By Leonette Boiarski, ACSW, LSW
Even with the large number of adoption information requests made by individuals interested in foreign adoption made during this past year, most queries came from families searching for viable options in an environment where inter-country adoption of healthy infants is almost nil. The number of adoptions from overseas has dropped dramatically over the past 5 years and is not expected to increase. In addition, options for single women and families with medical issues (even minor ones), are decreasing, as more stringent guidelines are imposed by sending countries to adopt a child of any age or health condition.
Due to the increase in the number of prospective adoptive parents awaiting placement and the diminishing number of infants needing homes, fewer and fewer healthy young children are being placed through foreign adoption.
To add a further challenge, as countrymen see the dollars that can be gained from rich families who want to adopt infants, more corruption is being uncovered and documented abroad, as waiting times get longer and the process slows down with “orphan” status concerns.
In this environment what do infertile couples do? Increasingly, families are moving to adopt older children or children with special needs to build their families. These are the children that need homes…children who are discriminated against because they have an illness or disability, because they have abusive birth parents, because they are not little and cute and cuddly. These children are in need of care, love and guidance from adults who have patience, understanding and the knowledge to help them grow and flourish.
A current adoption program that is known to have an ethical and sound system is the Philippines. The Philippines is a Hague signatory and therefore establishes strong policies and procedures to protect children and families from unscrupulous practices that jeopardize the rights of those involved.
United States adoption agencies have been placing children from the Philippines since 1980. There are 26 U.S. agencies working with the Inter-Country Adoption Board of the Philippines to place children in permanent homes. One of the requirements for Filipino adoption is that the couples pursuing the adoption have been married for three years or more. For a list of the full requirements of potential adoptive parents, click here. For those who are eligible, Filipino children available for adoption include:
- Mostly boys, two years and older. Sibling groups are available.
- Children with and without special needs.
Children are cared for in foster care and orphanage settings. The orphanages are often small and administer a group home style of care.
The benefits of adopting from the Philippines Program include:
- Stable and ethical, well established adoption program
- Many children waiting for families (sibling groups also)
- Typically receive significant amounts of information about the child
- Most of the children speak some English and are in good care facilities
- Short stay in-country (5 business days)
For further information about the Philippines program visit the website of the Philippines Inter-Country Adoption Board at http://www.icab.gov.ph/
Submitted by The AFA's Adoption Advisory Council member, Leonette Boiarski, ACSW, LSW, who is also Director of Welcome House and Opportunity House Programs, Pearl S. Buck International