Tips for writing a Letter to the Editor and Proposed Op-Eds for your newspaper
Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds are great ways to educate your community and to get your Congressional Representative’s attention.
Be sure to:
- Make it local: Show how this globally important topic is important to the people in your community, or future members of your community.
- Make it personal: Your own stories and anecdotes are most powerful.
- Word count: Check with the publication about its word limit for both Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds. Over-long pieces will not be considered.
- Make it error-free: Watch your spelling and grammar.
Key Points for Your Letter to the Editor
In addition to your own stories and anecdotes, which are essential, below are some other points to raise in your Letter to the Editor
· Many children worldwide live without parents, with some 10-14 million institutionalized. And this number is growing. The plight of these unparented children is the largest unrecognized human rights crisis of the 21st century.
· Right now, international adoption provides one of the best and, often, the only solution for unparented children. Children need true parents and the nurturing they provide to grow up to enjoy fulfilling lives. Adoption gives children the permanent, nurturing, and legally stable parents that are essential.
· Many countries, however, impose severe restrictions on or altogether prohibit international adoption. This deliberately denies many thousands of children per year the possibility of growing up with loving parents.
· Research demonstrates overwhelmingly that adoption, including international adoption, works well for children. Those adopted early in life do as well on average as children raised in non-problematic biological families. These positive findings are true for all groups of adoptees, including those adopted internationally and transracially.
· I urge [Senator Y, Representative X] to support S.1177 and H.R.264, requiring the Department of State to revise its practices so that its Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices includes, rather than systematically omits, violations of unparented children’s rights, including but not limited to the unnecessary holding of children in institutions and related denial of timely access to domestic and international adoption.
[YOUR NAME AND TOWN]
The following are Op-Eds expressing support for the predecessor to this Human Rights Legislation:
- US Can Save Children by Upholding International Adoption Rights, Op-Ed by Elizabeth Bartholet and Paulo Barrozo, The Boston Globe, May 24, 2016.
- Vulnerable Children Are Counting on Us But Are We Counting Them?, Op-Ed by Rabbi Susan Silverman, New York Observer, June 21, 2016.
- Groundbreaking Human Rights of Children Bill Introduced in Congress, Op-Ed by Elizabeth Bartholet and Paulo Barrozo, Washington Examiner, July 16, 2016.
- Re-Aligning U.S. State Department Policy to Support Child Rights to Family, Op-Ed by Elizabeth Bartholet and Chuck Johnson, The Chronicle of Social Change, January 19, 2017.
- Advocating for the Child’s Human Right to Family, by Elizabeth Bartholet, Adoption Advocate, No. 109, July 2017.