Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vanessa Kachadurian bikes for orphanages just shipped 50 bikes to Armenia!!!

Vanessa Kachadurian even 3 wheel for the older special needs kids!!!

Successful Delivery of 50 bikes to Armenia!
We are thrilled to announce that the delivery of the 50 bikes to four different Armenian orphanages and day camps was a huge success. Once again we were a witness to the power of bicycles. The bicycles brought joy and happiness to all the children. The bicycles will provide the children who have very little possessions with countless hours of fun as well as a mode of transportation to various places around their village. Out of the four Armenian orphanages and day camps we delivered bikes to, the Bikes 4 Orphans team was able to visit two of the locations. At Bridge of Hope in the village of Dillijan we delivered a bicycle and a tricycle to a day camp for disabled children as well as children from impoverished families. In addition, we visited an orphanage/summer camp where we delivered 30 bicycles in the village of Tsakhkadzor . The remaining 18 bicycles were delivered to another orphanage and a children's hospital. This could not have been possible without the extraordinary collaboration with Focus on Children Now, especially Karine Aboolian and Anahid Kalantaryan. Also thank you to our parents for financing this life-changing trip! Full albums, videos and detailed reports will be posted tomorrow!  As Vanessa Kachadurian reported early Focus on Children now is currently raising funds with Fresnan Vatche Soghomonian's bike a thon through Fresno raising money this year for the Syrian Armenian Children resettling in Armenia. 
Vanessa Kachadurian


Friday, July 25, 2014

Adopting a child from Armenia, historical 15 year snapshot


  2013      12
             Hague Adoption Convention Partner? YES

            1999 - 2013 Total Adoptions 15 years

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Armenian Adoption Adventure- Armenia works to reduce number of children in orphanage for preferred foster homes

 July 2, 2014

After years of resistance, the Armenian government has decided to take the advice of international organizations and introduce a foster family system that would make it possible to reduce the number of children attending the country’s orphanages and special schools.

“We should do everything for children to grow up in a family environment. Of course, it is most desirable that they grow within their biological family, but if it is not possible, then they should grow with foster parents, or, at least, in an environment with conditions close to family conditions,” said Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Armenia Artem Sargsyan during July 1 public hearings dealing with children’s issues. (The hearings were initiated by the Child Protection Network and the Child Pact international organization.)

The minister said that foster families will help take the burden off orphanages and special schools by 50-60 percent and for the staff of these institutions not to become unemployed, the orphanages and special schools will be turned into social centers, as today’s 20 daycare and three social care facilities do not satisfy the corresponding needs of Armenia’s 915 communities.

At present, there are six state-run orphanages in Armenia attended by a total of 730 children. And although the number of healthy children in orphanages has been on the decline in recent years, their number at specialized children’s care centers, such as special schools, daycare or rehabilitation centers, continues to grow.

During their visits last year representatives of the Ombudsman’s Office found out that 30 percent of children at special schools are children without any special needs and their parents take them to orphanages because of social problems.

According to World Vision Armenia data, the parents of 70 percent of 350 children at five special schools of in Yerevan would take their children to general public schools if they got social support.

For reforms in the system USAID will provide $5 million to Armenia in the next five years so that the government makes no additional expenses.

Moreover, a study by the United Nations Children’s Fund shows that the government today spends $4,000 a year per child at an orphanage or a special institution, while in case of children’s living in foster families the spending would average $3,000 and the government would be able to save up to $1.8 million annually.

“Commonly child services need to be centered to the child, to the family, and it should be spread in Armenia and when having conversation with Armenian Diaspora one should seek co-financing for the state to realize the child protection policy,” Henriette Ahrens, representative of UNICEF Armenia, said during the hearing.

UNICEF Armenia Office representative Anna Harutyunyan added that paying primary attention to financing and conditions, representatives of the sphere pay only secondary attention to the child’s right to live in a family.

“The best place for children is their family, no matter what food or conditions they get there. Children want their mother, their family, we should make it the core of our operations.”

Harutyunyan said that two schools for children with special needs would be closed in Sisian and Goris this summer and from September the children of these schools will start attending public schools.

A foster family pilot program was launched in Armenia in 2008 when 24 children were placed in 23 families. Maga Ter-Hovhannisyan, an employee of the Children’s Support Foundation Center of the Fund for Armenian Relief, the organization that implements the program, considers the process to be a success, as many of the children continue to have contacts with their foster families even after they turn 18.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Adoption of Armenian children by non-Armenians Armenian Adoption

