caregivers and children in masks during COVID in China

Intercountry Adoption Becomes More Precarious As Coronavirus Outbreak Grows

Holt International Expands Support to Orphanages Across Asia as they Reassure Adoptive Families Waiting to Bring Their Children Home.

EUGENE, ORE – Holt International is rapidly ramping up its support for orphanages in Asia that are at risk of the expanding coronavirus outbreak. It also is working closely with 250 U.S. families in the queue to adopt children from China, including more than 20 families whose adoptions have been delayed by the outbreak.

“The families have been amazing in their understanding of the situation. It is not easy for them, but they realize it is a situation beyond anyone’s control,” says Jian Chen, Holt’s vice president of China regional programs. “We are all worried about the health and safety of the children in orphanages in China, but we are pleased with the quick response of Chinese authorities to isolate the children immediately. The caregivers in the orphanages have also been isolated with the children to continue to provide 24-hour care for them.”

When the orphanage staff informed Holt of the shortage of masks, gloves and disinfecting equipment, Holt started a campaign to raise money to send medical and cleaning supplies to protect the 600 children in care at our partner orphanage in Wuhan. Holt also sent supplies to seven other orphanages in China’s Hubei province. The orphanages sent video and photos of the children receiving the supplies. For the families whose children are in those orphanages, the images reassured families the children now have the necessary equipment to ensure their safety.

Ivy and Noah Cleveland from Georgia were one of the families that would have been in China.

“We thought we were going to meet our daughter and bring her home. Instead, we had to tell our sons that we don’t know when she will be with us,” says Ivy Cleveland. Her husband adds, “We know eventually we will all be together, but we worry and pray for all the children and families impacted by the coronavirus. We are grateful to Holt International for their campaign to make sure those children will be protected and safe.”

As the coronavirus spreads throughout Asia, Holt is expanding its outreach to provide anti-coronavirus equipment and medical supplies to other countries where they have programs. Adoptions from Korea will be affected as travel advisories become more restrictive and work productivity in Korea comes to a near standstill. This week, Holt also received requests from Korea for medical supplies, particularly in Daegu, where the outbreak began.

“Holt has programs in every Asian country affected by the coronavirus,” says Holt president and CEO Phillip Littleton. “When we established our goals and objectives for 2020, this crisis was not on the horizon. Like others, we are now coping with the enormity of the crisis by moving quickly to respond to all of our overseas programs to protect children and families in our care.”

Help protect children in Holt programs and partner orphanages from the coronavirus!

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