Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

A reminder that IAN will be closed Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 to celebrate the holiday with our families.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Good News from Ethiopia!

IAN’s executive director, Joan Strauss returned last night from a very successful trip to Ethiopia, and we have several exciting announcements to make!!

IAN’s Care Center is on the move – again! We have found a beautiful, 16 room building with a courtyard for a very reasonable price. This will allow the IAN offices to be in the same building, and to have specially designated rooms for family meetings. We are looking forward to having the new Care Center open and operating at the beginning of the new year!

IAN has also developed working relationships with two additional orphanages! The first one, the Special Mission for Community Based Development (SMCBD) Orphanage,is in the Soddo Region of Ethiopia. The second one, the Shalom Orphanage, is in the Awasa region.  Shalom has already assigned several children to IAN for placement as soon as their paperwork is ready and approved. 

IAN will continue working with Sele Enat, Selam and possibly Yengeda Orphanages. Please be assured that IAN has fully verified the credibility of these new orphanages with MoWA.  Both are fully licensed and accredited and are in good standing.

We would like to thank all IAN families for your patience during this time of slow referrals. As you know, while IAN is committed to completing adoptions in the most ethical manner possible, we are also committed to finding homes for a few of the five million orphans still without care in Ethiopia.

Please come back here often for news on IAN's International Program Supervisor Liz Bogetveit's trip to Ethiopia (she's there now!), an update on the humanitarian work IAN has completed in Awasa, and of course, referral acceptances!!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Updated Grace Guest House contact information

Hello IAN Families,

One of the recommended guest houses for families travel is Grace Guest House.  Joan has visited and thinks it is a wonderful place to stay during your trip!  We just received information regarding their contact information.  The old email address is no longer being used and all families should contact them at

As always, please contact your coordinator with any questions!

~IAN Staff

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Update on Meeting Birth Families

Many of you are planning on meeting the birth family of your child when you travel. We think this is wonderful! It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain perspective on your child’s history. IAN has always done everything in our power to facilitate these meetings, and we have always honored and respected birth families for the challenges they are facing and the sacrifices they are making for the sake of their children. In the past it was very common for birth parents to meet with and say goodbye to their children at the orphanage immediately after they testified at court.

With the new regulations, all adoptive families will be able to meet the birth family of their child shortly after court. Culturally, Ethiopian birth parents are expecting a meeting with the adoptive parents and the child or children. While we understand that this situation can be a very difficult and emotional experience, it is important to remember where the children came from. This is the only opportunity birth parents will have to say their final goodbyes to their children. We ask that all adoptive parents be as sensitive as possible and respect the wishes of their child’s birth family.

As always, your coordinator is available to address any concerns or questions you may have.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Referral accepted!!

We are happy to announce a beautiful baby boy found his forever home today!  Congratulations to the happy family!

The lists move as follows:
Everyone below # 3 on the infant boy list moves up one spot
Everyone below #6 on the siblings list moves up one spot

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sibling referral accepted!!

We are thrilled to announce that two beautiful children have found their forever family today!  Congratulations to the happy family!

The list moves as follows:

Everyone below #9 on the toddler girl list moves up one spot
Everyone below #2 on toddler boy moves up one spot
Everyone below #15 on the siblings list moves up one spot
Everyone below #42 on the infant girl list moves up one spot
Everyone below #22 on the infant boy list moves up one spot

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Where are the Infant Referrals?

This is by far the most commonly asked question we get at IAN.  Many of you remember the days when an average wait for an infant was around six months, and it was not uncommon for several babies to be referred every month.

So what has changed?
Changes in the way the Ethiopian government over the last several months has lengthened all aspects of the process.  It takes longer for all of the paperwork to be completed and for children to be cleared for adoption.  This is hard on waiting parents, but it is a very good sign for the commitment being shown to continuing adoptions in the most ethical way possible.

Another change is that Ethiopia has become one of the most popular programs for international adoption.  This means there has been an increase in families applying to adopt, and an increase in agencies working in Ethiopia.  More people on the list means a longer wait.  Every other agency we network with is experiencing the same things: lots of older kids and very few infants.  This includes US agencies and others worldwide. 

What is IAN doing?
IAN has been regularly sending US staff to Ethiopia to work on increasing the number of orphanages we work with, without distracting our Ethiopian staff from their regular duties.  Executive director Joan Struass made one trip in the spring, Tomas Bayou has been in Ethiopia for the last several weeks, and Joan will go again next week.  This year we've already added two orphanages to our network, and we hope to add three more by year end.  While we can't control when babies become available, we can do everything in our power to increase the odds. 

What is the Good News?
In 2009, IAN referred 35 children under a year old to their families, along with 43 children older than a year.  In 2010, we have referred about 17 children under age one so far, and 55 children older than one.  The number of infants is indeed lower, but not the overall totals.  We anticipate more referrals in the remaining weeks of 2010. 
As you know, the world of International Adoption is unpredictable and ever changing, but  IAN is committed to doing everything possible to unite families and children.