This blog has gotten many inquiries from Armenians and non-Armenians about adopting children in Armenia by non-Armenians (odars).  The short answer to that question is "Yes" it does happen and will happen.  The long answer is the willingness of non-Armenians to pay a lot of money to an Adoption/Abduction Service Provider and willingness to accept the fact it's not popular among Armenians
There are currently 3 American Adoption Service providers that operate in Armenia.  Of the 3 only 1 is willing to be truthful about non Armenians adopting only special needs children.  That agency is the one with the longest program in Armenia and it is called Carolina Adoption Services which was the ex employer of Robin Sizemore the Executive Director now of Hopscotch Adoptions.  An ex employee of Hopscotch Adoptions,  Jeanne Sobie heads up the Armenian program at Carolina Adoption Services.
It's no secret that Robin Sizemore attempted to sue me over 5 years ago, trying to intimidate me into silence about the truth.  However that pitiful lawsuit didn't make it passed a mediation or even close to a summary judgment after the mediation report brought up several issues about Robin Sizemore's dismissal from Carolina Adoption Agency.  It can be viewed here and has 1,400 views on it. http://www.slideshare.net/VanessaKachadurian/hopscotchmediation2?qid=42c507b9-3f82-4a52-8c55-5b315d579403&v=qf1&b=&from_search=1
Dispite the fact Robin Sizemore's flaky attorney Bennet Kelley actually filed charges to try and suppress it.  After he shamelessly put out fake press releases that he had won a significant victory of some sort.  What victory that is I am not sure?  Maybe Bennet and Robin got "Liar of the Year" award for spinning Robin's background into some sort of "child savior"

Local Armenians in Armenia are given first choice to adopt, however many cannot afford the huge fees that foreign providers pump into the Armenian economy by way of in country "contractors" so if a local person wants to adopt a child it is roughly $800.00.  A lot of money to people in Armenia - so naturally many Americans will have the opportunity to adopt.  Hopscotch Adoptions has a large following of non Armenians who have adopted.  No applications are turned down for this program or discouraged by Hopscotch Adoptions.  Carolina Adoption Services has even discouraged some Armenians from adopting because of the difficulty finding healthy children.  Carolina Adoption Services does a great job in setting expectations to applicants. 
Hopscotch Adoptions has accepted applications from people who were newly married (a couple in Washington State) after 4 years of waiting and 1 child falling through the system and being returned back to her biological father this couple did finally succeed.

Another Hispanic woman from New Mexico named Regina Soto, got caught in the Russian Adoption BAN and switched to Hopscotch Adoptions barely 1 year ago.  She has just returned home with her new Armenian baby girl. 

Robin has discouraged many Armenians from Adopting in Armenia. Some have waited over 3 years for a child/baby and have seen countless odars like Regina Soto, Beth Shepherd, MariBeth Driver, and Shelly Pritchert be fast tracked to adoption of Armenian children.  So with caution to those of you waiting to adopt, don't think for one minute your Armenian heritage or ethnicity matters to Robin Sizemore.  In Fact, Robin Sizemore is very much into feeling powerful about who can adopt and believes she has the right to decide who adopts Armenian Children.   Robin cares less about the economic situations that forced the majority of the women to relinquish their children and believes those children are better off with her paying clients. Here is a post on Regina Soto's facebook page shortly after arriving back from Armenia from Robin declaring "Thanks God she has you as her mother"
Really Robin?  It's not your place to decide such things, just shut up and collect the $35,000+ in fees and disperse among the "contractors" in Armenia.  Make Eduard Amalyan more wealthy so he can spread the wealth in Armenia.  That little girl has a mother and father in Armenia, but now will never see their daughter again because you decided it's in their best interest to be purchased by your clients.
Robin knows how to work the emotions of clients waiting for a child, even calling the child "your child" before the court date or blaming the country every time something goes wrong or worst yet the US State Department for being anti - adoption. 
To Fellow Armenians that feel discouraged each time Robin treads on your culture, you have a choice.  1) Continue to support her business and wait in line  2)  Drop your application as many Armenians have and switch countries   3)  Consider adopting Armenian children out of foster care in California's LA county  4)  Adopt via surrogacy program in Armenia (relatively new) 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Armenian Adoption Adventure, Sponsor a Child in Armenia via World Vision

World Vision has great projects in Armenia, they work on developing the environment the children live in - clean water, sustainable crops and developing jobs for their parents.  For the single mothers they have camps for them and educational events on health and child care.  I personally have seen it first hand and am very impressed.  World Vision works in over 50 countries and you can donate online and sponsora  particular child or Life Line Christian Stories has a program that has in store cards for sponsoring a child. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Armenian Adoption US State Deparment another "ALERT"

One can only guess why the Armenian Adoption Authority had to release another "ADOPTION ALERT" for Armenia.   She is up to her old tricks giving misinformation, and her former friend that now works for her former employer is blabbing all of the secrets and lies. 
So read and heed and remember if any adoption agency claims to "having staff" in country refers to "having an office" in Armenia its all a LIE.  July 2014 Hague is going to require that the in country facilitator that also IDENTIIFIES the child be Hague accrediated to the SAME standard as the ASP they provide services for.  No more can the ASP (Adoption Service Provider) turn their head and claim ignorance.  

