Help Save the Adoption Tax Credit!

What is the adoption tax credit?

The Adoption Tax Credit, which can be claimed for eligible adoption-related expenses, has helped thousands of American families offset the cost of adoption since the credit was established in 1997. It has made adoption a financially viable option for many parents who might not otherwise have been able to afford it, allowing them to provide children with loving, permanent families. With over 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system currently eligible for adoption, and an ever increasing number of orphaned and abandoned children worldwide in institutions, the continuation of the Adoption Tax Credit is vital to providing love, safety, and permanency through adoption to as many children as possible.

For many families, the cost associated with adopting a child or sibling group can be very discouraging. Even for families with the best of intentions and the purest of hearts, a lack of finances can mean the difference between providing an orphan with a loving home and turning a reluctant cheek to the overwhelming need. The Adoption Tax Credit has done so much to bridge this gap, and for that we are forever grateful!

Why do we need your help to save it?

With tax reform up for discussion once more, the Adoption Tax Credit is at risk of being eliminated. We are asking both past and current adoptive families to share their voices to tell Congress about the importance of this tax credit and the difference that it has made in helping them bring their family together. By making adoption more affordable, this tax credit has literally changed the lives of countless orphans around the world, and this is simply not something that we can risk losing.

How you can help!

If your family has benefited from the Adoption Tax Credit, we need your help! Here are a couple of simple ways that you can share your voice to help this cause:

  • Send a Letter to Members of Congress

Use this link to send your thank you letter to Members of Congress to support the Adoption Tax Credit:

  • Tweet Your Support!

Tag your Member of congress and use the following hashtags: #SavetheATC #taxreform!

Example: For me and thousands of families, the adoption tax credit made adoption possible. Watch my story here [LINK] #SavetheATC #taxreform

  • Share a Facebook Post

Link to a family blog post or photo and tell your story! Again, you can use the hashtags #SavetheATC and #taxreform.


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10 New CAN Kids Are Waiting

CAN’s Bulgaria adoption specialists just received files for TEN new kids who are in need of loving families! These kids range in age from 2-13 years old and are all a part of Bulgaria’s Waiting Child adoption program. In this program, families can submit their paperwork requesting to be matched with a specific child as soon as they begin their adoption process. This helps to speed up the overall adoption journey so that families can bring their kiddos home as quickly as possible!

If you’re interested in learning more about these incredible kiddos, you can request their files by visiting CAN’s Waiting Child photo listing or by contacting today. CAN will only have these children’s files for a limited amount of time and we’re so hopeful that we will be able to help each of these kids find a family.

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Bonding in Haiti!

We are DELIGHTED to share that one of the families in our Haiti adoption program is currently traveling for their bonding trip! The entire family got to join in on this trip to spend some quality time with the newest little family member, and it sounds like they’re having a great time! In a recent update, the family shared:

“The kids are doing amazing. He is doing amazing. We could not be a better match!”

This is such an exciting milestone in their adoption, and we are honored to have the opportunity to follow along with their journey.

Enjoy the rest of your trip, and safe travels home!

Haiti Adoption

Our Haiti adoption program has both a Healthy Track and a Waiting Child program. Our Healthy Track program gives families the opportunity to be matched with a medically healthy child as young as 2.5 to 5 years old, while the Waiting Child program helps find homes for older children, sibling groups, and children of all ages with special needs!

If you’re interested in learning how you can be matched with a child through CAN’s Haiti adoption program, visit our website or contact our Haiti adoption specialist today!


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Post-Adoption Report Day!


The Office of Children’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State has declared May 15th Post-Adoption Report Day. It’s an opportunity to highlight the importance that parents who have adopted through intercountry adoption keep their promises and submit post-adoption reports as they committed to during the adoption process.

Here are 3 simple reasons NCFA believes Post-Adoption Reporting matters!

– You promised!
As a part of the adoption process, you were entrusted with the care of your child and promised to share about their future experiences. While it is easy to forget about extra paperwork in the important work of caring for your children, we think keeping your promise to report back on the wellbeing of your child is critically important.

– It’s a great opportunity for reflection.
Post-adoption reports are a good time to do some reflection and assessment. Consider your reporting dates an opportunity, not an obligation.  You can review and celebrate progress and milestones. Take a moment to consider what types of support might help your child (and you!) to grow and thrive. And consider what your goals are for your child and your family between now and the next reporting date. It’s also a terrific time to touch base with your adoption agency or other adoption professionals if you need any support. For some countries, you’re required to connect with your agency at this time anyway. It’s a natural and convenient time to touch base about any questions, concerns, or supports your family might find valuable.

– You’re helping to support future adoptions.
Post-adoption reports are one of the ways countries assess whether children are healthy, safe, and loved as a result of intercountry adoption. This information can be critical to deciding whether future children will have the option to join families through intercountry adoption or might otherwise languish in institutions or other impermanent situations.

