In light of some recent Capitol Hill briefings and discussions highlighting the issue of unregulated child custody transfers or what has been framed in news reports as “rehoming” CWLA joined with several other child welfare and adoption groups to issue a set of comments and recommendations to address the problem.

In addition to CWLA, the organizations included the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.), Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA), Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI), North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) and Voice for Adoption (VFA).  The statement outlines the need for greater protections for adopted children through improved policies to prepare families for adoption and increased and coordinated investments in support services after adoption.

As part of the statement the groups called for a rejection of the use of the term of rehoming which has been associated with pet owners seeking new homes for their animals. Instead the groups indicated the more appropriate term is unregulated child custody transfers.  Reuters news service originally reported on the subject.

The recommendations of the group include a call for states to strengthen their enforcement of current child protection laws and definitions and greater training for reporters of child maltreatment, greater preparation for adoptive families especially those families that adopt internationally and increased federal support for quality post-adoption services.  The recommendations also call for greater research and data on these areas of concern.

The statement concludes by saying, “the issues surrounding this harmful practice are nuanced and multifaceted and in order to keep adopted children safe, this issue deserves a comprehensive approach.”

Read the statement.