Finding Families for Children in Thailand With Special Needs

This month, three Holt staff members will travel throughout Thailand to assess 130 children who are eligible for adoption through the Thailand Special Needs Program. 

Thailand trip packing

Right now, I’m packing my suitcase, preparing for a 24-hour flight and an exhausting two weeks in Thailand. But I can’t wait!

Over the next three weeks, I will travel around the country to visit 12 orphanages and over 130 children who are waiting for families. Holt’s clinical social worker for our south and southeast Asia programs, Zoila Lopez, as well as Jennifer Nelson, Holt’s adoption services coordinator for Asia programs, will travel with me. And together, we will get to know these children so that we can better advocate for them once home.

Each of these children is eligible for adoption through Holt’s new Thailand Special Needs Program! 

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Favorite Five Adoption Stories

For National Adoption Month, read, view and share the five most popular adoption stories and videos to ever appear on the Holt blog!

A Heart for Rini

At the 2014 Holt Gala and Auction in Portland, Oregon, Holt adoptive mom Andrea stood to speak. She told her story of bringing home her daughter Rini from China — a little girl with severe congenital heart disease — and the struggle to save her life. Here, Andrea again shares the story that captivated an audience of families, adoptees and Holt supporters at the Portland event, as well as her appeal to help save the lives of other children with serious heart disease… children just like Rini. Continue reading “Favorite Five Adoption Stories”

Born in Thailand, Raised in Wisconsin, Loved Everywhere

Holt adoptive parents Kyle Geissler and Robin Stephens bring their 5 and 6-year-olds sons on a trip to Thailand — giving them an early opportunity to explore their identity, celebrate their heritage and reconnect with the foster families who cared for them before they came home. Read and share their story in honor of National Foster Care Month!

The decision to build our family through adoption was an easy one.  We wanted to be parents and biological kids weren’t possible for us.

Navigating the choices that followed was not as easy.  Ultimately, we chose Holt’s Thailand program.  We liked that Holt’s partner organization in Thailand, Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF), focuses primarily on family strengthening and preservation — keeping children in their birth families whenever possible — and that the children in their program are mostly cared for by foster families.  We liked that Holt’s Thailand program is small and methodical, and that adoptions from Thailand are tightly regulated by the Thai government to minimize the chance of corruption.  We also had a few Thai friends and felt comfortable with the idea of bringing Thai culture into our family.

Seven years and two incredible boys later, the choices that face us make those initial decisions seem easy. In addition to the many issues that all parents face, we are also trying to help our kids feel positive about themselves as Asian Americans, born in Thailand and adopted and raised in the Midwest by white parents.

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Top 5 Facts About Adopting From Thailand

If you are considering adoption, chances are you’ve thought about countries like China, Korea and maybe even Ethiopia. But what about Thailand? You don’t always hear a lot about Thailand in the adoption community. But, maybe you should, because there’s a lot to love about our program and partners in Thailand.

Here are our top 5 reasons to consider adoption from Thailand:

5. The minimum age for adoptive parents is 25.

For younger couples who want to start a family through adoption, Thailand is a great choice. Couples can have up to one child in the home prior to submitting their application, and couples with a child can request to be matched with a child opposite of the gender of the child already home. Childless couples must be open to a child of either gender. Adoptions from Thailand, while limited, have remained stable.
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A Center to Learn and Grow in Thailand

At a learning center Holt supports in rural, southern Thailand, children build skills using the natural environment while parents learn how to grow low-cost, nutritious food for their families.

by Jessica Palmer, Director of Adoption Services, Southeast Asia

Stepping into an organic garden, seeing fresh vegetables ripe for the picking in a lush green atmosphere, I forget for a second that I’m not in the Holt headquarters city of Eugene, Oregon. Instead, I am in a rural part of Thailand, Tha Sala, just outside the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat that serves as the southern office location for Holt’s local partner organization, Holt Sahathai Foundation (HSF). Among the many programs HSF provides for vulnerable children and families in Thailand is a learning center in Tha Sala, which is full of sensory stimulation and learning opportunities for children in the area — including many in Holt’s sponsorship program.

Children and an instructor at the Tha Sala Learning Center for Children and Family Development.

Continue reading “A Center to Learn and Grow in Thailand”