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Adoptions On Hold From Cambodia; May Be More Difficult From South Korea

The United States Department of State issued a notice they are unable to process inter-country adoptions in Cambodia currently under the Hague Convention. 

According to their press release, Cambodia has worked to strengthen its child welfare system along with improving the integrity of both domestic and foreign adoptions, but is still lacking a fully functional Convention process in place. 

The Department of State caution that many important steps need to occur between the United States and Cambodia before adoptions may resume and no adoption service providers should initiate nor claim to initiate adoption services in Cambodia for prospective adoptive parents until those steps have been taken and they receive notice from the Department of State. 

This week, the Department of State also announced the Republic of Korea Special Adoption Act, governing South Korean adoptions, took effect last August. The new law prioritizes domestic adoptions in an attempt to reduce the number of South Korean children adopted  abroad. 

The ROK's Ministry of Health and Welfare informed the United States Embassy in Seoul that adoptions in process, but not completed by August 5, 2012 will  be subject to the new law. Adoption agencies in Seoul confirmed to the Department of State that the files of all children under last year's quota who had not received Emigration Permits prior to that date are now being sent to the Family Court for approval once the Emigration Permits are issued. 

Adoption can be an exciting, but stressful time for a family. There are many legal hoops to jump through before a child's adoption can be completed. If you are seeking to adopt a child, it is in your best interest to speak with a Missouri family attorney who can help you navigate the court system in the process. Contact us today for your free, initial consultation.

To find out the latest on international adoptions, check out the Department of State's web site >>>

New Law Bars U.S. Adoptions Of Russian Children

A controversial new Russian law could prevent many U.S. families from bringing Russian children to the United States and completing their adoptions, making the children part of their families.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial measure Friday that could affect hundreds of families from the United States seeking to adopt Russian children. According to U.S. State Department statistics, United States families adopted close to 1,000 Russian children last year and have adopted 60,000 Russian children over the past 20 years. The U.S. State Department called the move a "politically motivated decision" that will "reduce adoption possibilities for children who are now under institutional care."

They said they are concerned about statements from the Russian government saying adoptions underway may also be stopped and said they are hoping the Russian government to allow those adoptions to be finalized.

The law, Federal Law No. 186614-6 was approved by unanimous vote December 26 before being signed by Putin today.

The U.S. Department of State is asking families currently in the process of adopting a Russian child to reach out to the Department of State at AskCI@state.gov to provide information concerning where they are in the adoption process.

Stricter laws have been considered since a 7-year-old Russian boy was sent back to Russian by his adopted mom with a note saying she did not want him anymore. According to reports, 19 Russian children who have been adopted into U.S. homes have died after their adoptions. Many of the pending adoptions are those of special needs children in institutionalized care. Their prospective adoptive families are holding their breath, hoping their adoptions will go through. Many of the facilities lack the resources to meet those children’s needs.

The new measure also bars any political activities by non-governmental organizations receiving funds from the United States if those activities affect Russian interests.

The law takes effect January 1 and will include a list of U.S. citizens prohibited from entering Russia as well as suspend the activity of any legal entities controlled by these people in Russia.

The bill was a response to the Magnitsky Act, a law signed into law by President Obama earlier this month barring Russian citizens accused of violating human rights from traveling to the United States and from owning real estate or other assets here.

Adopting a child can be a long and difficult process. If you are considering adopting, it is best to consult a family attorney who can help you navigate the legal waters and help you complete your family. Call today for your free, initial consultation.

Woman Who Returned Adopted Son Ordered To Pay $150K In Child Support

A Tennessee woman who returned her son to Russia after legally adopting him is responsible for paying $150,000 in child support ruled a Tennessee judge. 

Artyem Saveliev was adopted from a Russian orphanage by Torry Hansen. Hansen said the boy became very violent and threatened to stab her mother to death, along with many other threats. Her parents put the then 7-year-old boy on a flight back to Russia alone with her consent in 2010.  

Although criminal charges were never filed, the agency she used sued her for child support. Advocates for international adoption said the case holds large implications for international adoptions and sparked outrage across the globe.The child was reportedly placed in a psychiatric hospital after he returned.

If you are in need of legal counsel concerning adoptions or any other area of family law, you need a highly-qualified Missouri attorney by your side. Call now for your free and immediate consultation.

Mother Detained In Immigration Raid Stripped Of Parental Rights

In a ruling last week, the Carthage, Missouri couple will retain custody of a young boy separated from his mother five years ago in an immigration raid.

The Greene County judge ruled against the Guatemalan mother Wednesday, determining the boy, who will be six this fall, should stay with Melinda and Seth Moser who officially adopted the boy in 2008. 

The complicated case began when Bail Romero was arrested during an immigration raid in Barry County, Mo. at a poultry plant where she worked. Her son, who she had named Carlos, was six months old. As she remained in jail, the boy was cared for by relatives, then others. After five months, the Mosers began caring for the boy in their house. They filed for adoption. 

This case has garnered international attention. Attorneys for the woman said she was originally handed notice of the adoption in English while incarcerated and did not have legal counsel for at least two months after the Mosers began to pursue the adoption. 

Although the initial adoption was granted, an appeals panel overturned the trail court decision, saying that court lacked the authority to grant such an adoption. Then the Missouri State Supreme Court heard the case in January 2011 and ordered a new trial. 

The boy, who goes by the name Jamison, is both a United States and Guatemalan citizen, but only speaks English. Romero’s attorneys said they were reviewing the ruling and deciding whether to file an appeal.

If you need to deal with a legal matter in family courts, you need a qualified St. Louis attorney by your side. Call today for a free, initial consultation.

Contact Us

Jeffrey A. Heater
Attorney at Law

5205 Hampton Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63109

Phone: (314) 541-7421

Fax: (314) 932-7672


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