Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Vanessa Kachadurian and Armenian Fund November 22

The Armenian Fund for 2012 will have a special section for Orphans of Armenia and Nargno Karabakh http://www.armeniafundusa.org/projects/orphan-fund.htm ORPHAN FUND Provisions for those left to struggle From 1988 to 1994, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh fought a defensive war in order to defend their homes, families and their historic homeland from Azerbaijani aggression. In the process, over 10,000 Armenians, mostly men, either lost their lives or were disabled, and their families were left with virtually no means to survive. The Orphan Fund was created to assist the families of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to secure the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia Fund USA is providing assistance to a total of 8,000 children. Each family receives a monthly payment of 2000 drams or approximately $5. While this is a small amount by Western standards, it helps provide for the basic needs such as clothing, food and school supplies. Armenia Fund has arranged for monthly payments to be distributed to the orphans through the Armenian Central Bank. The funds are sent to the local post offices where they are handed over to the surviving parent or legal guardian. The Orphan Fund has been providing much needed assistance to families in Nagorno-Karabakh since 1999. Funds are typically added to an investment bank, from which families are supported through interest. Large donations can be directly allocated to the orphans upon patron’s request. Thanks to generous contributions by Hirair and Anna Hovnanian, the Armenians of France, the late Ms. Ohanessian and the late Lillian Terchoonian Trust, over $875,000 has been raised towards a target goal of $1.5 million. “It is our sacred duty as Armenians to help our orphans so that they will be able to help themselves one day. Let us be very clear: this is not a matter of charity, but a duty.” — Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan http://www.armeniafundusa.org/projects/orphan-fund.htm

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Armenian Adoptions and the Hague Convention on Adoption

Since many of you have asked how, what and why about adoptions. Bare in mind the process is different from France, Italy, and Germany. Hopefully soon the Armenian populations in Canada, Argentina and Urguay will have opportunities to adopt, as their embassy in Armenia is working hard on these diplomatic relations. Because Armenia is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Armenia must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Armenia attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Armenia's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States. Learn more about the Convention's requirements for adoptable children. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: There are many children living in orphanages, however, ONLY those children whose parents have died, disappeared, or signed a statement of relinquishment of their parental rights, and whose families do not visit them, thus abandoning them, are available for adoption. In addition, consent for child adoption can only be given after the birth of the child. • Reliquishment Requirements: If biological parents are alive, the biological parents must sign a statement of relinquishment in order for a child to be eligible for adoption. • Abandonment Requirements: A child's name must be listed on the national registry list for three months before he or she is declared available for intercountry adoption. For this reason, it is impossible to adopt a very young infant from Armenia. • Waiting Period: The names of children available for adoption are listed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues. A child's name must remain on the list for three months before he/she is declared available for intercountry adoption. http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php?country-select=armenia Below is the opinion of Sonia Vigilante, sent to us by others in our adoption community. For a person who has defended the ease of her own adoption and the agency in which she adopted from. All we can say is REALLY Sonia? These adoption agencies take money and deliver a service to anyone that can and will pay their huge fees. With barely 22 Armenian children adopted in 2011 to USA residents, it is highly likely that the majority of these adoptions are special needs and go to mostly non-Armenians. If they are not allowed to adopt then these children would not have homes. With a drop of 70% in international adoptions (9,000+ in 2011 from over 22,000 in 2005) your adoption agency will not refuse the money from anyone that is willing to wait over 3 years and pay $50,000 FROM Armenian Adoption Interest Yahoo Group. I also agree with khall that Armenian heritage should be a requirement. That aside, I think that the Armenian preference is an agency stipulation...in other words, if an agency's facilitator requires that the family have Armenian heritage, then the agency will enforce that stipulation in order to have a smooth process. But as it stands now, I know there are many healthy babies going home to non-Armenian homes in the U.S. It is unclear why your contact has stated this requirement, but my guess is that the facilitator they work with uses this requirement as an advantage of some sort. In any event, good luck with your adoption!! Armenia is a beautiful country and we couldn't be happier with our daughter, who we brought home in 2008!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Armenian Adoption Adventure- Germany concert to benefit Gyumri Orphanage in Armenia

Thank you to the organizers of this successful benefit concert in Germany for the "Children's Home" orphanage in Gyumri, Armenia. The Hayastan All Armenian Fund is on the oldest charitable organizations which has just renovated 2 buildings of the orphanage and continues to fight for the rights of Armenia's children. YEREVAN, October 16. /ARKA/. Armenia’s famous singer Razmik Amyan will give two charity concerts in Hamburg and Hürth (near Köln), October 26 and 28 respectively, under the initiative of German commission of Hayastan All Armenian Fund. The collected funds from the concerts, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Fund, will be allocated to “Children’s Home” orphanage in Armenia’s second largest city Gyumri. On August 6, Hayastan All Armenian Fund opened two new renovated buildings of the orphanage. Amo and Tamar Grigoryans donated from all European phonethon 2011 to this program. Hayastan All Armenian Fund was established in 1992. It aims to implement national projects, develop infrastructure of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The Board of Trustees is chaired by Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan. A number of influential representatives from Diaspora are the members of the Fund. -0- http://arka.am/en/news/society/charity_concerts_in_germany_to_collect_funds_for_gyumri_s_orphanage/

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Armenian Adoption Adventure - Hollywood star George Clooney arrested and handcuffed in Washington Suda...