Reminder: Adoption Processing in Armenia
May 12, 2014
This Adoption Alert is a follow up to the Alert of March 13, 2014
The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan has received reports that prospective adoptive parents are being given misleading information about the adoption process in Armenia.  Specifically, there may be misleading information as to who is authorized to provide adoption services and which children are eligible for intercountry adoption.  
Please note that Armenian law does not authorize professional facilitators, adoption agencies, or attorneys to provide adoption services in Armenia; it allows prospective adoptive parents and adoption service providers to grant a power of attorney to an individual to handle most aspects of the adoption process on their behalf.  These individuals can only provide limited legal services and complete the process in Armenia through direct contact with the Ministry of Justice.
Contact information for the adoption authority and the U.S. Embassy in Armenia is listed below:
The Ministry of Justice
41A Halabyan Street
Yerevan, Armenia
Tel: 374-10-319-093
Internet: www.gov.am
The Department of State will provide updated information on adoption.state.gov as it becomes available.  If you have any questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States.  Email inquiries may be directed to AdoptionUSCA@state.gov

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Armenian Adoption 2013 numbers from the US State Department from Armenia to the US 12 adoptions


2013 Adoption numbers internationally to the USA was 7,094


12 from Armenia, with only 2 being considered as “healthy”


Foreign Adoptions to USA decline sharply

NEW YORK March 21, 2014 (AP)
By DAVID CRARY AP National Writer

The number of foreign children adopted by U.S. parents plunged by 18 percent last year to the lowest level since 1992, due in part to Russia's ban on adoptions by Americans. Adoptions from South Korea and Ethiopia also dropped sharply.

Figures released Friday by the U.S. State Department for the 2013 fiscal year showed 7,094 adoptions from abroad, down from 8,668 in 2012 and down about 69 percent from the high of 22,884 in 2004. The number has dropped every year since then.

As usual, China accounted for the most children adopted in the U.S. But its total of 2,306 was far below the peak of 7,903 in 2005.

Ethiopia was second at 993, a marked decline from 1,568 adoptions in 2012. Ethiopian authorities have been trying to place more abandoned children with relatives or foster families, and have intensified scrutiny of orphanages to ensure that children placed for adoption are not part of any improper scheme.

Russia had been No. 3 on the list in 2012, with 748 of its children adopted by Americans. But that number dropped to 250 for 2013, representing adoptions completed before Russia's ban took effect.

The ban served as retaliation for a U.S. law targeting alleged Russian human-rights violators. It also reflected resentment over the 60,000 Russian children adopted by Americans in the past two decades, about 20 of whom died from abuse, neglect or other causes while in the care of their adoptive parents.

Moving into the No. 3 spot for 2013 was Ukraine, currently engaged in political conflict with Russia. Ukraine accounted for 438 adoptions, followed by Haiti with 388, Congo with 313 and Uganda with 276.

Despite the relatively high numbers of adoptions from the Congo, that African country has been the cause of heartache from some American families trying to adopt Congolese children. In several instances, U.S. parents have obtained court approval for adoptions and taken custody of the children, only to be denied exit permits that would enable them to bring the children to the United States. They face a choice of living in the Congo with their children or returning to the U.S. without them.

"It's a terrible shame," said Susan Jacobs, the State Department's special adviser on children's issues.

Along with Russia and Ethiopia, the biggest contributor to the one-year drop was South Korea, which accounted for 627 U.S. adoptions in 2012 but only 138 last year. Jacobs said this decline was due primarily to new adoption procedures implemented by South Korea.

The last time there were fewer foreign adoptions to the U.S. was in 1992, when there were 6,472, and the downward trend has dismayed many advocates of international adoption.

Chuck Johnson, CEO of the National Council of Adoption, contended that the decline stems in part from the way the State Department has applied the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption, which establishes ethical standards for international adoptions.

The U.S. entered into the agreement in 2008 with strong support from adoption advocates who hoped it would curtail fraud and corruption, and then lead to a boom in legitimate adoptions. Instead, the decrease has continued.

"The U.S. has encouraged and in some cases strong-armed impoverished countries to sign the Hague Convention and then cites their inability to comply with strict Hague standards as a reason for not doing intercountry adoption with them," Johnson said.

Johnson expressed hope that Congress would support a bill introduced with bipartisan support last year — the Children in Families First Act — that would encourage more adoptions of foreign orphans. It would create a new bureau in the State Department assigned to work with non-governmental organizations and foreign countries to minimize the number of children without families — through family preservation and reunification, kinship care, and domestic and international adoption.

Concerns about corruption, child-trafficking and baby-selling have prompted the United States to suspend adoptions from several countries in recent years, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Guatemala and Nepal.

However, Jacobs said some adoptions from Vietnam — mostly involving children with special needs — were expected to resume soon. She said a Vietnamese delegation was due in the U.S. next month to interview U.S. adoption agencies with the aim of selecting some to operate in Vietnam.

"One thing that remains constant is our support for intercountry adoptions and our determination that they are done ethically and transparently," Jacobs said. "I can't think of anything worse than for a child to be consigned to an institution when they should be with a family."

The State Department reported that 84 American children were adopted by residents of foreign countries last year — 35 of them went to Canada and 38 to the Netherlands.