One of our team members is out on maternity leave (of all things) and the new fiscal year is in full swing. I work for a local government Engineering office and once the fiscal year budget takes affect on July 1st, all the departments are chomping at the bit to get their construction projects started. The workload stress has been wrecking havoc on my fibromyalgia and I've been one giant ball of muscle pain for the last month or so.
So, I get home today after a LONG day and the first thing I read is the rumor about this month's batch possibly being only two days. OH MY GOD...they have been working on January 2006 for five whole months now!! I think they are going for a world's record here!! Are we EVER going to see February 2006?
Then I find this blog post through a Yahoo group. Ok, now I'm feeling sick with a major pain in the pit of my stomach. I haven't heard anything about this from my agency, but I do have this from another agency...
Joint Council Update
Program International Relations Initiative
Date July 18, 2008
Regarding Renewal of I-600A for Hague Adoptions
In collaboration with Debbie Reynolds, Executive Director of Adoptive
Family Services and Co-Chair of the Joint Council China Caucus, Joint
Council continues to advocate for a positive resolution to the issue
of expiring I-600A approvals (for Hague adoptions).
As has been discussed on our Members Listserv, Joint Council has
confirmed with USCIS that due to regulatory requirements, prospective
adoptive families (PAPs) with an approved I-600A for an adoption in a
Hague country may file for a one-time renewal (extension). PAPs may
only request and receive a renewal (extension) one-time.
If the approval associated with the renewal expires, a PAP applying
for an adoption in a Hague country will then be required to file an I-800A
and proceed through the Hague IA process. The impact of this
requirement is very significant especially regarding China adoptions.
There will be additional filing fees, a new home study (meeting the
new USCIS Hague guidelines) and the impact on the PAPs standing with the
partner country (for example the CCAA) has yet to be determined. Some
have suggested that PAPs may be required to submit a new dossier to
the partner country with unknown impact on their registration/filing date.
As part of our ongoing advocacy Joint Council has been in contact with
USCIS, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCAI) and
Congressional offices. The requirements and limitations on the one-time extension of
the I-600A approval are regulatory and are not open to interpretation
by USCIS. As a result any 'fix' of this significant issue will require
changes to the regulations or the law itself.
Joint Council is advocating for a quick legislative and/or regulatory
fix with a goal of resolving this issue before Congress is out of
session this fall. Our goal is to allow those PAPs who filed an I-600A
application prior to April 1, 2008 to be permitted unlimited renewals
of their I-600A approval. Recognizing the significant impact the current
regulation may have on PAPs and children in need we remain fully
engaged on the issue and will keep you informed of our efforts and outcomes.
TOM DIFILIPO President & CEO Joint Council
So, the first five paragraphs are basically making me freak out, then the last paragraph basically says the Joint Council is working on a "fix" so that we can continue to renew under the current system.
Does anyone have any further information on this issue? Sorry for being a total downer...I'm having a major meltdown tonight and I see no light at the end of the tunnel at this point.