Without a doubt one of my biggest heros who stands up to bigots, human rights violations and is a friend to all who have suffered the atrocities of Genocide and other violations.  Not only did George get arrested his father also was arrested.  There was also many Armenians protesting against human rights violations.  Getting arrested for protecting the rights of others is an honor that many of us have shared.  None of it stays on record - especially the bullshit Citizen's Arrest.  George Clooney is brave and has more respect from everyone because of this.  More than I can say about a particular Internet Attorney with a gratis radio blog, writes free for rags he claims he get's awards at, then tries to pass himself off as some sort of celebrity with an agent that can't get him any bookings. 
Keep up the good work all of you that fight for human rights, they cannot silence you and the truth always prevails. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Armenian Adoptions and Moroccan notice

Many folks waiting for Armenian children have been persuaded to adopt from Morocco. Not sure why an adoption agency would "bait then switch" But here is the NEW ruling from the state department on adopting as a non-Muslim. Notice: Ministry of Justice Plans to Review Kafala Laws and Procedures On July 25, the Moroccan newspaper Akhbar al-Youm (Today's News) published a story on Justice Minister Mostafa Rahmid's views on the granting of kafala (guardianship) to non-Muslim, non-resident foreigners. The article quotes Minister Rahmid as saying that he has decided to "stop granting guardianship of Moroccan children to foreign families", insisting that "guardianship of abandoned children is for Muslims, and foreign Muslims residing in Morocco." The Minister subsequently stated that kafala guardianship would only be considered for those foreign families who are long-term residents in Morocco. The status of pending kafala petitions by U.S. citizens is unclear. U.S. citizens wishing to obtain kafala of Moroccan children should be aware that is unclear at this time whether the courts will accept new kafala petitions. Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information. http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_alerts_notices.php?alert_notice_type=notices&alert_notice_file=morocco_1

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Armenian Adoptions "Ending an era of orphanages in Armenia"

