CCAI Releases Results of Survey on Intercountry Adoption

CCAI, working in collaboration with the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, the Center for Adoption Policy, Christian Alliance for Orphans, Equality for Adopted Children, Joint Council and the National Council for Adoption, just released the results of an online survey that asked U.S. Adoptive parents about their experiences working with the United States government during an intercountry adoption process. Results were received from 2,938 U.S. parents who adopted from 17 different countries.

Created in partnership with the above named organizations and circulated via email and listserv, CCAI administered and collected the results of the online sample survey that asked participants 37 multiple choice and five open-ended questions about their intercountry adoption experience, including the amount of time it took to complete their adoption process,  why individuals did not adopt from the country they originally intended to adopt from, how participants received updates from government and adoption agencies and the quality of communication with the U.S. Embassy.

Respondents provided specific recommendations to improve the experience working with the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in the participant’s adopted child’s home country and the intercountry adoption experience in general. Among the main recommendations:

  • Strengthen the communication of updates to adoptive parents concerning their specific cases—increase the frequency, specificity, and honesty of communication.
  • Increase the efficiency of the adoption process, particularly for children with special needs.  Participants expressed concern over the extra time that their child spent in an institutionalized home due to the delays in finalizing the adoption.
  • Reshape the regulations regarding the issuance of children’s visas to ensure greater certainty and efficiency of receiving them prior to departure.
  • Treat birthmothers with the dignity and respect that they deserve.  Participants expressed concern over the interrogation practices used in birthmother interviews.
  • Consulate and Embassy staff should employ more courteous and sympathetic behavior in their interactions with adoptive parents.  They should also be informed of international adoption laws and updated on any changes that could impact the adoption process.

The full Survey Report is available at A summary of main themes that emerged in the open comments are included in Appendix A of the report.

Save the Adoption Tax Credit

CCAI is excited to serve as the Secretariat for the Executive Committee of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group (ATCWG).  Save the Adoption Tax Credit, a national collaboration of 100 organizations that have united to support the cause of adoption, is an effort of the ATCWG. These are the other organizations on the Executive Committee with whom we are working closely:

The Adoption Tax Credit has existed since 2003 and has made adoption a more viable option for many parents who might not otherwise have been able to afford adoption, allowing them to provide children with loving, permanent families. Unfortunately it is due to “sunset” in its current form at the end of this year unless Congress and the Administration act.

The Adoption Tax Credit Working Group’s goals are to have an adoption tax credit that is:

  • Inclusive: Children, whether adopted from foster care, through intercountry adoption, or through private domestic adoption should be able to benefit from the adoption tax credit.
  • Permanent: The adoption tax credit should become a permanent part of the tax code to ensure continued support to those who bring children into families through adoption.
  • Refundable: The adoption tax credit should be refundable to ensure that families with moderate and lower incomes receive the full benefit of the credit.
  • Flat for Special Needs: All families who adopt a child with special needs should be eligible for a “flat” tax credit, meaning they can claim the maximum credit without documenting expenses. This distinction, which is already in current law, recognizes the fact that many of the expenses associated with adopting children with special needs show up after an adoption is finalized.

More than 100,000 children are currently in the U.S. foster care system awaiting forever homes. There are a growing number of children worldwide who are living in institutions, on the streets or in other situations outside of the care of a loving family.

The work of the adoption tax credit is not done.

To learn more about the effort to save the “A.T.C.” and to see the full list of the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group members, go to

Or check out their Facebook page at

Adoption Today Features Article on Angels in Adoption™

Nominate an Angel in Adoption™!

By Kathleen Strottman and Allison Cappa

“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.” Robert F. Kennedy said so eloquently what we at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) try to uphold daily and who we hope to esteem through our Angels in Adoption™ Program.

The Program began 14 years ago when a few Congressional offices began to brainstorm about the good that could come from honoring deserving constituents from their state and/or district who had impacted the life of a child in need of a loving family. That first year, in 1999, an awards ceremony was held on Capitol Hill to celebrate those very constituents. As co-founding Member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption caucus and adoptive father Rep. Jim Oberstar puts it, “the first event was sparkling. There was so much enthusiasm and love.”

Since that time, Angels in Adoption™ has grown to be three days of events with over 1800 individuals, couples, and organizations recognized for the incredible work they have done to highlight the issue of foster care and adoption.  The Angels are invited to travel to Washington, D.C., where they learn how to advocate on behalf of children around the world waiting for a loving family to call their own. Additionally, they are honored at a prestigious Congressional Pinning Ceremony and at a very special Gala attended by senior members of the Executive Branch, US Senators, US Representatives and National Angels, like Kristin Chenoweth, First Lady Laura Bush, Patti LaBelle and Al Roker, who are using their celebrity status to promote adoption on a national and even global level. Furthermore, Angels in Adoption™ seeks to increase the public awareness of these individual deeds that profoundly impact a child’s life. The press from this event has spurred hundreds of human interest stories with the hope of inspiring others. Since the program’s inception, more than 1,800 Angels have been honored for their contributions to the cause of finding every child a home.

We all know the miraculous effect adoption has.  Because of Angels in Adoption that message is spreading. As 2011 National Angel in Adoption™, award winning actress (star of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”), former National Adoption Day spokesperson, Nia Vardalos, said of the adoption of her daughter, “My husband and I were matched with our daughter via American Foster Care, and the minute we met her, our lives changed forever.  At three years old, our perfect little girl walked into our house, and turned it into a home.”

Do you know of someone you would like to nominate to a Congressional Office because adoption or fostering children has changed their life forever? Nominate them as an Angel in Adoption™ by visiting You can also complete a nomination form online for submission which will be passed along to an appropriate Congressional office. The deadline for this year’s nomination is July 6, 2012. 

The preceding article was featured on page eight of the June 2012 Issue of Adoption Today. See Adoption Today.