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Intercountry Adoption News

Adoption Notice: West Sands Adoption and Counseling Agency Accreditation Canceled

September 19, 2017

On September 18, 2017, the Council on Accreditation (COA) cancelled the accreditation of West Sands Adoption and Counseling Agency (West Sands). COA is one of the Department of State’s designated accrediting entities for adoption service providers under the Hague Adoption Convention (Convention), the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 and the Intercountry Universal Accreditation Act (UAA). The cancellation is due to COA’s finding that West Sands failed to maintain substantial compliance with the accreditation standards at 22 Code of Federal Regulations Part 96 Subpart F. For more information regarding this cancellation please refer to information on substantiated complaints and adverse actions on the Council on Accreditation’s website.

As a result of this cancellation, West Sands must cease to provide all adoption services in connection with intercountry adoption cases.  Please note that this cancellation affects West Sands’ ability to provide adoption services in both Convention cases and non-Convention cases subject to the UAA. Persons with an open case with West Sands should contact the adoption service provider directly to find out how the cancellation will affect their adoption services. 

The Department of State’s role with case transfer plans is limited.  Under 22 CFR 96.87, the agency or person’s execution of its transfer plans is under the oversight of the Accrediting Entity, COA. The Department does not review or approve case transfer plans. The Department does, however, communicate with foreign Central Authorities and competent adoption authorities about the accreditation status of agencies and persons and case transfer plans, as needed.