The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc

Child Care: Resources

Child Care Aware
Child Care Aware is a non-profit initiative committed to helping parents find the best information on locating quality child care and child care resources in their community. We do this by raising visibility for local child care resource and referral agencies nationwide, and by connecting parents with the local agencies best equipped to serve their needs

Finding Help to Pay for Child Care
Child care assistance is available to eligible families through State agencies that administer Federal grants. Each state determines eligibility requirements for families within their state. A list of state agencies can be found on the National Child Care Information Center web site

Heath & Safety Regulations for Child Care

The National Resource Center for Health and Safety promotes health and safety in out-of-home child care settings throughout the nation. Visit their web site at to learn more about your State's health and safety requirements for child care.

Tax Benefits and Qualifying for Tax Credits
Information on tax credits from the federal government and free tax help is provided below:

Eligibility for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): Employed low-income persons1—those earning less than $29,201/yr with one child or $33,178/yr with more than one child—are eligible for a credit of up to $2,506/yr. and $4,140/yr. respectively. You can get this credit in a lump sum at the end of year by filing form 1040 or 1040A along with "Schedule EIC." You can apply for this credit for up to 3 years back. Another way is to receive this credit throughout the year by increasing your take-home pay—you file form W-5 (EITC Advance Payment Certificate). Ask your employer or call the IRS 800 number for the W-5. Note: You can get an EITC payment even if you owe NO taxes.
Child Tax Credit: You can get a reduction of taxes owed (or a refund if you owe nothing) of up to $600 (depending upon your income) per each dependent child under 17 if you earn more than $10,350 by filing Form 8812 – “Additional Child Tax Credit.”
Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC) allows credit for 20%-30% (depending on income) of a family's child care expenses up to a certain limit. You would file the Form called “Child and Dependent Care Expenses.”

Call IRS's toll free number: 800-829-3676 for information on these three Tax Credit programs and the forms needed to apply for them. You can also visit IRS's website for information: Free help in preparing tax returns is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Site at 1-800-829-1040.

Chat Transcript: Attaching in Adoption: An Online chat with Deborah Gray

Attaching in Adoption:
An online chat with Deborah Gray

Ann Downie: Hello I wanted to say I really love your book, [Attaching in Adoption]. My question: Our 20 month old has been home 6 months. She is very jealous of her 7 year old brother. What do we (including brother) need to do to encourage attachment

Deborah Gray: She is still having trouble like many do because they have a hard time getting used to sharing attention.
Many of these children feel attention is scare because of where they came from.
Look at your little girl in the face, then clearly tell her we love our boy too so be nice to your brother. Please don't her bat at him. When she screams as he gets attention tell her firmly but kindly, "We love you both." Continue to give him attention in front of her but save your biggest reactions for when the two of them are interacting positively.

Robin E.: While in China should both my husband and myself feed her or me since I will stay at home with her.

Deborah Gray: It doesn't matter
Sometimes if the child has been fostered first they will reject the mother. Be prepared for this as it can feel devastating.
But after the intitial shock wears off you'll get your turn
Attachment between your child and you will take time. But you have lots of time. The first few days just concentrate on being as senstitive and soothing for her as much as possible.
Do whatever it takes to calm her down even if your husband does all the feeding.

lesliep29: We're having a lot of problems with our daughter who's 13. She says she wants to get removed from our family. We have regular blowups. How can we help her express her anger in a less damagi
Deborah Gray: This normal at this stage

She's grieving and has not accepted the finality of the loss of her birth parents. Support her grief and let her know that you're very sad with her that she didn't have the opportunity to live and stay with her birth mother. Be sure she understands that this isn't a choice she can make -- She can't reject you and go back to China.
Ask the caseworker who did the placement to visit
describing to your daughter the limitations of her options.
Get the caseworker to help her become reality based
Rather than arguing about it with her -- get the casewroker to come and do this as a post placement cap.
Children who have lived within institutions don't understand anything about the way the world works. They have no understanding of life except inside the instititution.
Many times they think someone is coming and when they finally are placed. They also think someday they will go back.
She needs to work with someone who is not a family member around these issues maybe with the help of an interpretor.
lesliep29: Deborah, thanks. I understand better now. I'll have to work on helping DH to understand it. He's the one who gets the brunt of the anger. Her English is actually very good. How honest she's being with her therapist is another matter.
Deborah Gray: Ask for some family sessions with the family therapist. It seems like she may be "stuck".
Robin E.: How do we help an infant grieve?
Deborah Gray: [9-16 months] These infants have alarms at leaving their care givers. Sooth them and calm them down.
It depends on the individual child with what the grief reaction will be . Children tend to lose their regulation when they lose their caregiver.
Do a lot of soothing and comforting in all areas of their daily life'

Nancy: I adopted my now 18 month old when she was 10 months, how do I know she is attached?
Deborah Gray:

  • Does she reach out for you
  • Does she try to stay close to you
  • Do yher eyes follow you around the room
  • Does she try to show you a toy or an accomplishment
  • Would she rather be with you then others almost all the time

There is a check list in my book "Attaching in Adoption"
At this long in the home you should see she's preferring the parent to others. This is where you should be able to begin to see it

keri: Please describe "high structure" parenting as you refer to it in your book
Deborah Gray: High Structure parenting is informed by knowing that children feel best if their enviroment is consistent highly nurturing and predictible. HSP only gives children the number of choices that they can really handle. As children grow into the ability to handle more choices then the structure is loosened. Initially the structure helps them tremendously in learning how to take advantage of a possitive environment rather than using control
or poor choices to gain attention or to gain priviledges.
The structure insures the positive choices, priviledges and attention.

Deborah Gray: It's been a pleasure to be with you this afternoon but I must leave now . I hope to be back in a few months to see how everyone is doing.

Deborah D. Gray, MSW, MPA author of the 2002 book Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents is a clinical social worker specializing in attachment, grief, and trauma. She enjoys helping children and their parents in situations where deprivation or attachment losses make attachment formation challenging. In her private practice with the Attachment Center Northwest, parents are usually present in the therapy sessions to provide comfort and safety for their children's trauma work, or to work with their children on attachment-related issues. Her philosophy empowers parents with information, offering new skills and techniques to meet the needs of their children.Deborah Gray lives in Washington state with her husband and their three children. Contact her at

General Car Seat Guidelines

General Child Seat Use Information
Buckle Everyone. Children Age 12 and Under in Back!



