According to the U.S. State Department, at least 242,000 foreign born orphans have been adopted by families since 1999. For decades, government in the U.S. and overseas, have struggled to implement ethical, transparent, and steady international adoption laws that protect orphans, birth parents, and the adoptive parents.
On January 14, 2013, the President signed into law the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA). The law, that will take effect on July 14, 2014, will impact all U.S. adoption service providers active in international adoptions.
What the UAA does is require all U.S. adoption providers to be accredited based on the stricter, universal federal standards of the Hague Adoption Convention. The Hague Adoption Convention is an international agreement that established international standards and practices to safeguard intercountry adoptions. The accreditation process aims to ensure ongoing monitoring and oversight of the adoption service providers to ensure their compliance with the Hague standards.
Hopefully, the new law will make it more difficult for child traffickers and baby brokers to stay in business and provide peace of mind to adoptive families, often wary, of the controversial world of international adoptions.