Thursday, June 27, 2013

STUCK Update

Last month members of Gladney’s Asia Program Staff and Gladney families and friends went to a screening of the documentary STUCK, which was introduced in an earlier post. The goal of the documentary is to inspire viewers to become involved in the social movement that will ultimately put pressure on U.S. officials to force a more supportive attitude toward International Adoption. As part of this movement, a Gladney mom, Jane Hoffman attended a march in Washington D.C.

"... I traveled to Washington DC to participate in the March for Orphans sponsored by We met up with Gladney President and CEO, Frank Garrott and met tons of other families, many of whom are in the midst of stalled adoptions around the world. We also met with our Congressman and Senate staffers to urge them to support upcoming legislation that will reinvigorate international adoption. This is just the beginning if you want to get involved - there are lots of ways to help!"
            -Jane Hoffman, Gladney mom

Friday, June 21, 2013

"Wasn't it yesterday when they were small?"

                                                      - Golde, Fiddler on the Roof

From Father
dance to...
Junior Prom
As our June newsletter came together and various graduation pictures were gathered, I was reminded again and again that our children are becoming young adults. As parents, we watch in amazement as each child grows into his or her own personality, and develops the skills that will take them wherever they choose to go. Of course, this growth does not always unfold easily or gracefully, with many battles and sleepless nights along the way - naturally, the reason behind the sleep deprivation changes throughout our kids' stages as well!  Investing in the life of a child - any child, whether age 2 or 20; girl or boy - is a gift that we give to the world. We pay it forward to the next generation for all the gifts we were given as children that have developed into the strengths that we have today.

I often remember what one prospective adoptive father once told me, "I would like to give to my adopted child the gift of a family that they can take for granted".

May we all play a part in bringing that gift to the world's children!
- Wendy  Stanley  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

JCICS Conference

 Frank Garrott answering questions after his speech

As always, Joint Council's 37th Annual Child Welfare Symposium was a great time of connecting with other adoption professionals and participating in educational sessions.  The speakers were thought-provoking and engaging and I came away from the sessions feeling like I had learned something important.

Martha Osborne
For me, the highlight of the conference was hearing Martha Osborne speak about the advocacy she does for children through her website, Martha is very likely the most well-known advocate for children with special needs who are waiting to be adopted.  I was blown away by how long she has carried this passion and what she has done to help children find families! Martha is committed to working with agencies to advocate for these special children and I am excited for Gladney and Rainbow Kids to continue to partner together to become a bigger voice for children who desperately need forever families!                                                                              
- April Uduhiri

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Taiwan Program Update

Beginning this month and continuing through the summer, we wanted to highlight Gladney Center's ongoing programs in Taiwan.  Gladney's Taiwan program began in 2008 and, as we are approaching 5 years of Taiwan adoptions, we have seen substantial change - but also continuity.  Comprehensive child welfare legislation reform was enacted in 2011 and this process has impacted domestic and international adoptions.  Child welfare organizations now play a much larger role in the placement of children for adoption with qualified parents, and we have seen many parallels with the adoption requirements of adoptions proceeding under the Hague Convention on International Adoption.  This reflects Taiwan's commitment to protecting all members of the adoption triad and we hope this will provide opportunities through the years for children to find healthy families.  Please note however, Taiwan is not a signatory to the Hague due to their political status.
Taiwan has a very orderly, in-country judicial process for processing applications, which continues today.  One significant change brought about by the legislation is that the Taiwan court is authorized to request the presence of the adoptive parents at the court hearing. This decision is made in the judge's discretion.  Over the last year, we have had one case where the judge has asked the parents to attend the court hearing.  If a family is requested to attend a court hearing, not being present could be detrimental to a favorable outcome. Thus, we would ask all families joining our Taiwan program to be prepared for the cost and time to make a trip for the court hearing.  For families who are required to make this trip, it offers an important opportunity that is not available in other cases - the chance to meet with your child at an earlier stage in the process, begin bonding and attachment and express your commitment to your child face to face prior to the "pick-up" trip.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Recently in Taiwan Adoption News

Welcome Home Kai!!
The month of May brought home a precious boy from Taiwan to his adoptive family in Virginia.  Kai was a waiting child in Gladney's Taiwan program - we wish Kai and his family Guang Ming for a bright and shining future!
June will be a busy month as three families will be traveling to bring home their children - including a 5 year old girl, a set of 4 year old boy twins, and a 10 month old boy!  We are excited to announce that last week we received a referral of a toddler girl!  This precious little one has an auspicious birthday of January 1, 2011 - and we look forward to bringing her home to her family in time for next year's Mardi Gras!