Age /


Seat Type /

Seat Position

Usage tips
Infants Birth to at least 1 year and at least 20 pounds

Infant-Only Seat/rear-facing or Convertible Seat/used rear-facing.

Seats should be secured to the vehicle by the seat belts or by the LATCH system.

  • Never use in a front seat where an air bag is present.
  • Tightly install child seat in rear seat, facing the rear.
  • Child seat should recline at approximately a 45 degree angle.
  • Harness straps/slots at or below shoulder level (lower set of slots for most convertible child safety seats).
  • Harness straps snug on child; harness clip at armpit level.
Less than 1 year/ 20-35 lbs.

Convertible Seat/used rear-facing (select one recommended for heavier infants).

Seats should be secured to the vehicle by the seat belts or by the LATCH system.

  • Never use in a front seat where an air bag is present.
  • Tightly install child seat in rear seat, facing the rear.
  • Child seat should recline at approximately a 45 degree angle.
  • Harness straps/slots at or below shoulder level (lower set of slots for most convertible child safety seats).
  • Harness straps snug on child; harness clip at armpit level.
1 to 4 years/ at least 20 lbs. to approximately 40 lbs

Convertible Seat/forward-facing or Forward-Facing Only or High Back Booster/Harness.

Seats should be secured to the vehicle by the seat belts or by the LATCH system.

  • Tightly install child seat in rear seat, facing forward.
  • Harness straps/slots at or above child’s shoulders (usually top set of slots for convertible child safety seats).
  • Harness straps snug on child; harness clip at armpit level.
4 to at least 8 years/unless they are 4’9" (57") tall.

Belt-Positioning Booster (no back, base only) or High Back Belt-Positioning Booster.

NEVER use with lap-only belts—belt-positioning boosters are always used with lap AND shoulder belts.

  • Booster base used with adult lap and shoulder belt in rear seat.
  • Shoulder belt should rest snugly across chest, rests on shoulder; and should NEVER be placed under the arm or behind the back.
  • Lap-belt should rest low, across the lap/upper thigh area—not across the stomach.

How can parents bond with a difficult child?

How Can Parents Bond with a "Difficult" Child?

INDIANAPOLIS: Adoptive parenting used to be simpler. Now, many adoptive parents routinely face challenges such as adopting across cultures, adopting children born with HIV or drug addiction, or adopting older children who may be “set in their ways” or who have survived sexual abuse. Along with the "standard" challenges of grief and loss, these issues can interfere with the ability of parents and children to bond in their new families.

Allen is an example of a child with an avoidant attachment to his mother. He was adopted at the age of three, after having spent the first eighteen months with his birthmother and next eighteen months in foster care. His parents agree that Adam liked them better before he thought of them as his parents. Adam, at age five, still seems like a shadow in the family at times. At family birthday parties, he sits a little outside of the circle. He seems to sulk about his outside position, even though it is his choice. He turns away from hugs from his parents, and rarely returns their smiles. When his sisters get hugs, he is jealous. His nostrils flair, his motions get jerky, and he ignores their welcoming comments to come join them. His sister said openly, “Why is Adam always mad? I don’t think that he likes us!” A call to the caseworker resulted in a renewed effort by parents to find ways to show their love to Adam. The effort pays off a little, but Adam seems to have a chip on his shoulder.
“Are all later-placed adoptions like this?” his mother asked. “I can take it if someone will just tell me the truth. I want to be doing everything that I should be doing. Adam is not very happy, but maybe this is as good as it gets.” (Chapter 2)
Now there's a new resource for parents of children who refuse to be parented: Attachment specialist Deborah Gray, M.S.W., M.P.A., has written a highly readable, practical guide for these parents and it's already becoming a classic in the field.
Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents, Gray's new book from adoption publisher Perspectives Press, Inc., sold over 2900 copies even before its May, 2002 official release and has received ringing endorsements and created significant buzz in adoption circles (click here to read advance reviews).
Clearly written and filled to the brim with stories of actual parents coping with actual children, the book helps parents identify the specific issues their children face, and learn strategies for integrating these children into loving families and launching them toward successful adulthood. The chapters on grief and trauma will help any adoptive parent understand the loss a child might feel after being repeatedly separated from caregivers and how that separation first from the birth family, and later perhaps from foster care or from friends made in an orphanage creates a resistance to bonding with the adoptive family. Gray sets out clear, effective strategies for working with these children to see the new family not as a betrayal of their previous emotional connection, but as a warm, supportive, nurturing place to love and be loved.

One experienced adoptive mother worried about her boy’s complete lack of eye contact. The therapist suggested a few things, but the idea that she liked best was the chocolate kiss idea. When her boy approached her, with gaze, they both ate a chocolate kiss. He sucked on his, which only stayed melting on his lips while he looked in his mother’s eyes. His gaze tolerance skyrocketed! He sustained gaze after the exercise concluded. Mother became sweet to him. His brown eyes were chocolate to her. She still sneaks chocolates to him. (Chapter 12)
Attaching in Adoption (ISBN 0-944934-29-3, 392 pages, $24.95 hardcover) is available from your favorite bookstore, or direct from the publisher (which has been publishing the best adoption books for 20 years) at , where you'll also find many other top-quality adoption books.

Perspectives Press, Inc.
For twenty years (1982-2002) THE Infertility and Adoption Publisher
PO Box 90318, Indianapolis, IN 46290-0318 USA *phone (317)872-3055
visit our website at

Adoption Reading Lists


A Selective List of Essential
Decision Making Tools
Designed for:
Just-Thinking-About-It Beginners

by Pat Johnston

This bibliography is not meant to be in any way exhaustive. Instead, it includes resources that will help people ending infertility treatment and considering whether to build a family by adoption to make the most important of decisions about adoption by answering these questions:

1. Should we adopt at all? Can adoption meet our needs? Do we genuinely understand its lifelong impact on everyone it touches?

