Resolutions

Resolutions of the Academy

From time to time, the Academy and/or its Board of Trustees adopts, for publication resolutions, which are official positions of the Academy.

Resolution Regarding Non-Discrimination

(April 25, 2015)

Joint Resolution of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys on the Protection and Security of Children through Equality in Adoption, Foster Care, and Assisted Reproductive Technology

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys is a national organization dedicated to enhancing and improving the practice of adoption law and securing the best interests of children in foster care; and

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys is a specialty division of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, dedicated to the advancement of best legal practices in the area of assisted reproductive technology law in the United States and internationally, and dedicated to the protection of the interests of all parties, including the children, involved in assisted reproductive technology matters; and

WHEREAS, the missions of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (together “the Academy”) include advancing the security of children through permanent adoption when possible, the protection of children through safe and secure foster care with appropriate permanency planning, and the recognition of intended parents as legal parents for those using modern medical technology to build families through assisted reproductive technology; and

WHEREAS, the Academy recognizes and acknowledges that its members have diverse personal opinions and beliefs, and the Academy respects the diversity of its members and does not condition membership on any particular personal belief system, and supports its members' independence in the practice of law; and

WHEREAS, the missions of the Academy are best achieved when all parents and prospective parents are treated equally, when all children have the right to be placed into and/or to grow up in loving homes, where sex, sexual orientation, race, color, age, religion, national origin, marital status, political belief, or physical handicap are not factors in determining an individual’s qualifications to parent, and the people acting in loco parentis to children are, in fact, recognized as the legal parents.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys support the protection and security of children by affirming the right of individuals and couples: to adopt children, to serve as foster parents, and to become legal parents of children born through the use of assisted reproductive technology, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, race, color, age, religion, national origin, political belief, or disability.

Resolution Regarding Intercountry Adoptions

(Unanimously Endorsed by AAAA Membership on May 3, 2008)

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys is a national organization dedicated to enhancing and improving the practice of adoption law; and

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys has long played leadership or supporting roles in the development of laws, policies, and practices designed to protect children’s interests, both within the United States and throughout the world; and

WHEREAS, there are many children throughout the world that are currently unparented and as such, in need of safe homes, nurturing parents, love, care and permanency; and

WHEREAS, international adoption should be part of a comprehensive strategy to address the problems of unparented children; it is consistent with other positive social responses to the problems of unparented children; and it generally serves the best interests of children; and

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys is in a position to play an important role in leading and supporting efforts to promote international adoption as a means for children to receive a nurturing home as early in life as possible and to take action to promote laws and policies which will better serve children’s best interests

THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED, that the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys endorses the following Policy Statement on International Adoption:

Policy Statement

  • International Adoption should be an integral part of a comprehensive strategy to address the problems of unparented children, including the development of better temporary care for children pending permanent placement, and the development of in-country adoption and other truly permanent nurturing placement options, and to provide social services to parents so that they can keep and nurture their children.
  • International Adoption is consistent with other positive social responses to the problems of unparented children, bringing new resources into poor countries to support such efforts, and developing new awareness of and concern for the plight of poor children and poor communities worldwide.
  • Adoption, whether domestic or international, generally serves children’s interests better than any form of state-sponsored care, whether that be foster care or institutionalization, although there will always be exceptions to this general rule, including for example situations in which placement of a child in a permanent, nurturing kinship foster care situation will be preferable for that specific child to adoption.
  • Children whose original parents cannot provide permanent nurturing care should generally be placed as soon as possible in a permanent adoptive home, whether domestic or international.
  • Efforts should be made to identify in a timely way all unparented children and to promptly free for adoption all children who cannot or should not be reunited with their birth parents in the near future, and for whom there is no other preferable permanent parenting solution immediately available.
  • Children free for adoption should be placed as soon as possible in appropriately screened adoptive homes, whether domestic or international: no children should be held whether in foster care or institutions for any period of time for the purpose of placing them incountry; any in-country preference should be implemented through a concurrent planning strategy, planning simultaneously for both domestic and international adoption, and preferring domestic adoption only if it will involve no delay in placement for the child.
  • International Adoption should not be made more difficult for parents to accomplish than domestic adoption; given the inherent difficulties posed by adopting in a different country, efforts should be made to coordinate the adoption systems and related laws and policies of sending countries to reduce these inherent difficulties and make the international adoption process more comparable to the domestic process from the viewpoint of adoptive parents.
  • Adoption abuses, such as kidnapping and baby selling (defined as payments to birth parents designed to induce them to surrender their child and their parenting rights), should be dealt with by enforcing the laws prohibiting such practices, and where needed developing new laws and policies to discourage such practices, without unduly restricting the placement of unparented children in domestic or international adoption, and without unduly limiting the private agencies and other adoption intermediaries that facilitate such adoption.


