The Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 (UAA) has shaken the world of adoption with respect to independent international adoptions. Now families are required to work with Hague Adoption Service Providers for all international adoptions. However, adoption service providers are not necessarily prepared to work with all families. This change leaves a huge gap in services in international adoption for families who would have otherwise completed an independent international adoption. Adoption agencies and adoption programs were not initially established to meet the needs of these families, but MLJ Adoptions has established a program to meet this need with the creation of our Individualized Country Program.
Adoption agencies often establish specific country programs based on relationships in the countries, travel to the country, and establish a process of adoption for a specific country or grouping of countries. For instance, MLJ Adoptions has done this and established country programs in Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Congo, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Samoa and Ukraine. We are able to serve many families with these country program options who are interested in international adoption in a more general way. We have selected and developed these programs because we believe they are viable options for families and serve the best interests of children. However, there are many other countries in our world that families may wish to adopt from, and we are now able to assist those families as well.
The purpose of our Individualized Country Program is to assist families outside of our nine previously established adoption programs. This process can go by many names, including independent international adoption and parent-initiated adoption process. Currently, there is no set term. We prefer “Individualized Country Program,” because we believe that this best describes the services that we are able to offer. We use the term “Individualized” because the purpose of the program is to tailor the adoption process to the specific individual and a specific case for a family with unique ties to another country. We are seeing families interested in adopting from countries like Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sudan and Tanzania due to specific ties to the country. We are seeing families interested in adopting relatives. We are also seeing families who have already completed adoptions. We use the term “Program” because we treat these cases as we do all of our cases providing full services and support to the extent the family needs.
We are happy to discuss these options with families and are excited about these new offerings and opportunity to serve children from all countries. I believe that MLJ Adoptions is in a unique position to be able to offer services to these families. We believe that there are many reasons to select MLJ Adoptions to assist you on your journey, including, but not limited to, the following:
Attorneys on Staff
One of the most devastating setbacks in an international adoption is an immigration issue. In order for an internationally adopted child to enter the United States, they must not only qualify to be adopted in their country of origin, but also must meet the definition of “Orphan” or “Convention Adoptee” as defined in U.S. federal law. These definitions are complex and often unclear, but the definition must be met for the adoption to be successful. MLJ Adoptions is in a unique position to assist families with this screening process for families with an already completed adoption or are seeking to complete an adoption.
Additionally, in the past, families seeking individualized services would not seek out the assistance of an adoption service provider for services other than a home study. These families would instead seek out attorneys for the individualized assistance and guidance. As MLJ Adoptions has program directors, social services professionals and attorneys on our team, we are in a unique position to offer the wide range of assistance to families.
MLJ Adoptions has an already established program assisting families with unique connections to countries outside of our nine country programs. We are currently serving families in our Individualized Country Program.
We Embrace Change in International Adoption
As an organization, we do not shy away from change or try to fight it, but rather we try to embrace it. Assisting families with unique and individual cases fills a great need for families, and we are happy to meet that need by assisting individual families on their journey to adopt a child in need. We look forward to sharing in this journey with our families.
We would be more than happy to discuss your unique case or interest in adopting a child from a country not typically served by adoption service providers. Contact us for more information.
Photo Credit: Kyle Taylor