Federal Register, Volume 79 Issue 134 (Monday, July 14, 2014)

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 134 (Monday, July 14, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 40629-40636]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-16294]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

22 CFR Part 96

[Public Notice 8792]
RIN 1400-AD45


Adoptions: Regulatory Change To Clarify the Application of the
Accreditation Requirement and Standards in Cases Covered by the
Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act

AGENCY: Department of State.

ACTION: Interim final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This rule amends the Department of State (Department) rule on
the accreditation and approval of adoption service providers in
intercountry adoptions. The revisions reflect the requirement of the
Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA) that

[[Page 40630]]

the accreditation standards developed in accordance with the 1993 Hague
Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of
Intercountry Adoption (Convention) and the Intercountry Adoption Act of
2000 (IAA), which previously only applied in Convention adoption cases,
apply also in non-Convention adoption cases. Non-convention adoption
cases are known as ``orphan'' cases, defined in the Immigration and
Nationality Act (INA). This rule also revises the accreditation rule by
referring to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Convention home
study regulation and deleting obsolete references, such as any
reference to temporary accreditation.

DATES: The effective date of this interim final rule is July 14, 2014.
The Department will accept comments on the proposed regulation up to
September 12, 2014.

ADDRESSES:
Internet: You may view this interim final rule and submit
your comments by visiting the Regulations.gov Web site at
www.regulations.gov, and searching for docket number DOS-2014-0015.
Mail or Delivery: You may send your paper, disk, or CD-ROM
submissions to the following address: Comments on Proposed Rule 22 CFR
Part 96, Office of Legal Affairs, Overseas Citizen Services, U.S.
Department of State, CA/OCS/L, SA-17, Floor 10, Washington, DC 20522-
1710.
All comments should include the commenter's name and the
organization the commenter represents (if applicable). If the
Department is unable to read your comment for any reason, the
Department might not be able to consider your comment. Please be
advised that all comments will be considered public comments and might
be viewed by other commenters; therefore, do not include any
information you would not wish to be made public. After the conclusion
of the comment period, the Department will publish a final rule (in
which it will address relevant comments) as expeditiously as possible.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Office of Legal Affairs, Overseas
Citizen Services, U.S. Department of State, CA/OCS/L, SA-17, Floor 10,
Washington, DC 20522-1710; (202) 485-6079.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Why is the Department promulgating this rule?

This rule clarifies that under the Intercountry Adoption Universal
Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA), signed into law January 14, 2013, and
effective July 14, 2014, the accreditation requirement and standards
found in 22 CFR part 96 apply to any person (including non-profit
agencies, for-profit agencies and individuals but excluding government
agencies and tribal authorities), providing adoption services on behalf
of prospective adoptive parents in an ``orphan'' intercountry adoption
case described under section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Immigration and
Nationality Act. Specifically, under Section 2 of the UAA ``[t]he
provisions of title II and section 404 of the Intercountry Adoption Act
of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 14901 et seq.), and related implementing
regulations, shall apply to any person offering or providing adoption
services in connection with a child described in section 101(b)(1)(F)
of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1)(F)), to the
same extent as they apply to the offering or provision of adoption
services in connection with a Convention adoption.''
Title II of the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA) (Public Law
106-279) requires that any person providing adoption services in a
Convention case be an accredited, approved, or an exempted adoption
service provider, and section 404 imposes civil and criminal penalties
for violations of the Act. On February 15, 2006 the Department of State
published implementing regulations at 71 FR 8064, on the accreditation
and approval of agencies and persons in accordance with the Convention
and the IAA. The UAA extends that rule from Convention cases to
``orphan'' cases. This regulatory change includes a number of technical
edits to facilitate interpretation of the regulatory requirements and
clarify designated accrediting entities' authority under the UAA and
the IAA.
The Department is amending the regulation to make 22 CFR part 96,
as affected by the UAA, easier to read. This rule will aid the
accrediting entity applying the standards and adoption service
providers required to comply with the standards. In particular, this
rule adds references to the UAA where the IAA is referenced; adds a
sentence concerning the UAA effective date; redefines ``Central
Authority'' to include competent authorities, thereby clarifying how
the term applies in countries that are not party to the Convention;
redefines adoption records to include non-Convention case records and
changes Section 96.25(b) concerning accrediting entity access to non-
Convention records in cases subject to the UAA; defines the terms INA,
IAA, and intercountry adoption; refers to ``accreditation and
approval'' instead of to ``Convention accreditation and approval;''
revises Section 96.46(a)(4) to clarify that foreign supervised
providers in non-Convention countries may not have a pattern of
licensing suspensions relating to key Convention principles; and
revises references to ``Convention adoption,'' ``cases subject to the
Convention,'' ``Convention case,'' ``Convention country,'' and
``Convention-related activity'' to ensure that such references include
non-Convention adoptions, activities, countries, and cases under the
UAA.
Additionally, this rule corrects the references in 22 CFR
96.37(f)(2), and 96.47(a)(4) and (b), to refer to the correct
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) definition of home study preparer
and home study requirements. When the original rule was issued in 2006,
DHS had not yet published its final rule concerning home studies in
Convention cases. Thus, the 2006 State Department rule referred to the
``orphan'' home study requirements under 8 CFR 204.3(b) and (e),
instead of the Convention home study requirements found in 8 CFR
204.301 and 311. This rule references the correct DHS regulation. The
change clarifies that the home study must be prepared by an accredited
agency, approved person, exempted provider, or a supervised provider.
In addition, when the home study is not performed in the first instance
by an accredited agency, then an accredited agency must review and
approve it. The orphan and Convention home study requirements also
differ concerning the required elements, applicable definitions, and
the duty to disclose. The Department anticipates that DHS will publish
specific guidance on how the Convention home study requirements will
apply in orphan cases.
Finally, the rule amends 22 CFR Part 96 to delete obsolete
provisions, including any references to temporary accreditation,
deleting subpart N in its entirety. Under the IAA, temporary
accreditation was only possible for a one- or two-year period following
the entry into force of the Convention. Because the Convention entered
into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, more than two years
ago, temporary accreditation is no longer possible. The rule also
deletes the section on ``special provisions for agencies and persons
seeking to be accredited or approved as of the time the Convention
enters into force for the United States'' and a reference to that
section. Further, the rule revises requirements concerning
``notification of accreditation and approval decisions'' and ``length
of accreditation or approval period,'' deleting provisions that