http://www.armenianweekly.com/2012/08/15/ending-the-era-of-orphanages-in-armenia/ Why the Diaspora Should Help the Process of De-Institutionalization In his childhood poems, my father grappled with the absence of his mother. He lost his parents by the age of eight, and spent years in an Aleppo orphanage, until he graduated. More than anything, he wanted his mother’s arms, and her hug. The poems are moving, and acutely painful. A child must live with a family “The orphanage is the opposite of a mother. This is the reason that an orphanage is so terrible,” Armenian journalist Mher Arshakyan, an orphanage graduate, once said. Around 5,000 children in Armenia spend all or most of their time in residential childcare institutions, such as orphanages and boarding schools. Over 80 percent of children in orphanages have at least one living parent. The government of Armenia adopted a plan in 2006, as part of their child welfare reforms, to secure the rights of children through the closure of orphanages or their conversion into family and child support institutions. UNICEF has supported this initiative, gently prodding the slow-moving process forward. “The right of a child to grow up in a family could not remain on the sidelines,” Emil Sahakyan, communications officer at UNICEF Armenia, told the Armenian Weekly in an interview. “We have been actively working with the ministry of labor and social issues and ministry of education and science in order to design the so-called de-institutionalization strategy which envisaged either return of children living in institutions to their biological families whenever possible or creation of alternative family-based care services,” he said. Seven state-run orphanages and three private ones currently operate in Armenia. In addition, there are 23 special education institutions for those with mental and physical disabilities, and 8 night-care (boarding) institutions, where children from poor families spend most of their time—about 250 days, according to Eduard Israyelyan, a child protection officer at UNICEF Armenia. “Children in these institutions are more of ‘social orphans,’ as they ended up there because their families were unable to meet their basic needs—such as nutrition, clothing, education, and proper healthcare,” Sahakyan said. High unemployment, poverty, and migration contribute to parents’ inability to care for their children. In Gyumri, the situation seems especially bleak, where there’s currently one orphanage for children with disabilities, two night-care centers, two private institutions, and one state-funded daycare center. “Half of the male population has left the region looking for jobs outside of Armenia—for example, working in Russia—so they keep their families by sending remittances to them,” explained Sahakyan. A child from a poverty-stricken home will find food, clothing, education, and healthcare in an institution. However, he or she will lack emotional sustenance. “When you look at children who graduated from orphanages, you will immediately discern them from the rest of society. They’ve had no family model to follow. It is very difficult for them to form a family because it is difficult for them to understand what family is,” he said. According to Anna Mnatsakanyan, the international relations coordinator of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) in Armenia, children in orphanages are not only deprived of parental care, but they become part of a “sub-culture” of orphanage graduates, often marginalized by society at large. “They have considerable difficulties in finding employment, in creating a family, in securing housing, and, most importantly, in establishing communication with the rest of society, where they are seen as the ‘children of orphanage,’” she told the Weekly, adding that all these factors result in their being assigned a “marginal identity.” Most institutions do not have in-house social workers or counselors that monitor the psychological and physical wellbeing of the children. “In most institutions they only have the position of social worker, but the people working there are just filling papers,” explained Israyelyan. Instances of abuse can go unnoticed in these institutions, as was the case at the special needs school in Nubarashen, where the complaints of sexually abused female students were ignored or attributed to “overactive imaginations” until a human rights activist, Mariam Sukhudyan, turned the issue into a national scandal. Canadian-Armenian human rights advocate Araz Artinian has chronicled the plight of disabled children in Gyumri’s “Children’s Home” orphanage. She found the children there neglected, and deprived of medical care. She also observed that instead of receiving state-funded surgeries, which they were entitled to, the children’s operations were being funded through donations solicited from the diaspora. Artinian is also an advocate for children’s reunification with their parents. Institutions do not allow unannounced visits; an advance notice is required. They are mainly closed-door institutions, according to Sahakyan, although there is a monitoring group comprised of various NGOs that pay periodic surprise visits to the ones under the ministry of education. Foster care program With the premise that children need families to thrive in a healthy environment, UNICEF launched a foster care program in 2005. Around two-dozen suitable families were trained, and 25 children were placed in their care. UNICEF initiated the project and established guidelines for the selection of the families. The program is currently in the hands of the government, which has allocated funds to support the project since 2008. However, the program has not grown and the number of children has not increased. The government says it lacks the funds. “The ministry of finance made it clear that it cannot maintain two systems—residential care institutions and foster care—and requested the ministry of labor and social issues to decrease the number of children in orphanages, which will release funds that could then be channeled to the foster care [program],” said Sahakyan. “Some officials within the ministry of labor and social issues also contest that foster family is not something where the government should invest financial resources; rather the government, according to those officials, should invest in the return of children to their biological families, which as those officials say is currently being implemented.” Reunifying families The reunification of children with their families is in fact moving forward in Lori province. Since 2006, the government has been engaged in a de-institutionalization project for children in Vanadzor’s orphanage. The government plans to reunify 40 children with their families and prevent the institutionalization of 10 children every year. The government provides each family with a financial assistance package worth 15,000 AMD (38.5 USD). The project costs the government 22 million AMD (around 56,500 USD). That amount is small and insufficient in meeting a child’s basic needs. For the project to succeed, families need additional financial assistance. Aravot, the organization tasked with implementing the project, must find other sources of funding—from private donors to other non-governmental organizations—explained Sahakyan, adding that the assistance families actually need to be able to afford reunification is around 87,000 AMD (223 USD), which is the amount currently provided to foster families. Gate-keeping and other challenges The issue is not only how to de-institutionalize children, but how to keep them from ending up in these institutions in the first place. Sahakyan says de-institutionalized children are constantly being replaced by newcomers—what he characterizes as a “vicious cycle.” Sahakyan suspects that corruption plays a role in impeding the de-institutionalization process, particularly in terms of funding. “These institutions are receiving budgetary funds per child, which means the more children are placed there, the more funds that institution will receive.” Humanitarian workers we interviewed say orphanages receive around 5,000 USD a year per child. UNICEF is now helping the government to establish a new agency—Integrated Social Services—which will have case managers who monitor vulnerable families and assist them in their troubles as a “gate-keeping” method. According to Sahakyan, the department of social services is currently preoccupied with distributing financial assistance packages to families, but falls short of assessing family situations and referring them to specialized services. Employment is another challenge. The ministry of labor and social issues fears further job loss, as the unemployment rate in the country is already high. In their current state, these institutions provide employment to thousands of workers. For instance, the Vanadzor orphanage (founded in 1996) employs 70 workers for 110 orphans; in other places, including institutions for children with disabilities, workers far outnumber the children. Yet, Sahakyan says that unemployment is not necessarily the result. “Closing orphanages must be followed by their transformation into family support institutions, where the skills and knowledge of the former orphanage workers will be required,” he argued, but admitted that workers may need to undergo a retraining process. UNICEF has helped establish such alternative family support and daycare centers in Gyumri, Tavush, and Gapan. The centers help parents with job placement, financial support, legal counseling, and psychological support. According to Israyelyan, the project is particularly successful in Tavush. “We have four daycare centers in Tavush for children with disabilities. In all the institutions, there are no children from this region,” he said, adding that Tavush should now serve as an example. Israeylyan believes that this is an area the diaspora can invest in, as the government lacks the funds to support such centers (which are often supported by organizations like Bridge of Hope). UNICEF was the first organization to establish a model of community-based daycare centers in Armenia. One of the first centers was set up in Gyumri. The Armenian government took up this model and, since 2005-06, the centers have been receiving funding from the state budget. There are seven daycare centers that are currently funded by the government. Similar centers are also being run by non-governmental organizations. Plans to transform two special education institutions in Syunik province—the Goris Special Educational Institution for Children with Vision Impairments and the Sissian Special Education Institution for Children with Mental Disabilities—into daycare centers have already been drafted. The ministry of education and science has also planned to transform one special educational institution in each province—beginning with Yerevan—into resource and assessment centers within the next 5-10 years, according to Sahakyan. Redefining the diaspora’s role The diaspora has consistently supported orphanages and institutions in Armenia—often moved by the memory of orphaned genocide survivors, and the more recent earthquake in Armenia that left many children parentless. “The word ‘orphans’ resonates very well with Diasporan Armenians,” said Sahakyan. “They start to immediately feel associated with that cause, and become ready to donate money. We are trying to tell them, let’s give it to families rather than orphanages.” “We don’t want children to step foot in orphanages,” he stressed. Sahakyan believes that the process of de-institutionalization has been hampered by the diaspora’s “heavy funding” of residential care institutions. “Some institutions have been turned into highly comfortable well-equipped and furnished premises owing to funds from private Diasporan Armenians as well as diaspora-based organizations, funds, and associations,” he said. “This, in turn, attracted many vulnerable families and seduced them into placing their children in institutions that provide, as they erroneously believe, the best for their children.” Sahakyan hopes that the diaspora will cease to assist these institutions, and instead support their transformation into family support and daycare centers. “UNICEF encourages the diaspora to invest funds in strengthening ‘gate-keeping’ mechanisms, such as daycare centers, in establishing new social services for vulnerable families in communities; in supporting alternative family-based child care models, such as foster care; as well as in investing in Integrated Social Services, which UNICEF is now trying to introduce in Armenia in close cooperation with the ministry of labor and social issues,” said Sahakyan. “The diaspora’s support is desperately needed by both UNICEF and other non-governmental organizations working in the area of children’s rights,” he added. “The mother of a child with Down syndrome can easily care for her child if she has support—a doctor, a social worker who can visit her,” said Sahakyan. “She wouldn’t take her child to an institution. The same goes for other families, especially for parents of children without disabilities. If you take your child to an orphanage just because you are poor, then let’s solve your poverty problem; let’s get you a job, and a salary,” he added. The transition will be a challenging process. Closing down residential care institutions will bring the country closer to dealing with the roots of problems afflicting the more vulnerable segments of the population instead of the syndromes. Transitioning to an alternative care of family and child support might bring with it an array of other unforeseen problems. For now, Armenia is taking one small step at a time.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Vanessa Kachadurian, Future of Armenia lies with our children

