Ultimate Holiday Survival Guide for Special Needs Families (120+ Links!)


It’s the most wonderful time of the year… But you know that’s not always the case. For kiddos that thrive on routines, face behavioral challenges, get overwhelmed quickly, need special diets, and more, facing the holiday season can fill a special needs parent with dread.

(Secret: You are not alone!)

That’s why it’s so great that the internet is here to provide you with practical advice, help, humor, and hope for your upcoming holiday season.

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A Gift of Adoption Fund: E-News Year in Review

GOA Connections

Fall 2019

Dear Friends,

When introducing Gift of Adoption to others, we often lead with, “It’s a good idea.” 

Gift of Adoption is a good idea because it is relevant — addressing the staggeringly large needs of 138 million orphaned children around the world and 250,000 in the United States who are growing up alone. It’s a good idea because each child adopted has immediate and lasting access to both the basic necessities and enriching possibilities of life, simply by virtue of becoming a regular part of a loving family.

Our mission delivery model smartly complements and works in partnership with industry professionals—attorneys, agencies, social workers, policy makers, and advocacy groups—to further our shared goal of permanent families for all children, everywhere.

This year we made it possible for 441 children to be united with permanent families.

Pictured here you see 3-year-old Siana together with her cousins. Siana was born in Colombia and abandoned at the hospital at 3 months old. Through adoption, Siana is now able to thrive in a family where goofing around with cousins is a common occurrence.

For all the children we’ve reached this year who are now in a better place, together with their new families, we extend our gratitude. Thank you for working together with us to actualize this good idea. An idea that brings us together to make things better.

With Gratitude,

Year in Review – Thanks for helping make this possible!





Targeted Outreach Initiatives

While we serve children and families nationwide, Gift of Adoption periodically receives restricted funding to help children or families in specific locations. We currently have restricted funding for grants that would:

1. Complete the adoptions of children into families in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont.

2. Complete the adoptions of children born in Nebraska (regardless of state where the adoptive family lives).

3. Help complete the adoption of a family residing in Langlade County, WI

Additionally, we recently added Gift of Adoption Chapters in the following states and are seeking additional qualified applications from families in these states:

1. Kentucky

2. Massachusetts

3. Missouri

If you are working with families or children in any of these areas and believe a grant could be needed to complete their adoption, please refer them to Gift of Adoption.

Teen adoption from here or abroad, the need is great.

This Sweet PSA About Adoption Shows a Teen Slowly Realizing He’s Part of a Family.

Contact info@hopscotchadotions.org or ukraine@hopscotchadoptions.org

It’s no secret that when most people think of adoption, their minds immediately go to babies or young toddlers. But the hard truth is that there are children of all ages in foster care looking for their forever homes, and teens have far lower adoption rates than younger children do.

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Adoption Summit Tickets Now Available!

Join us for AdoptionSummit.com

Virtual Adoption Summit

Hopscotch is proud to support Adoption.com’s FREE Virtual Adoption Summit. Come listen to 70+ adoption experts share their knowledge and insights. Members of the adoption community are invited to watch the virtual summit for FREE on September 23-28, 2019. I hope you will join the many adoptive and prospective adoptive families during this special event!

* Each day as the videos are being released live, they will be free. After that, you must upgrade to the All-Access Pass to watch the videos.

Ukraine: Measles Vaccinations for Immigrant Visa Applicants

September 6, 2019

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv disseminated the following message in Ukraine today, September 6, 2019. Adoptive parents who believe their adoption case may be affected by this should consult with their accredited adoption service provider for guidance. Questions may be directed to the Embassy at kyivadoptions@state.gov or to the Office of Children’s Issues at adoption@state.gov.


Dear members of U.S. adoption community,

We would like to inform you of recent changes introduced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) due to the ongoing measles outbreak in Ukraine. These new requirements apply to all immigrant visa applicants, including adopted children.

Effective August 1, 2019, regardless of measles vaccination history, all immigrant visa applicants will undergo a blood test during the medical examination to verify the presence of measles antibodies. If the result of this test is negative, the visa applicant will be required to receive a measles vaccination before obtaining medical clearance to travel. Obtaining measles vaccinations for recently adopted children may be complicated due to the way the Ukrainian medical system works, and this could delay your travel to the United States.

If the adopted child has not previously received the full series of measles vaccinations, please make sure that the child gets a booster vaccine prior to the final medical examination. Even if the child’s record indicates full vaccination, we recommend a blood test in advance to determine whether the child has active antibodies, and if not, early administration of a booster shot since it can take up to two weeks for antibodies to register on the blood test.

All adopted children ages 0-10 years old are eligible for a vaccination waiver prior to departure, which means that they will be required to get any missing vaccinations within 30 days upon arrival to the U.S. Children ages 11 and older are required to meet all CDC-recommended vaccination requirements, including additional measles vaccinations, if needed, before their travel to the United States.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this new requirement.

Kids with a history of complex trauma…


Urgent Notice Regarding US Citizenship Changes

Today a Policy Alert has been issued by USCIS: The USCIS no longer considers children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members residing outside the United States as “residing in the United States” for purposes of acquiring citizenship under INA 320. This would also impact families registered as habitually residing abroad (missionaries or those living and working abroad) and expecting to register birth of the child abroad as a US citizen. The same for international surrogacy whereby the genetic material of one parent is a US citizen. It is strongly recommended that ALL intercountry adoptees secure their Certificate Of Citizenship immediately. 

Download Policy Alert (PDF)

Families don’t have to match…


U.S. Forces Parents Away From Adopted Children For As Long As Two Years

by Jayme Metzgar, Senior Contributor at The Federalist

Both trails lead back to an anti-adoption ideology currently governing the Office of Children’s Issues in the U.S. State Department.’



Luke and Brittney Stasi appear to have been victims of an unannounced policy change at the U.S. State Department keeping parents from bringing their adopted children home. Will Congress act?

Luke Stasi hasn’t seen his family since January. As his wife, Brittney, has been managing five children and a small business alone in South Carolina, Luke has spent the past seven months stuck in Africa with their sixth child, Victor.

It was December 12, 2018, when a Nigerian court finalized the family’s adoption of Victor, declaring the child (then age five) to be their son. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service duly approved the family’s I-600 application, recognizing the adoption. Yet as of this writing, eight months later, the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria, has failed to issue a visa so Victor can come home.

As Americans continue to grapple with the separation of families at our southern border, a quieter immigration crisis is separating parents from children—not migrant families this time, but U.S. citizens. The Stasis are one of dozens of adoptive families facing a frightening new trend: an eleventh-hour stall in the international adoption process that leaves them stuck overseas with a child who is legally theirs, but is unable to enter the United States.

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Hopscotch’s Ukraine Adoption Informational Webinar Tuesday, August 13th

hopscotchHopscotch’s Ukraine Adoption Informational Webinar

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST

Please join Hopscotch Adoption Ukraine Program Manager, Tonya Boggs, from your computer, tablet or smartphone to learn more about adopting in Ukraine.

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (646) 749-3122

Access Code: 902-485-285
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: 

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