Child Welfare Issues

CHIFF (Children in Families First)

Harvard and Boston College Law School Faculty Members’ Letter of Support to Congress for CHIFF Core Principles (2/5/14). Click here to read.

Harvard Law Professors Urge Congress to Support International Adoption. Press Release (2/10/14)

Letter to Secretary of State Kerry calling for change in DOS policies re International Adoption, signed by CAP and other child advocacy organizations. Click here to read. Related press release.

Mary Moore, Harvard and BC Law profs urge Congress to support adoption, Boston Business Journal, (2/10/14)

Tyler S. Olkowski, Harvard and BC Professors Support Adoption Legislation, The Harvard Crimson (2/12/14)

Sean Smith, Barrozo Advocates for Unparented Children, The Boston College Chronicle (3/27/14)

Differential Response

APSAC ADVISOR Special Issue: Differential Response, Volume 28, Number 2, 2016. This Special Issue features critical analyses of Differential Response by Elizabeth Bartholet and others. It includes excerpts from Bartholet’s article, “Differential Response: A Dangerous Experiment in Child Welfare.” APSAC is the largest professional association focused on child maltreatment. For the Bartholet article excerpts, click here.  For the full issue, click here.

"DCF ends its 2-tier child-welfare monitoring process," The Boston Globe (11/17/2015)

"Driving Critical Reforms at DCF - Ideas for a Direction Forward in Massachusetts' Child and Family Services," Pioneer Institute (11/2015)

"Elizabeth Bartholet, Faculty Director of the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law, discusses Governor Baker's announcement of the DCF overhaul," WRKO (9/29/15)

"After 'Baby Bella': Bartholet indicts systemic failures to protect at-risk-children," Harvard Law Today (9/24/15)   

“Harvard’s Elizabeth Bartholet Takes on Differential Response," Daniel Hempel, The Chronicle of Social Change (11/19/14)

"A new tactic to halt child abuse in Maryland," Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun (5/5/14). Link to pdf.

"DCF Shift Puts Children's Safety at Risk,"  Op-ed on Differential Response by Daniel Heimpel and Elizabeth Bartholet, The Hartford Courant (1/24/14)

"Through the Cracks" Op-ed on Differential Response by Elizabeth Bartholet and  Daniel Heimpel, The Boston Globe (12/24/13)

DOS Human Rights Legislation

Legislation on International Adoption and Child Human Rights. This successor to CHIFF was introduced in the Senate in the summer of 2016 (S.3279). CAP, along with several other organizations, worked to help bring this about and has formally endorsed the bill. To read the bill, click here. To read the one-page description of VCF Act, click here.

Elizabeth Bartholet’s letter of support for S.3279 the Vulnerable Children and Families Act (VCA), July 15, 2016

Annual Human Rights Report Legislation. On May 19, 2016, H.R. 5285, proposed by CAP Faculty Director Elizabeth Bartholet and a coalition of advocates for unparented children's rights, was introduced by Rep. Marino (R-PA) and co-sponsors Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY). H.R. 5285 calls for changes to the Department of State’s Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices so that it includes violations of unparented children’s rights, specifically the unnecessary holding of children in institutions and associated denial of timely access to domestic and international adoption. To read the bill, click here.

US Can Save Children by Upholding International Adoption Rights, op-ed supporting this legislation by Elizabeth Bartholet and Paulo Barrozo, The Boston Globe, May 24, 2016

Groundbreaking human rights of children bill introduced in Congress, op-ed supporting this legislation by Elizabeth Bartholet & Paulo Barrozo, The Washington Examiner, July 16, 2016

Vulnerable Children Are Counting on Us But Are We Counting Them?, op-ed supporting this legislation by Rabbi Susan Silverman, New York Observer, June 21, 2016

European Court of Human Rights, A.H. and Others v. Russia & Other 22 Applications, Application no. 6033/13. Brief filed 4/14/14 by HLS CAP as Third Party Intervener in case involving Russian shutdown of international adoptions to U.S. Click here to read brief.

International Adoption Policy Positions

International Adoption Policy Statement and Supporting Report:

       Endorsed by 7 organizations to date:             

Endorsed by 132 faculty members and related legal professionals to date:

To Join the Campaign to Endorse the Policy Statement :

American Bar Association Recommendation on International Adoption, adopted by House of Delegates August 11, 2008, and Supporting Report

International Adoption Statistics, 1994-2014, click here.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Hearing on Unparented Children and Related International Adoption Policies, Nov. 6, 2009, Presentation by HLS CAP and Center for Adoption Policy, click here.

Multiethnic Placement Act Enforcement Decisions, click here.

