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D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Ruling on Intercountry Adoption Regulation Matter

On Friday, July 9, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided case No. 20-5158, in which National Council For Adoption (NCFA) was appellant. The matter centered around whether or not guidance issued by the Department of State was a legislative rule requiring a notice-and-comment process. In accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, legislative rules require notice and comment. The panel of judges unanimously determined that the guidance was a legislative rule because it makes new law. The court ruling includes a remand to the district court to enter an order vacating the Department of State’s unlawful guidance.

NCFA is pleased that the court unanimously ruled this way and we hope for constructive dialogue amongst the adoption community surrounding this and other complex topics. NCFA would like to thank the law firm of Sidley Austin for their excellent legal representation. We would also like to thank the many amici curiae and declarants who participated in this case.

Click HERE to read the Court's ruling.