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* A new longitudinal study has found that not only does early childhood investments improve cognitive abilities, it also substantially boosts adult health.
In the study, about 100 infants from low-income families in the US were followed from early infancy to their mid-30s. The infants were randomly assigned to one group or the other, allowing researchers to isolate the effects of the program.
The researchers had already answered their original question about cognitive development: whether not only found that the treated children would do better cognitively and were less likely to fail in school. The participants’ abilities as infants were about the same, but by age 3 they had diverged. By age 30, those in the group given special care were four times as likely to have graduated from college.
However, they also found the treated group was far healthier, with sharply lower rates of high blood pressure and obesity, and higher levels of so-called good cholesterol.
* The Ministry of Family and Social Policies is launching a new initiative to limit the adoption of Turkish children in Europe by non-Turkish foster families.
About 5,000 Turkish children have been removed from their biological parents across Europe over the years and placed in German foster homes, much to the chagrin of families who claim their children are then raised as Christians.
The Turkish government is stepping up efforts to restrict this number as it plans to encourage Turkish families living abroad to adopt Turkish children to preserve their cultural identity. The Ministry of Family and Social Policies is attempting to popularize the concept of foster families among Turkish families living in Europe in order to reduce the number of Turkish children adopted by non-Turkish or non-Muslim families.
* Two children have been left in “a legal limbo” because the Adoption Authority of Ireland refuses to recognise their overseas adoption by an Irish-based couple, the High Court has heard.
The couple are both Irish citizens. The wife is the children’s biological aunt. They have launched a High Court action aimed overturning the authority’s decision that the children, a boy and a girl, are not eligible for adoption.
The parties involved in the case cannot be identified for legal reasons. In an affidavit to the court, the husband said he found the decision “difficult to comprehend”.
* An American couple charged with starving their 8-year-old adopted daughter to death while living in Qatar was sentenced to three years in prison.
The couple claims their daughter had an eating disorder that stemmed from her being severely malnourished as a child. She would refuse food for days and then binge on whatever she could find, including garbage and food she would beg from strangers. Her parents were working on helping her change the behaviors when she died.
Matthew and Grace Huang were jailed in Qatar on murder charges in January 2013, following the death of their daughter, Gloria. They were released from prison last November, but banned from leaving Qatar during the trial. Their two other adopted children left for the US in January and are being cared for by relatives.
The case raised questions about possible cultural misunderstandings in a conservative Muslim country where Western-style adoptions and cross-cultural families are relatively rare. Continue reading the Washington Post article.
* Prospective adoptive parents are receiving misleading information about which children are
eligible for intercountry adoption and who is authorized to provide adoption services in Croatia from individuals representing themselves as authorized service providers. The Ministry of Social Policy and Youth (Ministry), which is the Croatian Central Authority has confirmed that it has not authorized any adoption service providers to provide
intercountry adoption services in Croatia. All questions about the applicable laws and procedures for intercountry adoptions should be directed to:
The Ministry of Social Policy and Youth
Savska cesta 66, 10 000 Zagreb Croatia Tel: +385 1 555 7111 Internet: www.mspm.hr/
* The US Dept. of State reports that Ukraine adoptions continue to be processed despite what is going on in-country. The Department website says that the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told them that it remains open and that delays are not currently expected in the issuance of Ukrainian passports to adopted children beyond the normal 10 day processing timeline.
* The Joint Council on International Adoption Services has reported that the US Department of State will likely approve Haiti's Hague status soon. Here's what the organization had to say: "DOS along with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducted a trip to Haiti and were very encouraged by the positive findings. During the trip, both DOS and USCIS assessed whether Haiti met the requirements for Convention compliance, discussed with Haiti a plan for non-Hague adoption cases already in process and established a multi-nation working group to help with transition cases."
* From 3 February 2014, India's Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) announced it will accept 50 new non-special needs intercountry adoption applications per month from Non-Resident Indian (NRI) applicants.
* Americans who are touched by adoption: Congress is considering a bill that would eliminate the adoption tax credit. Grassroots organizations are urging Americans to write their members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act (H.R. 2144/S.1056). The more Congressional co-sponsors these bills have, the more likely the adoption tax credit will receive favorable attention i during discussions in Congress.
Legislators only need to hear from 20 constituents about an issue before it becomes important to them. They will be compelled to fight for the tax credit if they hear real stories from you. Check out an advocacy website for more information.
* Adoption Advocates Inc., a US-based adoption agency, lost its accreditation to to provide adoption services in countries that follow the Hague Convention.
* Australia has closed its international adoption program with Ethiopia citing long waits for prospective adoptive parents and an increasingly unpredictable, complex and uncertain" environment in the adoption forum.
*PEAR has an updated list of US agencies with a permit to work with Russia.
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