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Accredited Adoption Service Providers Working with those Denied Accreditation
As the initial round of accreditation draws to a close, the Department has become aware that a number of accredited or approved adoption service providers (ASPs) may be considering whether to establish supervised provider relationships with an ASP that was denied accreditation or approval or whether to incorporate elements of such an ASP within its own organization. In order to assist ASPs in addressing these issues in a manner consistent with the Convention, the Intercountry Adoption Act, and the accreditation regulations, the Department is issuing this notice on supervised provider relationships and is preparing guidance in an FAQ format on mergers, acquisitions, the creation of subsidiaries and affiliates, the impact of such organizations on an agency's accreditation, and related topics.
- Only accredited agencies, temporarily accredited agencies, approved providers, exempted providers, supervised providers, and public domestic authorities are authorized to provide any adoption services in connection with a Convention adoption (see 22 CFR 96.12(a)).
- An accredited or approved ASP that establishes a supervised provider relationship with an ASP that was denied accreditation or approval, may be putting its accreditation or approval at risk. It is important for an accredited or approved ASP considering entering into a supervised provider relationship with an ASP that has been denied accreditation or approval (or that in some other way has not achieved accreditation or approval) to remember that it must remain in substantial compliance with the standards in subpart F, including the standards related to acting as a primary provider.
- Primary provider responsibilities include having procedures and standards for the selection, monitoring and oversight of supervised providers (96.32(d)); providing appropriate supervision to supervised providers (96.44(b)); and ensuring that each supervised provider operates under a written agreement that includes certain standards the supervised provider is to meet, many of which are the same as the substantive accreditation standards (96.45(b)). Moreover, pursuant to 22 CFR 96.45(a), a primary provider ensures that the supervised provider is in compliance with applicable State licensing and regulatory requirements, does not engage in practices inconsistent with the Convention's principles, and, prior to entering into the agreement with the primary provider, discloses the suitability information in 96.35 to the primary provider.
- If the qualifications, actions and performance of a supervised provider (domestic or foreign) bring the primary provider substantially out of compliance with the accreditation standards, the accredited/approved primary provider may be subject to adverse action.
- For these reasons, the accredited or approved ASP may want to ask a prospective supervised provider, whose accreditation or approval application was denied, to submit additional information related to the denial. For example, documents that the denied ASP received from the accrediting entity during the evaluation process (e.g., PCR/Commission Reports from COA) may provide information relevant to the question of whether that ASP can satisfy standards relating to supervised providers. Note that the accredited or approved ASP will need to secure these documents directly from the denied ASP.