Today at the “Putting Family First” conference of the National Council for Adoption and the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, it was announced that Joint Council will close. There will be no merger with NCFA. JCICS agencies will be eligible for a membership with NCFA.
Some people will be rejoicing at this news. Others will be sad that the organization is closing.
Certainly there were some clues about this. The decline in international adoptions has meant a decline in business and revenues for adoption agencies. Many have closed. I’d argue that assisted reproductive technologies and surrogacies have meant that people who otherwise would adopt internationally are no longer doing so. The indictments, lawsuits, and bad press about agencies have not helped. JCICS did not undertake a search for a new executive director after Tom DiFilipo was fired. The JCICS Board of Directors had dwindled to 5 people.
We all wonder what this means for the future of international adoption. Children still need families, and adoptions need to be done with integrity and transparency. I’ve long said we are in a perfect storm of adoption policy and practice. There could be some significant opportunities for genuine change. Here’s hoping the voices of adult adoptees and of international first parents are at the forefront.