2. If we adopt, should we adopt a baby or an older child? from this country or from another? What do the ideas of "healthy" and "special needs" really mean to us; what do we honestly expect; and can we be flexible?

3. If we adopt, would we use an adoption agency or adopt without an agency? What do we understand about openness and confidentiality?

4. We've said yes to adoption. How do we find the child meant for us to adopt?


Reading each of the books below will give you a framework and tools for thinking about ending treatment as a separate issue from deciding whether or not to live childfree or build your family by adoption. Though many people will have presented adoption to you as if it is a "next step" after treatment, in much the same way as they might have suggested that Metrodin or Pergonal were "next steps" after clomiphene treatment. But adoption is really a very separate issue from infertility treatment. It needs and deserves its own decision making process.

Adopting after Infertility by Patricia Irwin Johnston (Indianapolis: Perspectives Press, 1992). An extensive three part handbook for couples considering or pursuing adoption. Section one examines infertility and making all kinds of related decisions. Section two explores all of the issues to be decided in adoption--agency or independent, infant or older child, international or domestic, open or confidential-- and includes guidance on choosing professionals and services which meet your needs. Section three explores life after adoption in a manner important for pre-adopters to explore: talking to kids, dealing with the world at large, infertility revisited, etc. This book replaces by updating and vastly expanding the material in Johnston's earlier An Adoptor's Advocate (Perspectives Press, 1984) which is now out of print. This comprehensive decision-making guide also fits in each of the resource categories which follow, but will not be listed there.

Sweet Grapes: How to Stop Being Infertile and Start Living Again by Mike and Jean Carter (Indianapolis: Perspectives Press, 1989, with a revised version coming in the Winter of 1998.) An infertile couple--she an ob/gyn and he an English professor-- describe their method of learning to communicate with one another that ultimately led them to stop treatment and decide to embrace with joy a childfree life-style. Order it through INCIID

Motherhood Deferred by Anne Taylor Fleming (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1994) Journalist and feminist Taylor Fleming explores her delay of childbearing and subsequent long and ultimately fruitless high tech struggle with infertility and her decision not to adopt. A provocative and important view for those considering leaving treatment. Order it today!

The Whole Life Adoption Book by Jayne Schooler (Colorado Springs: Pinon Press, 1993) is, as one reviewer has called it, a pre-adopt course on paper, introducing (though not covering thoroughly) multiple issues of importance. Order it through INCIID from Amazon

To Love a Child: A Complete Guide to Adoption, Foster Parenting, and Other Ways to Share Your Life with Children by Marianne Takas and Edward Warner (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1992. A wonderful exploration of alternative ways to add children to one's own life and make a difference in theirs. The only title to realistically explore fostering, big brothering and other non-permanent nurturing relationships as viable alternatives. Order it from Amazon.

Adoption: The Tapestry Guide by Laurie Wallmark (Ringoes, NJ: Tapestry Books, 1997) An introductory booklet covering the adoption basics. Order it from Amazon.


Having read the books above, if you feel more inclined toward adoption, you will want to learn about the children available for adoption. These books and magazines will introduce you to special issues to be considered in advance before deciding whether or not you would like to adopt a newborn, a toddler, an older child, a child with special needs, a child who matches you ethnically or not.

Adoption Today: Options and Outcomes edited by Cynthia V N Peck (Hackettstown, NJ: Roots&Wings, 1997) A collection of one page stories about and by families who have adopted through every conceivable source and children of all ages and backgrounds which will give you a practical look at how adoption is working and how much it is costing today.

Launching a Baby's Adoption: Practical Strategies for Parents and Professionals by Patricia Irwin Johnston (Indianapolis: Perspectives Press, 1997) a guide to the "expectant" months leading up to and the first year following the placement of a baby under a year of age. Includes preparing self and family, promoting bonding, exploring breastfeeding, and more. Order it today from Amazon.

Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best (Indianapolis: Perspectives Press, 1997) An exploration of what to expect when adopting a child older than one year but younger than school age--a toddler. Advice for preparing one's self and transitioning the child and unique issues of parenting a child who arrives during toddlerhood. Order today.

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents --- A must read for all adoptive parents. Gray, a clinical social worker specializing in attachment, grief and trauma, has penned a comprehensive guidebook for adoptive parents, taking an in-depth look at how children and families adjust. The author notes that many of today's adoptions involve older children who may have been abused or neglected, or who may have spent years in institutions or various foster situations; due to their past experiences these children may have difficulty attaching to their adoptive parents.
Order it today.

Parenting With Love and Logic : Teaching Children Responsibility by Foster W. Cline, Jim Fay Psychiatrist Cline and educator Fay's "Love and Logic" parenting method advocates raising responsible children through practice. "Helicopter" parents hover around their children while "drill sergeant" parents give orders to theirs, they claim. Neither of these styles permits children to learn how to make choices and learn from the consequences. The result is that as early as adolescence these children too often make bad decisions. In the context of a healthy, loving relationship, "Love and Logic" parents teach their children responsibility and the logic of life by solving their own problems, providing skills for coping in the real world. After laying out the principles of "Love and Logic," the authors provide "parenting pearls," which are strategies for applying the method to actual situations such as back-seat battles in the car, homework, and keeping bedrooms clean. The narration, performed by Tim Kenney and Bert Gurule, is clear and energetic. This is an upbeat and sensible approach to child rearing that will be popular in public libraries.?Nann Blaine Hilyard, Fargo P.L., N.D.
Order it today.

A Child's Journey through Placement by Vera I. Fahlberg, M.D. (Indianapolis: Perspectives Press, 1991). Pediatrician and therapist Fahlberg helps both parents and professionals understand how the experience of being moved impacts on children. Provides a clear description of the attachment cycle and how to support attachment in children who have left important early caretakers. Order today.

Self Awareness, Self-Selection, and Success: A Parent Preparation Guidebook for Special Needs Adoption by Wilfred Hamm, T Morton and L Flynn (Washington: NACAC, 1985). A workbookish series of questionnaires and exercises for people considering special needs adoption. Order from AFA.