[[Page 40631]]

applied only during the transitional period to the Convention entering
into force and clarifying that for purposes of the notification
requirement the phrase ``accreditation or approval decisions'' refers
to whether an application is granted or denied.
Cases that are grandfathered under Section 2(c) of the UAA are not
affected by this rule. See the Department's adoption Web site and the
DHS/USCIS Web site for information on this grandfathering provision.
The Department invites comment on the edits to 22 CFR Part 96
described above.

Regulatory Analysis

Administrative Procedure Act

The Department is publishing this rule as an interim final rule
based on its determination for good cause that delaying the effect of
this rule during the period of public comment would be impractical,
unnecessary and contrary to public interest under Section 553 of the
Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). Publishing
the revision now will allow the rule to be in effect on the date the
UAA goes into effect. This will aid the accrediting entity in its
accreditation and oversight function and avoid confusion among adoption
service providers and other members of the public about how the
accreditation standards apply in ``orphan'' intercountry adoption
cases.
The Department will accept comments from the public for 60 days
after publication.
Regulatory Flexibility Act/Executive Order 13272: Small Business
Consistent with section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5
U.S.C. 605(b)), the Department certifies that this rule will not have a
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
The rule clarifies the requirements imposed by the UAA and IAA on
adoption service providers providing services in ``orphan''
intercountry adoption cases described under section 101(b)(1)(F).

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L.
104-4, 109 Stat. 48, codified at 2 U.S.C. 1532) generally requires
agencies to prepare a statement before proposing any rule that may
result in an annual expenditure of $100 million or more by State,
local, or tribal governments, or by the private sector. This rule will
not result in any such expenditure, nor will it significantly or
uniquely affect small governments or the private sector.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

This rule is not a major rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804, for
purposes of congressional review of agency rulemaking under the Small
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121).
This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100
million or more; a major increase in costs or prices; or adverse
effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity,
innovation, or the ability of United States-based companies to compete
with foreign-based companies in domestic and import markets.

Executive Order 12866

The Department of State has reviewed this proposed rule to ensure
its consistency with the regulatory philosophy and principles set forth
in Executive Order 12866, and has determined that the benefits of this
final regulation justify its costs. The Department does not consider
this rulemaking to be an economically significant action within the
scope of section 3(f)(1) of the Executive Order.
The rule does not add any new legal requirements to Part 96 but
reflects the changes affected by the UAA to apply these accreditation
standards in orphan cases. The UAA and this rule benefit prospective
adoptive parents, children, and birth families involved in the
intercountry adoption process by ensuring that adoption service
providers providing services in orphan cases are subject to the same
accreditation standards and ongoing oversight and monitoring that apply
in Convention cases.
Concerning the cost of the UAA, the Report from the Congressional
Budget Office (CBO) on October 17, 2012, notes that the UAA imposes ``a
private sector mandate by requiring all providers of placement services
for intercountry adoptions to be compliant with the accreditation
standards of the Hague Convention.'' The report notes, further, that
``[t]he initial fees for obtaining accreditation can range between
$10,000 and $16,000 depending on the size and annual revenue of the
entity seeking accreditation. Annual fees to maintain accreditation are
less than $1,000 on average, but are also subject to change based on
the revenue of the entity. The cost of liability insurance for adoption
agencies varies from state to state and can range between $10,000 and
$50,000 per year.'' Overall, CBO concluded: ``Based on information
gathered from industry professionals, the Department of Health and
Human Services, and an accreditation agency, the number of entities
that would be affected is relatively small. Therefore, CBO estimates
that the aggregate cost of the mandate to the private sector would fall
below the annual threshold established in UMRA ($146 million in 2012,
adjusted annually for inflation).''
The Council on Accreditation (COA), the accrediting entity
designated by the Department, reports that approximately forty new
agencies have applied for accreditation since the UAA became law in
January of 2013. This number is much fewer than COA had anticipated.