So, what exactly is a post-adoption report? While the number and timing of reports required varies, generally the report’s goal is to discuss the child’s development and adjustment to a new family, home, and country. It’s important to pay special attention to the specific requirements in the country a child is adopted from. The type of information, how it should be assessed (through an agency or by parents themselves), and how it should be submitted can vary widely from country to country. Below, we’ve listed some basic information on several countries reporting requirements. If you have specific questions about what your reporting requirements are, we encourage you to reach out to your adoption service provider to learn more. Department of State also provides country specific information and can be contacted if you need more information.

Post-Adoption Report Requirements

We aren’t listing in detail all the country requirements, but wanted to give examples of some common countries of origin and their general guidelines, we’ve also linked through to more specific information at Department of State for each country. Of course, the best way to get information on what is required for your adoption is always to contact your adoption service provider and confirm what was required by the country at the time of your adoption and any other requirements the agency might have that you agreed to during the adoption process.

Bulgaria: 4 reports required. One every six months after adoption for first two years.

China: 6 reports required. Six months after adoption and at 1,2,3,4, and 5 years after adoption. First 3 reports must be prepared by the social workers who prepared the homestudy. Families may write last three reports themselves.

Haiti: 7 post-adoption reports are typically required. The first 4 must be completed with the adoption service provider at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after adoption. The last 3 reports at moths 36, 48, and 60 may be submitted directly to IBESR by adoptive parents.

To find the requirements for the country you’re working with, you can search here or contact our adoption specialists today!

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Latvia Adoption FAQ


Whether it’s a connection to Eastern Europe’s rich culture or the desire to bring an older child or sibling group into your home, there are countless reasons why our families choose to adopt from Latvia. CAN has seen a great deal of movement with this program lately, from referrals being issued to families traveling to bring their kiddos home. With all of the excitement surrounding this program, we wanted to provide answers to some of the questions we hear most often.

If your family is interested in adopting from Latvia and you would like more information, visit our website or contact CAN’s Latvia adoption specialists today!

Is travel required when adopting from Latvia?

Yes, all families will be required to travel to meet their child. Latvia has 3 travel trips. The first trip is a month long stay in country, the second is 3-4 days and the third is 5-6 days.

Are both parents required to travel on all 3 trips?

No, both parents must attend the first trip, but only one parent is required to travel on the second and third trips.

Can I adopt a healthy infant?

No, the children available for adoption are older (8+). Additionally, most of the available children will have special needs to some degree – ranging from minor to more moderate and severe.

Why are there no younger children available?

Latvia favors domestic adoption over international adoption, therefore, all children are placed on a domestic list for an extended period of time before they are placed on the international list.

What type of placement is most common for the children to reside in?

Most often the children are residing in orphanages, foster families, or guardianships.

I am adopting as a single. Am I eligible to adopt from Latvia?

Absolutely! Latvia welcomes both single men and women.

After my dossier paperwork has been submitted to country, how long will I wait to be matched?

Most families wait about 6-12 months to receive their official referral. This will vary depending on the availability of children, the broadness of the applicants adoption parameters, and whether or not the applicants are pursuing a child they previously hosted.

Is there a list of available children I can look at?

Yes, the list can be found here. It is updated about twice a year.

Do I need to have a completed home study before starting my dossier paperwork?

No, it is actually recommended that families wait to start on their home study until they have been assigned their dossier specialists. Home studies must be reviewed and approved by your dossier specialist before it can be finalized by your social worker.

How do I begin my adoption process?

Once you have selected the country you would like to adopt from, you will need to fill out our online application which can be found here. There is an application fee of $250 due at the time of submission.

How old do I have to be to adopt from Lativa?

Both parents must be a minimum of 25 years old.

Can same-sex couples adopt from Latvia?

Unfortunately, Latvia does not allow for same-sex couples to adopt at this time.

What are the most common special needs?

Some of the most commonly seen needs are hearing/vision impairments, poor dental health, speech delays, HIV+, rickets, malnutrition, and developmental delays due to institutionalization.

When do I get to meet my child?

Families will meet their kiddo/s within the first couple days of the first travel trip.

Why is the first travel trip so long? What do we do for a month?

This month is spent bonding and building a relationship with your child. Your child will live with you at your hotel/apartment for the entirety of the trip. Besides the mandatory court hearings, you are able to go sightseeing, travel around Latvia, potentially meet your child’s foster family or visit the orphanage, etc.

Can we bring our children with us on the first trip?

Yes! You are certainly able to bring your kiddos with you on your trip.

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The Day I Met You: Caseworkers Watch Adoption Journeys Come Full Circle

Meeting the Children of GWCA and CAN

When working with children that need our advocacy, meeting them in person is truly one of the most life-changing experiences. From the moment that you hold them in your arms, your heart breaks for them and you know you have to do everything in your power to help them find the love of a family. Every day GWCA and CAN’s matching specialists advocate for kids, many of whom they have never met before. While it is always incredible to help a child find their family, nothing can compare to the moment when you see the same child you held in your arms in an orphanage finally uniting with their Forever Family.

We asked our matching specialist, Hilary, Meredith, and Heidi to reflect on a few of the incredible moments that they experienced while watching the adoptions of children they met come full circle. If you’re interested in learning more about some of the kiddos that we’re currently advocating for that our staff members have met, please contact our matching specialists today!