FURTHER RESOLVED, that the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys take action, consistent with its By-laws, to promote the reform of laws and policies governing International Adoption consistent with this Policy Statement, both within the United States and throughout the world.

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the American Academy of Adoption Attorney, consistent with its By-laws, encourages Congress, agencies of the United States with responsibilities for International Adoption such as the State Department and the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, non-profit and non-governmental organizations concerned with children’s issues and with international law issues, other associations, and private citizens, to take action to promote the reform of laws and policies governing international adoption consistent with this Policy Statement, both within the United States and throughout the world.

Resolution Regarding Interjurisdictional Adoptions (ICPC)

(September 20, 2003)

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys is a national organization dedicated to enhancing and improving the practice of adoption law throughout the United States and Canada; and

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys recognizes the importance of expediting ICPC approvals by providing more certainty to the process, to the benefit of all concerned; and

WHEREAS, prospective adoptive parents have faced recurring problems in interstate adoptions across the country because of inconsistencies among state laws dealing with the termination of parental rights. These inconsistencies are both procedural and substantive. Uncertainty exists as to which law should apply in an interstate adoption, often leaving prospective adoptive parents and the child they plan to adopt trapped in a sending state for weeks while ICPC administrators, lawyers and judges sort out the legal issues; and

WHEREAS, recognizing that legal inconsistencies will continue to exist because uniformity in state adoption law is not likely to be achieved, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys proposes that state ICPC administrators (acting through the AAICPC) adopt a policy that will lend predictability to the choice of which law to apply when state laws on termination differ; and

WHEREAS, a uniform choice of law policy not only will help protect the constitutionally recognized right to travel interstate for the purposes of adoption, it will serve the best interests of children by expediting the ability of prospective adoptive parents to return home with their children to be with family and friends, as opposed to beginning their crucial bonding experiences in temporary lodging in foreign jurisdictions.

THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED that the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys supports an AAICPC and national policy calling for the acceptance by ICPC administrators in the sending state of evidence of compliance with the receiving state's laws and determinations governing the termination of parental rights, or vice versa, depending upon which state's adoption law will control the finalization of the adoption. State laws which ultimately will not govern an adoption should not be superimposed in a placement to be finalized in another state.

Resolution Regarding Facilitators and Expenses in Adoptions

(February 16, 2001)

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys is a national organization dedicated to enhancing and improving the practice of adoption law; and

WHEREAS, the laws of the various jurisdictions differ with respect to how
and whether they regulate different aspects of facilitation of adoptions; and

WHEREAS, adoption intermediaries, including facilitators, who do not
comply with the applicable laws of all jurisdictions involved in an adoption run a serious risk of causing emotional and financial harm to prospective adoptive parents and birth parents, as well as damaging the sanctity of and public confidence in adoptions in general; and

THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED that when a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys is involved in a case, the member shall use his or her best efforts to cause compliance with, the laws of all jurisdictions applicable to the case, including laws relating to facilitation of adoptions and payment of adoption-related expenses; and

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys shall support and advance laws which require licensing and regulation of all those who facilitate adoptions or provide other adoption related services; and

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys shall continue to work:

1) to increase public awareness of the benefits and protections of working with experienced, licensed adoption professionals;

2) to promote education and training for adoption professionals; and

3) to promote adherence to the highest ethical standards and accountability by adoption professionals.

Counseling Resolution

(April 27, 1996)

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys is a national organization dedicated to enhancing and improving the practice of adoption law throughout the United States and Canada;

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys recognizes the importance of birth parents receiving appropriate adoption counseling and legal advice, both before and after the birth of their children; and

WHEREAS, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys further recognizes that many birth parents do not take advantage of counseling;

IT IS RESOLVED that, whenever possible, members of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys shall endeavor to help birth parents understand the importance of, and receive, adoption counseling.