October 11, 2004

Should You Care about ICARE?

It has been a little while since I have posted about the pending ICARE legislation so Iím putting it back up again.

This legislation creates a new national Office of Intercountry Adoption, headed by an Ambassador At Large who would be appointed by the President and report to the Secretary of State. This office and Ambassador would have extreme control over U.S. policy regarding intercountry adoption.

The bill(s) also grant citizenship rights to children adopted abroad that are equal to those of biological children of U.S. citizens that are born abroad. And no, our kids still couldnít become President (that requires a change to the Constitution).

ICARE stands to dramatically change the intercountry adoption landscape and EVERYONE with an interest in intercountry adoption owes it to themselves to learn more about it.

With the objective, non-opinionated stuff said, I want to state that personally, this bill scares the living you-know-what out of me. IMHO, ICARE leaves too many questions unanswered that could lead to detrimental policies. It opens the door to politicizing intercountry adoption at a time when partisanship is at an all-time high. Its implementation schedule is not realistic and would most likely wreak havoc on the families and children in-process if it came to fruition.

While the changes in citizenship rules are impressive, they do not require a new piece of legislation (I was told this by a US Representative). So while these are being heralded by some as ďan adoptive parents dreamĒ, they are not reason enough to support this bill.

But donít take my word for it, read up on it for yourselves. Focus on Adoptionô has an excellent page on its site that gives commentary on ICARE as well as links to the actual bills (they donít take long to read and the House and Senate versions are exactly the same) as well as the members of Congress who have it on their desks. You can find this info at

So learn about the bill, formulate your own opinion, and contact your Senators and Representative to let them know what you think. Whatever your opinion may be, this is an extremely important piece of legislation. The voice of the adoption community needs to be heard and represented.

Posted by Kevin at October 11, 2004 03:36 PM


What are the current rights of a child adopted internationally? How do their rights differ from a biological or domestically adopted child? Obviously, I know they cannot be president, but what other rights do they lack?

Thank you,


Posted by: Carrie at October 12, 2004 02:09 PM

I'm not an expert on this. What ICARE does is allow the child to travel home on a US passport as a US citizen, instead of on a visa. It also eliminates the mandatory doctors visit and gives the child a "consular record of birth". So mostly, it doesn't grant them any rights they don't have. It just makes it a little easier on parents. I'm not sure how it would impact things like any differences if you visit or not (because obviously in the case of a bio-child born abroad, you;ve seen the child). Hey, that's just another example of how ICARE doesn't really have the details, just broad ideas...


Posted by: Kevin at October 12, 2004 02:56 PM

Dear kevin,

Again I applaud you for your efforts and time to keep us educated and informed.
Please let us know what we can do. As I read thru the legislation I could see some definate postives - but there is much that is very concerning. In my conversations with other adoptive families, I have noticed that many do not know about this impending legislation. The word definately needs to get out.
Do you know how long it will be before the bill goes up for vote, and what can we do *now* to help? Look forward to your response.

Again, thanks so very much!

Dru & Gloria Pickering
Issaquah , Wa.
* blessed parents to 3 guatemalan blessings and 2 more on the way! *

Posted by: gloria pickering at October 20, 2004 02:40 AM