China Opens Adoption to Single Women

15 03 2011

The China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) has announced that single women may once again adopt in China beginning today, March 15, 2011.

Single adoptions, which once comprised over a quarter of all intercountry adoptions in China, will now be used to find families for Chinese children with special needs.  The new singles program is specific to finding families for children designated as Special Focus.  This designation usually indicates the child has a special need, is pre-school  or school age and has been on the shared waiting list for more than 60-days.  It can also indicate a non-special needs child of school age who has been on the shared waiting list for more than 60-days.

If you or someone you know, are considering an adoption in China, please contact a Joint Council affiliated Adoption Service Provider to learn more about this new program.

Following is the full text of the CCAA announcement.

____________________________________________

Government departments and adoption agencies in receiving countries, In order to promote special needs child adoption and guarantee the basic interests of the orphaned and disabled children, CCAA decides to accept the adoption applications from female single applicants to adopt according to the requirements listed in this notice, starting from March 15, 2011:

  • Female single applicants are allowed to adopt special focus children listed on the special Needs System of CCAA.
  • One applicant can only adopt one special focus child at a time, with an interval of at least one year between two adoptions.
  • The applicant shall have reached the age of 30 years and are under 50. For applicants over 50, the age difference between the child to be adopted and the applicant shall be no more than 45 years.
  • The applicant shall provide her civil status certificate. Unmarried applicants shall provide certification for being single and non-homosexual; divorced applicants shall provide the divorce certificate of the last marriage; and widowed applicants shall provide the death certificate of their ex-spouse.
  • The reason of being single and attitude towards marriage. Applicants shall have clear indication of willingness to appoint male figures as role models for the adopted child, and welcome male friends to join family gatherings.
  • Applicants shall have received inter-country adoption training and training specifically for special needs child adoption so as to understand fully the physical and psychological needs of special needs children.
  • Detailed nurturing and rehabilitation plan. Applicants shall be qualified personally and socially for caring special needs children and have wide social and family supporting network which can provide assistance any time.
  • Guardians appointed by the applicants shall provide written statement as consent to act as the guardian of the adopted child. X. If the applicant has a stable relationship and lives with a male partner, t he requirements of couple applicants shall be applied.
  • Applicants shall be healthy both physically and mentally according to the requirements by CCAA for prospective adoptive couples.
  • Applicants shall be law abiding with no criminal records, and have good moral quality and conduct
  • The family annual income shall reach $10,000 per family member, including the prospective adoptee and the family net assets value should reach $100,000.
  • The applicant shall have good medical insurance which can cover the medical expense of the adopted child.
  • Applicants shall be experienced in child caring or be occupied in child-related fields, such as doctor, nurse, teacher, child psychological counselor, etc. It’s best that the applicants have already had successful experience in caring for special needs children.
  • The number of children in the applicant’s family under the age of 18 years shall be no more than two, and the youngest one should have reached the age of 6 years old.
  • Applicants shall be fully prepared for adopting a special focus child.
  • Social workers shall provide the following information fully and timely in the home study reports besides family visit interviews: Adoption motive. The decision to adopt a special focus child shall be well-considered. Applicants shall be capable of caring for a special need child and be responsible for the well-being of the child.




No to corruption. Yes to families.

14 03 2011

by Rebecca Harris, Director of Programs & Services

The following as an excerpt from our newsletter, Mbali’s Message.  Sign up to receive it by clicking here.

Already in 2011 we’ve seen Ethiopia move to reduce intercountry adoptions by 90% and Kazakhstan officially suspend adoptions in anticipation of their ratification of the Hague Convention.  Haiti and Ukraine are on what we’ve termed our “high alert” list – countries that show indications of closing in the next 12-months. This is a scene we’ve seen play out over and over again, in country after country.  And every time a country has chosen to suspend or close intercountry adoptions, children suffer.  It’s a scene that is quite frankly, confusing, unneccessary, and very disturbing.
In allowing this to occur, we’ve failed the biological families who need preservation services, we’ve failed the children who legitimately need intercountry adoption and we’ve failed our global community.  I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of failure.  I’m tired of seeing children, like Addison, become “collateral damage” in the battle against abuse.  Allowing children to die needlessly and alone is simply unacceptable.

