There is a heartbreaking story out of Ch*na this week that affects all of the international adoption community, especially Chin*se adoptions. A family had to return to the United States without their legally adopted daughter for awhile because of a CDC regulation in this country. For a look at their story, go to Jay Scruggs Live Journal and read about their devastating good-bye.
This news affects all future adoptions of young children from Ch*na and really hits home since we intend to travel sometime soon to bring home Eli.
Beginning July 1, the CDC required all immigrants coming into this country who test positive for active TB to be on medication until they test negative before they can enter our country. That procedure can delay entrance into our country by several months. That is a good thing in that TB, which is rearing its ugly head world wide, needs to be stopped.
The thing about these new protocols that is BAD is that the CDC does not make allowances for legally internationally adopted children. As I am understanding the experts, children cannot pass on TB as adults do. Children do not have the lung power to expel the deadly germ, and therefore, they are not considered contagious as adults are. The CDC does make allowances for US families who have a biological child who has active TB returning to this country. They can still bring that child home because the child is a citizen of this country. What does that say about how the CDC values the worth of legally adopted children?
In the case of Harper, she has been on TB medicines (three of them) for two and a half months and is considered not to be contagious now. In fact, a lung x-ray taken recently showed a vast improvement in her lungs from a previously taken x-ray. If this was the family's biological child, there would be no question about letting her travel to come home to the US. By the way, Harper is legally a child of this family now in the eyes of Ch*na.
Adoptive children ARE our children, too! Just the same as biological children. They should have the SAME rights as our biological children, especially if children are not contagious at the time of travel.
There is good news in this story as well. There is a petition you can sign to help the CDC realize how unfair these protocols are in respect to our children. Our legally-adopted children should not be classified as immigrants! You can go to http://www.gopetitions.com/petitions/build-families-not-barriers.html to sign your name to this petition.
There is also legislation waiting for passage before our congressmen and women. That legislation is called the FACE Act - Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act. (S.1359.H.R.3110). To learn more about the FACE Act, click on this link.
The FACE Act legislation considers adopted children as citizens of this country upon adoption in their country of birth.
In other words, Philip would have been a citizen of this country when we legally adopted him in Ch*na instead of needing to wait until he set foot in this country. This would have afforded him all of the privileges of being a US citizen at that moment instead of waiting until we landed in this country.
You can contact your representatives to voice support of the Face Act by clicking on http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml and http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.
These websites are so important to the future of our children. I urge everyone to check them out.