Executive Orders 12372 and 13132: Federalism

This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the
States, on the relationship between the national government and the
States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the
various levels of government. Nor will the rule have federalism
implications warranting the application of Executive Orders 12372 and
No. 13132.

Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform

The Department has reviewed the regulations in light of Executive
Order No. 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish
clear legal standards, and reduce burden.

Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

The Department has considered this rule in light of Executive Order
13563, dated January 18, 2011, and affirms that this regulation is
consistent with the guidance therein.

Paperwork Reduction Act

This rule does not impose information collection requirements
subject to the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C.
Chapter 35.

List of Subjects in 22 CFR Part 96

Adoption, child welfare, children immigration, foreign persons.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of State
amends 22 CFR part 96 as follows:

PART 96--INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION ACCREDITATION OF AGENCIES AND
APPROVAL OF PERSONS

0
1. Revise the authority citation for part 96 to read as follows:

Authority: The Convention on Protection of Children and Co-
operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (done at the Hague,
May 29, 1993), S. Treaty Doc. 105-51 (1998), 1870 U.N.T.S. 167 (Reg.
No. 31922 (1993));

[[Page 40632]]

The Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, 42 U.S.C. 14901-14954; The
Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of 2012, Pub. L.
112-276, 42 U.S.C. 14925.

0
2. Revise the heading for part 96 to read as set forth above.

0
3. Revise Sec. 96.1 to read as follows:


Sec. 96.1 Purpose.

This part provides for the accreditation and approval of agencies
and persons pursuant to the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (42
U.S.C. 14901-14954, Pub. L. 106-279,) and the Intercountry Adoption
Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (42 U.S.C. 14925, Pub. L. 112-276).
Subpart B of this part establishes the procedures for the selection and
designation of accrediting entities to perform the accreditation and
approval functions. Subparts C through H establish the general
procedures and standards for accreditation and approval of agencies and
persons (including renewal of accreditation or approval). Subparts I
through M address the oversight of accredited or approved agencies and
persons.

0
4. Amend Sec. 96.2 as follows:
0
a. Revise the definitions ``Accredited agency'', ``Accrediting
entity'', ``Adoption record'', ``Approved home study'', ``Approved
person'', ``Central Authority'';
0
b. Remove the definition of ``Central Authority function'';
0
c. Revise the definitions of ``Child welfare services'' and ``Exempted
provider'';
0
d. Add the definitions of ``INA'' and ``Intercountry adoption,''
0
e. Revise the definitions of ``Legal services'', ``Post-adoption'',
``Primary provider'', ``Public foreign authority'', ``Secretary'', and
``Supervised provider'';
0
f. Remove the definition of ``Temporarily accredited agency''; and
0
g. Add the definition of ``UAA''.
The revisions and additions read as follows:


Sec. 96.2 Definitions.

* * * * *
Accredited agency means an agency that has been accredited by an
accrediting entity, in accordance with the standards in subpart F of
this part, to provide adoption services in the United States in
intercountry adoption cases.
Accrediting entity means an entity that has been designated by the
Secretary to accredit agencies and/or to approve persons for purposes
of providing adoption services in the United States in intercountry
adoption cases.
* * * * *
Adoption record means any record, information, or item related to a
specific intercountry adoption of a child received or maintained by an
agency, person, or public domestic authority, including, but not
limited to, photographs, videos, correspondence, personal effects,
medical and social information, and any other information about the
child.
* * * * *
Approved home study means a review of the home environment of the
child's prospective adoptive parent(s) that has been:
(1) Completed by an accredited agency; or
(2) Approved by an accredited agency.
Approved person means a person that has been approved, in
accordance with the standards in subpart F of this part, by an
accrediting entity to provide adoption services in the United States in
intercountry adoption cases.
* * * * *
Central Authority means the entity designated as such under Article
6(1) of the Convention by any Convention country, or, in the case of
the United States, the United States Department of State. In countries
that are not Convention countries, Central Authority means the relevant
``competent authority'' as defined in this section.
* * * * *
Child welfare services means services, other than those defined as
``adoption services'' in this section, that are designed to promote and
protect the well-being of a family or child. Such services include, but
are not limited to, recruiting and identifying adoptive parent(s) in
cases of disruption (but not assuming custody of the child), arranging
or providing temporary foster care for a child in connection with an
intercountry adoption or providing educational, social, cultural,
medical, psychological assessment, mental health, or other health-
related services for a child or family in an intercountry adoption
case.
* * * * *
Exempted provider means a social work professional or organization
that performs a home study on prospective adoptive parent(s) or a child
background study (or both) in the United States in connection with an
intercountry adoption (including any reports or updates), but that is
not currently providing and has not previously provided any other
adoption service in the case.
* * * * *
INA means the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et
seq.), as amended.
Intercountry adoption means a Convention adoption or the adoption
of a child described in INA section 101(b)(1)(F).
* * * * *
Legal services means services, other than those defined in this
section as ``adoption services,'' that relate to the provision of legal
advice and information and to the drafting of legal instruments. Such
services include, but are not limited to, drawing up contracts, powers
of attorney, and other legal instruments; providing advice and counsel
to adoptive parent(s) on completing DHS or Central Authority forms; and
providing advice and counsel to accredited agencies, approved persons,
or prospective adoptive parent(s) on how to comply with the Convention,
the IAA, the UAA, and the regulations implementing the IAA or UAA.
* * * * *
Post-adoption means after an adoption; in cases in which an
adoption occurs in a foreign country and is followed by a re-adoption
in the United States, it means after the adoption in the foreign
country.
* * * * *
Primary provider means the accredited agency or approved person
that is identified pursuant to Sec. 96.14 as responsible for ensuring
that all six adoption services are provided and for supervising and
being responsible for supervised providers where used.
* * * * *
Public foreign authority means an authority operated by a national
or subnational government of a foreign country.
Secretary means the Secretary of State, the Assistant Secretary of
State for Consular Affairs, or any other Department of State official
exercising the Secretary of State's authority under the Convention, the
IAA, the UAA, or any regulations implementing the IAA or UAA, pursuant
to a delegation of authority.
* * * * *
Supervised provider means any agency, person, or other non-
governmental entity, including any foreign entity, regardless of
whether it is called a facilitator, agent, attorney, or by any other
name, that is providing one or more adoption services in an
intercountry adoption case under the supervision and responsibility of
an accredited agency or approved person that is acting as the primary
provider in the case.

