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!