It is vital for families adopting a child of a different race to learn about the history and current realities of their child’s race and ethnicity, so they can prepare their child for when they encounter racism. We encourage all families have adopted or are adopting transracially to read/watch/utilize the resources relevant to their child’s identity from the list below. For families currently in the adoption process, to receive credit towards your Continuing Education Hours, complete the Continuing Ed form from your training packet (if you cannot find this, contact your case worker and they will share with you!).
We know 2021 continued to be a challenging year for so many of us, but as the year comes to a close, we wanted to share some of the great things that happened this year thanks to your support, and the exciting projects coming in 2022!
2021 saw amazing growth in so many of our programs!
Philippines: 6 children home this year, and 14 waiting children currently matched with families!
Bulgaria: 2 children home this year, and a sibling group of 5 just matched with a family!
Colombia: 31 children home this year, and 24 currently matched with families!
Dominican Republic: Our first 2 referrals of waiting children matched to families!
Thailand: 4 families received pre-approval to adopt waiting children!
Ecuador: Our first family to apply and join the program!
There are still so many children in need of families around the world. If you are considering adopting in 2022, don’t delay! Fill out the PAP form to connect with an adoption specialist.
Thanks to your generous giving, we were able to provide over $250,000 in humanitarian aid around the world:
Sanitizer, masks, and test kits in Thailand
Vitamins and educational toys in Ecuador
Onesies, socks and underwear for kids in Colombia
Clothing in the Dominican Republic
Funding three child caregivers for a child care agency in the Philippines
Providing ongoing support to children in China through MAA partnerships
Building clean water stations for refugee families from Venezuela
Providing counseling and post-permanency services for struggling adoptive families
We know 2022 will bring more hardship to vulnerable children and families around the world. Donate to MAA and designate your gift to Humanitarian Aid to help us be ready to meet needs as soon as they arise!
Many exciting new projects are in the works or returning for 2022:
Children from Colombia will be coming for summer hosting in July
We are opening an office in New York that will provide home study and post-placement services, with another state in the works!
The continued expansion of our SWAN post-permanency services to families in Pennsylvania
Travel to our partner countries to strengthen relationships and learn about children waiting for families
We are exploring new countries for potential adoption programs!
We are so thankful for all of our families, friends and partners who support us in this crucial work. Please consider MAA in your end-of-year giving to help us continue to expand and support more children and families.
MAA recently opened our newest adoption program in Thailand. While it is new to us, it is not new to Program Director Lindsey Gilbert, who previously ran a Thailand Adoption Program for almost five years. Here she shares more about the process and the children in need of adoption!
Thailand is a beautiful country, called the “Land of Smiles,” and when you visit it’s easy to see why! The people of Thailand are so friendly and welcoming, with warm hospitality and generosity. Like all countries, it has its challenges, and this includes vulnerable and orphaned children who are in need of adoption. MAA is partnering with the Thai Red Cross (TRC), a small children’s home in Bangkok that is part of a large hospital complex. The TRC provides comprehensive child welfare services, assisting families who are struggling to provide care for their children by connecting them with support. When the challenges a child’s parent is facing can’t be overcome, the TRC will see if any extended family can care for the child. If that isn’t possible, then at that point they will turn to adoption. While there is some domestic adoption in Thailand, there are still many children who do not find a family within their country and are in need of international adoption to provide permanency.
Families who meet the eligibility guidelines can submit their dossier to the TRC requesting the referral of a young child or toddler. The youngest children are around 12 months at time of referral, though most are 18-48 months. Families typically receive a referral within 1-2 years. From match to travel is about 7-12 months, and that long wait is probably the most challenging part of the program! Occasionally families slightly outside the eligibility guidelines may receive an exception from the adoption board, so inquire even if you are not sure you are eligible.
Children referred to waiting families are considered healthy by the TRC’s adoption board, however, most will have some background risk factors or minor concerns, as children coming from difficult history and living in an institution. The most common include: – Prematurity – Prenatal exposure (most commonly drugs, amphetamines or opiates, though this can also include tobacco or alcohol exposure) – Birth parents with mental illness or cognitive disability – Birth mother testing positive for HIV, syphilis, or Hepatitis – Respiratory issues/recurrent respiratory infections – Recurring ear infections – Medical needs that have been treated or resolved (hernia, undescended testicle, tongue-tie, heart murmur) – Mild developmental delays (speech, motor, cognitive)
There are also a small number of waiting children at the TRC, who have more complex medical or developmental needs, or may be medically healthy but older (age 7 and up). We see a range of special needs, but some of the common ones include heart defects, respiratory issues, cerebral palsy, ADHD, developmental delays and other neurological diagnoses. The children are not yet listed on our website, but contact us to learn more about the children we are advocating for! The adoption board considers families case by case for waiting children, and are open to matching waiting children with families who don’t meet all the eligibility guidelines.
Travel to Thailand is one trip, typically about 10-16 days, and both parents must travel. Adoptions are not finalized in Thailand, families must complete post-placements reports until 6 months after placement, and then can finalize the adoption in US courts.
While it is a small adoption program, it is a wonderful option for some families! Contact us to learn more about Thailand and whether it could be the path for your family. Email Lindsey or complete a free Prospective Adoptive Parent form to learn more!