Thursday, September 18, 2008

The State of International Adoption and Children's Hope

As Children’s Hope continues to pursue Hague accreditation, our agency is also adjusting to concurrent changes in international adoption.

During the growth of international adoption, Children’s Hope also grew to service our families with the support of 16 regional offices nationwide. Over the last several years, the countries Children’s Hope works within to bring homes, health and hope to children in need have increased their qualifications for families to adopt and have reorganized their policies as government programs will do.

By the end of September, Children’s Hope will be completing our agency restructure. Operations and service to our families will be delivered from our St. Louis main office. Each branch office is now working to close our licenses in the states the branch works within and is aiding our families in choosing a home study and post-placement agency as necessary.

This year, international adoption has been affected in these ways:

China adoptions, which once had wait times from dossier submission to referral most often within 1 year from 1992 to 2005, have slowed. The current wait time for referrals is 32 months and still climbing.
Vietnam adoptions continue for those families who have official referrals, but no new applications are currently being accepted by any agency until the US and Vietnam authorities sign a new Memorandum of Agreement for international adoptions to the US.
• Korea is making announcements of its own closure of international adoptions by 2012.
• Guatemala, the second largest destination for adoptive families in recent years, has closed to new adoptions. Many families once interested in providing a home for a Guatemalan orphan are looking into other countries still open to international adoption.
• Most countries have been very slow in giving referrals; in turn, the wait time in most countries has increased, even as interest in their international program continues to grow.

Hague Accreditation and Its Affect on Children’s Hope Programs

Children’s Hope works with two countries which require Hague Accreditation in order to accept new applications. As we have not yet received Hague Accreditation, Children’s Hope cannot accept new applications at this time for China and Colombia adoptions. This change is reflected on the Children’s Hope website. However all Children’s Hope families with dossiers submitted in the country are ‘grandfathered’ in and can complete their adoption using Children’s Hope with a current I-171H; if a I-800 is required, the adoption will be completed through a sister agency.

Our families who are in the process of completing their paperwork for China will be transferred to a sister agency for the submission of their completed dossier in country. Children’s Hope is submitting family dossiers to Colombia, for those families with an I-600A.

Russia, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia are not Hague participants and are not affected by Hague requirements. Russia is slow but moves forward steadily. Kazakhstan is slow and has its own requirements. Ethiopia is growing and stable.

Vietnam is in its own category. The international adoption program in Vietnam does not require an agency to have Hague Accreditation, but is currently closed to new applications from all agencies until a new Memorandum of Agreement is signed between the US and Vietnam. When and if that agreement is signed, it is likely that Vietnam will require Hague accreditation.

Meanwhile, Children’s Hope families on the Vietnam dossier waiting list maintain their position on the list, based on the submission of their dossier. If and when Vietnam decides to return all dossiers submitted with Vietnam’s Department of International adoption, Children’s Hope dossiers will be held in our Ho Chi Minh City office until a new agreement is reached. If at that time Hague Accreditation is required and Children’s Hope has not been Hague accredited, we will work with one or more agencies to smoothly transition families to complete their adoptions.

* All Children's Hope families were contacted with this information during the week of September 15, 2008. If you are a Children's Hope family and did not receive this update, please email to update your contact information.


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