Monday, January 26, 2009

adoption from Liberia

I read the following from Angels' haven Outreach ...

Liberia is a very poor, war torn, country off the West Coast of Africa. As is typical during times of civil unrest, children are often left orphaned or abandoned while the country lacks the financial means to care for them. As a result, many, many beautiful Liberian children are in great need of loving adoptive families.

This country is truly a mix of African-American culture. It was founded in 1816 and is the only country in Africa colonized by America. English is the official language; they have a similar flag, constitution, and national anthem as the United States. At the same time, they also have 16 local tribes with their own unique customs and dialects.

The situation in the African countries is always fluid which makes a time frame difficult to predict. In a normal situation (assuming there are no unusual issues) the process can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to complete, once the dossier is submitted.

The requirements for the adoptive families are fairly relaxed, with flexibility in age of the adoptive parents, family size and financial resources. Children of all ages are in need of families, and while infants are sometimes available, families should be open to accepting a child closer to two years of age.

The adoptions are finalized abroad, via proxy, so the children may be escorted. While this means families are not required to travel, it also means the adoptions are final without parents seeing the child prior to the adoption taking place, so the child will need to be re-adopted once they come home. Families entering into the Liberian program must agree to provide post placement reports. These reports are required annually until the child is 18 years of age.

Most often the children live in a family type setting; with older children caring for younger children (this creates a healthier atmosphere for lessening the risk of bonding issues). Still, the conditions are beyond poor, with no electricity or running water. The children are culturally deprived; they have no access to a television and often have never been in an automobile. They also have a very limited diet of rice, cornmeal and soup. The children are tested for HIV and Hepatitis B. Still, families should anticipate that the children are likely to be malnourished, and have lice, scabies, worms and/or parasites.

On the CIA Fact sheet it says life expectancy is only 39 for men, and 42 for women. The average person in liberia makes only $500 per year. This 3 year old girl is healthy and listed on rainbow kids.