Over the last ten years we’ve fought the good fight.  But we’ve lost too many times.  And every time we lose, children lose.  This month we’ll release a report about the systematic elimination of intercountry adoption and the decrease in services to children.  And we’ll ask you to join us in changing the tide.  We’ll ask you to rally your friends and family to stand up and say “No” to corruption and “Yes” to families.  It’s not enough to just stop bad things from happening – we have to make good things happen too!

So, be on the look out over the next month – in your inbox and our website – I hope you’ll join me in standing up and demanding the fulfillment of every child’s right to a safe, permanent and loving family.  Join me in speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.





The Answer for Martha

29 11 2010

To learn more about Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Advocacy Campaign-Click Here

Growing in a Heartbeat from Three to Four

by Martha

Submitted by Spence-Chapin

I was born in Moscow, Russia, on August 31, 1992. What I know about my first 13 months of life comes from a book my father created for me.  My “Memory Book” contains pictures and a description of the House of the Child where I lived when my parents Larry and Ellen and big sister Beth first met me. It also contains photos of the women who cared for me, some of my playmates and the rooms where I slept and played. Clearly, I was very well cared for and that is something that makes me happy and proud of my birth country, my first country.  In November 1993, through the cooperation of the Russian and United States governments and our agency Spence-Chapin Services, I was adopted by my new family.  They frequently recall the extraordinary moment when our family “grew in a heartbeat from three to four.”

When I first arrived, I’m told I was very curious … and very hungry.  One of my favorite stories is about the evening my grandfather introduced me to solid food.  I was 15 months old and he thought it was time for me to give up my bottle and eat real food.  So, at a family dinner, he popped a tortellini into my mouth and, as my family says, “the rest is history.”  No more bottle for me.  I went straight from kefir to tri-color salads and tiramisu!

Another story my parents tell is that, when I first arrived, I had trouble sitting up on my own. Yet within one month, I was standing and walking… and then ran across the playroom straight into the arms of my big sister.

As far back as I can remember, my family celebrated the fact that I was adopted from Russia. My family and I are proud of my heritage. When I was younger, I always attended the Eastern European Heritage Parties Spence-Chapin held to celebrate my culture. Later, I volunteered at Spence-Chapin and attended the heritage parties to assist the new little kids adopted from Eastern Europe with crafts and help serve treats as they enjoyed Russian entertainment and stories.

My life here in the U.S. has been great.  In nursery and grammar schools, I did well academically, and enjoyed ballet and Girl Scouts. I was admitted with a scholarship to a very competitive high school where I won the Spanish, Latin and Chemistry Awards and scored at the highest level in a nationwide European History course.  My friends and I studied hard but we also had fun together. I loved watching tennis and hockey, was captain of my varsity badminton team, and an editor of my school newspaper. My family is very supportive of my interests and sent me to summer programs at universities to study global health issues and government.

During my junior and senior years in school while I prepared for my college exams, I also worked on creating “Memory Books” for children in orphanages in Eastern Europe. These books will help the caregivers record the milestones of the children so they are not forgotten. My goal was to provide as many children as possible with a keepsake book that is truly personalized and a treasure to look back on for the rest of their lives…just like mine is to me.

A couple of years ago, my family and I were featured on National Public Radio talking about  adoption and our personal story. I was a little nervous at first but it turned out to be a great experience to reflect on my life and how much adoption has meant to me, my parents and my sister. Simply put, I needed a home, my sister needed a sibling, and my parents wanted to experience the joy of having another child in their life.  It’s a real life story with a happy ending!

This was The Answer For Martha. Be The Answer For Another Child by Watching Joint Council’s Be The Answer Video. Share your thoughts on the video by leaving a comment on YouTube.  





The Answer for Evyn

20 11 2010

To learn more about Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Advocacy Campaign-Click Here

Happy National Adoption Day from Joint Council. Watch the video below as Bryson and Emily share their journey to adopting their daughter Evyn from Ethiopia.

Find and Attend a National Adoption Month Event in your area. Email Joint Council at betheanswer@jointcouncil.org with what you did. Include pictures so we can share them with our followers!





The Answer for Manuel

9 11 2010

To learn more about Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Advocacy Campaign-Click Here

We set out for an older toddler boy. Boys often are forgotten, many people thinking girls are easier.  With two birth-daughters we knew that this wasn’t true.  The thought of a forgotten or neglected boy needing a stable, loving family drew us to our decision.