Vanessa Kachadurian recommends working with the youth of Armenia via COAF, Birthright Armenia and the AYF camps throughout Armenia. Having been a past participant in this programs, I know the value it brings to strengthening Armenia's future. Vanessa Kachadurian

Vanessa Kachadurian, Tourism Armenia and airlines into Armenia

http://www.tourismarmenia.net/yerevan-airport/airlines.html Click above for all airlines that fly into Armenia. I have taken most of them and can tell you Czech Air is reasonable, clean and serves good food. Aeroflot is also good I highly recommend them as having the most flights into Armenia. Vanessa Kachadurian

Vanessa Kachadurian Armenian History: Vanessa Kachadurian- History Museum of Armenia

Vanessa Kachadurian Armenian History: Vanessa Kachadurian- History Museum of Armenia: I’m going to tell about one of the most important parts of Armenian culture ! that is History Museum of Armenia …. For first – last news ! ...

When you are in Armenia, for your adoption finalizations you MUST visit the History Museum of Armenia. Vanessa Kachadurian

Friday, August 3, 2012

Vanessa Kachadurian Armenian economy strengthen means less need for orphanages

Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) is the ONLY credible charity for children of Armenia.  COAF  is dedicated  to strenghtening the Armenian economy and building jobs.  Thereby this creates a stronger future for the children.  Currently 98% of Children residing in Armenian orphanages are social orphans, they have no home, there parents have no jobs.  If we strengthen their education and economy the amount of children needlessly in orphanages will shrink.   Only 2% are considered "relinquished orphans" the parental rights have been stripped or relinquished (abandoned) out of this 2% over 95% are considered medical or special needs children.  Vanessa Kachadurian

Vanessa Kachadurian -How to Sing the Armenian Alphabet Song

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Armenian Adoptions- Adopted children from Armenia greatly reduced

May 08, 2012 | 00:43 YEREVAN. – 85 children, 50.6 percent of whom were girls, were adopted in Armenia last year, Armenian National Statistical Service reports. The number sharply reduced, as compared to 148 adoptions in 2010. In majority of cases, children are adopted when they are 1-year-old or younger, however, cases of adoption at the age of 15-18 also are registered. Children were adopted mainly from the capital city Yerevan, followed by Lori Region (12 children) and Shirak Region (8 children). In addition, most of the adoptees are Armenians (70 percent). http://news.am/eng/news/104502.html

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Armenian Adoption Fraud discussed in WikiLeaks from Armenian Embassy

Zvartnots Airport in Yerevan. More Armenian Embassy cables on fraud being leaked ADOPTION FRAUD -------------- 12. (U) To be eligible for adoption in Armenia, a child must be legally abandoned by all living parents through a renunciation of parental rights, or found to be an orphan by the state. Death certificates of both parents, court decisions or police statements (in cases of a foundling child) also may serve as evidence of a child's orphaned status. Orphaned children become the custody of orphanages and the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues maintains the centralized registration and has the list of children available for adoption. For the first three months on this list, a child may be adopted only by Armenians; after three months have elapsed, a child may be adopted by Armenians or foreigners. 13. (SBU) Corruption on the part of Armenian government officials, adoption agencies and orphanages is a concern, and due to pervasive document fraud, local birth and identity documents are often not reliable. However, during this reporting period, none of the cases we have seen have included fraudulent documents. In addition to field investigations, post combats adoption fraud by running background checks on all local adoption facilitators, whom post READ more about fraud here via wikiLeaks http://leaks.hohesc.us/?view=09YEREVAN834

Friday, April 27, 2012

Armenian Adoption and discussion in the Turkish Weekly

What do my Journalist friends at The Turkish Weekly have to say? http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/124047/armenia-considers-changing-adoption-procedures-amid-allegations-of-corruption.html

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Armenian Adoption programs expanded at Adoption Agencies to include special needs

Great News! Carolina Adoption Services Armenia We are pleased to announce that we are accepting new families hoping to adopt children with special needs and/or children 5 years and older! There are many children with special needs in Armenia waiting for you. At this time our infant program remains full to new families http://www.carolinaadoption.org/international-programs/armenia/ Adopt Abroad Armenian Adoptions **Currently we are accepting applicants only into the Special needs waiting child program** Introduction to Adopt Abroad, Inc. and our Armenian Adoption Program http://adopt-abroad.com/armenia.htm And we do have a well known Adoption Attorney that is fully acrediated and respected in Armenia that is now conducting adoptions in Armenia. She currently is working on completing the adoptions for 8 Armenian couples.

