Urgent Notice to Families Considering Adoption in 2018
This urgent notice is intended for anyone who has submitted a Pre-Application for adoption in the recent past and has not moved forward.
If you are considering completing an application to our agency, we would strongly recommend you move forward now.
There are some time-sensitive changes related to International adoption in the United States. These changes will impact ALL adoption agencies in the United States, not just America World. Even if you decide to pursue an international adoption with another agency, you will still be impacted.
On August 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of State announced the designation of Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, Inc., (IAAME) as an accrediting entity for adoption agencies. The only other accrediting entity Counsel on Accreditation (COA) has since announced they will no longer be an accrediting entity. IAAME is a newly formed 501(c)(3) organization created for the sole purpose of the accreditation, approval, monitoring, and oversight of adoption service providers providing intercountry adoption services.
How & Why this Impacts You
On February 1st the State Department’s Office of Children’s Issues announced that IAAME will be charging ALL FAMILIES a fee of $500 (per child) at the point of signing agreements to start the international adoption process. This fee will go into effect on February 15, 2018. This means, if our agency received & approved your application, and received your signed agreements by close of business on February 14, you will then NOT be required to pay this new additional fee in order to move forward with an adoption. While our agency continues to work in collaboration with other agencies to advocate on behalf of families regarding this new fee, please be prepared for this new fee to go into effect on February 15th.
What to Do Next
We are urging families who are ready, apply now. You can find that application at the following link: https://www.awaa.org/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=/apply/default.aspx. You will also need to sign your Agreements and pay the initial program fee before the deadline, so it is more than just completing the application.
You will need to either mail, scan & email, or fax your Agreement documentation (this will be emailed to you when you are accepted into a country program) and return it along with your initial program fee. Here is the address for mailing:
America World Adoption
c/o Madelyn Pierce
6723 Whittier Ave, Suite 202
McLean, VA 22101
We also encourage everyone to reach out to your local congressmen & women and senators to voice your concerns about how these changes will make it difficult for some families to afford to adopt internationally.
We know researching and starting the adoption process can be very overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to get information or when to take the next steps. If you are still trying to decide, it’s okay to wait. We do not want to push you into making a decision prematurely. We are available for any questions or concerns regarding adoption, America World programs, and to talk with your family about your specific situation and options.
Again, please do not feel pressured or rushed to make this decision, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns about this change. You can reach us at 800-429-3369.