The American Definition of the word “Orphan”

21. July, 2016UncategorizedNo comments

Boy Orphan

What does the word “Orphan” really mean and why is it important for prospective adoptive parents to understand the legal term completely? The main reason is that not all children that seem available, really are.

Under U.S. immigration law, an orphan is a foreign child who does not have any parents because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents. An orphan can also be a foreign-born child with a sole or surviving parent who is unable to provide for the child’s basic needs, consistent with the local standards of the foreign sending country, and has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption.

What this law means is that there is no grey area as to the availability of the child to become legally adoptable.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:

The Immigration and Nationality Act provides a definition of an orphan for the purposes of immigration to the United States.

A child may be considered an orphan because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents. The child of an unwed mother or surviving parent may be considered an orphan if that parent is unable to care for the child properly and has, in writing, irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption. The child of an unwed mother may be considered an orphan, as long as the mother does not marry (which would result in the child’s having a stepfather) and as long as the child’s biological father has not legitimated the child. If the father legitimates the child or the mother marries, the mother is no longer considered a sole parent. The child of a surviving parent may also be an orphan if the surviving parent has not married since the death of the other parent (which would result in the child’s having a stepfather or stepmother).

Note: Prospective adoptive parents should be sure that a child fits the definition of ”orphan” before adopting a child from another country, because not all children adopted abroad meet the definition of “orphan,” and therefore may not be eligible to immigrate to the United States.”

Make sure that you have the child’s historical facts complete and in writing when adopting an international child. That way you and the child will be protected from any misunderstanding regarding his/her future U.S. citizenship.


Ethiopian Dignitaries Visit Northern Utah Families

13. July, 2016Featured, UncategorizedNo comments

West Sands Adoptions thanks our wonderful Northern Utah families for opening up their hearts and homes to four Ethiopian officials who visited in late June, 2016. It was a joyous and successful visit in which children were able to see these important guests from their country. Many children did native dances, played instruments, and otherwise entertained the distinguished guests with their giggles and playfulness. The feelings of warmth and love were overwhelming. The dignitaries talked with the children and had a wonderful time seeing how well they are thriving in their new homes. Because of the generosity and hospitality of these wonderful adoptive families and their children, the meetings, gatherings, and visit with our Ethiopian officials went very well. Thank you everyone who participated in these important events.

Orphanage Safe from Devastation from Super Typhoon Nepartak in Taiwan

12. July, 2016UncategorizedNo comments



The orphanage that is in Tainan, which is south of Taiwan, sustained rain, but had no major damage from the typhoon. Thankfully all the children are safe.

Typhoon Nepartak had a Category  4 strength as it came ashore in southeastern Taiwan Friday morning, with winds of 150 mph, according to radar data. After lashing the island nation, the storm spun across the Taiwan Strait into China, where it lashed the east coast with powerful winds and heavy rains Saturday, prompting the evacuation of thousands of people, according to

At least three people in Taiwan have died in the storm and more than 100 were injured, according to the Associated Press.

Nepartak brought down trees and damaged buildings in Taitung City and other towns in southeastern Taiwan. About 390,000 households were without power.

Disaster response officials told the AP they remain concerned that the heavy rains brought by the storm would trigger floods and landslides in the rugged terrain.


An Honorable Gift

8. July, 2016UncategorizedNo comments



Every child deserves the chance to succeed. Imagine living in today’s world without the ability to read or do simple math. How would a complete lack of formal education impact your decisions and life choices? Our school in Ethiopia provides education to children who will have a higher quality of life in order to become mature, responsible adults. Education offers children the tools for making informed decisions for themselves  and also for their future families.  The West Sands Primary School is in Adama, Ethiopia-  the gift of education is an honorable one.  By donating to this cause you are helping ensure a brighter future for over 350 needy children in Ethiopia. 

We sometimes view our education as a given in The United States, because american children  are required to be in school at least until the age of sixteen. According to The U.S. Department of Education, a strong emphasis is now being placed on an early education initiative, which  is a goal to enroll over six million children in preschool. It is a fact that a strong early foundation will help make our future workforce stronger. Our government gets involved in the educational success of its children.

Education is not compulsory in all countries through the age of sixteen, but that may be due to lack of resources. It is an honorable mission to provide funds to educate 350 children in Adama. Any donation will help, and the monthly cost is $1500.00 per month to fund the school program. Please click on the link below:



Support a School in Ethiopia