Vanessa Kachadurian: Vanessa Kachadurian and the Congressional recognit...

Vanessa Kachadurian: Vanessa Kachadurian and the Congressional recognit...: Vanessa Kachadurian giving Congressman Jeff Denham's Congressional Recognition to author Peter Balakian. Author, Humanitarian, and Histor...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vanessa Kachadurian: Vanessa Kachadurian- Peter Balakian to receive Spe...

Vanessa Kachadurian: Vanessa Kachadurian- Peter Balakian to receive Spe...: Dr. Balakian fights for writing the truth and will not be censored by politics, Turkey, media or anyone else. Truth and history always ...

Armenian Adoptions- Adoption of disabled children

While Armenian citizens leave their mentally and physically disabled children, they are adopted in Italy, France, United States in the framework of the inter-country adoption. The adopting families from overseas are exempt from paying several taxes in their countries, Armenia’s Ministry of Labor informed Armenian News-NEWS.am. According to the Ministry of Labor, there are 9,000 disabled children in Armenia, 550 were left by their parents. The adoption of healthy children is typically problematic in Armenia. Almost no one adopts disabled children. For adopting a disabled child the family gets an allowance of $1200 and other benefits in Sweden. In Armenia the allowance is AMD 18,000 or around $50. Armenian citizens throughout the world refuse to adopt disabled children, the head of Armenian Labor Ministry Children’s Department Lena Hayrapetyan told Armenian News-NEWS.am. “If the child has a missing finger or can’t see properly he can still become a member of the society,” she added. “If the family refuses to keep the child, the state takes care of the child.” http://news.am/eng/news/100866.html Last week we got wonderful news that 8 American couples that are working with a prominent Adoption Attorney (who has full Hague Acrediation) are finalizing their adoptions in Armenia. This Attorney is known by US Congress and by officials in Armenia, Please pray for these 8 couples in the next few days as we honor our 97 year of recognizing the slaughter of our ancestors and the 150,000 Armenian orphans "Remains of the sword" Please also say "Thanks" to those Americans who are willing to adopt the non correctable special needs children. This is a huge unselfish act. Armenia is getting more and more pediatric and rehabilitation training for the special needs children. They no longer have to be "reserved" in the room at the top of the stairs and adopted out. Armenia will provide for all of her children.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Armenian Adoption Adventure is multi national

Views from the last 12 months, Thank you Armenia for viewing!! United States 6,111 Armenia 567 Canada 480 Russia 437 Italy 414 Ukraine 292 Germany 227 France 149 United Kingdom 146 Malaysia 103

Armenian Adoption Adventure, Easter Egg Hunt fun

Well we managed to get the most eggs! But my vohr is in the picture, we had a great time. The most holy of days for Armenians is Easter Cristos Hareeav ee Meretotz.... Orhnial haroutune Cristosee...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Armenian Adoption-Paros Foundation supports women's shelter

Finally a women's shelter to protect mothers and their children.

More than 200 supporters of Paros “Lighthouse” Charitable Foundation USA raised an impressive $25,000 at a fundraising event on March 11, 2012 at Zov’s Bistro in Tustin, CA. The event benefited Paros “Lighthouse” Foundation’s vital work assisting victims of domestic violence and other critical outreach services in Armenia.
Guests enjoyed delicious appetizers and great wines, all underwritten by Zov’s Bistro. Highlighting the event was renowned attorney Mark Geragos, Esq. as the guest speaker.
The event was a call to action for Armenian communities worldwide to take a stand against domestic abuse. Speaking to the guests, Geragos said that in the past 20 years he has observed an increase in spousal abuse cases in California courts among Armenian families. He stated that violence against women anywhere is unacceptable. He encouraged everyone to donate to Paros “Lighthouse” Foundation to help women in crisis in Armenia.
Co-Founder Seta Ghazarian stated, “We serve pregnant and parenting young women in the secure environment of our 13,000 sq. ft. shelter/women’s center in the village of Bdghounk. Our core services focus on keeping both mother and child healthy and safe, while teaching the mothers important skills like child development, parenting, and health and nutrition. For women in immediate danger, we have an emergency hotline number, “20-80”, which can be called from anywhere in Armenia free of charge. Our goal is to help young Armenian women realize their full potential, despite the danger and adversity they face.”
In addition to aiding victims of domestic violence, Paros “Lighthouse” Foundation also offers desperately needed services to the local community including vocational training, psychological counseling and therapy, sewing and cooking classes, women’s health services with an on-site OBGYN physician, dental health services with an on-site dentist, feeding the poor and elderly, supporting a local kindergarten, weekly Bible study, and donations of essential goods to the needy in Armenia and Artsakh.
Zuhrab and Seta Ghazarian have been engaged in charity work and community outreach for underprivileged and underserved Armenians since 1999. The idea of “Paros” (meaning "lighthouse" in Armenian) was established by friends and supporters of the Ghazarian family, and grew out of their concern for Armenian women and children as well as the integrity of the Armenian family. Paros “Lighthouse” Armenian Charitable Foundation USA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public benefit corporation registered in the State of California and Republic of Armenia.
For more information about Paros “Lighthouse” Charitable Foundation USA and to donate, please visit www.parosfoundation.org.
Photo: Paros "Lighthouse" Foundation supporters (l. to r.) Andy Andonian, Betty Gulezian, Paros Lighthouse Founder Seta Ghazarian, Appo Jabarian, and Diane Hekimian

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Armenian Adoptions- Robin Sizemore and Hopscotch Adoptions featured on Radio Free Europe

Excerpts of this article from Radio Free Europe:
Shadowy Middlemen

It will decide in the coming months whether it will be necessary to amend Armenia's Family Code, which would require parliamentary approval, or to simply change existing procedures, which could be enacted by the government without legislative action.

