CEO Note
June 26, 2013

It has been a few weeks since I posted and a busy few weeks for our staff. In years past, I have often had a “Father’s Day” message or post, seeking to appeal to Dads and prospective Dads to participate in the adoption process. A few years ago while in China, I wrote a blog post titled “Adopting a Son” (May 17, 2010) in which I encouraged parents to consider adopting boys; this post had a lot of positive feedback. If you haven’t read that post, I would encourage you to.

I’m very excited for our staff’s work to get licensed in South Carolina where we can now provide home studies and social services to families. We have already been working for some time with Emily Head, the Director of Social Services in SC, and we are pleased that we can expand our services to families in this state.

I know that many families in the Ethiopia program are concerned about the new implementation of the Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) process. Our agency is not opposed to this pre-approval step, but we are very concerned about the timeframes estimated for conducting these reviews. We know that extending the time children reside in institutions can have a large and negative impact on that child’s healthy development. Our staff have expressed to the implementing officials our concerns and offered to work collaboratively to seek to reduce the timeframes. Our agency and other adoption advocates continue to press these officials to find a way to implement the PAIR process in a more expeditious fashion. 

A few of our staff were able to attend the National Council For Adoption (NCFA) Annual Conference two weeks ago in Orlando. NCFA is a great organization that advocates across the full spectrum of adoption issues: focusing on birthparents, adoptees, adoptive parents as well as adoption agencies, adoption attorneys and adoption legislation. At the conference this past week, Ryan Hanlon was able to present to the prospective adoptive parents on the subject of choosing an adoption program and agency; and Melissa Blauvelt presented to other adoption professionals on the subject of adopting older children.

America World Adoption continues to offer free counseling services here in Virginia to women interested in learning more about making an adoption plan for their baby. If you know someone who may benefit from our help, let them know they can call or text for 24/7 support services: 703-346-4921.

-Brian Luwis, Founder and CEO

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