GWCA and CAN are currently advocating for many Waiting Children who are in need of loving families. If you’re interested in learning more about these incredible kids or finding out how your family can be matched, visit our Waiting Child photo listings or contact our matching specialists today!

Visit CAN’s Waiting Child Photo Listing!

From Haiti to Home

There are not many moments in your life where you truly feel the ground move beneath you. And, there are not many moments in your life where you can say that you directly impacted someone’s life and changed it for the better. As a matching specialist that is a feeling I often get to experience and it is nothing short of incredible. However, there are also moments when you get to meet a child face to face in their country and later see that same child come home with their forever family, and that feeling…well that is a feeling like no other. It is honestly indescribable.

I recently got to experience this feeling when one of my kiddos from Haiti came home. I met little E about a year ago and she was the caretaker of her creche. She loved to give everyone hugs and check on her crying friends. After spending a short amount of time at the creche little E quickly became one of my buddies. She would grab my hand and drag me from room to room and even jumped of my back for a photo op. This sweet little girl was full of personality and at the time was soft matched with one of my families. I could not wait to get back to Texas and call her mom to tell her exactly what her precious girl was like! Time passed, documents were approved, and I finally got to make the call that we as matching specialists love to do, “This is it. This is the call. You can go pick up your girl!” And, just like that, little E finally came home.

Once they were settled her mom called me to update me on how they were doing and that phone call went something like this, “Can you say hi Hilary?”, “Hi Hilary” in the tinniest and cutest little voice. It was little E on the other end of the phone. The sweet girl I met so long ago and now in her home with her forever family. I LOST IT.

International adoption is not easy. It is not easy for anyone involved in the process whether you are working on the adoption or adopting. But, these moments are what keep me going. These are the reminders of why I do what I do.

Meeting Lottie

Last summer, I had the amazing opportunity to fly to Chicago to meet the summer host kiddos that were flying in from Beijing. I will never forget the feeling of waiting at the gate with all of the families eager to meet the children they would be hosting for the next four weeks. For the kiddos that were going to be advocated for, I had the amazing chance to spend time with the kiddos at the airport to learn more about their sweet and incredible spirits. One little girl in particular, Lottie, captured my heart completely while we were waiting for her connecting flight. Even after a long and exhausting day of travel for the kiddos and the chaperone, she brought such joy and mischievousness to our little group. During the hosting session Lottie’s host family and I worked closely to find her a forever family, and now I am overjoyed to say that her family will be traveling to bring her home soon! I can’t wait to see photos of Lottie again, this time with a family to call her own. 

An Indescribable Feeling

What does it feel like to meet a child in China who doesn’t think they’ll ever have a mom or a dad, brothers or sisters, a home, a family to call their own?  What does it feel like to give them hope that one day you might help them find what they’ve always dreamed of?  What does it feel like to talk to a family who wants that child they have seen on a photo listing, to help them start the adoption process, to see their family work for months and months and finally get to go pick them up?

I got to follow their journey, I got to see pictures of their Gotcha’ Day, and even better, I received a phone call from the family telling me that the child I had met one year before was on the other end of the line asking to speak with me.

What does that feel like you ask?  It is indescribable!  There are no words to describe that feeling.  It takes your breath away.  It punches you in the gut, but in the best way possible.  You want to run and jump and laugh and scream with joy, but you also want to fall to the ground and cry because of how big, how huge that moment is.  How can you describe being the catalyst for an orphaned child’s life being changed forever?  How can you describe someone telling you that the photo or video you took in China is what made them fall in love with a child?  The sheer weight of that knowledge is almost too much to bear! And yet it’s one of the most amazing feelings a person could ever experience!

A moment of silence.  Then you hear the child pick up the phone.  And then, “Hello Heidi?  It is…”  Breathless.  Speechless.  Silent tears stream down my face. There are no words to describe this moment.  And there never will be.

*Note: For privacy purposes, the kids shown in the image above are not the kids featured in the post.

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New Haiti Referral!


These three incredible families just traveled to Haiti to bring their kiddos home!

We are delighted to announce that one of the families in CAN’s Haiti Waiting Child adoption program just received their referral for a sweet 9 year old boy!

Now that they’ve officially received their referral, it won’t be long before they’re able to travel to Haiti for their bonding trip. This trip is incredibly beneficial both for the family and their newest kiddo, as it provides them with the chance to get to know one another during the adoption process.

With the acceptance of this referral, this has taken a huge step towards bringing their son home forever. Congratulations from all of us at GWCA and CAN, we are so excited to continue following your journey!

Haiti Adoption

Our Haiti adoption program has both a Healthy Track and a Waiting Child program. Our Healthy Track program gives families the opportunity to be matched with a medically healthy child as young as 2.5 to 5 years old, while the Waiting Child program helps find homes for older children, sibling groups, and children of all ages with special needs!

If you’re interested in learning how you can be matched with a child through CAN’s Haiti adoption program, visit our website or contact our Haiti adoption specialist today!



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