Under the existing rules, the Armenian Ministry of Labor and Social Issues draws up and keeps a national registry of children available for domestic and foreign adoption.

The list is supposed to be accessible to all prospective adoptive parents. But in practice, even government agencies say they have trouble accessing
Specifically, the report cited a sample contract signed by one U.S. agency, Hopscotch Adoptions, based in High Point, North Carolina, which assists Americans wishing to adopt Armenian and Georgian children.

The contract, offered to a potential client in the United States in 2007, explained that almost $5,000 of more than $30,000 charged by Hopscotch for every adoption would be spent on “gifts to foreign service providers and government functionaries performing ministerial tasks as an offer of thanks for prompt service.”

It claimed that such gifts are common in Armenia and Georgia and do not violate U.S. law.

Armenian Adoption Adventure-Sonia Vigilante Armenian Adoption Expert speaks

FROM: SVigilante@verizon.net
TO: Armenian-Adoption-Interest@yahoo.com
DATE: Febuary 26, 2012

Although I adopted in 2008, I wanted to clarify a few things that Katie stated.

In our experience, there was NO requirement to give gifts to ANYONE. This was completely voluntary and from a cultural perspective a nice thing to do. In fact, I enjoyed making the cards for the Nannies. I printed thank you in Armenian (using the Armenian lettering), which was challenging, but fun!

Also we did use the apartment provided by Hopscotch, however, a friend of mine who also used Hopscotch did not use the apartment because her parents owned an apartment in Yerevan. So they were not required to pay for that portion of the expenses.

Of course, things may have changed since 2008, but perhaps someone else could chime in who adopted more recently.

Finally, adopting domestically is also a crap shoot. It all depends on your particular situation. For us, we were older parents at the time of adoption. I was 48 and my husband was 53. Although we have a very comfortable financial situation, I had been told we would not be good candidates for domestic adoption because most birth mothers want younger parents. Also, the risk of birth mother changing her mind is also a consideration. But each situation is different, and if you are not willing to wait for international adoption, domestic may be a good alternative to consider.

Armenian children are beautiful and the culture is so rich!! Our adventure is something we will always remember fondly...there is something very special about making the trek to another country to bring your son/daughter home.

In case you haven't had a chance to see this, this is a video we made about our adventure:


Good luck with your adventure!

Ms. Sonia Vigilante who likes to tout her pre-Hague adoption of a little girl that was referred to her at a mere 22 days (hardly time to wash the placenta off). Sonia who doesn't speak or write/read Armenian had to hire a middle man to complete her adoption.
This was completed in May 2008 before the Hague was implemented in Armenia. When anyone with connections to Armenia and who spoke the language could complete a independant adoption on their own.
Ms. Vigilante, continues to pass herself off as the unofficial spokesperson for Hopscotch Adoptions and how ethical Robin Sizemore is.
Nice gifts to the nannies and orphanage director.
The pictures Ms. Vigilante sends out and posts online are bizarre. Sonia loves to appear as an elite part of society, a rich powerful person who buys her way through life. She sent photos to my witnesses of herself and of her country club. Always blabbering about her nanny, her adoption, her house, her this and that.

Sonia has cajoled with the Gulen Movement a Turkish cult to harm Armenians. Others in the Armenian Adoption community are getting sick and tired of her ugly remarks and don't find her to be anything but a wealthy Potomac housewife with a blabbermouth. Still trying to validate her pre-hague abduction/adoption. Clearly has a screw loose and pollutes her family blog with hate posts about others.

Some time I will post those photos that Sonia has sent to my witnesses, she looks very much like Nancy Pelosi not a "Hot Mama" that she claims her husband calls her.
Kevin Vigilante unsuccessfuly tried to run for Senate in Rhode Island against Patrick Kennedy (Bennet Kelley loves the Kennedys) and tried to slander the Kennedys.

Check out the video "Taking on the Kennedys" and learn of Sonia's desire to become a political wife.

She refers to "Katie" in this posting. We want to clarify that Katie is a single woman in NJ who is a Principal. Katie has been patiently waiting over 3 years for an adoption referral from Armenia. Hopefully, Katie will get her wish in 2012. No Katie, you don't have to pay $200.00 a night for the Hopscotch provided apartment, there are many other less expensive places to stay. Conversely, Adoption Agencies are not licensed to conduct business in Armenia and this must be done through the on ground person or Hopscotch Adoption's in-country facilitator who is also not registered or recognized under Armenian Family Law or any Armenian laws.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Armenian Adoption Sister Arousig- One-on-One: Armenia's "Carrier of Light"

Sister Arousig is very respected and a leader in defending the rights of Armenian orphans and ALL Armenian children.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Armenian Adoption Victory- Hopscotch Adoptions fake victory press release is removed

Hi Vanessa,

This is a serious issue, and I have reported your issue to our manager, actually our website doesn’t support for this kind of press release submission, and under our discussion we have agreed to remove the press release as your request, please refresh the page by using f5.

Thanks for your reminding which let us avoid a big problem.