Helping Children Cope with Separation and Loss (revised edition) by Claudia Jewett Jarratt (Boston: Harvard Common Press, 1994). Another valuable resource for those considering an older child. Order it today.

Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special Needs Kids by Dr. Gregory Keck and Regina Kopecky (Colorado Springs: Pinon Press, 1995) An honest and accessible exploration of the challenges faced by families adopting children with difficult histories by one of the most intriguing educators in the field of attachment issues. Order today.

Inside Transracial Adoption by the staff of Pact (San Francisco: Pact, 1997) A manual of articles and materials compiled to prepare families for adopting across racial lines. Order it today.

Pact Press (see address for Pact: An Adoption Alliance, below) is a magazine dealing with issues of openness and adopting children of color. Published by Pact--An Adoption Alliance, which is a placement service. $32.00 annually.

Are Those Kids Yours? American Families with Children Adopted from Other Countries by Cheri Register (New York: The Free Press, 1991). A thorough, practical, down to earth discussion about the realities of and guide to parenting a child born outside the U.S. Order it today.

The Post, from the Parent Network for the Post Institutionalized Child (PO Box 613, Meadowlands, PA 15347; phone 412-222-1766, email will be particularly valuable for those considering adopting a child who will come from an international orphanage. Institutionalized children have unique issues which must be quickly identified and addressed in order to be successfully managed. Too many agencies and facilitators are unaware of these issues, and that's where PNPIC can help parents and parents-to-be! $20 annually


And how about communicating with a prospective child's birthfamily? Before you can decide to adopt, this is something to think through fairly carefully. Open adoption is becoming more and more common, but do you understand what this really means, or are you only as literate about open and confidential adoption as the last horrific news story about either one?

Open Adoption Birthparent is a newsletter for birthparents and adoptive parents in open adoptions which is edited and published by birthparent Newsletter subscription price (annually): $36.00 Brenda Romanchik. Open Adoption Birthparent, R-squared Press,721 Hawthorne, Royal Oak, MI 48067.(810) 543-0997. Quarterly newsletter edited by Brenda Romanchik, a birthmother in an open adoption. Covers all aspects of birthparenthood in an open adoption situation. Open to adoption professionals and all triad members.

An Open Adoption by Lincoln Caplan (New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giraux, 1990). After extensive fascinating interviews with professionals on both sides of the controversy surrounding open adoption, journalist Caplan attempts to present objectively the intimate details of one particular open adoption in which both birth and adoptive parents allowed him to follow their progress from before the birth through a year following the placement, including a disturbing conclusion. The result is a book which is fascinating, and which neither pro-open or pro-confidential advocates find satisfying, but which certainly goes farther than any other book available to identify and present the elements of the pro/con debate. Order it today

How to Open an Adoption by Patricia Martinez Dorner (Royal Oka, MI: R-Squared Press, 1997.) A guide to opening an adoption that was begun confidentially, written by one of open adoption's pioneers. Order it today.

Adoption without Fear edited by James. L. Gritter (San Antonio: Corona Publishing, 1989). A series of essays written by birth and adoptive parents who participated in open adoptions through the same Michigan agency. Order it today.

The Open Adoption Book: A Guide to Adoption Without Tears by Bruce Rappaport, Ph.D. (New York: MacMillan, 1992) The director of the Independent Adoption Center and founder of the National Federation for Open Adoption Education's guide for consumers. Order it today.

The Open Adoption Experience: A Complete Guide for Adoptive and Birth Families by Sharon Kaplan Roszia and Lois Melina (New York: HarperCollins, 1993). A practical guide to making decisions about openness adoption, living with openness over time, adapting to changing needs and relationships, this resource is unique in that it speaks to birth and adoptive families together. Order it today.

The Adoption Triangle: The Effects of the Sealed Record on Adoptees, Birth Parents and Adoptive Parents by Arthur D.Sorosky, Annette Baran and Reuben Pannor (San Antonio: Corona Publishers, rev 1990). A classic report calling for a revolutionary change to totally open adoption prepared by three long term adoption professionals. Order it today.

Dear Birthmother: Thank you for Our Baby by Kathleen Silber and Phylis Speedlin (San Antonio: Corona, 1982). This is the book that started the discussion of openness in adoption. Startlingly controversial when new just 15 years ago, the form of open adoption it then promoted was the exchange of anonymous letters through an intermediary! Order it today.


(Adopted People, Adoptive Parents and Birthparents)

Understanding how issues in adoption reverberate both positively and negatively in themselves, in their children, in their children's birthparents over a lifetime will help prospective adopters to become better parents to a child they adopt.

Growing Up Adopted: A Portrait of Adolescents and Their Parents by Peter L. Benson, Ph.D, Anu Sharma Ph.D. and Eugene C. Roehlkepartain (Minneapolis: The Search Institute, 1994) A large and significantly more inclusive than usual study of children and families joined by adoption between 1975 and 1980, this study challenges many of the assumptions of earlier less representative studies composed of those in a mental health setting or uncontrolled self volunteers.

Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self by David M. Brodzinsky and Marshall Schechter and Robin Marantz Henig. (New York: Doubleday, 1992). Integrating both psychological and educational theory, the authors offer a model of normal development in adoptees. Order it today.

Searching for a Past: The Adopted Adult's Unique Process of Finding Identity by Jayne Schooler (Colorado Springs, CO: 1995: Pinon Press) How and why adoptees look at the process of searching for their birthfamilies, how they process these experiences, and the impact of search on themselves and their relationships. Order it today.

Giving Away Simone by Jan Waldron (New York: Times Books, 1995) The beautifully written, tortured account of a birtmother's attempts to resolve grief, shame and self-loathing she associated with being a birthparent to a biracial daughter in an identified but for many years non-communicative adoption, Waldron's book explores the struggle of birthmother and adolescent daughter to figure out their relationship with one another. Order it today.

Birthmothers: Women Who Have Relinquished Babies for Adoption Tell Their Stories by Merry Bloch Jones (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 1993) A carefully explored collection of interviews with birthmothers, this book looks for commonalities of experience and is honest without being angry or hopeless. Order it today.

