of Orphanage Children From Abroad
Hosting children from abroad,
despite all the difficulties and costs involved in it's organization,
attracts a lot of attention of prospective adoptive parents as well
as American families who do not necessarily look for adoption but are
interested in the experience and cultural and humanitarian values of
the event. We periodically receive questions about how to apply for
hosting, what agency to contact, where to learn more and how to prepare
for that event. Here is a collection of information from different people
and sources which hopefully gives our readers a starting point for their
Family Service of AZ, Director
Family Hope International, Director
for Orphans, Volunteer Director
We have been doing hosting programs since 2000. We
have brought children from Russia, Moldova, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The
majority of these older children have been able to find homes with families,
who never would have adopted had they not met and/or hosted the children
during their stay here. Hosting programs are not adoption programs; they
have a purpose of helping orphan children have a new cultural experience
in an American family, but at the same time, it is possible that some
of the children may be available for adoption. Many, many children, who
did not come through hosting programs, are adopted because of the hosting
programs where families have had an experience of older, institutionalized
children. It opens the door for adoption, not necessarily of a specific
child, but of the children of these countries.
Most, if not all, hosting programs now require an upfront
fee of about $2000 (though I've heard as high as $4500, ours is at the
other end of the spectrum) to cover the cost of the in-country preparation
and airfare to get the children here. Church ministries and other organizations
and individuals have been able to raise the funds because of the nature
of the program.
We are bringing a group of children from Ukraine from
July 20 to August 10 to So. California and Arizona. We are seeking host
families. As adoption is not the purpose of the trip, host families
do not have to have home studies but do have to meet the requirements
of the program to be a safe home for the child during the visit. We
have a daily activity and cultural program where the children and escorts
meet and interact with the US host families and others interested in
knowing about older children in that country. If a host family makes
a deep connection with the child and the child with them, after the
children return to Ukraine, and if the child is available for adoption,
they can submit a dossier to adopt. There is no guarantee that the child
will be available when the dossier is presented, but our attorneys will
make every effort to match the family through the SDA office with the
hosted child or with a child of the same gender and similar in age.
If you are looking
for a child to host, you can contact Susan Weidner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
for the available children in Arizona and Morgan Bates (email@example.com)
- for children in the other states.
hosted children like to do?
families who did it before had a very good experience, depending on
the age of the child, with the pool, beach,
playground, riding bikes, playing football, and jumping on the trampoline.
Sleeping in tents (even in the backyard) and cooking hot dogs and marshmallows
over the fire are great fun.
Games without words and reading
or with numbers work well: numbers are the same in any language. Disney
channel and Disney DVDs were a big hit.
Parents report: "they also liked
doing things around the house to help. We found that just having
them participate in normal family life was the best really.
We expected them to help with chores so they unloaded the dishwasher,
swept and mopped the floor, picked up toys, folded laundry that
sort of thing. Really, it made them feel more like part of the family,
and we saw a huge transition in their behavior and comfort level when
we began asking them to help and participate in our family in that way."
Where to learn more about hosting?
information is now abundant, but not always impartial. Internet blogs
and discussion groups are a good source of support and good advice from
parents who have already been there:
What countries the children will be coming from?
children arrive from many countries: Russia,
Guatemala, Moldova, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Peru, Ethiopia, Haiti, Colombia,
How to prepare?
agencies responsible for the organization of the trips normally provide
some training for the families in person or will require you to complete
an appropriate course about older children or hosting. BGCenter and
PAL Center offer 2 online classes which qualify for the preparation
to hosting and hosting+adoption: these are: