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New Special Needs Policy from CCAA


From the CCAA:

In order to improve on our online special needs program and focus on the placement of special needs children who have been on the “shared list” for over two months, CCAA decides to group some of the special needs children as “special focus children” (with a tag of “Special Focus” on their names in the shared list) so that special attention would be drawn to these children by adoption agencies and adoptive families. This will come into effect since September 1. Here are some clarifications on relevant issues:

  1. Adoption agencies will be able to search and retrieve information of special focus children through the online system, such as name, gender, age, province and welfare institute where they are from, and pathology categories. Agencies can also enquire children’s information based on their pathology and look for suitable families for them.
  2. After locking the file of special focus children, adoptive families have six months to prepare application files and send to CCAA.
  3. Adoption agencies may recruit families for special focus children according to families’ needs and the child’s health status. After getting the approval from CCAA, the file of special focus child will be posted on the individual list for the agency, who will be allowed three months to find families.
  4. Children who take part in Journey of Hope will all be included in the Special Focus category. Name list of these children will be decided based on discussions between CCAA and adoption agencies, or proposed by agencies and approved by CCAA. Children taking part in Journey of Hope basically come from the same orphanage, sometimes several orphanages as needed. Each session of Journey of Hope includes no more than 40 children. CCAA will post files of these children on the individual list of the agency and allow six months for placement.
  5. When the adoptive family is eligible for adoption, they are allowed to adopt two children within one year simultaneously or successively. They may apply to, as situations vary, adopt a healthy child and a special focus child, or a special needs child and a special focus child, or two special focus children, simultaneously or successively.
  6. When a family intends to adopt special needs children, especially special focus children, adoption agencies shall convey the true information of the child to adoptive families, help families prepare for the adoption, keep close monitoring on the adoption procedure and provide better post-placement tracking services, so as to protect the interests of adopted children and avoid occurrence of tragedies.

———————

Now, as to the interpretation of it. My interpretation, my best attempt at moving it from translated legalese to regular English:

The children who wait longer than two months on the shared list become Special Focus Children. A few requirements will be relaxed for these children.

  • Families now have 6 months instead of 3 to get a dossier together and to the CCAA after matching.
  • An agency can request to have a “Special Focus” child assigned to them so that they can actively search for a family for that particular child. The agency will then have that child’s file for three months. I assume this means the child will be removed from the shared list for those three months. I do not know what the agency will be allowed to do in order to “recruit” a family for this child.
  • I don’t believe this makes changes to the Journey of Hope program, but it is noted that the children in this program will be classified as “Special Focus” children. The biggest benefit that this classification will give is probably the ability to be able to adopt children closer than a year apart.
  • Families who adopt a Special Focus Child are allowed to adopt two children at the same time. The other child can be healthy, special needs, or special focus. They can adopt them at the same time, or they can do so within a year of each other, which is normally not allowed.
  • Agencies are tasked with making sure the family is prepared to parent the child, with closely monitoring things, and with providing better post placement services to protect the interests of the children.

I think this is a positive step to work towards helping the harder to place children find families. Agencies have argued that it is hard for them to focus on finding parents for a particular child because if another agency is doing so as well then by the time they find a family the child may no longer be available. They’ve argued that it is a better use of resources for agencies to not focus on the same hard to place children, that it would be better for each agency to focus their efforts on different children, as that gives a larger number of children a chance at a family. It appears the CCAA is responding to this, and I’m impressed.

There have also been the complaints that families in the NSN program often see a child they would be interested in adopting, but can’t be sure it will be a year before they get their referral. It will probably be a year, but who knows for sure? This will allow some of those families a little more leeway, and that is also a good thing. As a general rule the “wait at least a year before you adopt again” rule is a good idea, but to put it in place with no exceptions…. not so much. Especially when there are so many unknowns, timewise, in the program as it stands now.

I am very happy to see the last point, tasking the agencies with making sure the family is prepared to parent this child, and then keeping an eye on things, and offering more post placement services in general. I have a feeling that at some point we’ll see some official changes in this regards that will affect all adoptions, but for now I’m happy to see that this is on their mind.


 
 
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20 Responses to “New Special Needs Policy from CCAA”

  1. SoccerMom Says:

    I’m curious to see what this ends up meaning for singles. If CCAA is able to relax some of the requirements for these children, maybe the marriage requirement will eventually be one of them. There’s been talk of at least one agency successfully advocating for a single to adopt a harder to place child. Maybe this will allow for more of that to happen.

  2. Noendinsight Says:

    there are so many children on the list who are not being placed. over 800? i would imagine they will lift some of the rules – including singles. there are a few countries who only allow singles to adopt SN and/or older children….china could follow suit.