Shattered Dreams--Lonely Choices: Birthparents of Babies with Disabilities Talk about Adoption by Joanne Finnegan (Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1993). This unique resource of guidance and support for birthfamilies who find themselves needing to consider alternatives (parenting, abortion, adoption) for a baby born with disabilities they feel unprepared to deal with shares the stories of several couples. Offers clear guidance for medical and mental health professionals serving such couples and will help prospective adoptive parents understand the dilemmas of such birthparents. Order it today.

Out of the Shadows: Birthfathers' Stories by Mary Martin Mason. (Edina, MN: O.J. Howard Publishing, 1995) A collection of stories about the experiences of birthfathers. Order it today.

The Adoption Life Cycle: The Children and their Families through the Years by Elinor B. Rosenberg (New York: The Free Press, 1992). Psychiatry professor and adoptive parent Rosenberg presents a view of the challenges of successfully integrating adoption and the changes it continuously brings into the lives of those whom it touches--adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents. Order it today.

Perspectives on a Grafted Tree: Thoughts for Those Touched by Adoption edited by Patricia Irwin Johnston (Indianapolis: Perspectives Press, 1983). A collection of poems written by birthparents, adoptive parents, adoptees, and professionals in the field in an effort to demonstrate the gain and loss, happiness and pain that are part of the adoption experience for all involved. Order it now.


You've considered it all--infant/older, domestic/international, relative health, agency/independent, open/confidential, and you're ready to pursue adoption. These materials will streamline your search for a child.

There Are Babies to Adopt (revised) by Christine Adamec (Kensington Publications, 1996). An exploration of various options in and routes to adopting an infant. Order it today.

The Adoption Resource Book by Lois Gilman (New York: HarperCollins, rev. 1995). This is the most authoritative adoption how-to available and has been updated several times. Journalist and adoptive parent Gilman carefully explores all types and styles of adoption and provides excellent resources for pursuing specific strategies. Order it today.

Adopting in America: How to Adopt Within One Year by Randall B. Hicks (Los Angeles: Wordslinger Press, 1995.) An adoption attorney's guide to successful independent adoption.
Order it today.

Adopt International by Robin Sweet and Patty Bryan (New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 1996.) A step by step guide to international adoption, from picking an agency to travel arrangements and advice. Order it today.

Winning at Adoption by Sharon Kaplan Roszia (Studio City, CA: The Family Network, 1991). A multimedia approach to making decisions about adoption style, this well put together package includes videotapes, audiotapes and workbooks.

Bringing Family and Friends on Board

Your family is several steps behind you in embracing adoption! The booklets below, and subscriptions to an appropriate period will help prospective grandparents, aunts and uncles learn what they need to know to share your enthusiasm and joy about adoption!

When Friends Ask about Adoption: Question and Answer Guide for Non-Adoptive Parents and Other Caring Adults by Linda Bothun (Chevy Chase, MD: Swan Publications, 1987). A booklet designed to be given to those whose lives may touch our families. Order it today.

Supporting an Adoption by Patricia Holmes (Wayne, PA: Our Child Press, 1984). A booklet for families, teachers, clergy, doctors, and others who may come in contact with adoption-built families. (Order from publisher at 800 Maple Glen Lane, Wayne, PA 19087 for $6.00 postpaid.)

Additional National/International Circulation Magazines and Newsletters for Parents and Clinical Professionals

Adoptalk is the newsletter of North American Council on Adoptable Children (address below).

Adopted Child (P.O. Box 9362, Moscow ID 83843) is a monthly four page newsletter which is written and published by journalist/author/trainer and adoptive parent Lois Melina, who features a single topic covered in depth in each of six annual issues.( $25 annually

Adoption/Medical News is a ten times a year 4 page newsletter offering adoption-related medical information to parents and adoption professionals concerning children with special needs, children adopted internationally, etc. The editor is a pediatrician and the adoptive parent of four children. (1921 Ohio St NE, Palm Bay FL 32907). $36 annually.

Many local and regional adoption support groups publish excellent newsletters, such as FACE Facts from Families Adopting Children from Everywhere in Maryland, News from FAIR from Families Adopting in Response in California and many more!

National Organizations Offering Information and Support to Adoptive Families and Prospective Adopters

American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, P.O. Box 33053, Washington DC 20033-0053. A national association of attorneys who handle adoption cases or otherwise have distinguished themselves in the field of adoption law. Membership is by invitation only and based upon demonstrated in and experience with adoption law. The group's work includes promoting the reform of adoption laws and disseminating information on ethical adoption practices. The Academy publishes a newsletter and holds annual meetings and continuing education seminars for attorneys. Families adopting independently should ask whether the attorney they are using is an AAAA member, and if not, why not!

National Council for Adoption, 1930 17th St NW, Washington DC 20009. Phone 202-328-1200. An advocacy organization promoting adoption as a positive family building option. Primarily supported by member agencies, it does also encourage individual memberships ($50 annually) from those families who share its conservative stance on open-records/confidentiality and its wary view of independent and open placements. If you have decided to pursue a traditional, confidential, agency adoption, call NCFA for a referral to a member agency.

North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), 970 Raymond Ave. #106, St Paul, MN 55114-1149. Phone 612-644-3036. An advocacy and education resource concerning waiting children, NACAC publishes the periodic newsletter Adoptalk, which reviews new books and tapes, and sponsors each August an enormous, well respected conference on special needs adoption for professionals and parent advocates. This conference rotates through five geographic areas. If you are considering a special needs adoption, call NACAC first for information about local and national resources, parent groups, and adoption exchanges. Membership $30 annually.

Pact: An Adoption Alliance, ( 3450 Sacramento St Ste 239, San Francisco CA 94118. Phone 415-221-6957. Pact is an unusual animal. Focusing on issues related to the adoption and parenting of children of color, Pact does workshops, publishes the magazine Pact press, offers a comprehensive bookstore on issues related to adoption, race, parenting. Though it does facilitate domestic open adoption placements of children of color, Pact is not an adoption agency. Membership (benefits of which include discounts on bookstore purchases and workshops but which is not tied in any way to separately available adoption facilitation services) is $32.00 annually.

