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Evaluating Your Child’s Health When Arriving Home

15. August, 2016UncategorizedNo comments

Healthy baby

CONGRATULATIONS! You have adopted a child- now it is time to make sure that you help your child have a healthy future.

Children who are adopted internationally are at risk for diseases related to their living conditions. It is important for your child to have a complete medical examination soon after arriving in the United States. You may choose to use your family pediatrician or a doctor specialized in adoption medicine.

If you adopt a special needs child, there may be the necessity of having your child cared for by one or more specialists. A great place to start is the primary healthcare medical visit and then you can go from there.

To prepare for the first medical visit, make sure you bring all of the child’s medical records with you. You will need to communicate all pertinent medical history with your child’s doctor. Additionally, it is important to review immunization records. Most vaccines may need to be repeated in case the vaccines were incorrectly stored. Your child’s doctor may order blood testing to determine what immunity your child has, and vaccinate as needed.

Order the recommended tests. This may include testing for anemia and lead; developmental, vision and hearing screening; dental and mental health examination. You will be ensuring that this journey with your child will be a healthy one by working closely with his/ her doctor.

Enjoy your new child! And again, best wishes for a healthy and happy future together.



Taiwan’s Orphans

8. August, 2016UncategorizedNo comments


Taiwan Orphan

Our experience of orphanage conditions in Taiwan has been very good. Babies often stay in the orphanage until the age of two, after which they try to provide government based foster families. That way a child will have the experience of adjustment in a normal family unit instead of an institution. For special needs children they try to provide early treatment to ensure the child has the best chance possible to thrive.

According to The Department of State Website in regards to who can be adopted:

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Taiwan has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:

  • Relinquishment:  Where the biological mother is alive and her whereabouts known, the Family Court will request a written, signed relinquishment document. 
  • Abandonment:  A legal determination of abandonment by a court is usually required.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  An adoptive child must be at least 20 years younger than the adopted parent. If the adoptive parents are married, the child must be at least 20 years younger than one spouse and at least 16 years younger than the other spouse.
  • Sibling Adoptions:  None
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  None
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  NoneIn addition, no child may be adopted who is:
    • directly related by blood to the prospective adoptive parents (for example: grandparents cannot adopt their grandchildren);
    • directly related by marriage, except in the adoption of the other spouse’s child as a stepchild (for example: A parent-in-law cannot adopt his/her son-in-law or daughter-in-law); or
    • indirectly related by blood or marriage, such as cousins (unless removed by a certain degree), the spouse of a sibling, or a sibling of your spouse.  (Note: Taiwan law is very detailed about what degree of indirect blood relation is excluded from adoption. If prospective adoptive parents are concerned about possible blood ties with the child they wish to adopt, they should contact AIT for clarification before proceeding with the adoption.)

    Caution:  Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable.  In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible.  In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.


For more information about adopting from Taiwan email us at or call us at 435-986-1617


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.