Adoption Advocacy Day on 11/15!

As you may know, the U.S. Department of State has proposed new regulations that may significantly impact international adoption. While National Council For Adoption supports some of the themes these proposed regulations set out to address, the impact of these rules is worrisome to adoptive families and adoption professionals.

That’s why we need your voice on November 15th for a special Adoption Advocacy Day!

What’s it all about?

“If adoptive families had any idea of what was going on, I think they would be outraged … We’re so busy just doing paperwork for adoptions that frankly we barely have time to fight this.” – Lucy Armistead, Adoption Professional

We encourage you to learn more about the proposed regulations! NCFA has highlighted our top concerns about these regulations and The Federalist has published a detailed article examining the concerns of adoptive parents and adoption professionals.

We have an opportunity to provide feedback on these regulations. This week, Congress drafted this letter to the Department of State expressing their concerns. In order for this letter to have maximum impact, we need as many Representatives/Senators to sign it as possible!

During National Adoption Month, help us celebrate adoption by using your voice to create a better future for children living outside of family care. Call your Senators and Representative TODAY and ask them to sign their name to the Congressional letter by Friday, November 18th.

Here’s how to be an awesome adoption advocate

     Step 1. Call your Representative and both Senators. (Yes! All three! Find contact information for your Members of Congress here.)

     Step 2. Ask to speak with the person who handles international adoption issues.

     Step 3. Make it personal! Introduce yourself and your connection to adoption. Educate the staffer about the Department of State’s proposed regulation changes that will impact intercountry adoptions. Staffers juggle dozens of issues every day, so they may not have heard about these regulations. This is your opportunity to inform and educate! (Here is an example of what to say on your phone call.) Remember staff time is limited, so be clear and concise.

     Step 4. Ask their office to sign the congressional letter to Secretary Kerry expressing concerns by Friday, November 18, 2016. They can contact any of the following Congressional offices to sign on:

          House of Representatives:

Office of Rep. Trent Franks (R) Contact Chelsea Patterson: chelsea.patterson@mail.house.gov

Office of Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D) 202-225-5802 Contact: Alex Huang: alex.huang@mail.house.gov

          Senate

Office of Senator Roy Blunt (R) 202-224-5721 Lauren McCormack: lauren_mccormack@blunt.senate.gov

Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) 202-224-3244 Lindsey Kerr: lindsey_kerr@klobuchar.senate.gov

     Step 5. Ask for the staffer’s email address! This way, you can:

  •      Thank them for talking to you. Kindness Counts!
  •      Forward them the letter with written instructions. (See our follow-up email template below!)

Dial the phone first! Then use social media to boost the impact!

The BEST way to make your voice heard is by calling. It’s easy and only takes minutes! Social media posts are largely ineffective and emails or letters can be overlooked in a mountain of messages. Here are tips from former staffer Emily Ellsworth on how to be an effective advocate, and why phone calls are the best method of communication. Social media is a great way to educate your friends and family about this issue. Get the word out by sharing this Adoption Advocacy Day post TODAY. Tell Congress why adoption matters to you!

Sample Follow-Up Email

Dear [name of the international adoption staffer],

Thanks for taking my call today! I hope Representative/Senator XYZ will support this letter to prevent the Department of State’s proposed regulations from negatively impacting adoptive families.

Join Senators Blunt and Klobuchar and Representatives Franks and Lawrence (the Congressional Coalition on Adoption co-chairs) and others in this important effort to support adoptive families.

Please contact any of the following offices by Friday, November 18th to sign on to this important letter.

House of Representatives Office of Rep. Trent Franks (R) Contact Chelsea Patterson: chelsea.patterson@mail.house.gov

Office of Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D) 202-225-5802 Contact: Alex Huang: alex.huang@mail.house.gov

Senate Office of Senator Roy Blunt (R) 202-224-5721 Lauren McCormack: lauren_mccormack@blunt.senate.gov

Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar (D) 202-224-3244 Lindsey Kerr: lindsey_kerr@klobuchar.senate.gov

Thanks for supporting adoption and let me know if you have any questions!