US State Department accredited COA
Department of State Designates Council on Accreditation as an Accrediting Entity for Intercountry Adoption Service Providers
The Department of State is pleased to announce that it has designated the Council on Accreditation (COA) as an Accrediting Entity under the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA). The text of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with COA was published in the Federal Register on July 18. The MOA was signed on July 12, 2006 by Maura Harty, Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, and by Richard Klarberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of COA. The MOA text may be found at http://frwebgate1.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=3226946579+4+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve. The Department’s website at www.travel.state.gov also links to the Federal Register notice.
The IAA is the implementing legislation in the United States for the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (the Hague Convention). One of its key provisions requires adoption service providers wishing to offer adoption services in the United States in Hague Convention cases to be accredited or approved once the Convention enters into force for the United States. To fulfill this requirement, the IAA mandates the State Department to enter into agreements with one or more qualified entities to perform the tasks of accrediting agencies and approving persons (for-profit agencies or individuals) as well as monitoring compliance for those agencies and persons once they are accredited or approved. COA is a nationally recognized, non-profit organization with considerable experience in accrediting both private and public social service agencies throughout the United States for other purposes. It was selected as an Accrediting Entity based on its expertise and ability to perform the accreditation/approval function.
To accredit agencies or approve persons, COA will use the accreditation and approval standards established in 22 CFR Part 96, the final rule on Accreditation of Agencies and Approval of Persons under the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000. COA joins Colorado’s Department of Human Services, which has already been designated as an Accrediting Entity by the State Department. COA will accept applications from adoption service providers licensed and located throughout the United States, while Colorado will limit applications to adoption service providers licensed and operating in the State of Colorado. Both COA and Colorado expect to begin accepting applications soon after their fees are approved by the State Department and published later this summer.