Little Zi waiting for her forever family!

For those of us who are lucky enough to have a loving Father, we know the feeling of love and protection. Little Zi knows this love…and misses it.

In all my years of working as an international adoption specialist, I have heard and seen a multitude of children’s stories—some sadder than others. Yet in all my days, no story has left me wanting a family for a child so badly as I want one for precious 8-year-old Zi.

When Zi was born, her birth mother left her father and much older sister to remarry. When many fathers might choose otherwise, her father raised her and her sister as best he could. In June 2014, the family got into a car accident that left Zi paralyzed from the waist down. Still, even as poor as they were, her father cared for her. Tragically, her father found out that December that he had liver cancer and died the next month. Zi and her sister went to live with a blind uncle while officials contacted their mother who once again refused to care for them. The children were then admitted to an orphanage. Her sister is now 18—too young to care for her and too old to be adopted with her.

When Zi came into care, she was in poor physical condition and would not speak. After being in the care of the orphanage, she is active and cute again, ready to smile, and has a good spirit. The orphanage personnel say she is very smart and cute, introverted and shy, can have a temper, and usually helps the nurturer look after the younger children. She likes writing, drawing, listening to music, watching TV and chatting. Her life is fulfill and happy with the exception of one important aspect—a family.

While single women can adopt from China, International Adoption Net feels this child needs both a mother and a father so she can once again have a Daddy . Could this little girl wrap your fatherly hand around her finger?

Contact Angela regarding this little girl, angela@ internationaladoptionnet.org .

Important Adoption Announcement

Important Adoption Update!!

ast month we were informed by the State Department that they would be enacting yet another round of heavy regulations for international adoptions. We were given only 42 days to process and respond to these new laws that will forever effect all adoption programs. The adoption world is still coming to grasps with the limiting regulations of the UAA regulations that went into effect in 2014. Due to those regulations, the TOTAL number of adoptions to the US last year was 5,647. That is an incredibly low number considering the amount of children living in institutions around the world, or worse. These are not just infant adoptions. Existing laws have already limited the options for relative adoptions, and older child adoptions. In 2015, just 6% of intercountry adoptions were infants, and 72% of intercountry adoptions were children over the age of three. Perhaps most telling is that 13% of intercountry adoptions in 2015 were of children aged 12 or older! Our government should be supporting the permanent placement of older children with approved US families, however now we are faced with another round of overreaching and crippling laws that could result in the mass shut down of even more agencies. The concerns around adoption do not justify this over regulation, and children and waiting families are the ones who will pay the cost. We ask that you help us advocate against these new laws, which are being hidden from the public and put into effect before anyone can realize what is happening. Agencies are working together to get the word out to families who may never get the chance to adopt if these go into effect next year so that you can help us advocate for children in need! Please visit http://saveadoptions.org/ to learn more about how these new rules could impact your ability to adopt, and sign the petition. The State Department can enact these new rules with no oversight, warning or accountability thanks to special allowances given to them by Congress years ago. That means just a few people are deciding these laws and there is no direct representation of the American people, no voting, no popular approval. We ask that you educate yourself and call your Senators and Representatives to stop this unnecessary over reach by the Office of Children’s Issues. Please share with your family and friends and help us save adoption!

Introducing sweet “Matthew”, waiting for his forever family!

“Matthew” is an adorable, HAPPY little boy who happens to have extra lower body parts due to having an incomplete conjoined twin. He has underwent surgery for some of the physical ramifications of this conjoined twin, but he still other malformations that the doctors decided were too dangerous to perform surgery on at the time they were going to do so. He may need continued surgeries to correct the complications.

His China list diagnosis states 1.Tailend duplication malformation (post-surgery conjoined twins); 2.bilateral Undescended testes; 3.retarded growth.

The orphanage personnel and doctors were amazed when he started to walk and play. He is able to coordinate his malformed and conjoined legs to walk steadily and even competes with his friend to slide down a slope riding a swing car with both of his legs slightly hanging in the air. He also enjoys music time where he dances to his favorite song A Small Apple (we have video of him dancing!). He is starting to speak and is said to be a child full of wisdom with his own unique view on things. He does not fight for toys or food as other children does, but will instead walk over to take a caregiver by the hand and show them the child who has taken his toy or food with a grieved look on his face. He seems to be loved by all.