[[Page 40633]]

UAA means the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act of
2012, (42 U.S.C. 14925, Pub. L. 112-276 (2012)).


Sec. 96.4 [Amended]

0
5. Amend Sec. 96.4 by removing the parenthetical phrase ``(including
temporary accreditation)'' in paragraph (a) and removing the
parenthetical phrase ``(including temporarily accredit)'' in paragraph
(b).

0
6. Amend Sec. 96.6 by revising paragraphs (c), (d), (g) and (j) to
read as follows:


Sec. 96.6 Performance criteria for designation as an accrediting
entity.

* * * * *
(c) That it can monitor the performance of agencies it has
accredited and persons it has approved (including their use of any
supervised providers) to ensure their continued compliance with the
Convention, the IAA, the UAA, and the regulations implementing the IAA
or UAA;
(d) That it has the capacity to take appropriate adverse actions
against agencies it has accredited and persons it has approved;
* * * * *
(g) That it has the capacity to conduct its accreditation and
approval functions fairly and impartially;
* * * * *
(j) That it prohibits its employees or other individuals acting as
site evaluators, including, but not limited to, volunteer site
evaluators, from becoming employees or supervised providers of an
agency or person for at least one year after they have evaluated such
agency or person for accreditation or approval.


Sec. 96.7 [Amended]

0
7. Amend Sec. 96.7 as follows:
0
a. Remove the phrase ``and/or temporary accreditation'' in paragraph
(a)(1);
0
b. Remove the phrase ``, temporarily accredited agencies,'' in
paragraphs (a)(3), (a)(4) and (a)(7);
0
c. Remove both iterations of the phrase ``, temporarily accredited
agency,'' in paragraph (a)(5);
0
d. Remove the term ``Convention'' and add in its place the term
``intercountry adoption'' in paragraph (a)(8); and

0
e. Remove the phrase ``the regulations implementing the IAA'' and add
in its place the phrase ``the UAA, the regulations implementing the IAA
or UAA'' in paragraph (c).


Sec. 96.8 [Amended]

0
8. Amend Sec. 96.8 as follows:
0
a. Remove the term ``Convention'' and add in its place the term
``intercountry adoption'' in paragraph (a)(1);
0
b. Remove both iterations of the term ``Convention'' in paragraph
(b)(1);
0
c. Remove the phrase ``full Convention'' and ``; and'' and add a period
at the end in paragraph (b)(2); and
0
d. Remove paragraph (b)(3).


Sec. 96.9 [Amended]

0
9. Amend Sec. 96.9 by removing both iterations of the phrase ``,
temporary accreditation,'' in paragraph (b) and removing the phrase ``,
temporarily accredited agencies,'' in paragraph (c).


Sec. 96.10 [Amended]

0
10. Amend Sec. 96.10 as follows:
0
a. Remove the phrase ``the regulations implementing the IAA'' and add
in its place the phrase ``the UAA, the regulations implementing the IAA
or UAA'' in paragraph (a);
0
b. Remove the phrase ``or a temporarily accredited agency is
substantially out of compliance with the standards in Sec. 96.104'' in
paragraph (c)(1);
0
c. Remove the phrase ``, temporarily accredited agencies,'' in
paragraph (c)(7).

0
11. Amend Sec. 96.12 by revising paragraphs (a) introductory text,
(a)(1), (a)(3), and (c) to read as follows:


Sec. 96.12 Authorized adoption service providers.

