Intercountry Adoption Changes

Dear Families,

As you may already know, each adoption service provider (ASP) is licensed to process adoptions within their state, as well as accredited by the Department of State (DOS) via an approved accrediting entity. An accrediting entity effectively governs compliance with the Hague Convention rules and regulations, under the supervision of DOS. Since the inception of the Hague Convention, the accrediting entity governing compliance has been the Council on Accreditation (COA). Recently, due to conflicts with DOS centering on how ASPs should be overseen, COA has resigned from its role as an accrediting entity. In its stead, a new agency, Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME), has been approved. The transition of duties is still taking place, but in the meantime new requirements have been announced and we would like to make everyone aware.

Last week, IAAME released its fee schedules for accreditation, monitoring, and oversight, which are applicable to every ASP currently operating. Included in this fee schedule is a “Monitoring & Oversight” fee of $500 per adoptive child that will be assessed on any new adoptive families contracted on or after February 15, 2018. GWCA/CAN (and all other APSs) will be required to report new adoptive families each month, and then pay this fee per family the following month. As this is a fee charged by IAAME (and approved by DOS), this is what we would call a “pass-through fee,” wherein GWCA/CAN is merely a third-party processor. We want to stress this fee is NOT charged by GWCA/CAN, nor does GWCA/CAN have any say in this fee moving forward other than the requirements of reporting and billing. This fee is non-refundable per IAAME.

Beginning February 15, any contracts signed will be assessed this fee. In addition to other fees due with the signing of your contract, you will need to remit payment for one child (or the first child, if intending to adopt multiple children). If you are a family intending to adopt two or more children, please note that you will not be required to pay the additional fees for each child until you accept the referral which will be unique to each family’s case.

We understand that additional fees in an adoption, especially those not expected, can be frustrating. For this reason, we would like to once again stress that this is not the choice GWCA/CAN (or any ASP). GWCA/CAN is following the directions of IAAME, who is operating at the direction of DOS. If you do have any questions, please feel free to contact your application case manager.

Sincerely,

Great Wall China Adoption/Children of All Nations

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Helping Haiti

In December 2017, a group of staff members, adoptive families, and other passionate volunteers traveled together to Haiti to support the orphans there. For our Orphan Care Team, it was a life-changing experience. One of the volunteers shares her experience below:

“When I first heard of this opportunity, I was just so excited to return to Haiti, as I fell in love with the country and the people my first time around. However, I had no idea how rewarding and encouraging this trip would be in relationship to my adoption process.

I was fortunate enough to get to bring my husband this time, and to show him this place in which I’d loved. Meeting our agency rep was especially helpful because we were able to ask several questions during the trip. We were so happy to learn that she was compassionate and fully invested in what was best for our family and our future children. Of course we’d assumed this before based on previous interactions via email, but this was much better.

Perhaps one of the most helpful parts about this trip was getting to talk with other potential adoptive parents. The adoption process in Haiti is so difficult to explain to others who aren’t involved. It was nice to be around people who understood! We’ve made lifelong friendships on this trip!

What I wasn’t anticipating about this trip, was its ability to eradicate some of my worries about adopting from Haiti. I had previously met some children who are not in a currently accredited creche and I was very worried about whether or not I’d be able to welcome into my family, children I hadn’t previously met. That worry was quickly removed upon visiting this new orphanage I hadn’t seen before and seeing all of the beautiful children that I could easily see joining my family someday. My other prior concern was that I would be taking these children from the place they were meant to be and that that would be selfish of me. Haiti is a beautiful country with beautiful people and exquisite culture. I didn’t want to remove that. But after talking to several older children at the orphanage I realized that they truly did want families. They did want to come to America. And I realized that we can continue to take trips to Haiti as a family in order to keep their heritage alive.

It was an incredible experience and I would go back in a heartbeat!! Thank you for the opportunity!”

Resources

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5 Steps to Start Your Adoption Journey

1. Connect with Our Matching Specialists

GWCA and CAN’s matching specialists are here to help you find an adoption program that’s right for your family. Contact us today to take advantage of our free adoption consultation offer and speak directly to one of our adoption specialists! You can reach us at 512-323-9595 or info@childrenofallnations.com.

2. Review Your Eligibility

Each country that GWCA and CAN works with has its own set of eligibility requirements. These requirements are set by the countries themselves, and not by GWCA or CAN. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for a specific country, please contact us today!

Here are links to some of the eligibility requirements for GWCA and CAN’s programs:

3. Consider Your Adoption Parameters

One of the most important steps to beginning your adoption journey is figuring out what you are open to in terms of your adopted child’s age range, gender, and possible special needs. Often, the more open a family is in their adoption parameters, the quicker they’ll receive a match!

4. Learn more about GWCA and CAN’s Waiting Children

If your family is open to adopting an older child, a child with special needs, or a sibling group of two or more, our Waiting Child adoption programs might be right for you. Many of our Waiting Child adoption programs provide families the chance to play a role in the matching process (in reviewing a child’s file), and often you can be matched right away!

Visit GWCA and CAN’s Waiting Child photo listings!

5. Apply Today!

Once you’ve found the program that’s right for you, the next step is to go submit your application!

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Cake Packages

By sending a cake package to an orphanage, you brighten up the children’s day! Imagine their excitement and happiness when they discover that a special cake was gifted to them to celebrate a birthday or another occasion. Anyone can order a cake package and spread joy to these kids! Our staff in the country will arrange for a cake to be made and delivered to the orphanage. Afterwards, you’ll receive photos of the children enjoying the cake. Read below for more details!