A careful review of his medical documentation should be made by an international adoption specialist and preferably with a specialist in conjoined twin separations to understand the level of surgery he has received, what his current situation is and what he may need in the future. Much information is available, including VIDEOS.

Please consider bringing this delightful boy into your heart and homes! We are all just in love with his simle, and hope we can find him a loving family soon!

India Waiting Kids: Special Need Spotlight on Ambiguous genitalia

This Blog post is written by one of our Adoption Coordinators, Angela.

As an experienced international adoption specialist for 11 years, I’ve seen a variety of medical conditions with children available for adoption with various international programs. However, a recent agency change has opened my eyes to a country I had always been interested in, but never had the opportunity to serve through adoption: India.

As I search the waiting child list issued by India, I am amazed and perplexed at the number of children available with conditions that are either correctable or manageable. Some of the conditions are even sought after in other countries as a humanitarian choice in adoption. Babies, toddlers, young children and older children with HIV, club foot, cleft palate and/or lip, heart defects, limb differences and other such conditions have waited years for families on the India list. One condition I had not previously seen appears quite often on the India list: ambiguous genitalia or other gender disorders. Of the 82 children ages 0-2 currently listed on the India waiting child list, at least three have some type of gender condition. The Mayo Clinic defines ambiguous genitalia as-

“Ambiguous genitalia is a rare condition in which an infant’s external genitals don’t appear to be clearly either male or female. In a baby with ambiguous genitalia, the genitals may not be well-formed or the baby may have characteristics of both sexes. The external sex organs may not match the internal sex organs or genetic sex.Ambiguous genitalia isn’t a disease. It’s a sign of a condition that affects sexual development, and it’s referred to as a disorder of sexual development.” http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ambiguous-genitalia/basics/definition/con-20026345

More information about ambiguous genitalia, including causes and treatment, can be found at the above referred-to link. There are many options for corrective treatment for a child born with ambiguous genitalia, all that is needed is the right family that is able to care for the child. With the medical resources in the USA, many children with this condition get proper treatment, and thrive with their families. In India, where conditions like this carry heavily negative social stigmas, these children may never get the care or love they deserve, and for many is the sole reason why they are in the orphange.

Due to privacy regulations, India does not allow children to be photolisted on such sites as RainbowKids. While I understand the reasons for the privacy of the children, these limitations can decrease the chances that these beautiful children will find homes, simply because they do not have the exposure as children with other programs may have. However, if more people knew about the India program and the wonderful children that are available, more people would open their hearts and homes so these little ones would be orphans no more.

To adopt from India, parents must be physically, mentally, and emotionally stable with no threatening medical conditions, as well as be financially stable. Married couples must have been married at least two years. Single women can adopt children of either gender, while single males are only allowed to adopt boys. India does impose age limits as follows:

Families are not allowed to already have more than four children in the home. As always, USCIS and state regulations also apply with regard to qualifications of adoptive parents.

Families must first complete their adoption paperwork and obtain USCIS approval before being eligible to be matched with a child. However, once a family’s paperwork is complete, their agency can immediately start searching the waiting child list for a child that meets the family’s desired and approved criteria. The more open a family is with regard to age, gender and special needs, the more likely they are to be matched with a child quickly and start the official adoption process.

To find out more about this program, please contact International Adoption Net, info@internationaladoptionnet.org , or by calling 1-877-672-2971 .

Child in the photo is a stock photo and not available for adoption. International Adoption Net suggests all families talk to a licensed pediatrician for all medical advice and information when considering a child for adoption. Families are approved for children with medical conditions on a case by case basis after reviewing the family’s qualifications as best determined by the placement agency.

5 Questions to Ask If You Are Considering Adoption

/contact/ This is a guest post from our partner Diane Hogan. She is an adoptive parent twice over, adoption and education expert, and President of A Step Ahead Adoption Services.

Are you a family who want to start or build your family and don’t know if adoption is right for you? If so, you have probably been on the Internet looking at all the choices, options and decisions you would need to make to just take the first step into adoption. Hopefully this article will help you understand your choices, fine tune your options and guide your decision-making process.

There are 3 primary paths to adopting a child – domestic (US) adoption, international adoption and/or foster-to-adoption. How do you know which path is best for you? Consider the child you see coming into your home and ask yourself these 5 simple questions:

1) What age is this child? Most domestic adoptions are newborn-to-1 year of age placements; most international adoptions are toddler-thru-school aged; most foster-to-adoption placements are 1-year to 18-years of age (after 18, most children “age out” of the foster care system).

