Saturday, May 26, 2012

Invitation to Attend Larchmont Picnic June 3rd

Dear Gladney Taiwan Family,

I am sending this invitation to invite our metro New York Taiwan families to attend the Gladney Center’s annual family picnic at the Larchmont Yacht Club on Sunday, June 3rd. This casual picnic is a special time for all Gladney families. Whether you are waiting to complete your adoption or have completed the adoption process, you will have a wonderful time seeing old friends and making new friends. I will be travelling to Taiwan later in June and would very much like to have the chance to see and talk to our families before I go.

At this year’s picnic, there will be tables designated for each country program/region. We are looking forward to this so that our Taiwan families in the area can share lunch, stories and questions together! Wendy and I will look forward to updating our Taiwan families on some of the changes in Taiwan adoptions that have occurred over the past few years and what some of the changes for the future might bring. I would also like to share with you some of the things that took take place behind the scenes during your Taiwan adoption process. Please bring your questions – whether they address a pre or post adoption matter – we welcome the chance to address them.

Did you know 24 children from Taiwan have joined their families in the Metro New York area since Gladney’s Taiwan adoption program began in the Fall of 2008?  It would be wonderful for us all to have the opportunity to meet and get to know one another. We hope that each of you has a wonderful summer and that we can see many of you at the picnic!

Gongzhan Wu
VP & Managing Director - Asia


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Immunizations and Vaccinations

In a continuing effort to provide families with information regarding adoption related issues, following is a link to an article "International Travel with Infants and Children" in the 2012 Yellow Book published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The article outlines vaccination and immunization recommendations for families before they travel, as well as expectations and suggested guidelines regarding the adopted child's vaccination and immunization schedule. Click here for the CDC article.

Although there are guidelines governing immunizations and vaccinations, as documented in the CDC's article, more than 90% of newly arrived internationally adopted children need catch-up immunizations to meet the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidelines.

During the US visa issuance stage at the end of the adoption trip, adopted children under the age of 10 are exempt from the immunization requirements that otherwise apply to persons immigrating to the United States. Instead, the US CIS requires adoptive parents to sign a notarized affidavit indicating their intention to comply with the immunization requirements within 30 days of the child's arrival in the United States. The article suggests immunizations should be given according to the current ACIP schedule for catch-up vaccination, and if the infant is less than 6 months old and there is uncertainty regarding immunization status or validity of immunization record, the child should be reimmunized according to the ACIP schedule. As always, the course of action for each child is a personal decision that should be made with your pediatric physician or specialist.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Heritage Trip Forum at 125th - "The Trip of a Lifetime"

During Gladney's 125th celebration, a workshop was held for adoptive families wanting to learn more about making a heritage trip back to their child's country of birth. Four adoptive families, who adopted from China and Russia, spoke about their recent experiences in planning and travelling. While the meaning and experience was very unique and personal to each child and parent, the parents on the panel expressed consensus about these points:

- It was helpful to start the trip in a large city as a buffer for transition, spending the first few days adjusting to language, foods and appreciating the historical sites and landmarks. After these initial days, families felt prepared to travel onward to visit the local community in which their child was initially raised.

- For families that travelled in a group, both children and parents felt that the support of their peers was helpful in processing the thoughts and emotions that evolved during the trip. Everyone agreed that upon returning home, each child and parent continues to reflect on their adoption experience and that it will continue to shape their identities and roles.

Director Dr. Dou welcomes Seiler and family at ChuZhou SWI
- Children were most interested in seeing the actual site where they were cared for, and when possible, meeting staff who knew and remembered them.

- The caregivers and staff at the orphanages were very warm and enthusiastic to meet the children who returned to visit. For orphanage staff, seeing the children several years older as happy, healthy people, and knowing they were well cared for, was very important and rewarding.

