El Salvador Update from Brian
September 18, 2008

The past few days have been very long and busy as America World Adoption received a delegation of visitors from El Salvador, including the Procurador and the Director of OPA.  These officials visited our office in McLean, VA and met with our staff.  On Monday night, a few of the waiting families in the El Salvador program had the opportunity to meet these officials at dinner.  Other families met them the next day over lunch and at an adoption celebration hosted by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.  Along with the government officials, Carmen Elena and Alexis also joined us in our events over the last few days.  As many of you know, Carmen Elena works tirelessly on behalf of El Salvador’s orphans with an NGO based in San Salvador and she is working closely with the government to get more accomplished on behalf of El Salvador’s children.

My impression was that the government officials were energized by the meetings they had  and by the positive adoption culture they saw here in the United States.  The Salvadorian officials also met with an official from the United States’ Department of State and with a Congressional office to discuss inter-country adoption. 

One concrete change that is being made is that the documents can be reviewed by ISNA before OPA approval.  This will allow ISNA to get a better picture of the number of families in the process for adoption.  We’ve also discussed concrete changes in our mode of communication with the Salvadorian government. 

Overall, I believe God is leading us in the right direction and I’m so grateful for the leaders of OPA, ISNA and the Procurador’s Office for their commitment to work for a change in their system.  I will be returning to El Salvador from October 16-19th in an effort to continue working with their government and advocating for the families waiting for referrals.

-- Brian Luwis

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