2) What race or races of child can you consider? In domestic adoption, you have children of all colors of the rainbow and racial combinations; however, the least placed race (in the US) is Asian. For foster-to-adoption, again all the possible racial combinations of children are eagerly awaiting their forever families. International adoptions, you have to be country-specific, thus you will be defining race(s) upon selecting a country. To get an overview of options in this area, see: https://travel.state.gov/content/adoptionsabroad/en/adoption-process.html

3) What timeframe are you considering? Most domestic (US) adoptions can occur in 1-year or less unless you are gender-specific and then that could take up to 2 years. International adoptions are country-specific and will be dependent on how well your US agency or attorney is connected with the foreign country’s embassy, orphanages and laws. Generally speaking allow a minimum of 2 years for the process. For foster-to-adoption, you would need to be able and willing to foster a child until they are eligible for the adoption rolls. That process is often 1-2 years depending on your county’s policy for a birth parents time to attempt reunification – the goal of the foster system.

4) Are you gender-specific? If so, then focus more on international or foster-to-adoption because it is much easier to select a boy or girl, or both! In domestic adoption, you become dependent on a gender-defining ultra sound or waiting for a born baby.

5) Do you have a budget defined? Most domestic and international adoptions are running $30,000 -$50,000 for the cost of preparing, adopting and traveling. Foster-to-adoption is more affordable as you may only be asked to pay for legal fees and travel. Remember, we currently do have an adoption tax credit that may assist you after you adopt. For more information, see: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html

Still confused? Feel free to send us an email or give us a call. We provide adoption education, guidance, support and resource referrals for many various aspects of adoption. If you are a family desiring a domestic adoption or adoption education, we have consultants across the US to talk with you and discuss the process of domestic adoption. If you are considering an international or foster program, we can connect you with agencies speializing in the programs you are interested in.

Diane Hogan is an adoptive mom of two “babies” (now respectively 21 years of age and 18 years of age). Along with her husband she adopted domestically and has two open adoptions. She hold BS and MA degrees in education. Worked for 20 years in public education (classroom teacher, curriculum developer, program specialist, teacher trainer). Besides her two children, she is most proud of her 2-years or remission from Hodgkins’ Lymphoma! Diane now owns/operates A Step Ahead Adoption Services for the last 16 years from Colorado Springs, CO. A Step Ahead Adoption Services (ASA), in the big picture, is a consulting services designed to help adoptive parents seeking a domestic adoption through an agency or attorney in the US. We educate, guide, support our client families who are seeking a domestic or international adoption. ASA also provides education for agencies and law firms that work in adoption. They can offer 1:1 classes, workshops and seminars. They have an extensive online adoption & parenting library for client families (over 80 documents), a prerecorded 20-minute class on the domestic adoption procedure and 45 short vignettes of interviews with adoptees, adoptive parents and an occupational therapist. Our ASA clients have access to all of those educational materials. ASA contracts with consultants who work for us across the US to support adoptive families and agencies. If you prefer to go international or foster-to-adopt, we will happily refer you to professionals in your area. ASA website is: www.astepaheadadoption.com .

If you would like your article posted as a guest on our blog, please contact us.

Mexico Hosting Program!

IAN is excited to announce a new hosting program with our Mexico program!

Joan recently returned from Mexico where she signed a contract with a specific Mexican State. This means that, in addition to families being able to adopt from Mexico using the National Registry track, IAN now has specific children we can advocate for and place for adoption. IAN currently has photo-listed eight Mexican children on Rainbow Kids .

What makes this news even more exciting is that these children are also available for hosting in the U.S.! Families interested in adopting a specific child can chose to host that child in the U.S. this winter during Christmas break! While the hosting program is not for the purpose of adoption, it does allow families to give the child the opportunity to visit America while also giving the family and child the opportunity to learn if they are a good match for each other, or advocate for your host child’s adoption in your community. In addition, because the first of the two required trips to Mexico is in order to meet and bond with the child, this first trip can be replaced by the hosting experience. While there is a fee for hosting the child, this fee is tax deductible and also saves the family the expense of traveling to Mexico for the first, generally longer, adoption trip. Hosting a child does not obligate you to adopt that child. This is a great opportunity to share your life with a child, and help them experience more of the world!