(a) Except as provided in section 505(b) of the IAA (relating to
transitional cases), and once the UAA becomes effective, except as
provided in section 2(c) of the UAA (relating to transitional cases),
an agency or person may not offer, provide, or facilitate the provision
of any adoption service in the United States in connection with an
intercountry adoption unless it is:
(1) An accredited agency or an approved person;
* * * * *
(3) An exempted provider, if the exempted provider's home study or
child background study will be reviewed and approved by an accredited
agency pursuant to Sec. 96.47(c) or Sec. 96.53(b).
* * * * *
(c) Neither conferral nor maintenance of accreditation or approval,
nor status as an exempted or supervised provider, nor status as a
public domestic authority shall be construed to imply, warrant, or
establish that, in any specific case, an adoption service has been
provided consistently with the Convention, the IAA, the UAA, or the
regulations implementing the IAA or UAA. Conferral and maintenance of
accreditation or approval under this part establishes only that the
accrediting entity has concluded, in accordance with the standards and
procedures of this part, that the agency or person conducts adoption
services in substantial compliance with the applicable standards set
forth in this part; it is not a guarantee that in any specific case the
accredited agency or approved person is providing adoption services
consistently with the Convention, the IAA, the UAA, the regulations
implementing the IAA or UAA, or any other applicable law, whether
Federal, State, or foreign. Neither the Secretary nor any accrediting
entity shall be responsible for any acts of an accredited agency,
approved person, exempted provider, supervised provider, or other
entity providing services in connection with an intercountry adoption.


Sec. 96.13 [Amended]

0
12. Amend Sec. 96.13 as follows:
0
a. Remove the phrase ``temporary accreditation,'' and both iterations
of the phrase ``or temporarily accredited agency'' in paragraph (a);
0
b. Remove the phrase ``temporarily accredited,'' in paragraphs (b),
(c), and (d);
0
c. Remove the phrase ``temporarily accredited, or'' in paragraphs (b)
and (c);
0
d. Remove the phrase ``a Convention'' and add in its place the phrase
``an intercountry'' each of the four times it appears in paragraphs (b)
and (c); and
0
e. Remove the term ``Convention'' and add in its place the term
``foreign'' in two places in the first and second sentences of
paragraph (d).


Sec. 96.14 [Amended]

0
13. Amend Sec. 96.14 as follows:
0
a. Remove the phrases ``, temporary accreditation'', ``, a temporarily
accredited agency'', ``temporarily accredited agency'' and all three
iterations of the phrase ``, temporarily accredited agency,'' in
paragraph (a);
0
b. Remove the term ``Convention case'' and add in its place the term
``intercountry adoption case'' in paragraph (a);
0
c. Remove the term ``Convention'' and add in its place the term
``foreign'' in paragraphs (a)(2) through (4), (c), (c)(2), and (e);
0
d. Remove the phrase ``, and Sec. 96.104(g), in the case of
temporarily accredited agencies'' in paragraph (b);
0
e. Remove the phrase ``, temporarily accredited agency,'' in paragraphs
(b)(1);
0
f. Remove the phrase ``or temporarily accredited agency'' in paragraph
(b)(2); and

[[Page 40634]]

0
g. Remove the phrase ``, and Sec. 96.104(g) of subpart N, in the case
of temporarily accredited agencies'' in paragraph (c).


Sec. 96.15 [Amended]

0
14. Amend Sec. 96.15 as follows:
0
a. Remove both iterations of the term ``Convention'' and add in its
place the term ``foreign'' in Example 1;
0
b. Remove the phrase ``temporarily accredited,'' in each place it
occurs in Examples 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12;
0
c. Remove the phrase ``a Convention'' and add in its place the phrase
``an intercountry'' in each place in Examples 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7;
0
d. Remove the phrase ``this Convention'' and add in its place the
phrase ``this intercountry'' in Example 3;
0
e. Remove the term ``temporary accreditation,'' in Examples 5, and 6;
0
f. Remove the term ``Convention country'' and add in its place the term
``foreign country'' in Examples 7, 8, and 11;
0
g. Add the phrase ``or the UAA'' after ``requirements of the IAA'' in
Examples 8 and 9.
0
h. Remove the term ``Convention Country'' and add in its place the term
``Foreign Country'' in Examples 9 and 12;
0
i. Remove the term ``Convention'' and add in its place the term
``intercountry'' in Example 10; and
0
j. Remove the phrase ``is eventually disrupted'' and add in its place
the phrase ``eventually disrupts'' in Example 10.

0
15. Revise Sec. 96.16 to read as follws:


Sec. 96.16 Public domestic authorities.

Public domestic authorities are not required to become accredited
to be able to provide adoption services in intercountry adoption cases,
but must comply with the Convention, the IAA, the UAA, and other
applicable law when providing services in an intercountry adoption
case.

0
16. Revise Sec. 96.17 to read as follows:


Sec. 96.17 Effective date of accreditation and approval requirements.

The Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1,
2008. As of that date, the regulations in subpart C of this part govern
Convention adoptions between the United States and Convention
countries, and require agencies or persons providing adoption services
on behalf of prospective adoptive parent(s) to comply with Sec. 96.12
and applicable Federal regulations. The Secretary maintains for the
public a current listing of Convention countries. The effective date of
the UAA is July 14, 2014. As of that date, consistent with the UAA, the
regulations in subpart C of this part will govern adoptions of children
described in INA Sec. 101(b)(1)(F), and will require agencies or
persons providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive
parent(s) in connection with a child described in section 101(b)(1)(F)
to comply with Sec. 96.12 and applicable Federal regulations.

