Thursday, February 22, 2007

New York Parents Coming Up Against May 1 Deadline

Looming adoption deadline worries parents
Local families who are trying to adopt children from China before a deadline that imposes strict new restrictions are growing increasingly concerned that delays by state and federal agencies processing portions of their applications may jeopardize their adoptions.

Although the state's Office of Children and Family Services and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services have said they would expedite the applications, parents are still worried.

It took Jeanne Rockman of Thiells about five weeks to have her fingerprints cleared. She was notified of the clearance on Wednesday.

"I honestly will not know if I'm making the deadline until my dossier is logged in in China," Rockman, who works as chief compliance officer for a broker-dealer firm in Manhattan, said today, "so it's between USCIS actually getting me my documents to complete that portion of the process, and then everything has to be sent to China."

Beginning May 1, single parents like Rockman no longer will be allowed to adopt children from China. People over the age of 50, people taking antidepressants and obese people also will be affected.

The measures were announced in December, and have sent prospective parents scrambling to complete paperwork before the deadline.


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