Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kids at Kharberd Orphanage and horse therapy

Dr. Sabba and the Kids at Kharberd Orphanage: Making Hippotherapy More Accessible in Armenia

It's spring in Armenia, and the children at Kharberd Orphanage, just outside Yerevan, are excited because they can play with their old friend Dr. Sabba.
Dr. Sabba is an Armenian from the diaspora. He was born and raised in Lebanon, and came to Armenia five years ago. He’s a therapist at the orphanage and unfortunately can only work when it’s warm outside. The winter months are too cold to perform his specific kind of therapy. However, when he can work, the children get excited.
By the way, Dr. Sabba is a horse.
According to one of his close friends Sasun Kosakyan, a therapist and art teacher at the orphanage, the children love Sabba. When speaking tohim, Sasun described a recent encounter between one of the children and Sabba after a long absence.
“Today, one of the kids, when they took them to do the therapy, he saw the horse and he hugged the horse and started kissing it and saying ‘oh, I missed you so much. Oh, it’s been a long time.’”
In Armenia there are two orphanages for children with disabilities. One of which, Kharberd, houses around three hundred children, and is exclusively for children with disabilities. In this orphanage, the staff has introduced a new kind of therapy that is not that common in Armenia. It is called hippotherapy. This is a form of therapy that uses horses, and is manly used with children with autism, down syndrome, and cerebral palsy.
According to the website of Ayo! (the crowd fundraising platform of the Fund for Armenian Relief - FAR) that is trying raise funds for the orphanage, “In hippotherapy, the movement of the horse influences the patient. The patient is positioned on the horse and actively responds to the horse’s movements.”

Monday, April 11, 2016

Adoption of Armenian children to the USA remains low but a small spike in 2015 driven by Special Needs Adoptions

The US State Department has released their 2015 numbers after review by members of congress. Their is a slight increase of adoptions to the USA vs. 2014 of 19 (10 increase) this is fueled by a lucrative adoption of Special Needs kids which represent all but 3 of the adoptions. There is also a few new players involved with Adoptions in Armenia one is a well known Adoption Attorney that knows knows the major players in Armenia and has testified before Congress.
Armenia remains the second longest days to adopt at over 600 days and the second most expensive to adopt from just under Azerbaijan and Albania.


Huffington Weighs in on Child Abduction and Hague 
The “Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,” commonly called the Hague Convention, has been adopted by over 90 nations. It attempts to standardize and expedite the return of children and/or facilitate the exercise of visitation rights concerning children who are wrongly moved internationally, often in violation of family court orders. This comment provides a very brief and incomplete educational overview of this difficult and tragic topic. Always consult an experienced family law attorney with particular expertise in international custody cases in specific situations.
The United States became a Hague Convention adoptee in 1988 and its provisions apply to U.S. related child abductions occurring after the adoption date. The Hague Convention is implemented by a U.S. federal statute, the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA). There are numerous governmental and private Web sources containing information and forms.
The following is a brief and incomplete overview of Hague Convention legal actions.
1. Hague Convention petitions may be filed in either state or federal court. Where to file is a strategic consideration. A complicating factor in any case is the active involvement of a governmental official, perhaps even taking custody of the child, particularly in a foreign nation.
READ MORE HERE http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brad-reid/the-hague-convention-and_b_9626990.html