0
17. Revise Sec. 96.18 to read as follows:


Sec. 96.18 Scope.

(a) Agencies are eligible to apply for ``accreditation.'' Persons
are eligible to apply for ``approval.'' Applications for accreditation
or approval will be processed in accordance with Sec. Sec. 96.19 and
96.20.
(b) If an agency or person is reapplying for accreditation or
approval following cancellation of its accreditation or approval by an
accrediting entity or refusal by an accrediting entity to renew its
accreditation or approval, it must comply with the procedures in Sec.
96.78.
(c) If an agency or person that has been accredited or approved is
seeking renewal, it must comply with the procedures in Sec. 96.63.


Sec. 96.19 [Removed]

0
18. Remove Sec. 96.19.


Sec. 96.20 [Redesignated as Sec. 96.19]

0
19. Redesignated Sec. 96.20 as Sec. 96.19.


Sec. 96.19 [Amended]

0
20. In newly redesignated Sec. 96.19, remove the second sentence in
paragraph (a).


Sec. 96.21 [Redesignated as Sec. 96.20]

0
21. Redesignate Sec. 96.21 as Sec. 96.20.


Sec. 96.21 [Reserved]

0
22. Add reserved Sec. 96.21.

0
23. Revise Sec. 96.23 to read as follows:


Sec. 96.23 Scope.

The provisions in this subpart govern the evaluation of agencies
and persons for accreditation or approval.


Sec. 96.25 [Amended]

0
24. Amend Sec. 96.25 as follows:
0
a. Add the phrase ``and cases subject to the UAA'' after the phrase
``Convention adoption case files'' in paragraph (b);
0
b. Add ``other'' before the term ``non-Convention cases'' in paragraph
(b);
0
c. Add the phrase ``not subject to the UAA'' before the phrase ``prior
to their inspection by the accrediting entity.'' in paragraph (b); and
0
d. Remove the phrase ``, temporarily accredited agency,'' in paragraph
(c).


Sec. 96.27 [Amended]

0
25. Amend Sec. 96.27 as follows:
0
a. Remove the term ``Convention'' in the last sentence of paragraph
(c);
0
b. Remove the phrase ``temporarily accredited'' in paragraph (d);
0
c. Remove the phrase ``and the IAA'' and add in its place the phrase
``, the IAA, and the UAA'' in paragraphs (d) and (g);
0
d. Remove the phrase ``has had its temporary accreditation withdrawn,''
in paragraph (e); and
0
e. Remove the term ``Convention cases'' and add in its place the term
``intercountry adoption cases'' in paragraph (g).

Subpart F--Standards for Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and
Approval

0
26. Revise the Subpart F heading to read as set forth above.

0
27. Revise Sec. 96.29 to read as follows:


Sec. 96.29 Scope.

The provisions in this subpart provide the standards for
accrediting agencies and approving persons.


Sec. 96.30 [Amended]

0
28. Amend Sec. 96.30 by removing the term ``Convention'' and adding in
its place the term ``foreign'' in paragraph (d).


Sec. 96.31 [Amended]

0
29. Amend Sec. 96.31 by adding ``qualifies'' before the phrase ``for
nonprofit status'' in paragraph (a).


Sec. 96.33 [Amended]

0
30. Amend Sec. 96.33 by removing both iterations of the term
``Convention cases'' and adding in their places the term ``intercountry
adoption cases'' in paragraph (e) and removing the phrase ``Convention-
related'' and adding in its place the phrase ``intercountry adoption-
related'' in paragraph (g).


Sec. 96.37 [Amended]

0
31. Amend Sec. 96.37 as follows:
0
a. Remove the phrase ``a Convention adoption'' and add in its place the
phrase ``an intercountry adoption'' in paragraph (a);
0
b. Remove the term ``INA'' in paragraph (f)(2); and
0
c. Remove the citation ``8 CFR 204.3(b)'' and add in its place the
citation ``8 CFR 204.301'' in paragraph (f)(2).


Sec. 96.38 [Amended]

0
32. Amend Sec. 96.38 as follows:

[[Page 40635]]

0
a. Remove the phrase ``the regulations implementing the IAA'' and add
in its place the phrase ``the UAA, the regulations implementing the IAA
or UAA'' in paragraph (a)(1);
0
b. Remove the phrase ``adopted from a Convention country'' and add in
its place the phrase ``described in INA 101(b)(1)(F) and 101(b)(1)(G)''
in paragraph (a)(2);
0
c. Remove the term ``Convention country'' and add in its place the term
``foreign country'' in paragraph (a)(3); and
0
d. Remove the phrase ``and the IAA'' and add in its place the phrase
``, the IAA, and the UAA'' in paragraph (d).