If you have questions as you begin to think about planning such a trip for your family, please visit our website Gladney Asia ( or email us at

Gladney's China Heritage Tours are primarily customized tours for an individual family or group of families who would like to travel together (no matter which agency they used to adopt). However, several families have come to us and expressed an interest in travelling as part of a larger group. We are open to (and excited about!!) organizing a group trip for the summer of 2013 and/or the summer of 2014 based on families' interest. If you have a tentative or strong interest at this time, please contact us at our email address above, indicating which year you would prefer, 2013 or 2014 and include your child's province. We will create a group email list to keep interested families posted on the specific developments of a group trip, as well as continue to update everyone generally through this newsletter.
--Wendy Stanley, Director of Social Services - Asia

Friday, May 18, 2012

Recently in Taiwan Adoption News

During the month of April many families received good news! Two families received referrals this month -- one baby girl and one toddler girl! In the courts -- five court hearings took place; one civil ruling was issued; and one final ruling was issued. This week one family is travelling to Taiwan to bring home their baby boy! 

Our Newest Taiwan Staff Caseworker
Rebecca Pollack is a Licensed Social Worker, who joined the Gladney Asia team in February, 2012. Rebecca comes to Gladney with prior experience working with prospective adoptive parents and post-adoptive families. She has facilitated group information sessions, support groups, and other adoption related events and programs. Rebecca has also worked with children and families in the New York State Foster Care System. Rebecca received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Delaware and earned her Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University School of Social Work in NYC.

Currently, there are five Gladney staff members who join Gongzhan Wu in working with families adopting from Taiwan: Wendy Stanley is the casework and social work supervisor; Mary Chapman and Rebecca Pollack are the primary caseworkers who work with families throughout all stages of the process; and Lindsay Hatcher coordinates outreach for Taiwan waiting children for the adoption of older children and children with medical needs.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gladney Family Association's 14th Annual Larchmont Picnic

On Sunday, June 3, 2012, the Gladney Asia Program Staff will be among those attending the annual New York Metro GFA picnic at the beautiful Larchmont Yacht Club.

For families in the New York metro area, whether you are an annual picnic attendee, you have not attended in years or this will be your first picnic, we hope you will consider joining us this year, as Gladney celebrates its 125th!

This annual event is well-attended and a wonderful day with fun and socializing. This year, there will be some tables grouped by country where families are welcome to sit and meet others with children adopted from the same country.

We look forward to enjoying a fun filled day with many Gladney families! You can register online now at

Monday, May 14, 2012

Taiwan Child Welfare Legislation Update

The child welfare laws of Taiwan are undergoing significant revisions. New legislation, "Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act,” was passed in November 2011. The legislation has an implementation date of June 1, 2012 and addresses various aspects of child welfare including adoption services.

Expected changes include:
  • Only government-licensed child welfare organizations will be able to provide adoption services. Child Welfare organizations will be subject to increased requirements and standards in terms of initial licensing and renewals, as well as ongoing agency procedures and services. 
  • Judges will be authorized to require that adoptive parents receive parent training, physical and mental health assessments, alcohol and drug screenings, and/or criminal background clearances.
  • Domestic placement will be considered a priority, with international adoption becoming an option after efforts have been made to place the child with a local family. All adoptable children will be listed on a country-wide database. After being posted on the database, a child is eligible to be considered for international adoption.
All organizations that Gladney works with in Taiwan have been undergoing a relicensing process and we have been working closely with them to exchange information about Gladney's licensure status, adoption education requirements, and our post-adoption services. This month we have been able to talk with several families to answer questions about how the new legislation may affect the Taiwan program, as well as their specific case. These individual calls can be very helpful - please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a time to talk.

