Thursday, February 28, 2013

Multicultural Families are Born with Welcome House Adoptions from Kazakhstan and Costa Rica


Last month, Pearl S. Buck International’s Welcome House Adoption Program received full accreditation from the central adoption authority in Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Education and Sciences, to begin facilitating adoptions of children by US families. As an accredited program, we are one of 12 United States adoption service providers currently accredited by the Ministry of Education and Sciences. In May 2012, Kazakhstan officially began accrediting US adoption service providers as its last step toward becoming a Hague Convention country. Welcome House previously facilitated adoptions from Kazakhstan when it was a non-Hague country. We have an outstanding in-country coordinator who will facilitate adoptions for Welcome House families. 

Kazakhstan is an interesting multicultural region of the world. There are 142 distinct ethnic groups in Kazakhstan, and the children available for adoption are from various backgrounds: Asian, Caucasian, Eurasian. The official language spoken in Kazakhstan is Kazakh and Russian is considered the second official language. The country recognizes Independence Day on December 16 as a national holiday. Its economics are sustained by the industries of oil, coal, iron ore, iron and steel as well as tractors and other agricultural machinery, to name a few. Areas of specialty in agriculture include grain, predominantly spring wheat, cotton and livestock. 

In August 2012, the Kazakhstan government suspended adoptive placements with United States families. While there have been some recent promising meetings between adoption service providers, Ministry of Education and Sciences officials and US Department of State, we do not yet know when the suspension will be lifted. The US State Department has confirmed that all accredited adoption service providers may proceed with accepting applications and submitting home studies to US CIS for Kazakhstan. Children referred for adoption are expected to range in age between 12 months and 15 years of age. Families requesting a child less than two years of age may wait a bit longer for the referral. There are more children over the age of three currently available for adoption. 

The Welcome House adoption program is also matching children from Costa Rica with families in the United States. The Central American country of Costa Rica borders Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south-southeast. Its year round tropical climate lends itself to a rich diversity of plants, birds and animals. Christianity is the predominant religion practiced in Costa Rica, while Roman Catholicism is the official state religion according to its 1949 Constitution. The primary language spoken in Costa Rica is Costa Rican Spanish. It is said that Costa Rica enjoys one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America. “Pura Vida” is a common phrase spoken to reflect their way of life which means “pure life” or “good life.” 
Welcome House currently has families matched with children and welcomes inquiries about adopting a child from Costa Rica. 

Families interested in our Costa Rica adoption program may contact Bethany Horstman at bhorstman@pearlsbuck.org or Amy Durie at adurie@pearlsbuck.org for our Kazakhstan adoption program. Both staff members may be reached via phone at (215) 249-0100. Details about our adoption programs are also shared during our adoption information meetings. A full schedule of adoption information meetings can be found at www.pearlsbuck.org/adoptioninformation. Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pearlsbuckinternational) to be kept up to date on all our news as we build a global community through child adoption, child sponsorship and community programs at our national historic landmark site in Bucks County, the Pearl S. Buck House.

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