Manuel is a total teddy bear, charming, smart and loving.  He came home to us at age 5 with scars, parasites, and tuberculosis.  He had size 4 clothing even though he was 5 years old.  Despite this he still had a bright smile and a loving lasting hug that everyone enjoyed, this was the start on our adventure into older toddler adoption.

Our road trip into parenting Manuel began wit stabilizing his health.  Reports from Guatemala showed Manuel needing food, he was behind developmentally; he was clumsy, and his verbal skills needed some help.  Once home it was the quest to encourage eating when hungry and getting used to food at regular times.  Treating his ailments fell into the mix with pre-school to work on manners.  Manuel had an instinct to leave us when he pleased, in crowds or our front yard.  Sad to ween this independence, we taught him its best to be with Mommy and Daddy and that with us there’s always food and love and no need to ask for it from others.

Manuel suffered constantly with flu and colds that had me worried that he’d never actually attend a full month at school!  Our physician came to explain that Manuel needed time to build up his immunity.  That malnutrition is not overcome with just eating but our endeavor would take several years because malnutrition is at the cellular level and we had a long way to go to build up our sons system.

After being home for two years did we realize his vision was poor, another possible effect of malnutrition?  Manuelito had double vision and was legally blind but we hadn’t realized it.  It was hard not to feel guilty, our eye doctor reassured us that many families don’t realize their kids have a vision problem until there is a problem in learning at school.  Manuel is now in cool Spiderman spectacles with the double vision corrected he’s on his way to correctable vision.

None of these setback’s have been easy but somehow we find our way to brush ourselves off and continue on loving and caring for our son and try not to be bitter about these struggles.

With all that I have learned about malnutrition my thoughts wander back to Guatemala and all of the children who won’t receive the love and care that they deserve.  I think what if Manuel was still there, would he be begging on the street? Would he be alive? It hasn’t been easy with Manuel, I won’t sugar coat adoption or parenting.  Bringing Manuel home has taught me more about the human condition that I could ever know by any other fashion.  Whether he knows it or not he’s made my heart grow wider and stronger, he’s made me a more accepting person, and to Manuel I am forever grateful to have him be my son.

This was The Answer for Manuel, Be The Answer for another child by visiting the Guatemala900 website and signing up to receive updates on the children waiting in Guatemala and what you can do to help.





The Answer for Rose

8 11 2010

Rose turns 13 today! All of us here at Joint Council want to wish Rose a Very Happy Birthday!

To learn more about Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Advocacy Campaign-Click Here

Adoption was The Answer for Rose.  Help other children who don’t yet have an answer by helping one of the many, many wonderful organizations working in Haiti, Haitian Roots.  Six Seeds will donate $2 to Haitian Roots for every comment left after this article! Each comment has to have a unique email address, but if you have more than one address, you can comment more than once.  It’s a simple and easy way to help orphaned children get the education they need!





Be The Answer for Evan

6 11 2010
To learn more about Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Advocacy Campaign-Click Here
This is the story of an adoption of a special boy from the Republic of Georgia who tragically took ill while still in his native land. His journey home was not what was expected, it was instead into the arms of his Heavenly Father.

Be The Answer for Evan by asking your local Barnes & Noble bookstore about setting up a gift wrapping table in December with all proceeds  going to Joint Council or one of our membersClick here to find a Barnes & Noble in your area!





The Answer for George

4 11 2010

To learn more about Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Advocacy Campaign-Click Here

 

George had An Answer. Be The Answer for another child  by spreading the word about the challenge and Joint Councils work!  Find our facebook page by clicking here, “like” our page and refer our page to 5 of  your friends!





Be The Answer for Song

4 11 2010

Song’s story is one of many for Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Adovocay Campaign. The campaign entitled “I Am The Answer” highlights stories of  children who have been part of the adoption system in some way. Some stories highlight a child finding their forever family while others are not as lucky. We encourage you to take the time to learn more about Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Advocacy Campaign by Clicking Here and then support Being The Answer by completing each task every day in November.

 

The first time I met an orphaned child who was blind, my heart ached for her.  The orphanage was crowded and loud, and she sat all day on her little chair looking overwhelmed.   I was told that her future would be difficult, as she could not attend public school, and she would most likely never find work.   The orphanage staff told me there was a good chance she would be institutionalized her entire life, simply for being blind.