Previous blog posts related to this legislation appeared on March 3rd, March 24th and April 18th. Please note, these prior posts reported the implementation date, in error, as July 1, 2012.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

To all moms and moms to be,

Wishing you a very Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Adoptive Families Top 10 Articles

Periodically, Adoptive Families Magazine publishes their top 10 articles. Two of the articles on the most recent list are: Where Did I Come From and In My Daughter's Room. As we all experience our personal journey to parenthood and beyond, reading the reflections and emotions of other parents helps to guide and support us, we hope that you will enjoy these articles as well as the others on the list. For the complete Top 10 List, click here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Memories of Gladney's 125th Celebration

By April Uduhiri, Caseworker

In 125 years, the Gladney Center has touched so many lives in positive ways. I am always impressed and amazed after spending time in Gladney’s Fort Worth office, but this trip was really special. Hearing stories about Gladney from adoptive families, board members, and Gladney staff (past and present) just reminded me why I am so proud to work for this amazing organization. The whole weekend was a whirlwind of activity and the Texas staff did a fantastic job with planning the events for the celebration! My favorite moments were getting to meet adoptive families on Saturday at the Coming Home event at Gladney’s campus. It was especially heartwarming to meet some of the China families that I have worked with and see the families that have been created through this program! 125 has been a memorable year so far and I know Gladney will continue to do great work building more families throughout the next 125 years!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Family Fun at Gladney's 125th

By Mary Chapman, Caseworker

The 125th Anniversary Celebration this past weekend was truly about the families that have been created thanks to adoption.

My favorite part of the weekend was seeing so many happy families having fun together - whether it was screaming down the hills of the massive roller coasters at Six Flags, making crafts and enjoying the petting zoo at the Coming Home event on Gladney's campus or dancing the night away at the Gala.

It was a wonderful reminder that the hard work put into the adoption process completely pays off!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Celebrating Gladney’s 125

By Rebecca Pollack,  Taiwan Program Caseworker

My first trip to Gladney’s Texas Campus will be difficult to beat.  The New York Asia Program Team arrived in Dallas/Fort Worth on Thursday afternoon. We loaded our bags in an SUV, piled in, drove straight to Skittle at Six Flags Over Texas and jumped out! I hardly had time to be nervous (or prepare for the Texas heat) as I began meeting Gladney Families, staff, and board members. Roller coasters turned out to be great ice breakers! Everyone seemed to be having a great time, running from one Texas themed ride to another, winning Texas sized prizes, and resting to catch some Texas themed entertainment.

Friday was a whirlwind of meeting more co-workers who I e-mail with often, but have never met in person. As we toured Gladney’s main campus, our guide made the scene come alive with Gladney’s rich history and her own personal stories. Seeing the residence for birthmothers was a unique opportunity and further showed how committed Gladney is to helping pregnant women in need. The women who live there have a computer lab, gym and pool onsite. They share “family meals” and have areas to study, read, and relax. I was very impressed with the facility. My favorite part of the main campus was the “adoption museum” in the visitor’s center. I could have spent hours staring at the collection of photographs and reading stories, but we were a busy bunch!

We had lunch with Gladney Family Association (GFA) volunteers and leaders where Gladney directors told us about the status of various Gladney programs and services. Later, we rejoined GFA leaders at a happy hour. These families are enthusiastic about Gladney and helping other adoptive families. Meeting these loyal members was greatly encouraging.

Saturday was the big event, “The 125th Anniversary Coming Home Party” at the Gladney Center Campus. Children and families gathered to celebrate with Gladney staff and volunteers. There were dancers, face painting, jumpy castles, a petting zoo, crafts, photo booths, a train ride, and more! The day flew by as we helped kids make Chinese lanterns, met families, and soaked up the sun. We watched traditional Ethiopian dancers, a dragon presentation, line dancers, and ballerinas. After such an exciting day, we had no time to be tired as that evening was the Gala!

Dressed to the nines, we joined Gladney families, donors, and honorees at the 125th Anniversary Gala held at the Omni Hotel. The event was spectacular! While the entire weekend was amazing, the Gala really drove home how outstanding Gladney is. You could feel the passion for Gladney and for adoption. It was remarkable to be surrounded by such inspiring families and individuals. I am honored to work for Gladney and be part of this wonderful organization. Gladney really is a place “Where Hope is Born”!!