The Way Forward Project Report, Nov. 8, 2011, click here.

ADOPTION NEWS: Interviews, Editorials, Press Releases

Re-Aligning U.S. State Department Policy to Support Child Rights to Family, by Elizabeth Bartholet and Chuck Johnson, The Chronicle of Social Change, Jan. 19, 2017

Uniting Obama and Trump to save children: Intercountry adoption is about compassion, not politics, Op-ed by Elizabeth Bartholet and Chuck Johnson, Washington Times, Jan. 4, 2017

Jayme Metzgar, "The Obama Administration is About to Make International Adoption a Lot Harder," The Federalist, November 2, 2016. Click here to read story.

Elizabeth Bartholet, “The Challenges of international adoption: What happens when adoptees can’t adapt,” Member of four-person panel on Al Jazeera’s The Stream, Sept. 29, 2016. For the video click here

A Salute to Fierce Women Who Protect Children, Huffington Post, Oct. 22, 2014

Parental Custody? Not if they're addicts, Op-ed, The Boston Globe, Apr. 17, 2014

In Adoption, Does Race Matter?, NYTimes Room for Debate blog, Feb. 2, 2014

Mary Anastasia O'Grady, "Guatemala's Stranded Orphans," Wall Street Journal, Jan. 27, 2014. Click here to read story.

David Crary, "Spurring foreign adoptions is goal of bipartisan bill in Congress," AP, Dec. 25, 2013. Click here to read story.

Elizabeth Bartholet, “Fostering abuse?," Interview with Oksana Boyko, on RT TV World’s Apart, Nov. 27, 2013.

Kevin Voigt, "International adoption: Saving orphans or child trafficking?", CNN, Sept. 18, 2013.

Kevin Voigt, "International adoptions in decline as number of orphans grows," CNN, Sept. 17, 2013. Click here to read.

Julia Mas-Guindal, Elizabeth Bartholet Interview on the challenges facing international adoption, Parts 1 and 2, Harv. Hum. Rts. J., (last visited June 4, 2013), (last visited June 4, 2013).

Stephen Beale, "UNICEF Blamed for Decline in International Adoptions," National Catholic Register Daily News, May 22, 2013. Click here to read.

Elizabeth Bartholet  “The Future Of Adoption: International And Domestic,” NPR, On Point with Tom Ashbrook, February 6, 2013

Violations do occur in international adoption industry, but shutting down a country’s entire program does disservice to children; an editorial responding to below article “The Painful New Realities of International Adoption,” The Globe and Mail, March 4, 2012. Click here to read.

Tralee Pearce, "The painful new realities of international adoption," The Globe and Mail Feb. 17, 2012. Click here to read.

Andrea Poe, an editorial “Why I won’t buy UNICEF holiday cards,” The Washington Times Communities, Dec. 5, 2011.  Click here to read.

Elizabeth Bartholet's writings on International Adoption referenced in TDH Ontario’s July 2011 quarterly newsletter. Click here to read the newsletter.

Elizabeth Bartholet “Left in limbo: Nepalese adoptions halted,” An Interview with Habiba Nosheen and Lisa Desai, Need to Know on PBS, May 6, 2011

Elizabeth Bartholet "Should the U.S. Ratify the CRC? A Look at the Pros and Cons," An Interview with Stephanie Marudas, February 23, 2011

Elizabeth Bartholet "How to Prevent Adoption Disasters," NYTimes Room for Debate blog, April 15, 2010

Elizabeth Bartholet "Haiti's Children and the Adoption Question," NYTimes Room for Debate blog, February 1, 2010

Elizabeth Bartholet and Paulo Barrozo "Amid Disaster, Haitian Orphans Find Homes," NPR-online, January 21, 2010

Elizabeth Bartholet "Celebrity Adoptions and the Real World," NYTimes Room for Debate blog, May 10, 2009

"Save the Children from Save the Children," Joint Press Release on Madonna's Second Adoption and Related International Adoption Issues, April 2009

Racial Disproportionality Recent Press

Ben Baeder, "Studies: Disproportionate Number of Black Children Wind Up in L.A. Foster Care,", March 23, 2013. Click here for link to DailyNews website. Click here to read pdf.


Paul Feine, "Abandoned in Guatemala: The Failure of International Adoption Policies," October 2011. Click here to view. See also Andrea Poe, “Drew Carey's Reason -- TV program casts spotlight on UNICEF's role in decreased numbers of adoption in Guatemala,” The Washington Times Communities, 10/18/2011

The Dark Matter of Love,” documentary by Sarah McCarthy on child-parent relationships, showing the difficulties of adopting children raised in state institutions.  To see trailer,