  3. littleemperor Says:

    RQ what do you mean by :

    “There have also been the complaints that families in the NSN program often see a child they would be interested in adopting, but can’t be sure it will be a year **before they get their referral.** It will probably be a year, but who knows for sure? This will allow some of those families a little more leeway, and that is also a good thing.”

    If a LID’d NSN family see a SN child that they are interested in then they currently have to use that LID when transferring to the SN program. Is that about to change?

    Are you hearing that you can adopt a Special Focus Child and keep your NSN LID? That would be amazing.

    Confused on this one.

  4. Noendinsight Says:

    i’d also love for them to find away to speed up the process if people are LID after LOI for the harder-to-place children. a family is not going to be dossier-ready if they need a waiver. so for example, a single won’t start their paperwork unless they’ve been pre-approved to adopt a particular child. would be nice to see once their dossier IS in for things to move swiftly.

  5. Noendinsight Says:

    btw – that’s ASSUMING they are going to allow waivers for these children for families who don’t meet the current criteria!

  6. Gweny Says:

    I don’t know what all this means myself yet, but all in all it sounds like a great thing for the children! I’m thrilled for them.

  7. southslopemama Says:

    I think these are fantastic steps in the right direction! Thanks for posting this, RQ! We adopted our two Guangdong sweeties in the old days of individual agency lists and actually–CCAA matched us directly with our first daughter, just like an NSN referral! All seems so simple compared to the system in place now. At least they are taking steps to make it easier again!

  8. cindy in AL Says:

    I am glad to see that they are putting in writing the possibility to bring home two at a time. I know that some agencies have always helped parents do this but others emphatically denied that it could be done.

    If an AP feels it is right for their family and they can manage it by all means bringing two home should be open to all APs.

  9. Noendinsight Says:

    littleemperor – i think in some cases families can retain their NSN LID and start another dossier for an SN adoption. so the family would have to meet the new rules. sometimes families find an SN child on another agencies list and start over for an SN adoption with that agency. an entirely new dossier.

    i have a friend though who had a NSN LID with one agency, then started over for an SN adoption with another agency. completed the SN adoption and the first agency made her pull her NSN dossier. so i’m not sure what the ccaa rules are or if it’s up to the agencies.

  10. RumorQueen Says:

    littleemperor – I’m aware of a number of families who have left their NSN dossier in place and adopted a SN child while waiting. The CCAA says there must be at least one year between adoptions. And, of course, families must meet the new requirements.

    This new information would take away the one-year- between requirement for those harder to place children. I do not see anything that would lead me to believe they are going to relax any of the requirements that a-parents must meet in regards to marital status or income or length of marriage or BMI or education or anything else, but I’m guessing the agencies will likely advocate for a few families to try to get a handle on how that will be received.

    I realize there are some agencies who do not allow interim or concurrent adoptions, but that’s a whole different conversation.

  11. ourmatti Says:

    RQ I read rule 5 as if you are going to adopt two it must be at the same time or within the same year. If you are waiting for 5 years for a NSN then the timing would have to be perfect. I am most likely reading this wrong.

  12. jdcjewels Says:

    Thank you for the info RQ! This is good to know as we are just starting a SN adoption. This is probably a dumb question but what is “Journey of Hope?”

  13. hopingfor08 Says:

    Journey of Hope is children who are listed with one agency. The agency has sent reps. to China to meet the children, videotape them, and advocate for them, and ultimately work to find their forever families. There are several agencies who participate in the Journey of Hope program. You can find more info. in the SN room as well as people who have brought home JoH children.

    RQ, thank you for sharing this. I saw it in the SN room but since you posted it, I am taking it as fact. :)

    BTW, we just brought home our two sons and we had to *work hard* to get special permission. I am so glad to see this new rule so that hopefully more families can bring home two children at one time. I HIGHLY recommend it. Our boys are so close already. Now some days are tough, but I am so thankful we were able to bring them home together.

    They both fell into the harder-to-place category. Our older is 10 and has heart disease (but cardiologist pronounced him healthy and no restrictions!!!). And then our youngest is 5 and has TOF and cl/cp and some other things too. Both had bounced around agency lists. Incidentally, they were from the same province, which I think in the end really helped the CCAA say yes.

    I noticed it said it would be easy for agencies to see province info. too. I will say it was so easy with our sons being in the same province. The trip was not any longer and we met them on the same day at the same time. It was AMAZING!!!

    If anyone is seriously considering adopting two at once, feel free to PM me with questions.

    I am SO EXCITED about the possibility of more coming home. BTW, someone asked about fees being doubled in the other thread. You do pay the orphanage fee twice, however we were not charged anymore for our agency guide service than if we had adopted one, then you obviously save if you just travel once versus twice. Like I said, we are so thankful we were able to bring them home together.