Miscellaneous Resources of Value That Just Don't Fit Elsewhere

Designing Rituals of Adoption for the Religious and Secular Community by Mary Martin Mason (Minneapolis: RAP, 1995) A unique and valuable guidebook to planning entrustment or arrival ceremonies and other rituals of placement.

Adoption Subsidy: A Guide for Adoptive Parents by Tim O'Hanlon, Ph.D. (Columbus, Ohio: New Roots, an Adoptive Families Support Group, 1995) A guidebook to the process of finding, getting, and keeping the financial assistance children with special needs are entitled to receive.

Some Questions and Answers About Finding a Legitimate Agency or Attorney:

Q: How do I find and check out the legitimacy of an adoption service provider before signing up?

A: There are many ways to check out AGENCIES, ATTORNEYS and FACILITATORS (who are each completely different kinds of service providers) through reputable and experienced consumer-protection channels:

  • Contact LOCAL TO YOU and LOCAL TO THE PROVIDER adoptive parent groups about members who have used the services you are considering and then follow up with those referrals.
  • Also contact NATIONAL adoptive parent groups (see referrals elsewhere in this R&R list) when working with a provider outside your own state.
  • Contact the state attorney general's consumer protection division (both in your state and in the state in which the provider is located) about possible complaints on file.
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau in the city in which the provider is located about any complaints on file
  • Contact your state's family and children's services department's agency licensing division about the licensing status of those claiming to be AGENCIES (not all who "seem to be" ARE licensed agencies!)
  • For a referral to an experienced, reputable ATTORNEY contact the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

Q: Why not just ask on the adoption support boards on INCIID and other internet sites instead?

A: Because while these are wonderful places for general support, you need to remember that you are asking mostly individuals who are posting anonymously (and thus could be ANYBODY) and most of whom are total strangers to you.. At INCIID we work VERY hard to keep these boards "clean" of trollers looking for business rather than looking to offer support, but its hard to do that in an anonymous internet environment.

Why Your Foreign Born Child Needs Proof of Citizenship


By C.J. Lyford, Esq.*

As a result of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA), many foreign born children by adoption who reside in the U.S. have or will become U.S. citizens under the CCA either when they enter the U.S. or when they are readopted or their adoption finalized in the U.S.1


The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) provides for the “automatic” acquisition, that is acquisition as a matter of law, of U.S. citizenship to many foreign born children (adopted and not adopted) of U.S. citizens, provided that the following qualifications are met:  1) at least one parent of the child is a U.S. Citizen (USC), 2) the child is under the age of eighteen years when he or she enters the U.S.; or was under the age of 18 at the time of the effective date of the CCA (that is, February 27, 2001)2, 3) the child is residing in the U.S. in the legal and physical custody of the USC parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence1a, and; 4) if adopted, the adoption must be “final”, under the laws of the foreign country and U.S. immigration.


Basically, if the adoption abroad was final under the laws of the foreign country and U.S. immigration, your child will be issued an “IR3” classified immigration visa (“Immediate Relative -- Orphan Adopted Abroad by USC.”) to immigrate to the U.S.

However, if the adoption was not completed abroad or considered “final”, either by the country abroad, or by U.S. immigration (because the child was not visited by the sole or both parents before or during the adoption abroad),  the child will enter the U.S. on an “IR4” classified visa.2b (“Immediate Relative – Orphan to be Adopted in the U.S. by a USC.”). If so, additional action will have to be taken for the child to become a USC.

If they otherwise qualify under the CCA, most children who immigrate on an “IR3” visa automatically become USC’s when they enter the U.S. (but see notes 1a and 2).  If they immigrated or will immigrate on an “IR4” visa, they will not become U.S. citizens until the adoption is finalized or readopted, as applicable, in a U.S. State court.


As of April 1, 2008, the U.S. Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA) and regulations issued as a result of the Hague Convention govern adoptions between the U.S. and other “Convention Countries” such as China, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Philippines and Thailand.3, 3a  Amongst many things, adoptions under the Hague Convention will involve additional U.S. visa classifications, the “IH3”, for adoptions that are final abroad and “IH4” for adoptions that will be completed in the U.S.  Those that enter on an “IH4” visa, will not be USC’s until the adoption is finalized in the U.S.

Of special note is that the requirement that the sole or both parents visit the child before or during the adoption abroad has been eliminated under the Hague Convention.   Therefore, as long as the adoption is final abroad, an “IH3” visa should be issued.   

4. Will your child automatically receive any official documentation of his or HER U.S. citizenship?

It depends.  Basically, since January 2004, children who enter the United States on an “IR3”, or now on an “IH3” visa as a result of the Hague Convention, and who otherwise qualify under the CCA, will receive a Certificate of Citizenship (COC) from the CIS in the mail.3e  However if your child entered the United States before January 2004, or entered or will enter on an “IR4” or an “IH4” visa, he or she will not receive a COC and will have to apply for one from the USCIS when the qualifications are met.

5.  Do you have to obtain A COC or Usp TO PROVE U.S. citizenship for your child?

No.   You are not required to get an official document that proves your child’s citizenship.  Once the qualifications are met, your child becomes a USC without any further action on your part, and is entitled to all the benefits of being a USC whether or not you ever obtain a document that proves U.S. citizenship.

6.  SHOULD YOU obtain documentary proof of your child’s U.S. citizenship?

Yes and I strongly recommend it.  Here are some reasons why you should do this.