To learn more about adopting from Mexico or the hosting opportunity, please contact IAN today (info@internationaladoptionnet.org)!

Uganda Update

Please see below the latest update from the State Department concerning the new regulations from Uganda (found here- http://www.mglsd.go.ug/laws/ The%20Children%20Amendment% 20Act%202016.pdf (start page 32) and here http://www.mglsd.go.ug/laws/children%20act%20Chapter_59.pdf (start page 22)

These new regulations went into effect on June 2nd. The Laws were signed in May, but it had previously not been clear as to when it would go into effect, so some had hope that cases this summer would not be impacted. It seems now that this means any referrals made after June 2nd will need to abide by these new laws. IAN will keep its license in Uganda should a family want to adopt under these new regulations, however it seems that as things stand, it would be very difficult for any families living in the US to meet these standards. Here is a run down of the main things you need to know:

​A person who is not a citizen of Uganda may in exceptional

circumstances adopt a Ugandan child, if he or she—

(a) has stayed in Uganda for at least one

(b) has fostered the child for at least one year under the

supervision of a probation and social welfare officer;

(c) does not have a criminal record;

(d) has a recommendation concerning his or her suitability to adopt

a child from his or her country’s probation and welfare office or

other competent authority; and

(e) has satisfied the court that his or her country of origin will

respect and recognise the adoption order.

45. Restrictions and conditions.

(1) An adoption order may be granted to a sole applicant or jointly

to spouses where—

(a) the applicant or at least one of the joint applicants has attained

the age of twenty-five years and is at least twenty-one years older

than the child;

(b) in the case of an application by one of the spouses, the other has

consented to the adoption.

(2) The court may dispense with the consent required under

subsection (1)(b) if the spouse whose consent is required cannot be found or

is incapable of giving consent, or the spouses are separated and living apart

and the separation is likely to be permanent.

(3) An adoption order shall not be made in favour of a sole male

applicant in respect of a female child, or in favour of a sole female applicant

in respect of a male child, unless the court is satisfied that there are special

circumstances that justify, as an exceptional measure, the making of an

adoption order.

(4) The application shall not be considered unless the applicant has

fostered the child for a period of not less than thirty-six months under the

supervision of a probation and social welfare officer.

(5) The probation and social welfare officer shall be required to

submit a report to assist the court in considering the application; and the

court may, in addition, require some other person or the local authority to

make a report in respect of the adoption application.

(6) Except where the application is by spouses jointly, an adoption

order shall not be made authorising more than one person to adopt a child at

the same time.

The main thing is that these requirements used to be able to be waived by going through guardianship decrees and then finalizing the adoption in the US. However guardianship is no longer an option if you are not a Ugandan citizen under the new amendments, so these residency rules now apply to all international cases. Obviously we understand that most families can not move to Uganda for an extended time. The state department is updating its Uganda adoption information page, and as soon as we have any more information about how this is playing out, we will be sure to let you know.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Adoption < Adoption@state.gov >
Date: Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 7:48 AM
Subject: Notice: Uganda Announces Effective Date of June 2 for Amendments to the Children Act
To:

Adoption Notice: Uganda

July 6, 2016

Notice: Uganda Announces Effective Date of June 2 for Amendments to the Children Act

As reported in the Department of State’s June 2 Adoption Alert , on May 20, 2016, the Ugandan president signed into law amendments to the Children Act. The full text of the amendments can be found on the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development’s website . Ugandan officials have informed us that these amendments went into effect on June 2.

If you have questions about your guardianship or adoption case, please write to adoption@state.gov . We also encourage you to work closely with your adoption service provider.

Announcing our Florida Branch Office!

We are so excited to announce that this month we have been approved for our Child Placement license in Florida ! We are opening our branch office, and will be starting up our programs there in the coming weeks.

Angela K. Vance, MSW will be our new Branch Director. This office will be able to provide homestudy and post adoption services to families living in Florida, as well be a part of our placement services for our International and Domestic programs. Angela has served hundreds of children and families through international adoption since graduating with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Central Florida in June 2005. Her love for adoption led her to being the mother of her beautiful daughter, whom she adopted from Ethiopia in early 2012. In her free time, Angela enjoys church activities and spending time with her daughter. Angela is available to assist all IAN Florida clients with a full range of services, and will be heading up our China Program as well. Welome Angela!