So when we first learned of baby Song, I knew we had a difficult decision to make.  He had been diagnosed with retinoblastoma, an eye cancer.  Treatment involves removal of the eye, which we quickly did, knowing he could still see with his left eye.  Here he is shortly after that surgery.

Unfortunately, at his next medical exam, we learned that cancer was in his left eye as well.   To save his life, we would have to remove both eyes, leaving Song permanently blind.   This was a very difficult decision, as I knew that without adoption, we could be committing him to life in an institution.  But it was the only option to save his life, and so surgery was done.   Subsequent CT scans have shown that he is cancer free, and for that we are so thankful.  His orphanage agreed to submit him for international adoption, and he is now on China’s shared list.  But sadly, no one has stepped forward to choose him.

In June, I had the honor to meet little Song in person.   Of course I knew from his photos what a beautiful little boy he was, but meeting him face to face took my breath away.   Song is only 2 years old, but he talks like a little adult.  He happily chatted all through lunch, commenting on every dish and asking who everyone was.   Since losing his sight, his other senses have become increasingly sharp, and he could tell immediately when I was near.    His caregivers told us again and again how very smart he is, and they are all hoping that a family will want him as their son.   Without adoption, the reality is that Song’s life has little hope.   But with a family to support and love him, and provide this remarkable and intelligent little boy with an opportunity to go to school,  I know his future can be unlimited!

Amy Eldridge

Executive Director, Love Without Boundaries

(Song currently has an adoption grant towards his adoption expenses through LWB)

Be The Answer for Song  by spreading the word about the challenge and Joint Councils work!  Find our facebook page by clicking here and “like” our page and refer our page to 5 of  your friends!





The Answer for Nikolas and Be The Answer for Shelby

2 11 2010

To learn more about Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Advocacy Campaign Click Here

A Tale of Two Children

Two children so beautiful, so special and so loved. Both my children but only one I can hold and kiss, teach and provide for. The other lives in my heart and I hold her in my dreams.

In June of 2008 I met Shelby Krystina. She was then 19 months old. Her medical reports include hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, severe malnourishment, global developmental and physical delays; all consistent with the suspicion for cerebral palsy. Shelby sat for the first time unassisted on my first trip. She walked unassisted just prior to my second trip in December of 2008. She remains extremely small for her age. And she remains in an orphanage in Kyrgyzstan. Two and a half years after meeting her government has continued to invoke delay after delay. We have no end in sight. We have no timeline for when or even if she will ever get to be more then the child of my heart.

On a positive note due to continued delays my fiancé and I chose to pursue a concurrent adoption. In December of 2009 (on Shelby’s Birthday) we received photographs of a little boy who we knew instantly was meant to be our son. Six months later Nikolas Benjamin Richard became a United States citizen as we landed on U.S. soil at John F. Kennedy Airport.

I met Nikolas (aka Kolya ) in April 2010. He was just shy of 18 months old. He too is tiny, malnourished and developmentally delayed. But Nikolas has an advantage. Russia, despite recent troubles, has continued to allow International Adoption to proceed. Their government has worked closely with many adoption advocates to unite as many children with families as possible. Kolya turned two on October 10. In less then 4 months he has learned to not only walk without toppling every three steps, he now runs, jumps, skips, and climbs. He has gone from not talking in the orphanage to saying at the very least 25 English words. His latest melts my heart. His new saying makes me sad and happy at the same time. Two days ago Kolya started saying “I wub oo” When going to sleep or being held, “I wub oo” is said over and over. Kolya has transformed from a lonely scared developmentally delayed child into a happy, shining little boy who is almost right on target in all areas for his age.

Kolya came home at the same age that Shelby “should have” come home. I am reminded daily, just by watching him blossom, of what Shelby is missing. No speech, physical, or occupational therapy. No nutrionist to help her thrive, no one to sing her bedtime songs or hold her when she cries. Shelby will turn four in two months. She potentially will be moved to the orphanage for older children. Her world will become scarier as she will go from one of the oldest to the youngest, smallest, and frailest of the children. What will happen to her? Who will watch over her? Who will tell her repeatedly “ I wub oo?”

Nikolas has An Answer.  Be the Answer for Shelby by posting the below message on the president of Kyrgyzstan, Roza Otunbayeva, facebook page (found here):

”Please advocate for the 65 Kyrgyz children waiting to be adopted by U.S families.  To learn more about one of these children read this story.”

Be sure that you link to this Blog Post on the President’s Wall!








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