Media Reports Regarding the Practice of Underground Placements of Internationally Adopted Children

13. September, 2013UncategorizedNo comments

Dear Adoptive Families,

Recently the media has released reports concerning the underground placement of adopted children. West Sands Adoptions is a member and supporter of NCFA (National Council For Adoption). The following statement has been released on behalf of American Adoption Supporters in response to recent reports of adoption disruption and underground child placements.



Ethiopia Transition Home Update

6. September, 2013UncategorizedOne comment

West Sands Adoptions’ Ethiopia Program Director & Program Coordinator packed their bags last week, caught a few long flights, and landed in the beautiful country of Ethiopia. The purpose of this trip was to provide support to our in-country staff, evaluate our program’s growth, and straighten relationships with our partnering orphanages.  After returning home over the weekend, and resting with our families, we are eager to report about our AMAZING trip.
Prior to departing, our office was flooded with donations from adoptive families and other adoption supporters. We received over 90 Taggies, more than 50 mobiles, Nutramigen Formula, stimulating toys , shoes, and school supplies. Not only did we receive an outpouring of these items that were greatly needed, but we also received numerous prayers for our safety as we traveled, prayers for the work we needed to accomplish in country, and prayers for our Agency’s mission to improve the care at our transitional home. Your prayers were felt, and we are so thankful to all of you that prayed for us.  Ultimately our biggest mission was to serve the Lord by assisting His children who are currently in our care.

Upon our arrival we found discovered two pressing issues.  The first was that a commercial size laundry dryer was needed more than ever.  It was too damp and rainy for the clothes to dry outside, so they were being hung inside the rooms which was creating more dampness for the children.  While we were still in Country, we again reached out to our Adoptive families to help us raise the $10,000 needed to buy a commercial size dryer.  It was really hard for us to believe that a dryer could cost that much, but after a day of “shopping” this amount became a reality.  Previously we had raised $2000 in donations toward a dryer.  Thankfully the NeVille family called our office and offered to donate the remaining amount needed of $8000.   We are beyond grateful to all those who donated for this dryer.  Our staff in Ethiopia was celebrating at that the news.The second issue was again related to the weather conditions, which were too cold and too rainy for the current rooms at transition home. Several of the infants had severe colds, and some developed pneumonia.  Since the Guest House building is no longer being occupied for traveling families we found the best alternative was right at our finger tips. The second  day of our trip the children were moved into the Guest House building.  This building is much warmer and dryer than the previous rooms the children were occupying.The Infants are now on the top floor of the Guest House which is one large room.  It receives plenty of sunlight during the day, and has several windows for ventilation in the summer. It is the warmest and driest room on the compound. Older children are staying 2-3 children per room on the third floor of the Guest House in the previously used guest rooms. We purchased 2 heaters to help keep these rooms warm on the cold rainy nights.  The older children quickly set up their rooms and decorated them with paper chains.We were able to hang all of the donated mobiles in the new nursery, and it is an AMAZING site to see! Taggies were passed out to all the babies, and toys were given to the toddlers. In addition we brought over 4 activity mats for the infants which were put into their cribs providing stimulating toys above them. Little hands were reaching and grabbing, and smiles were abundant. The transition home nannies and nurses were very responsive to the idea of these stimulating toys, and quickly began incorporating them into their care. We discussed each child’s care with the head nurse, and felt confident in her knowledge of each child individually, and her concern for each and every child’s well being.  She has set up a “Special Room” for infants who are ill and require special attention, treatment, or one-on-one care.  She is working closely with our Pediatrician for the infants that are ill or under weight, and has ordered oxygen for the Transition home to continue treatment for the infants with respiratory illnesses.  Our nannies are going beyond their call of duty to stay with ill children at the clinic 24/7.  Their level of love and commitment to our children is humbling.  They are examples of selfless services in Jesus’ name.
The head nurse has provided us with a list of items currently in great need at the transition home.  I have listed these items below, and ask traveling families to bring what they can.

The most urgent items needed at the transition home right now include the following items:

Gerber Cloth Diapers (LOTS needed)
Cloth Diaper Covers
Hand Sanitizer (large pump bottles)
Liquid Vitamins (for infants)
Liquid Vitamin D
Vitamins for Children
Baby Powder

Other Items Needed:
Elocon cream
Anti-Fungal cream
4 large mosquito nets
Sterile Gauze
Sterile Gloves medium
Vicks Vapor Rub

DOS NOTICE: Ethiopia

6. September, 2013UncategorizedNo comments

Notice: This adoption notice serves as a reminder of the implementation of the Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) program

This adoption notice serves as a reminder of the implementation of the Pre-Adoption Immigration Review (PAIR) program in Ethiopia.  This notice also provides clarification to questions received regarding transition cases.

On June 3, the Department of State published an adoption noticeannouncing that effective September 1, 2013, the Government of Ethiopia will require all adoption cases filed on behalf of U.S. prospective adoptive parents with the Ethiopian courts to undergo the U.S. PAIR process.  Please see the U.S. Department of State’s Ethiopia country information sheet and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy memorandumfor details.

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) confirmed to the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa that 70 cases with open applications were still pending with the Federal First Instance Court (FFIC) as of the annual court closure on August 14 will be treated as pre-PAIR cases and not be subject to the PAIR requirement, even if they are completed after September 1.  These are cases where:

  • the first court hearing took place prior to the August 14 court closure and the prospective adoptive parents are waiting for the second court hearing to be scheduled, or have received court dates for October.  No PAIR letter will be required for these cases.
  • the prospective adoptive parents have received and accepted referrals and filed applications with the court prior to the August 14 closure date, but are waiting for first and second hearings to be scheduled.  No PAIR letter will be required for these cases.
  • the court filing was accepted by FFIC administrative staff during the court recess following the August 14 closure but before the September 1, 2013 implementation date for the PAIR program.  No PAIR letter will be required for these cases.

If you have further questions as to whether your case falls into these categories, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues


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