In the recent wake of news-stories reporting of International Adoptions gone wrong, Adoption STAR responds: these stories regarding “re-homing” (many of which are laden with shock value) of internationally adopted children will come to be perceived as commonplace, when in actuality they are not.

As a matter of fact, most international adoptions are successful, and the adoptions don’t end in disruption. In fact there is no such thing as “re-homing” and this is not even a term in the adoption field. What can happen in adoption is a disruption. A disruption is the term commonly used when an adoption fails before or after court finalization.

For the small number of international adoptions that do end in disruption, finding a more suitable adoptive family for the child occurs and this can be done through a reputable adoption agency and can be done legally and ethically (and doesn’t involve an underground network of unreliable and untrustworthy people) and the children go on to thrive and do wonderfully in their second home.

International adoption is emotional and not for the faint-hearted. It requires responsible adoption agencies and committed adoptive parents. Without comprehensive education before an adoption takes place, an adoption is at risk for failing.

Families struggling to parent an internationally adopted child are able to reach out to their adoption agency or another adoption agency, seek out mental health professionals, or community-based organizations that might be able to provide post-adoption support. International Adoption Coordinator Megan Montgomery at Adoption STAR, states, “No one should be considering adopting internationally if they are not committed to involving mental health professionals and post adoption support.”

Families looking to adopt internationally should be sure to choose an agency that will provide them with a good support system before, during and after the adoption process.

Adoption STAR believes that if nothing else, the recent stories on “re-homing” are indicative of an incredible need for increased awareness of post-adoption services and support for families. Individuals that find themselves troubled by the news on “re-homing” are encouraged to take action by advocating for both the development of and funding for increased, quality post-adoption services. Montgomery shares that “Many internationally adopted children have been subject to a variety of early-life traumatic experiences, and this reality can create some challenges for the child and the adoptive family alike. However, with a greater focus and commitment to the expansion of post-adoption services, adoptive families will have greater access to the information and expertise they need to ensure family permanence, thereby avoiding disruption altogether.”

Adoption STAR also believes that it is imperative that an adoption agency providing international adoption programs be accredited to do so. The Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA) was signed by President Obama on January 14, 2013. UAA applies the Hague Accreditation and Approval requirements to all agencies and persons providing “adoptions services” in cases where a child immigrates to or emigrates from the United States for purposes of adoption. This new requirement will be effective July 14, 2014.

Elishiva Running with Chuck Fried

Adoption STAR Founder & CEO Michele Fried already a COA Hague Accredited Adoption Agency since 2008 is also a Hague Evaluator. In this volunteer role, Fried is a part of a team who reviews other agencies’ accreditation application, policies, procedures, financial resources, conducts interviews with staff, clients, etc. in an effort to determine if they have the capacity and experience to provide appropriate international adoption services.

Fried and her husband are personally touched by both domestic and international adoption. In fact two of their daughters were previously adopted by other families both ending in disruptions before moving in with the Fried family. When the Fried’s adopted their daughters they did so with their eyes wide open and after making a commitment to educating themselves and their other children on the special needs and issues involved with the girls. It hasn’t been easy and reflecting back (the girls are both adults now) these experiences were part of what made Fried committed to the adoption field and to provide life long support services for the adoptive family, adoptee, as well as the birth family. In fact, Fried and her agency has added a department called Family STAR dedicated to solely provided post adoption support in the form of individual and group counseling, support groups, educational workshops, resources and referrals.

Adoption STAR is COA Hague Accredited, NYS Authorized, Florida and Ohio Licensed.

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