travel together.


Adopting parents should be at least age 30, at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted and, if married, have been married five ears, although these requirements can be waived.

Burundi kids

The process can easily take a year.  Agency and foreign fees and aid contributions add up to $15,550; third party costs are about $5025 and travel is estimated at about $7800.


There is a complete guide including fees that you can download from the website.  We believe in transparency and easy access to information about fees and costs!


“ABC” Domestic Adoption

We have two more families matched and two birthmothers we are working towards matching.  It has been a complicated month.  Just to give you the highlights of the summer… As you know from last month, it was a bit of a scary experience, medically, for the little premature baby boy.  But he is fine and healthy now!  Then we had two smooth-sailing placements with both birth-mothers and families happy, no issues.  After that, we had a very distraught birthmother, and she delayed signing consents, which made everyone very anxious, but Tracy counseled her for a few days, letting her take her time to reaffirm her decision to place the baby, and all is well with that adoption now, too.  Then another delivery that came a little early, which took everyone by surprise, but baby is healthy and doing well with family.


We welcome your calls and are happy to give you updates on how many waiting families we have and what to expect from our program.  We are happy to report that we think we take very good care of our birthmothers and this helps mitigate risks common to domestic adoption — but there is always the risk that a birthparent will change her or his mind.


Birthmothers cannot sign consents until at least three days after delivery, birthfathers can pop up and create confusion, baby medical issues can come up, legal issues can come up — adoption is rarely a smooth predictable process, either domestically or internationally.


We suggest several other books on the website for adoptive parents.  The one I recommend for all families is Raising Adopted Children by Lois Melina.  It has a wealth of information on every page.  Really.  If you have not read it, order it… Raising Adopted Children

In other news…
Ethiopia update
August 30, 2013

Notice: This adoption notice serves as a reminder of the  implementation of the Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) program

This adoption notice serves as a reminder of the implementation of the  Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) program in Ethiopia.  This notice also  provides clarification to questions received regarding transition cases.

On June 3, the Department of State published an adoption  notice announcing that effective September 1, 2013, the Government of  Ethiopia will require all adoption cases filed on behalf of U.S. prospective  adoptive parents with the Ethiopian courts to undergo the U.S. PAIR process.   Please see the U.S. Department of State’s Ethiopia  country information sheet and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  (USCIS) policy  memorandum for details.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) confirmed  to the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa that 70 cases with open applications were  still pending with the Federal First Instance Court (FFIC) as of the annual  court closure on August 14 will be treated as pre-PAIR cases and not be subject  to the PAIR requirement, even if they are completed after September 1.  These  are cases where:

  • the first court hearing took place prior to the August 14 court closure and  the prospective adoptive parents are waiting for the second court hearing to be  scheduled, or have received court dates for October.  No PAIR letter will be  required for these cases.
  • the prospective adoptive parents have received and accepted referrals and  filed applications with the court prior to the August 14 closure date, but are  waiting for first and second hearings to be scheduled.  No PAIR letter will be  required for these cases.
  • the court filing was accepted by FFIC administrative staff during the court  recess following the August 14 closure but before the September 1, 2013  implementation date for the PAIR program.  No PAIR letter will be required for  these cases.

If you have further questions as to whether your case falls into these  categories, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at

Mexico Update

August 26, 2013

Notice: Updated information from the Mexican Central  Authority regarding adoptions completed without first fulfilling all  intercountry adoption processing steps

The Mexican Central Authority (MCA) recently informed the Office of  Children’s Issues that it is unable to issue the required Convention Article 23  certification for any out-of-order adoptions, and that prospective adoptive  parents will need to redo such adoptions in accordance with Mexican law. The  “How to Adopt” section of our Mexico adoption flyer, which will be updated soon,  summarizes the process for adopting a child from Mexico.

The MCA emphasized that ALL Convention adoption cases from Mexico must meet  the following requirements:

  1. All prospective adoptive parents must work with a U.S. accredited or  approved adoption service provider (ASP) that is also authorized in Mexico. For  up to date information on U.S. agencies authorized to provide adoption services  in Mexico, prospective adoptive parents may refer to the website of the national  Desarollo Integral de la Familia (DIF).
  2. Before commencing adoption processing at the state level (and prior to  matching), the authorized ASP acting on behalf of the prospective adoptive  parents must first file the adoption application (also known as dossier) with  the Secretaria de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE). The SRE forwards the adoption  application to the national and state offices of the DIF. The application must  include an approved I-800A.
  3. Prospective adoptive parents and the children who are to be adopted must  meet the Mexican intercountry adoption eligibility requirements. These  requirements, as provided by the MCA, are summarized on our Mexico adoption  flyer under the “Who can be Adopted” and “Who can Adopt.”

The MCA advised that that if a family already completed an adoption without  following all Convention steps in order, then the family may go to a Mexican  federal court and petition the court for an amparo ordering the lower/state  court that issued the adoption decree to open, or vacate, the adoption.. Once  the family has been granted a federal amparo ordering the lower/state court to  vacate the previous adoption, the family would redo the entire adoption in  compliance with Mexico’s Convention intercountry adoption process.

Mexico’s stated policy means that an I-800 petition based on an adoption  completed out of order in Mexico must be denied pursuant to 8 CFR 204.309(b)(1).  For some out-of-order Convention adoptions, the cited regulation allows for  provisional approval of an I-800 if the petitioner can demonstrate that the  adoption cannot be voided, vacated or annulled. With this announcement,  provisional approval for out of order Mexican intercountry adoptions is  unavailable because the MCA indicated that adoptions can be vacated, voided, or  annulled in Mexico through a federal amparo process. Furthermore, the MCA has  stated that it will not issue the required Convention Article 23 certification  for cases that do not follow the Mexico’s Convention process. Without the MCA’s  certification, the U.S. Embassy cannot issue a Convention immigrant visa.

We will publish additional updated information related to intercountry  adoption in Mexico as we receive it. If you have any further questions please  write to us at or call us at 1-888-407-4747.

We always suggest you check with the US Dept of State for current messages about adoption from any country you are interested in.
Check with DOS for country alerts and adoption information…
Waiting Kids
There are lots of waiting kids in the world — and it used to be more customary to promote a match by sharing information about waiting children.  Now that reaching-out strategy has been curtailed, to protect the privacy of children.  If you are interested in waiting children, contact agencies that have waiting child programs!  Those kids need parents!  I did notice that Children’s Home Society and Family Services of MN has a nice waiting list for US kids that need families — visit their website CHS&FS Waiting Kids

Adoption Education 
Check out the seminar opportunities at Adoption Learning Partners
They have several new classes., too.
Heart of the Matter Seminar has adoption training, too.
National Council for Adoption has adoption resources, too:
They all have courses for pre and post adoption, international, domestic and foster-adoption, and other kinds of adoption-related topics.  Heart of the Matter Seminars recently announced a course on Open Adoption and we’d love to get your feedback on it.
As always, we recommend that you continue your adoption education throughout your parenting experience.  There is always something new to learn!  We all want to be the BEST possible parents for our kids!