Summer 2009 Quarterly Newsletter
This quarter has produced another record number of completed adoptions. Between the months of April, May and June - Chances for Children in collaboration with Crèche de Enfant Jesus has had 16 children finalize their adoptions. These children are now at home with their forever families. This brings us to 27 completed adoptions for 2009 and we are only half way through the year! This record number of adoptions occurred in part because we had many new families in process in 2007. We have increased our number of completed adoptions for three straight years.
Due to the robust activity in completed adoptions the Crèche now has the ability to admit new children. For the last year we have admitted only a handful of children, because the crèche was operating at capacity. Now we need a pipeline of new families interested in adopting from Haiti. This is where we need your help.
Over the last year, C4C was not able to accept new families due to the fact that we had a long waitlist of families wanting to adopt and we were at capacity at the crèche. In addition to this, the international adoption laws that govern Haiti adoptions became more stringent. So, when it was time to be able to admit new children and accept new families into our program, the requirements became so strict that many of those families on the waitlist no longer qualified. The current requirements to adopt from Haiti are:
- Must be between the age of 35-50
- Couples should be married 10 years
- Families can not have biological children or must be able to show infertility
- Single women over 35 with no biological children can also adopt
In the last 6 months we have learned that families who fall into these requirements are experiencing very quick adoption times. In many cases families have submitted dossiers and their adoptions have been completed in less then 12 months. This is the good news - that by following the requirements we can ensure a faster process, which benefits both the children and their families.
So back to how you can help. There are many children in Haiti who desperately need food, shelter, care, medicine and loving families. We will continue to bring some children into our care, but the other side of the equation is that we need to find families who are willing and able to adopt from Haiti. If you should know of anyone who has an interest in enriching their family through adoption please have them contact us.
There are many children in Haiti who are depending on us. One of the primary reasons that C4C is moving into the role of advocacy for international adoption reform is that there are orphaned and abandoned children all over the world who need our help. These children - who use to be cared for by orphanages across the world are now being turned away, because there are no families stepping up to adopt them. International adoption has gotten way too burdensome and expensive - no one wants to undergo the frustration, heartache and expense. As a result children all over the world are being neglected and many are dying before they reach the age of five. Please help us by promoting our efforts and helping us to find families who are interested in providing hope, love and a chance for a forever family for the orphaned children of the world.
To learn more about our advocacy efforts please see the C4C press release.
Chances for Children and Both Ends Burning
June 27, 2009
Chances for Children: Confronting the Crisis in International Adoption
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--The orphaned children of the world deserve a chance. A chance for a future. A chance for a better life.
But those chances are disappearing for many of them as international adoptions have plummeted in recent years. In 2004, international adoptions to the U.S. hit an all-time high of 22,824, according to the State Department. Since then they have plunged by more than 20 percent, falling to 17,438 in 2008. Some agencies in the U.S. are predicting international adoptions could be as low as 10,000 by 2010.
Craig M. Juntunen, founder of Chances for Children, an organization working for a better future for the orphaned children of the world, is confronting the international adoption crisis head-on. The foundation runs an orphanage in Lamardelle, Haiti, and works unceasingly to find families for children without them. Now Chances for Children is making a big push to reverse the declining trend in international adoption and transform the process so it is more affordable and less bureaucratic for American families.
This summer, Chances for Children will conduct a nationwide survey of some 3,000 respondents to determine American attitudes about international adoption. The organization also will coordinate five focus groups this summer to examine adoption trends and gather information about the adoption process. It will conduct a statistical analysis and release its findings by Labor Day.
"We're going to have the most current data about the problems international adoption is facing," Juntunen said. "Then we are going out on a campaign to make a real, positive difference for the world's orphans. What we're trying to do is change society."
The foundation also will work with members of Congress and state policymakers to achieve stronger, more affordable pathways for international adoption.
Juntunen admits he is one of the least likely guys to take on such a challenge. In 2006, he and his wife Kathi adopted three children from Haiti. Three years later, Juntunen published a book telling the emotional story of how he found his children amid the squalor of Port-au-Prince, and, in the process, discovered his own capacity to be a father.
For Craig, the journey to parenthood was transformative and profound. The book, Both Ends Burning: My Story of Adopting Three Children from Haiti, is being called the Marley and Me of parenting. It's a compelling, human and emotional story, one that challenges us to reach out and serve kids in need. Reviewers have attested to how deeply the book has moved them . . . the experience of reading it comes with laughs and tears, and with the call to protect, nurture and cherish children.
Now Juntunen and Chances for Children are working to avert a global tragedy for orphaned children. "Our role as advocates for children and international adoption is growing," he said. "We are also expanding into community cultivation; aiding schools, providing clean water, supporting medical clinics, and assisting agricultural development in poverty-stricken countries."
Children abroad deserve no less than children here at home. Chances for Children is on a campaign to provide homes, families, and a future, to the orphaned children.
Chances for Children - Crèche Enfant Jesus
Family and Children Reunion
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida September 25-27
Chances for Children is organizing our first sponsored reunion for families who have adopted from the C4C/CEJ crèche. This event will be a wonderful opportunity for children to reconnect with their Haitian friends and a chance for parents to build special bonds with other adoptive families. Our goal is to provide an environment for children and parents to interact, learn, have fun, share and enjoy the special connection we all have in common. We are planning to have at least 25 families attend this event!!!!
C4C has invited a number of our Haitian collaborators. We will be hosting representatives from IBESR (the social welfare department which approves all adoptions) as well as hosting staff members from both the crèche and the adoption office. Saturday will start with a breakfast with presentations and special guests. Later the children will participate in cultural activities, crafts and games. We will also offer informal sessions for parents to share stories and exchange ideas. Of course, there will also be plenty of time for families to relax at the beautiful Lago Mar Resort. The evening will feature an outdoor dinner with music, dancing and fun. A special thanks to the Lago Mar Resort who graciously provided all of our families with special rates for their stay