If you still have problem or some other new problems you find, you can e-mail us at all times.

FPR is not affiliated with the said party.



On Tue, Mar 6, 2012 at 5:15 AM, Vanessa Kachadurian wrote:

URL: http://www.free-press-release.com/news-hopscotch-adoptions-claims-victory-against-serial-cyber-defamer-1323391477.html

Title: Hopscotch Adoptions Claims Victory Against Serial Cyber Defamer

Complaint and Evidence: This Adoption agency is lying and never received a judgment but a partial reimbursement for their enormous legal fees. She is using this site to discredit me while trying to inflat her own image. Research online there are many articles about this adoption agency who has made over $1.3 million in fees in 4 years.

Username: Vanessa Kachadurian

Email: vkcentralca@live.com

UPDATE: Attorney Bennet Kelley is once again threatening individuals he has contacted Ursula at Free Press Release and told her that her e mail should not be published. They asked me to take down the truth.
Bennet Kelley cannot continue to use his law license to threaten, intimidate or manipulate.
My response back to Ursula was, Get a court order and I will remove. Mr. Kelley and his "client" do not want the truth they want their version of the truth.

Here is the e mail from Ursula, Mr. Kelley needs to STOP manipulating the media. He doesn't frighten me, I know the law and so do my friends. So Bennet Kelley the wanker believes he can publish what he pleases but others don't have rights? Not so my friends, you ALL have the right to discuss your point of views, your opinions and THE TRUTH.

Hi Vanessa,

We have removed the press release. You can’t post the contents of our e-mail on the blog without our permission. Please remove the information immediately.




Dear Ursula;
I see that Kelley has tried his poison legal pen with you as well. I will remove if you get a court order to do so. Otherwise, I legally own the e mail and it is a matter of free speech and the truth. This is a matter of public interest that Americans must know their civil liberties are being threatened. Not sure why Mr. Kelley is so afraid of being exposed as a liar. Frankly, he dubs me "serial cyber stalker" but I would rather be that than known as a second rate lying attorney who attacks private citizens for telling the truth.

Vanessa Kachadurian

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Armenian Adoption tradjedy turns positive for family of Arianna



After taking a few bites of her pink Cake Pop, Arianna Spiglanin wandered away from her mom's table at Starbucks.
Three years old and curious, the dark-haired girl wearing skinny jeans and tennis shoes wasn't up for staying in one place as her mother, Lauren Mahakian Spiglanin, sipped her coffee.
They are regulars at this Rolling Hills Estates Starbucks and another up the street, where they've spent time since Arianna was a baby.
And so when store manager Paul Romo walked out from behind the counter, Arianna rolled over to see him. He bent down to talk to her, and she smiled back from her shiny purple walker.
Arianna was 9 months old when her mother and father, Tom Spiglanin, brought her home to Rancho Palos Verdes from an orphanage in Yerevan, Armenia.
Having tried unsuccessfully to have a child on their own, the couple decided on adoption. Lauren Spiglanin suggested Armenia, given that her family is Armenian and her sister adopted her son from the country a decade ago.
It was a long process just getting the paperwork in order. There were background checks and financial reviews, letters of recommendation, pages of documents needing translation - for a hefty cost - all leading up to a review by the Armenian government.
That all began at the start of 2007.
It wasn't until late December 2008 that the prospect of adopting a little girl became real with a call from a facilitator they'd hired to assist them in Armenia.
The baby had been born on Nov. 28, 2008; her birth mother had died a week later.
"That was the call we were waiting for," said Lauren Spiglanin, 46. "The facilitator told us to come in March."
It was the first time both she and her husband, 53, had visited the country. They arrived at night to bitter cold temperatures, checking into a rundown hotel the facilitator had recommended to them. Nonetheless, the snowy weather and less
Lauren and Tom Spiglanin adopted Arianna as an infant from an Armenian orphanage but weren't aware she has cerebral palsy. Arianna and her mother spend a lot of time at Starbucks in Rolling Hills Estates where the staff, including manager Paul Romo, have gotten to know them. (Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze)
than ideal lodging conditions didn't temper their excitement.
"It felt really magical," Spiglanin said. "I felt so at peace here."
Their first visit to see the baby they would name Arianna Rose - after their mothers, Anna and Rose - was at a hospital a few days after they'd arrived. At the time, Spiglanin said, they'd been told the baby wasn't eating well.
"We go to the hospital and they bring her to us," Spiglanin said. "So cute. Her first smile was to Tom."
Arianna was born premature - a month, they'd been told - and her single mother had died from a brain aneurism, Spiglanin said.
The facilitator introduced them to the baby's aunt, she said, but even still they learned only "bits and pieces" of her medical history.
That first visit to Armenia would be followed by three more within the next few months before the Spiglanins would become parents to a little girl with big brown eyes framed by long lashes.
But it wasn't until August 2009 - after the adoption was finalized - that the couple got some more answers about their baby's medical background.
"Our last night here, our facilitator left an envelope at the hotel," Spiglanin said.
Inside were medical records that indicated the birth mother's placenta was becoming detached, cutting Arianna's supply of oxygen, she said. The papers said the baby had heavy asphyxia and acute breath insufficiency.
"Basically, they're saying that it's cerebral palsy," Spiglanin said.
"She was not up front with us at all about Arianna," she said of the facilitator, whom she would not name. "It all kind of makes sense now. ... Sometimes we were together, the aunt was very quiet."
And more, they began to suspect why Arianna had been bundled in several layers of clothing - to make her look bigger, perhaps - and to wonder more about why she had been in the hospital during their first visit.
"We got some documents, but it wasn't the complete medical report," Spiglanin said. "We took a video that we had the doctors here review. They said she looked alert. She definitely looked malnourished. No one ever raised a question of cerebral palsy."
The new parents fault the

