Last month Gongzhan Wu, VP & Managing Director- Asia Programs, spent time in Asia. While in Taiwan he was able to meet with the three social welfare organizations through which Gladney places children for international adoption. All three organizations report that they are continuing their programs in compliance with the New Child and Youth Welfare Act which became effective June 1, 2012. One organization that Gladney works with highlights the main features of the legislation as follows:
1. Prior to June 1st, approximately 90% of the adoptions in court were private adoptions. Since June 1st, except for relative adoptions, all adoption cases need to be evaluated by adoption agencies prior to application to the court.
2. All adoption agencies are required to follow the law giving priority to domestic adoptive families. The information of children will be listed on a nationwide platform for domestic matching for approximately 45-70 days. Hence, the possibilities of domestic matching for healthy children will increase.
3. In regard to the new laws governing administration and management of adoption programs and services, agencies are now finishing a process of accreditation and will also seek renewals of their licenses under the new law.
There are currently eight organizations licensed by the Taiwanese government to provide adoption placement services. Gladney’s three partner organizations: New Hope, Chung Yi, and Cathwel Services, are among the eight. Each licensed organization has been undergoing an accreditation process, the results of which are expected later in August. The organizations will also need to become re-licensed under the new child welfare laws and the results of this process will be made available later in the Fall.
Prior to the new Child and Youth Welfare Legislation, most domestic adoptions were done independently and casually. Now, the government is working hard to create more oversight for domestic adoptions including background checks and assessments for prospective adoptive parents as well as requiring pre-adoptive training and post-placement supervision. The prioritization on domestic adoption opportunities for the children will impact the number of international adoptions. We expect that wait times for U.S. parents desiring to adopt very young children with no identified health issues will increase as many of these children will be adopted domestically.
During Gongzhan’s meetings while in Taiwan, across the board all organizations emphasized they are working diligently and being very conscientious about providing adoption services in compliance with the new guidelines. Noted below are program updates for each individual organization as of August, 2012:
Chung Yi Social Welfare Foundation (“Chung Yi”),will continue to proceed with both domestic and international adoption services for children of all ages, both healthy and with special medical needs. Our most recent referral from Chung Yi was a sibling group of twin toddler boys. The children in care of Chung Yi are from both voluntary parental relinquishment as well as government custody cases. In addition to providing adoption placement services, Chung Yi is also licensed to run a group residential care facility which will undergo a site visit for re-licensing in the upcoming months. Currently Gladney has several wonderful children we would like to find families for and Chung Yi has agreed to give a priority to families working with Gladney while we place a special emphasis on reaching out into the adoption community to find families. To increase the opportunities for adoption for these children we will be working with an adoption –informed psychologist to present a webinar this Fall, to help educate parents on how to interpret some of the cognitive and social assessment information provided in the profiles. Please visit www.asiawaitingchild.wordpress.com to see summary information of the children. Information about the upcoming webinar will also be posted here. Please contact Judy.email@example.com for more information about applying to this program.
New Hope Adoption Center (“New Hope”) now offers a variety of domestic adoption services including education, parent training, and home studies for families interested in pursuing domestic adoption. Their services have received positive responses from domestic clients. As New Hope becomes more established in domestic adoption, more of their referrals will be placed with domestic families. New Hope remains committed to continuing its international adoption program and will continue working with biological parent/s desiring to make a voluntary adoption plan. New Hope has also begun assisting in the placement of children for adoption who have been referred from government agencies. This new source of referrals will broaden the range of children available for adoption through the program to include children of all ages, and also sibling groups. New Hope Adoption center is part of a larger organization: New Hope Social Welfare Foundation (NHSWF). NHSWF underwent its site visit for re-licensing recently. New Hope does not maintain a residential care license, children who are part of their adoption program will either be cared for by licensed foster care families or remain in county government care and custody. On occasion, children may remain with their biological parents until placement with their adoptive parents – for example New Hope is working to place two babies with down syndrome and the plan is for both babies to remain in their biological families until placement. Gladney is currently accepting applications from parents interested in adopting children of all ages through New Hope. Please contact Judy.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about applying to this program.
Catholic Welfare Services (“Cathwel”), is a multi-service social welfare organization. Prior to the new legislation, their adoption focus was to mainly find international adoptive families for children with medical needs. Cathwel will now begin providing domestic adoption services for the first time. Jonah House is Cathwel’s program that provides group residential care for some of the children being placed for adoption. Jonah House will be undergoing a site visit in the near future for re-licensing. Gladney continues to accept applications from families open to adopting children of all ages with medical needs. Cathwel staff will be visiting the United States in October, 2012 and are looking forward to visiting with some of the children who have been adopted through their organization. Please email email@example.com if you are interested in learning more about the gatherings being planned in the NY/NJ/CT area as well as Fort Worth, Texas. Gladney will host Cathwel staff at our main campus location in Fort Worth Texas during their U.S. visit.
This year, and for years to come, we look forward to helping many more Taiwanese children find permanent and loving families. Gladney remains committed to maintaining its adoption program in Taiwan, and we hope that parents will continue to consider adopting from Taiwan as an option for building their families.