From the trenches of JCICS

PoundPupLegacy today found the doors to the Joint Council on International Children’s Services’ membership area wide open.

For those who don’t know, JCICS is the umbrella organisation of the US adoption agencies and other members of the adoption industry. With the downgoing number of intercountry adoptions, it is a trade organisation that is fighting for its life. More on that you can find in its 2009 Stakeholders document.

There is a lot of interesting details in their Board Meeting minutes, although the larger part is about fundraising, diminishing staff etc.

Here some parts I found especially interesting:

JCICS Board Meeting 14 March 2007:


The book “Romania for Export Only: The Untold Story of Romania is making its way around Europe and is cause for concern.

L. Wetterberg

Funny, because I launched my book only on the 25th of February 2007 and up to 14 March only friends, colleagues and relatives had bought the book. On the 14th March, however, the book was ordered by both Francois de Combret and Linda Robak – two of the main characters of the book.  But by now Ms. Wetterberg has been proven to be right: the book made its way in Europe and not only there, but also outside Europe, in fact worldwide

Ms. Wetterberg, owner of the defunct agency Uniting Families charged up to 40.000 US dollars for a Romanian child. And yes, that’s also in the book.

Then this: please read carefully – emphasis mine:

JCICS Board Meeting 17 June 2005:


JCICS was part of a meeting yesterday with three congressional offices, two from Kentucky and one from Illinois. Through a meeting with Chris Smith, they were referred to the Helsinki Commission, one of the largest Human Rights watch groups in the world, and a meeting has been set with them for 3pm today. Also discussed was the February 2004 letter from Pierre Poupard of UNICEF to the Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase as it directly contradicts the UNICEF statement from January 2004 that indicated international adoption is one viable form of child welfare. (See attachment to minutes.)

It was learned that there are several leaders in the U.S. that may be able to help influence the situation. Senator Landrieu is on the subcommittee for the U.N. and also serves on the appropriations committee which governs funding for UNICEF. Also, there are several EU parliamentarians from within the U.S. government that serve as direct liaisons. Tom Lundsford who works within the DOS is also a liaison.

A summit will be held between the European Union and President Bush in D.C. starting Monday. There will be a meeting between the EU officials and congressional leaders next Thursday, and For the Children (a pipeline advocacy group) is trying to get pending cases on the agenda as private comments.

DOS continues to help advocate for the pipeline cases as well. Maura Harty had a recent meeting with President Basescu, which led to the President writing a letter to the EU requesting permission to process the remaining pipeline cases.

“so, there are several EU parliamentarians from within the U.S. government that serve as direct liaisons.”  Huh? EU parliamentarians from within the U.S. government????
True, the European Parliament at that time had a few MEP’s (Members of the European Parliament) that appeared to be very very focussed on getting Romania’s adoptions reopened. And yes, that’s also in the book.
But, how to understand this ‘from within the U.S. government… Mindboggling.

And ‘For the Children’ – I wrote about them in a previous blog post.

More later, will continue reading the material.

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