Haiti

You can order a Haiti Cake Package for $99. For more information on how you can order one, please contact our Haiti Adoption Counselor Hilary at 512-323-9595 ext. 3062 or hilary@childrenofallnations.com today!

China

Send a sweet treat to the orphans in China by ordering a Connecting Hearts Cake Package! For pricing and other information, please contact our China Adoption Counselor Mallory at 512-323-9595 ext. 3033 or mallory@gwca.org today!

Please note: When making a payment, please select “Adoption fees and services,” select “AMENITIES,” and then choose either “Haiti Cake Package” or “China Cake Package”

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Updates from Haiti

Our Orphan Care Team is headed back to the US after an incredible trip helping the orphans in Haiti! Even though they stayed for just a few days, they left a profound impact on the children there. We want to thank everyone who donated to Haiti Holidays as well! The kids were so excited to receive their gifts from you. Check out highlights from the trip below!

More updates and insights from the Orphan Care Trip will be coming soon! If you’ve been inspired to help the wonderful orphans in Haiti, it’s not too late to make a difference! Our Haiti Holidays Donation Drive runs until January 1st, 2018. Click here to find out how you can make their holidays special!

Resources

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The Adoption Tax Credit Is Preserved!

We have fantastic news to share about the Adoption Tax Credit! On November 9th, 2017, both the House and Senate agreed to preserve the tax credit in their tax reform proposals. The Adoption Tax Credit has helped thousands of families afford the cost of adoption. Because of that, we believe that the continuation of the tax credit is vital to ensure as many children as possible find loving families.

Big thanks to everyone who took action to support the tax credit! However, the fight is not over. Beyond maintaining the current credit, improvements can be made. This includes expanding availability, increasing the credit amount, and making the credit refundable. That way, more families can benefit from the credit and welcome a child into their home.

How You Can Help!

You can make a difference by sharing this blog on social media (using the hashtag #SaveTheATC) and sending a message to Members of Congress about improving the tax credit. Visit the “Save the Adoption Tax Credit” website for more ideas about how to take action!

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Halloween Photo Contest 2017 Winners

We are so thankful for all of the families who submitted photos for our Halloween Photo Contest! If you missed the deadline, you can still email your pictures to kim@saeglobal.org to land a spot in the album.

Our staff at GWCA and CAN voted on the winners, and it was a tough decision to make! We loved all of the amazing and adorable costumes. Without further ado, here are the 2017 Halloween Photo Contest Winners!

Honorable Mentions

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Haiti Holidays 2017

Can you believe it is that time of year again?! Haiti Holidays is up and running for the third year in a row, and I am so excited to see what these next two months bring! If you have been following my journey, then you might remember some of the photos below.

First Haiti Holidays

Second Haiti Holidays

As much as we have appreciated receiving donations over the past couple of years, the amount of supplies has grown so much, that we no longer have a place to store items until I travel. So, this year we are asking only for monetary donations and gift cards (Walmart, Target, Amazon). That way I can purchase items before my trips and pack them up immediately. I am headed back to Haiti on November 30th, so any gift cards or monetary donations that I receive prior to this trip will be used to purchase peanut butter, flip flops, medicine, formula, diapers and powdered milk. If there is something specific you are wanting to donate, please contact me prior to mailing the item(s) to our office so I can make sure we have space!

You can also order a Haiti Holidays t-shirt (via the link below) which helps give back to the orphanages as well. The saying on the back of the shirt is in creole and means, “Some things are worth the wait. The shirts are available for purchase starting today (November 1st) until December 1st.

Order Your Haiti Holidays Shirt or Donate Today!

The donation drive will run from today (November 1st) until January 1st.

As always, thank you for helping me, help them! #haitiholidays 

-Hilary Clemons, Senior Adoption Counselor/Orphan Care Team Leader

Resources

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National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month! Did you know that 140 million children worldwide are estimated to be orphans? This month, our focus is to spread awareness for the children who are waiting to be adopted. Every child deserves a loving family to call their own and to feel wanted and needed. Together with your help, we can raise awareness about adoption and ensure these kids find their forever families.

Here is a sneak peek of what’s coming this month:

  • Featured Waiting Children
  • Answers to the top questions about adoption
  • Information about the most common special needs in adoption
  • Reasons to adopt an older child
  • Family adoption stories
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • And more!

Stay tuned on our Facebook pageChina adoption blog, and Children of All Nations blog for the latest adoption information!

Resources

– Learn more about our adoption programs
– Visit the China Waiting Child Photo Listing
– Visit the CAN Waiting Child Photo Listing
– Contact an adoption specialist

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Halloween Photo Contest 2017

Fall is in the air, pumpkins are everywhere, and it’s almost time for Halloween! We would love to see how your family celebrates the spookiest time of the year. Our annual GWCA/CAN Halloween Photo Contest starts today and ends Thursday November 2nd. Send photos of your little witches and ghosts to kim@saeglobal.org to participate in our contest! Here are the categories for this year:

Most creative

Spookiest

Cutest

Coolest

Silliest

Best group costume

We’ll share all submissions and announce the winners on November 3rd. Click here to check out previous contest winners. We hope you have a safe and fun Halloween weekend, and we can’t wait to see all of the adorable costumes!

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