  • Having a right or entitlement to something is only half the battle.  The other half is to be able to prove the entitlement when necessary or if it is challenged. When an individual is not born in the U.S., the question of whether the individual is a USC will inevitably, and sometimes repeatedly, be raised at some point. Even if your child has become a USC under the CCA as a matter of law, and would ultimately prevail on this issue if it were challenged, you or your child will still be faced with the problem of having to convince others that he or she is a USC.  Having clear and tangible evidence immediately on hand will save you and/or your child from having to produce numerous documents, and probably having to re-explain the CCA, every time it is necessary to prove citizenship.
  • More and more situations are requiring that a person be able to supply a document proving that he or she is a USC or is in the U.S. in lawful status. For example, Social Security Offices require proof of U.S. citizenship before they will classify your child as a USC in their system.4 Proof of U.S. citizenship is now required or being proposed as a requirement in other contexts, for example, to show eligibility for Medicaid, eligibility to vote, etc.  Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful immigration status is required to comply with employment eligibility verification, and in some states, to obtain a state driver’s license.   
  • For adult foreign born individuals who become USC’s through naturalization, the Certificate of Naturalization is issued to them as documentation of citizenship.  Your child should have similar documentation.
  • Once you have obtained the proof of citizenship, there will be no doubt that your child has met all of the requirements under the CCA and indeed is a USC.
  • Remember, that the point of getting this evidence is to protect your child and to make your child’s life easier.

7. Why can’t YOU use your child’s U.S. State-issued birth

certificate To prove u.s. citizenship?

Your child was not born in the U.S. Only the birth certificate of an individual born in the U.S. or in certain territories can serve as proof of U.S. citizenship for that individual.

8.  How do you get proof that your child is a citizen?

You have two choices:

  • Obtain a COC by filing the N-600 Application and/or
  • Obtain a U.S. Passport (USP).

9. Which type of proof of citizenship should you obtain?

Under U.S. law, U.S. citizenship can be proven through a COC or a USP.4a  However, I recommend that you get both.  The COC is advantageous because it is universally recognized, only one-page long and does not need to be renewed.  It is very similar to the one page Certificate of Naturalization that is used by a naturalized USC to prove U.S. citizenship. Unfortunately the USCIS response time for issuing a COC after the application has been submitted has been very slow.   The Passport can usually be obtained fairly quickly and will be necessary if you travel outside of the United States with your child. (See comment below.) If at all possible, start the process for both. You can then wait for the CIS to provide the COC.

10.  How do you obtain a COC?

You can obtain the COC by submitting the Form N-600 Application to the USCIS District Office with jurisdiction over your residence in the U.S.  Information and the form can be obtained through the USCIS website.

11.  What is the cost for a COC?

The fee for the N-600 (and the N-600K) Application on behalf of an adopted child is $420.  ($460 is the fee for a foreign born biological child.)

12.  What documents do you have to submit with the N-600 Application?

  • A copy of the adoption decree issued from the state court where you finalize the adoption, the filing fee and the required two photographs.
  • If you change your child’s name as part of the U.S. state adoption finalization, state the new name in Part 1 A of the Application and indicate that the name was changed pursuant to the adoption decree.
  • Most of the USCIS publications state that you do not need to submit documents that it already has in its file, such as your child’s foreign birth certificate, etc., unless requested specifically by the USCIS.
  • You only need to submit copies of the documents.  Do not submit originals unless you are specifically asked to.
  • The fee should be paid by certified check or money order.  You should send the submission through a delivery service that can be tracked, for example, Federal Express.

13. What is needed to obtain a U.S. Passport?

    A certified copy of the foreign country adoption decree, along with a certified English translation if not in English, and/or a U.S. state-issued adoption decree.
    Evidence that your child entered the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident.  This can be shown through producing either the child's lawful permanent resident alien card or the child’s foreign country passport with the I-551 stamp indicating the immigration visa classification, for example, “IR4”.
    Your child’s COC if your child has one.

  • Proof of the requesting parent’s identification, for example, a driver’s license.
  • Evidence of U.S. citizenship of at least one of the parents, for example: a birth certificate showing birth in the U.S., a U.S. Passport, a Certificate of Naturalization, if a naturalized USC or a COC.
  • You should also bring a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate, along with the certified translation if it is not in English, to confirm your child’s age.
  • You may be required to submit original or certified copies of various documents that will not returned until after the Passport is processed.
  • Your child must appear in person when you are applying for the passport.7a

14.  Is a COC required before you can obtain a USP for your child?

You should not have to obtain a COC before you can obtain a USP and the current information sheet from the Department of State website regarding the CCA is in accord. However the Department of State website regarding what documents are required to obtain a USP indicates otherwise.  Because of this conflict, some offices are requiring a COC before they accept the USP application. If unsuccessful, you should try another designated office that accepts Passport applications.  Some are more knowledgeable than others.

15. does your child need a USP to travel outside of the United States ONCE HE OR SHE BECOMES A usC?

Yes.  Once your child becomes a USC he or she should enter and leave the U.S. on a USP.

16. FINALLY, Make sure that your child understands that he or she is a USC and what this means.

You should tell your child that while he or she was born outside of the U.S., he or she is a USC under U.S. law. Explain what it means to be a citizen. I am surprised at the number of teenage adoptees who either do not know or understand this.  You should also mention that sometimes U.S. citizenship may be questioned.  Show the COC and/or USP to your child so that he or she knows that you have proof of citizenship should the need arise.  Do not forget to tell your child or a responsible adult where the documents are kept.

Please note that these are general comments and are not intended to be comprehensive.  They are not legal advice nor should they be relied upon as legal advice.  They are based on various publications and information that were found on the USCIS and DOS websites and related sources6, and my experience.

If you have any questions about the CCA, other issues involving adoption, or general immigration questions, feel free to contact me. I am an attorney with a private practice in the areas of immigration/citizenship law and adoption of foreign-born children adopted abroad or domestically, as well as the mother of a 14 year-old child adopted from China in 1994. I provide legal services and consultations to parents and agencies throughout the United States and abroad to address U.S. immigration problems (NOID’s or I-600 denials), as well as handle general immigration matters.  I also handle domestic adoptions, relative adoptions, stepparent adoptions, second parent adoptions, adoption finalizations and readoptions in Pennsylvania.