Sec. 96.40 [Amended]

0
33. Amend Sec. 96.40 as follows:
0
a. Remove the term ``a Convention adoption'' and add in its place the
term ``an intercountry adoption'' in paragraph (b);
0
b. Remove the term ``Convention country'' and add in its place the term
``country of origin'' in paragraphs (b)(3), (5), and (6);
0
c. Remove the term ``Convention'' before ``court documents'' in
paragraph (b)(5);
0
d. Remove the term ``Convention countries'' and add in its place the
term ``foreign countries'' in paragraph (f); and
0
e. Remove the term ``Convention country'' and add in its place the term
``foreign country'' in paragraphs (f), (g), and (g)(3).


Sec. 96.41 [Amended]

0
34. Amend Sec. 96.41 by removing the phrase ``or the regulations
implementing the IAA'' and adding in its place the phrase ``the UAA, or
the regulations implementing the IAA or UAA'' in paragraph (b).


Sec. 96.42 [Amended]

0
35. Amend Sec. 96.42 by removing the phrase ``under the Convention''
and adding in its place the phrase ``in intercountry adoption cases''
in paragraph (d).


Sec. 96.43 [Amended]

0
36. Amend Sec. 96.43 as follows:
0
a. Remove the term ``intercountry'' and add in its place the phrase
``Convention and non-Convention'' in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2);
0
b. Remove the phrase ``in both Convention and non-Convention cases'' in
paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2);
0
c. Remove the phrase ``Convention country or other'' and add in its
place the term ``foreign'' in paragraph (b)(1)(i);
0
d. Remove the phrase ``, Convention country, or other'' and add in its
place the phrase ``or foreign'' in paragraphs (b)(1)(iii) and
(b)(2)(iii);
0
e. Remove the phrase ``Convention country or other'' and add in its
place the term ``foreign'' in paragraph (b)(2)(ii);
0
f. Remove the phrase ``a Convention'' and add in its place the phrase
``an intercountry'' in paragraphs (b)(3), (b)(4) and (b)(5);
0
g. Remove the term ``Convention'' and add in its place the term
``foreign'' in paragraphs (b)(3)(i) and (b)(4)(i); and
0
h. Remove the term'' Convention adoptions'' and add in its place the
term ``intercountry adoptions'' in paragraph (b)(6).


Sec. 96.44 [Amended]

0
37. Amend Sec. 96.44 by removing the term ``Convention'' and adding in
its place the term ``intercountry'' in paragraph (b).


Sec. 96.46 [Amended]

0
38. Amend Sec. 96.46 as follows:
0
a. Remove the term ``Convention'' and add in its place the term
``foreign'' in the section heading, and in paragraphs (a), (a)(1),
(a)(3), (a)(5), and (b); and
0
b. Add the phrase ``or the Convention's principles of ensuring that
intercountry adoptions take place in the best interests of children and
preventing the abduction, exploitation, sale, or trafficking of
children'' after the phrase ``germane to the Convention'' in paragraph
(a)(4).


Sec. 96.47 [Amended]

0
39. Amend Sec. 96.47 as follows:
0
a. Remove the citation ``8 CFR 204.3(e)'' and add in its place the
citation ``8 CFR 204.311'' in paragraphs (a)(4), (b), and (c)(1);
0
b. Remove both iterations of the phrase ``or temporarily accredited
agency'' in paragraph (c); and
0
c. Remove the citation ``8 CFR 204.3(b)'' and add in its place the
citation ``8 CFR 204.301'' in paragraph (c)(2).


Sec. 96.48 [Amended]

0
40. Amend Sec. 96.48 by removing the term ``Convention'' and adding in
its place the term ``foreign'' in paragraph (b)(1) and removing the
term ``Convention'' and adding in its place the term ``intercountry''
in paragraph (b)(8).


Sec. 96.49 [Amended]

0
41. Amend Sec. 96.49 by removing the term ``Convention'' and adding in
its place the term ``foreign'' in paragraphs (a), (d)(1), and (d)(2).


Sec. 96.50 [Amended]

0
42. Amend Sec. 96.50 by removing both iterations of the term
``Convention'' and adding in place of them the term ``foreign'' in
paragraph (g) and adding the phrase ``in Convention adoptions is''
before the phrase ``entered in compliance with'' in paragraph (h)(1).


Sec. 96.52 [Amended]

0
43. Amend Sec. 96.52 as follows:
0
a. Remove the term ``Convention'' and add in its place the term
``foreign'' in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c);
0
b. Remove the phrase ``a Convention'' and add in its place the phrase
``an intercountry'' in paragraph (e); and
0
c. Remove the phrase ``or any regulations implementing the IAA'' and
add in its place the phrase ``the UAA, or any regulations implementing
the IAA or UAA'' in paragraph (e).

0
44. Revise the undesignated center heading above Sec. 96.53 to read as
follows:
* * * * *

Standards for Convention Cases in Which a Child Is Emigrating From the
United States (Outgoing Cases)

* * * * *


Sec. 96.53 [Amended]

0
45. Amend Sec. 96.53 by adding the term ``Convention'' before
``cases'' in the section heading and removing both iterations of the
phrase ``or temporarily accredited agency'' in paragraph (b).


Sec. 96.54 [Amended]

0
46. Amend Sec. 96.54 by adding the term ``Convention'' before the term
``cases'' in the section heading.