  14. luvbugsmom Says:

    “ourmatti Says:

    August 18th, 2010 at 2:57 pm
    RQ I read rule 5 as if you are going to adopt two it must be at the same time or within the same year. If you are waiting for 5 years for a NSN then the timing would have to be perfect. I am most likely reading this wrong.”

    No, I don’t think CCAA is saying that if you want to adopt 2 children, then it has to be at the same time or within the same year. They already allow families to adopt more than 1 child as long as there is at least 1 year between the adoptions. So if you adopt a SN child now, you can still adopt your NSN child in 5 years.

    What this new rule is saying is that if the SN child you want to adopt now is on the Special Focus list, you don’t have to wait a full year before completing the NSN adoption.

    So, if for instance, let’s say you have a May, June, or July 06 LID where you might complete your NSN adoption within the coming year. You see a Special Focus SN child on your agency’s list that you would like to adopt. In the past, you wouldn’t be allowed to complete both the SN adoption and the NSN adoption b/c there could be less than 1 year between placements. If you adopted the SN child, you would either forfeit the opportunity to adopt the NSN child, or ask for your NSN dossier to be placed on hold and hope that CCAA will allow you to re-open it after the year had passed. Now, with the new rule, as long as the SN child you are eyeing is on the Special Focus list, you wouldn’t have to worry about that. You could adopt the SN Special Focus child and then go back for your NSN child when your LID is referred. Or, even more convenient, if your LID referral is really close, you could even adopt both children on the same trip. You could do the same even if the 2nd child was SN, or Special Focus. It sounds like as long as at least one of the children you want to adopt is Special Focus, then you can do it faster.

    But, I see nothing in this ruling that says that if you adopt a special focus child now, that you cannot go back in 5 years to adopt a second child. That appears to still be permitted.

  15. luvbugsmom Says:

    Or, another scenario: Let’s say you had a late March 06 or an April 06 LID, so you just completed your NSN adoption (or will soon). You see a Special Focus child on your agency’s list that you would like to adopt. Again, in the past, you would have had to wait a full year from coming home with your NSN child before starting the paperwork on the SN child. Maybe someone else adopts that child while you have to wait. That’s good for the child, but disappointing to you. But, if it’s a hard to place child, that child may end up languishing in the orphanage that much longer before you’re allowed to even begin the process. With the new rule, you can start as soon as you see the child on the Special Focus list. No need to wait.

  16. singlemomof2 Says:

    Any chance this new Special needs policy would let single mom’s adopt from China?????

  17. Abracadebra Says:

    As a single mom (one homegrown child, age 10; one adopted from Henan in 2009, age 4), I have been wishing that there would be SOME sign of liberalization from China. It took me months to come around to SN adoption, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. (I had a 4-27-07 LID for NSN.)

    I can’t see anything in this information to suggest that there is any change afoot for singles, but ANY movement is better than NO movement. I am hopeful that there will be some liberalization once CCAA gets through the huge bubble of 2006-7 dossiers and starts to deal with a more normal workload. It breaks my heart to see the dossiers of children I would readily consider for adoption being listed as ‘sent back” on my agency’s web site.

    This moderate easing is very, very welcome though, and I am so glad for the families who are eligible and most of all the CHILDREN who will have an increased chance of finding their forever family.

  18. Kochanie Says:

    I am a grandfathered case with a LID of Dec. 28, 2006. With these new changes by the CCAA do you think this means that I can adopt from the Special Focus group or SN list and STILL keep my original LID of 12/28/06 and still bring home “my little Olivia?” I figure I still have a 5-6 year wait…this would truly be fabulous, as I am currently childless and it looks to me that there is hope for me to not have 1 but 2 children. Again, does this mean my current grandfathered case would allow me to be granted by the old rules to adopt twice? Please…I would love some responses! Thanks.

  19. Kochanie Says:

    I am a grandfathered case (single) with a LID of Dec. 28th, 2006 and I am waiting in the NSN program. With these new changes by the CCAA do you think this means that I can adopt from the Special Focus Group or the SN list and STILL keep my original LID to still bring home “My baby Olivia”? I figure I still have 5-6 more years to wait…this would truly be fabulous, as I am currently childless and it looks to me that there is hope for me to have not one but TWO children. I really think it is important for children to have playmates. Again, does this mean my current grandfathered case would allow me to be grandfathered by the old rules to adopt twice? My parents adopted 5 out of 7. We are all different backgrounds. Chinese, Korean, Sicilian, Moorish and Nigerian. They (if they were still alive) wouldn’t believe how long we all wait to adopt in order to have a family. Please….I would love some responses to my current brainstorm. Thanks.

  20. Kochanie Says:

    I forgot to give credit to my two sisters natural born to my parents, they are of Welsh/Canadian ancestory.Born 1st then last in the family order….born 15 years apart and on the same day!