C.J. Lyford, Esquire

215-836-4628 (telephone)

215-836-4629 (fax)

*Member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  


1. Public Law No. 106-395. See also Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) sections 320, 322 and 341.

2. Unfortunately, the CCA does not apply if the child was 18 or older on February 21, 2001 or if the child entered or will enter the U.S. after turning 18 years of age.  In this situation, the child will have to acquire U.S. citizenship through the N-400 naturalization process.  Until your child becomes a USC, he or she may be subject to adverse CIS action if involved in criminal or certain other activities.  An immigration attorney should also be contacted before the application for naturalization is filed to evaluate any potential risks from this action.

1a. If you and your child are not permanently residing in the U.S., your child is still entitled to become a USC however you will need to apply for citizenship, using the Form N-600K.  See also INA section 322.  Citizenship will not be acquired until the date that the COC application is granted.

2a. You can determine what classification of visa your child was issued by looking at the I-551 visa stamp in your child’s foreign country passport.

2b. The first IR4 situation arises because there has been no adoption proceeding abroad, when the adoption is not completed abroad and/or the adoption is not considered final by the foreign country. This is often seen in adoptions of children from India or Korea in which only a guardianship or custodial relationship is established between the child and parent(s) or the child and the agency.  Adoptions from Thailand are also not usually final in Thailand.  In this situation, an adoption must take place in the U.S. according to the law of the applicable U.S. state court where the parents, or sole parent, as applicable, reside, or where the court otherwise has jurisdiction.   This is frequently referred to as an adoption “finalization”.  Once the adoption is “finalized”, the child automatically becomes a USC as of that date.

The second IR4 situation is when both parents, or the sole parent, as applicable, did not see the child before or during the adoption abroad, even if the foreign adoption was considered final under the law of the foreign country where the adoption took place. This is sometimes referred to as a proxy adoption   In order for the adoption to be final for purposes of citizenship, the CIS has generally required a readoption of the child in a U.S. state court. The readoption requirement may be waived if evidence is provided to the USCIS that the applicable state  “recognizes” the foreign adoption as full and final under that state's adoption laws. Most professionals still recommend a readoption in this IR4 situation rather than risk uncertainty regarding a child’s citizenship, and I agree. However, should you decide not to readopt because your state recognizes foreign adoptions as valid under its law, do not assume that your child is a citizen.  Make sure that you take the next step and obtain a COC to confirm that the USCIS has accepted the proof of state recognition that you have submitted and has waived the readoption requirement.  Otherwise, and not until then, will you be certain that your child has acquired U.S. citizenship.

3. The Hague convention will cover adoptions after April 1, 2008, unless it falls within the transition guidelines, for example, the I-600A was filed before April 1, 2008.

Please refer to the CIS and Department of State websites re the Hague Convention. (See, for example, the CIS website at:; and DOS website at:,

3a. Examples of countries that are not Hague Countries are Ethiopia, Haiti, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Russia, Taiwan and Ukraine.  See the above Department of State website for a complete list.

3e. The COC will be issued in the name on your child’s visa.  If your child’s name is changed through readoption, etc., a replacement COC can be obtained through the N-565 form at the CIS website.  The cost is $360.

4. After you get the COC or USP go back to the Social Security Office with the proof of citizenship to be sure that the Social Security records accurately reflect that your child is a USC.

4a. 22 U.S.C.A. sec. 2705.  However, even if under U.S. law, both documents are proof of U.S. citizenship, this does not mean that either has to or will be accepted as such, particularly abroad.   For example, I have received occasional reports from families that a U.S. Passport was not accepted abroad by foreign country consulates in various situations because of the potential of document fraud. While this should not occur, it further supports the recommendation that both documents be obtained and carried abroad.

6. Unfortunately, the USCIS and Department of State websites have repeatedly and frequently been revised so that referencing back to certain explanatory documents that were previously available on line in the past is difficult and sometimes impossible. 

The Heart of a Child is a Scroll

The Heart of a Child
Unknown Author

The heart of a child is a scroll,

A page that is lovely and white;

And to it as fleeting years roll,

Come hands with a story to write.

Be ever so careful, O hand,

Write thou with a sanctified pen;

Thy story shall live in the land

For years, in the doings of men.

It shall echo in circles of light,

Or lead to the death of a soul.

Give here but a message right,

For the heart of a child is a scroll.

Things the Mothers of Chinese Adoptees Should Know

The trafficking mentality of some Chinese welfare institutions speaks volumes about the objectifying of children. Although this isn't a happy topic, adoptive parents of children from China need to know about these issues. There will come a time when small children grow up and access to the Internet brings them in direct contact with child trafficking stories. There are things the mothers of Chinese Adoptees should know before this happens.

May 10, 2011: According to Global Times reporter Liu Linln, over the last 10 years at least 20 children born outside of their parents' birth quota in Longhui county (population 1 million)  have been seized  by "family-planning enforcers" (FPE). The FPE literally take these children from families and send them to "welfare centers" (otherwise known as orphanages) then list them as orphans placing a $3000 price tag on their heads so the government run orphanages can then place them with US and other international adoptive families. Some of the families report that the child taken was actually their first child. The child was taken while the husband and wife were at work. Yang Libing, a migrant worker, told the magazine, that their 7-year-old child has been found living in the US. Read the entire article here.

This isn't the first (or the last) we will hear about this immoral and illegal endeavor. In 2005, a number of officials in welfare centers in Hengyang and Hunan, were exposed for participation in human trafficking. In 2009  the Southern Metropolis Daily reported similar cases in Zhenyuan county, Guizhou where "welfare centers" bought children for 3000 yuan and then selling them to foreign adopters for $3000. 3000 Yuan is approximately $460 US dollars.

The trafficking mentality of these welfare institutions speaks volumes about the objectifying of children. Care in Chinese orphanages is neglectful at best and many continue to traumatize children through beatings, tying them to potty chairs, starvation, and worse. China has one of the worst records for human rights. Children with this kind of history are at serious risk for developmental trauma disorder and more. This is a real dilemma for adoptive families. Many families I have met do not want to hear about or address this topic. Many families are in denial that this could even happen to them or that it might happen to other people but "not to me".. There continues to be such a myth surrounding Chinese Adoptions. Many couple romanticize them by telling stories about the "Red Thread Myth". The cold hard facts are hard to hear but speak volumes about next steps to healing our children from China.