Wednesday, July 17, 2013

NCALP Weekly News Summary

July 17, 2013
The National Center for Adoption Law & Policy
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The National Center for Adoption Law & Policy and Capital University Law School are pleased to offer th e Interdisciplinary Child Welfare Institute (ICWI) July 22 - 26, 2013.
During ICWI, social workers and attorneys have the opportunity to join law and graduate social work students from across the country in this exciting, intensive interdisciplinary course that will examine complex child and family issues from both law and social work perspectives. In this course, you will hone your professional practice skills through dynamic classroom exercises and gain insight from panelists and guest lectures.

MAINE: “Guardians Ad Litem Reforms Praised by Supporters; LePage to Sign Bill Monday”
BY: Judy Harrison

Maine Governor Paul LePage is scheduled to sign LD 872 into law in order to reform the GAL system by including caps on what GALs can charge, increased oversight, written standards of practice and requirements for continuing education. Guardian ad litems, or GALs, are appointed by judges to represent the best interests of children in legal proceedings for divorce, determination of parental rights and responsibilities, child protection, and other similar legal actions. The bill will go into effect January 1, 2015.
Bangor Daily News, July 7th, 2013

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MICHIGAN: “Federal Judge Will Hear Argument on Michigan Gay Marriage Ban, Adoption in October”
BY: Paul Sancya

Federal judge, Bernard Friedman, will hear arguments on October 1, 2013 regarding the legality of Michigan’s ban on gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. The lawsuit was filed by a lesbian couple living together with three adopted children. Currently, same-sex couples are barred from adopting each other’s kids in Michigan. The lawsuit challenges a 2004 constitutional amendment that recognizes marriage only between a man and a woman. Judge Friedman turned down the state’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.
Detroit Free Press, July 10th, 2013

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WEST VIRGINIA: “Safe Haven Law in Place to Protect Babies”
BY: Kallie Cart

The safe haven laws in place in West Virginia provide protection to a mother who leaves her baby, before it is 30 days old, at a health care facility or a hospital. Although these laws have been somewhat effective in protecting babies, more education is needed about adoption. It is believed that if birth mothers are provided with information about the option for adoption, fewer children would be abandoned, neglected, and placed in these safe haven locations., July 9th, 2013

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NATIONAL: “Emerging Liability of Agencies in Wrongful Adoptions”
BY: Samuel C. Totaro Jr. and Hollis J. Fishman

Most adoption cases produce well-adjusted families, with adopted children experiencing no significant issues. However, there have been many recent incidents in which adoption agencies, either intentionally or negligently, fail to divulge all medical and social background on the adopted child to the adoptive family, which could ultimately result in disrupted placements. As failures to disclose continue to occur, adoptive parents have begun to turn to the courts to seek redress for these injuries through wrongful adoption lawsuits and litigation which was not recognized as a legitimate cause of action until 1986.

The Legal Intelligencer, July 9th, 2013

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MICHIGAN: “New Legislation Provides Support to Michigan Children and Adoptive Families”
Numerous bills were introduced by Michigan House Republicans to make the adoption process easier by eliminating red tape, making the adoption process more efficient, and providing more stability and support to children in foster care. One bill would allow out of court consent and temporary placement in direct adoptions while also setting a limit of five days for the birth mother to revoke her consent to adopt. Other bills reduce the supervisory period for families adoption infants and ensure that the birth mother will not lose custody of the child if the adoption does not go through.

Holland Sentinel, July 11th, 2013

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The preceding are summaries of adoption/child welfare law news articles prepared by The National Center for Adoption Law & Policy. These summaries are provided for your information only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Center. We strive to print news that reflects the diversity of our readership and a variety of viewpoints and approaches to child welfare issues. While we may not agree with a position taken, we believe in the critical importance to our constituents of impartial reporting.

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