Lauren and Tom Spiglanin adopted Arianna as an infant from an Armenian orphanage but weren't aware she has cerebral palsy. (Steve McCrank / Staff Photographer)
woman who they'd believed was helping them.
"We don't talk to her," Spiglanin said. "It turned out she was friends with the aunt. She wanted to do good for her friend."
Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by injuries or abnormalities of the brain that can result in the tightening of muscles and joints and also muscle weakness. That can lead to developmental delays in crawling, sitting and walking.
Once home, a pediatrician told the Spiglanins that Arianna's condition was caused by a midbrain injury.
She was born more than two months premature, her mother said, which they also discovered after they returned from Armenia.
The weeks and months that followed their homecoming would be filled with doctors' visits and therapy sessions. In October 2009, Spiglanin went back to work as a senior administrative analyst at El Segundo City Hall - a job she later lost as the town dealt with a budget crisis.
Her husband, a scientist with two grown children, is typically in control and calm, she said. The outspoken and confident Spiglanin struggled with depression.
"I remember saying, `Don't worry, Arianna, Mommy will take care of everything,"' she said. "We had 13 appointments a week. I was depressed on the inside but not showing it on the outside because I won't do that."
So Spiglanin sought help for herself, too, spending 15 months in therapy.
Her time off allowed her to throw her energy into encouraging Arianna to hold her head up, strengthen her neck and abdominal muscles and learn to get around in a walker - which she got on New Year's Day, 2011.
"It's about building the muscle, but also about rewiring her brain," Spiglanin said.
Arianna visits a chiropractor and acupuncturist, takes equestrian and aquatic therapy lessons and goes to classes at The Little Gym in Torrance.
"Ari just amazes me every day," said gym director Claire Koeppe, who has watched her learn to sit up, stand by holding onto a bar and roll sideways down an incline.
"She is such a happy girl. I don't think I've ever seen her frustrated. If she doesn't want to do something, she'll just sit back," she said. "(But) she loves being up high. ... She's a risk-taker."
Last fall, Arianna started a half-day preschool program for special-needs students through the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District.
Arianna mostly babbles rather than saying individual words, and still relies on her parents to feed her. For baths, she sits in a chair inside the tub.
But her mother said she's noticed significant improvements in her development since school began.
"She's just so much more energetic. She's holding her head up higher. She's reaching for things more," Spiglanin said. "She's a lot more curious. Eye-hand coordination is up, and that's because of school."
For Arianna's third birthday, her parents threw the Dora the Explorer and Wonder Pets fan a party, inviting employees from her favorite Starbucks shops.
"You see other kids, and you kind of ask yourself, why?" Spiglanin said. "Sometimes you kind of think, is she ever going to walk on her own?
"She'll be all right, because I get her the best of everything," she said.
The Spiglanins' experience adopting Arianna left them feeling deceived by their adoption facilitator, but Lauren Spiglanin said she doesn't fault the director at the state-run Nork orphanage, which houses infants to children 6 years old. "She thought we knew" about the medical history, Spiglanin said.
Nor does she fault Arianna's aunt, she said, as she believes the woman wanted what was best for the baby.
Part of Spiglanin's work these days is raising money for a water playground with a wading pool, flower beds and walkways that will replace an outdoor space at the orphanage filled with weeds and an old picnic bench - a spot where prospective parents could visit with children.
In the summers, when the air in Yerevan is thick and humid, the children could use the area to cool off, Spiglanin said.
She's fundraising through the nonprofit Paros Foundation, and already has about $4,000 to put toward the $10,000 price tag.
She hopes to raise more through an online auction later this month of a donated blue topaz and diamond pendant on an omega chain from The Jewelry Source in El Segundo. Store owner Brenda Newman, who knew Spiglanin when she worked across the street at City Hall, said she was taken by the couple's story.
"I'm very driven by the parents. They're the ones that have really done it for me. I'm driven by their passion," Newman said.
"They had no idea what happened before they adopted this wonderful baby. ... This is my way of sort of giving back to them."
Follow Kristin Agostoni on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kagostoni


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Armenian Adoption Adventure- Orphanage graduation show

Armenian Adoption Adventure- Armenian Telethon that helps children in Armenian orphanages

Armenian Adoption Adventure- The number of Armenian Adoptions to Americans

Soon we will post the numbers to Germany, Italy and our friends in France!!!

2011 22
2010 18
2009 20
2008 29
2007 32
2006 46
2005 20
2004 31
2003 40
2002 27
2001 27
2000 9
1999 14

There are many children living in orphanages, however, ONLY those children whose parents have died, disappeared, or signed a statement of relinquishment of their parental rights, and whose families do not visit them, thus abandoning them, are available for adoption. In addition, consent for child adoption can only be given after the birth of the child.
• Reliquishment Requirements: If biological parents are alive, the biological parents must sign a statement of relinquishment in order for a child to be eligible for adoption.
• Abandonment Requirements: A child's name must be listed on the national registry list for three months before he or she is declared available for intercountry adoption. For this reason, it is impossible to adopt a very young infant from Armenia.
• Waiting Period: The names of children available for adoption are listed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Issues. A child's name must remain on the list for three months before he/she is declared available for intercountry adoption.