Holt Launches International Adoption Program in South Africa

Holt is excited to announce the launch of a new international adoption program in South Africa in partnership with the Cape Town, South Africa-based child protection and adoption agency Wandisa. Holt is now one of three U.S. adoption agencies approved to place children from South Africa with eligible families in the U.S., and began accepting applications for the South Africa program on May 17, 2021.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to participate in home-finding for children from South Africa,” says Thoa Bui, Holt’s vice president of international programs. “We are particularly passionate about being able to find families for children with special needs and older children.”

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An Update on Adoptee Melia, Her Family and Her Heart

Nine years ago, we shared a story about Melia, a little girl with major congenital heart disease who joined her family after they saw her on Holt’s waiting child photolisting. Read an update on Melia today from her parents, Ryan and Katie!

Melia modeled for her local children’s hospital when they were awarded a US News and World Report Beat Hospital in Cardiology and Heart Surgery Award!
Melia modeled for her local children’s hospital when they were awarded a US News and World Report Beat Hospital in Cardiology and Heart Surgery Award!

Melia is now 10 years old. She had three surgeries to strengthen her heart when she first arrived home, but has not seen the operating room since! She gets annual check-ups with her cardiologist, but has not needed any further interventions or medications. Continue reading “An Update on Adoptee Melia, Her Family and Her Heart”

International Adoption in the Time of COVID

Hannah and Paulo Lee were nearing the end of their international adoption process from Korea when COVID-19 became a global pandemic —  shutting down travel and causing obstacles they never could have expected. 

Hannah and Paolo with their daughter, Maddie, and son Elliott adopted from Korea during the pandemic.
Hannah and Paolo with their daughter, Maddie, and son Elliott adopted from Korea during the pandemic.

Three years ago, we were a family of three and we desired to have one more child. However, this time God led us on a journey of adoption to grow our family. After many months of praying, we decided to adopt from South Korea. We quickly finished our homestudy and were matched the following summer.

It was in June of 2019 when we finally got to see what our son looked like. We now had a face in our minds of the child we had been praying for. Using Holt’s timeframes provided, we expected to meet him in person in about a year.

But never could we have prepared for a global pandemic and the unexpected obstacles we would have to face. Continue reading “International Adoption in the Time of COVID”

Thoughts on Older Child Adoption From Experienced Parents

If you’re considering older child adoption, one of the best things you can do is seek advice from other families. Families who have worked through many of the same fears or concerns you’re now grappling with, and who have gone through the experience of helping an older child adapt to a new country, culture, language — and, in many cases, to life in a family instead of an institution. Families who have learned how to help their child heal from trauma and long-term institutionalization, and how to build a loving, trusting bond with a child who may have never experienced that kind of bond with a caregiver or family member before.

View the slideshow above to hear from a handful of Holt families who have adopted children at older ages. You can also read more in-depth stories about these families below and, if you would like more advice, you can contact an adoption service specialist to get in touch with an advocate family directly!

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10 Things You Need to Know About Adopting an Older Child

The Schell family, who have adopted four children.

One of the most common special needs among children waiting for an adoptive family isn’t a physical need at all—it’s simply being older than the age of 5. These children have waited a long time for a family, and often, being considered an “older child” means they wait even longer.

Think you could be the right family for older child adoption? Read the 10 things you need to know about adopting an older child.

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5 Things to Know About Adopting a Child With Cerebral Palsy

The Borland family adopted their son from China. He has minor cerebral palsy.

If you are considering adopting a child with special needs, or spent time on Holt’s photolisting, you have likely seen the term “cerebral palsy.” It’s a common special need among children waiting for adoptive families.

For many prospective adoptive families, “cerebral palsy” sounds intimidating, even potentially unmanageable. But the truth is that “cerebral palsy” refers to a broad range of symptoms and traits and its effects are different for every child.

Read the five things you should know about adopting a child with cerebral palsy!
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