Thursday, May 17, 2007

Some Answers to ???s

Hi all! In addition to the three Ethiopian adoption lists we're on, our agency has a Yahoo! group for families to support one another and to ask and answer questions. Here is a good tidbit of information from 3/2/07 that answers a few questions like:

  • How are the children matched with families?
  • From where do the children come?
  • Are they healthy? Do they have AIDS?
  • Where are the children kept after they are accepted by a family?

"There is no formal waiting system in Ethiopia with lists of children to be matched with lists of families. Instead U.S. agencies in Ethiopia work with certain orphanages in Ethiopia whom they build relationships with and receive referrals from these orphanages. Basically, the matching process is through a conglomeration of people and agencies including the orphanage directors, America World's in-country staff representative, the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Ministry of Civil and Social Affairs.

Our full-time in-country staff representative is building relationships with several orphanages, all of which are located in Addis. AWAA will also soon be working with government-based orphanages in Addis through the Ministry of Civil and Social Affairs.

Before a child is referred to a family, he or she goes through extensive medical testing, which includes HIV and Hep. C PCRs. FYI: these medicals are conducted in an international clinic, and the blood work is referred out to European clinics for results, so we do trust the medical information we're given as it is based upon Western standards. Once a child match has a clear medical, we at AWAA in VA can call the family and give them their referral, which includes a biographical sketch of the child's life (don't get your hopes up, these sketches have very limited information!) and a few child photos.

After we receive a family's acceptance letter, our in-country staff representative will begin working toward finalizing a family's adoption and then the family will travel to pick up the child shortly thereafter. Eventually, AWAA might use the transition home system that several U.S. agencies use to house children whom have been accepted by a family but are waiting on court finalization. Because our program is so new, for now we intend to keep the children in their respective orphanages until a family travels to pick up the child."

We know that there are probably lots more questions! Please, feel free to ask them through the comments on this blog, email us, or call.

Later! Susan & William

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