Sec. 96.55 [Amended]

0
47. Amend Sec. 96.55 by adding the term ``Convention'' before the term
``cases'' in the section heading.

0
48. Revise Sec. 96.57 to read as follows:


Sec. 96.57 Scope.

The provisions in this subpart establish the procedures for when
the accrediting entity issues decisions on applications for
accreditation or approval.
0
49. Revise Sec. 96.58 to read as follows:


Sec. 96.58 Notification of accreditation and approval decisions.

(a) The accrediting entity must routinely inform applicants in
writing of its accreditation and approval decisions--whether an
application has been granted or denied--as those decisions are
finalized. The accrediting entity must routinely provide this
information to the Secretary in writing.
(b) The accrediting entity may, in its discretion, communicate with
agencies and persons that have applied for accreditation or approval
about the

[[Page 40636]]

status of their pending applications to afford them an opportunity to
correct deficiencies that may hinder or prevent accreditation or
approval.
0
50. Revise Sec. 96.60 to read as follows:


Sec. 96.60 Length of accreditation or approval period.

The accrediting entity will accredit or approve an agency or person
for a period of four years. The accreditation or approval period will
commence on the date that the agency or person is granted accreditation
or approval.


Sec. 96.62 [Amended]

0
51. Amend Sec. 96.62 by removing the second sentence.


Sec. 96.63 [Amended]

0
52. Amend Sec. 96.63 by removing both iterations of the term
``Convention'' and adding in their places the term ``intercountry
adoption'' in paragraph (a).


Sec. 96.65 [Amended]

0
53. Amend Sec. 96.65 by removing the second and third sentences.


Sec. 96.68 [Amended]

0
54. Amend Sec. 96.68 by removing the phrase ``or the regulations
implementing the IAA'' and adding in its place the phrase ``the UAA, or
the regulations implementing the IAA or UAA'' and removing the last
sentence.


Sec. 96.69 [Amended]

0
55. Amend Sec. 96.69 by removing the term ``Convention adoption'' and
adding in its place the term ``intercountry adoption'' in paragraphs
(b) and (c).


Sec. 96.70 [Amended]

0
56. Amend Sec. 96.70 by removing the phrase ``temporarily accredited
agencies, and'' and by adding the phrase ``, and agencies temporarily
accredited for one or two years after the Convention entered into
force'' after the term ``approved persons'' in paragraph (b)(1).


Sec. 96.71 [Amended]

0
57. Amend Sec. 96.71 by removing the phrase ``or the regulations
implementing the IAA'' and adding in its place the phrase ``the UAA, or
the regulations implementing the IAA or UAA'' in paragraph (b).


Sec. 96.74 [Amended]

0
58. Amend Sec. 96.74 by removing the second and third sentences.


Sec. 96.75 [Amended]

0
59. Amend Sec. 96.75 by adding ``, the UAA,'' after ``IAA'' in the
introductory text and removing the term ``Convention'' and adding in
its place the term ``foreign'' in paragraph (e).


Sec. 96.77 [Amended]

0
60. Amend Sec. 96.77 by removing all six iterations of the term
``Convention cases'' and both iterations of the term ``Convention
adoption cases'' adding in their places the term ``intercountry
adoption cases'' in paragraphs (b) and (c).


Sec. 96.81 [Amended]

0
61. Amend Sec. 96.81 by removing the last two sentences.


Sec. 96.83 [Amended]

0
62. Amend Sec. 96.83 by removing the phrase ``under the Convention''
in paragraph (b)(3).


Sec. 96.87 [Amended]

0
63. Amend Sec. 96.87 by removing both iterations of the term
``Convention cases'' and both iterations of the term ``Convention
adoption cases'' adding in their places the term ``intercountry
adoption cases''.


Sec. 96.90 [Amended]

0
64. Amend Sec. 96.90 by removing the second sentence.


Sec. 96.91 [Amended]

0
65. Amend Sec. 96.91 as follows:
0
a. Remove the phrase ``Once the Convention has entered into force for
the United States'' in paragraphs (a) and (b);
0
b. Remove the phrase ``withdrawal of temporary accreditation,'' in
paragraph (a)(3); and
0
c. Remove the phrase ``a withdrawal of temporary accreditation,'' in
paragraph (b)(2).


Sec. 96.92 [Amended]

0
66. Amend Sec. 96.92 by removing the phrase ``Once the Convention has
entered into force for the United States'' in the introductory text.


Sec. 96.93 [Amended]

0
67. Amend Sec. 96.93 as follows:
0
a. Remove the phrase ``and any withdrawals of temporary accreditation''
in paragraph (a)(3);
0
b. Remove the term ``Convention'' and add in its place the term
``intercountry adoption'' in paragraph (b)(2); and
0
c. Remove the phrase ``or withdraws an agency's temporary
accreditation'' in paragraph (c)(3).

Subpart N [Removed]

0
68. Remove subpart N, consisting of Sec. Sec. 96.95 through 96.111.

Dated: July 7, 2014.
Michele T. Bond,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of
State.
[FR Doc. 2014-16294 Filed 7-11-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4710-06-P