NPR Interview with National Council for Adoption’s CEO, Chuck Johnson

NPR Interview with National Council for Adoption’s CEO, Chuck Johnson.  Last year the number of foreign children adopted by U.S. parents dropped to the lowest level since 1982, according to figures recently released by the State Department.

For comparison’s sake, in 2004, foreign adoptions reached an all time high of 22,884. Last year, the grand total was just 6,441.

Read more.


#PFF15 Adopted Persons Scholarship


Adopted People Scholarship

"What does family mean to you?"

In a short 250-450 word essay, adopted people and foster care alumni are challenged to answer the question above for a chance to win a free registration to our 2015 Putting Family First Conference, held in Washington D.C. on June 21-23 2015.  This scholarship is generously sponsored by Gladney Center for Adoption. The winning essays will also be published on our NCFA blog. Applicants must 18 or older and need to submit their essays by May 8th. 

*Please note that room and travel are not included in this giveaway and must be booked separately. 

News from Pakistan: Makeshift Carnival in Islamabad

Enjoy this photo collection portraying a makeshift amusement park in Pakistan, taken in Islamabad and Rawalpindi by Muhammed Muheisen, an Associated Press photographer. Pakistani children enjoy a ride at a makeshift entertainment park set up in a Christian neighborhood for the Christmas holiday in Islamabad, Pakistan.

See photos.

Sign Up Reminder: Identity in Adoption Webinar

An Adoption Learning Partners webinar co-sponsored by  Joint Council on International Children’s Services

Webinar Reminder: Identity in Adoption

Mirrors and Windows

Thursday, May 7, 2015
7:00 PM Central 
Q&A: 8:00 PM

Have you ever wondered just how much nature vs. nurture will play a role in your adopted child’s identity formation?

How will they balance these influences as they pull together their own understanding of who they are?

What can you do to help them?

Join moderator Leah Bloom, LMFT, an adopted person who was adopted from Korea, as she leads our panel of adopted persons through a discussion about the intricacies of identity formation in adoption. Our panel – adopted domestically, internationally and from foster care – will reflect back on their own experiences and answer YOUR questions about such things as:

  • What their adoptive parents did that helped them through the journey
  • What they wish their parents had done
  • Additional supportive elements and resources that have helped them mold their identity formation
  • Privacy concerns in sharing their adoption story
  • Feelings of loss related to their adoption what tends to trigger this
  • Curiosity and feelings about biological parents and how much they identify with them


Hopscotch Staff Attends the 3rd Annual Adoption Conference!

Adoption: The Journey to Permanency…  From Trauma to Triumph!

Download Adoption Conference 2015 Save The Date Postcard (PDF)



Update on the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015!

"Last Wednesday, the ATCWG Executive Committee co-hosted a congressional briefing with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) on the Adoption Tax Credit. Senators Casey and Blunt announced the reintroduction of the bipartisan Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015 (S. 950). Please contact congressional offices with which you have relationships to share the exciting co-sponsorship opportunity! "

Here are the things you can do to support S.950:

  • Reach out to any relationships you may have asking members to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation
  • Share the Press Release on Facebook
  • Retweet this

Hopscotch Newsletter for April 2015

In This Issue…

Quick Links

Still waiting….

The Waiting Child Program is the fastest growing program that Hopscotch Adoptions offers.  Unlike the typical track, time to placement usually takes less than a year from dossier submission.  Most of these children are Special Needs or older. We strongly urge you to check out these kids, regardless of the path you are taking. You never know who will grab your heart.

For more information on this program, contact Natasha or go to the Waiting Child page and fill out the Privacy Declaration at the bottom of the page.

Welcome Home!

***Armenia Program News***

US Citizens are no longer required to obtain a visa for entry to Armenia! Hopscotch Adoptions’ Armenian Travel Guide has been updated to reflect this change. If you have been notified of impending travel prior to April 30, be sure to ask for the updated guide.

Who is excited for a Hopscotch Reunion???

When: August 5-7, 2015
Where: Riverhead, New York
Who can attend: ALL Hopscotch families

Hyatt Place East End (Primary Hotel)
Hilton Garden Inn

**Hyatt and Hilton Hotels have each reserved a block of 40 rooms at a rate of $189.00 for August 5-6 and  $325 for August 7th.

Please book your room NOW to lock in that rate!

Tentative Schedule:

August 5, 2015
Morning: Breakfast together at the hotel
Day: Long Island Aquarium & Exhibition Center *group rate will be applied
Night: Dinner together

August 6, 2015
Morning: Breakfast together at the hotel
Day: Beach Day!!
Evening: Clambake and Barbecue Picnic

August 7, 2015
Morning: Breakfast together at the hotel
Day: Your choice! Your family can participate in the many activities that Riverhead offers!

Program Spotlight!


Hopscotch’s Executive Director, Robin Sizemore, traveled to Guyana in October 2014 where she met with Guyanese officials, US Embassy staff, orphanages and attorneys. She had a very positive experience and is very excited about this new program.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Married or Single Women Applicants
  • Applicants Age: 25-65 years old
  • Trips: 2 trips are required (1st trip: 5-7 days; 2nd trip: 3 weeks)

Children available for adoption are usually between 12 months and 15 years old. There are children that are generally healthy in relation to institutional care. There are also children with minor to non-correctable special needs available for adoption.

If you are interested in learning more about our Guyana program, please contact Natasha Beavers.

Before You Go…

Always consult with your primary doctor well before making a trip abroad and reference the  Center for Disease Control (CDC) for any specific precautions for the destination you’ll be traveling too.  Your doctor will make sure you have all of the appropriate vaccinations and medications relevant to your trip and length of time you’ll be away.

Be sure to always keep your medications in the prescription bottle at all times during travel and always keep your medications in your travel carry-on.   Sometimes your doctor and your insurance company will allow extra dosages based on your trip length, but ask in advance or during your travel medical appointment.   Keep your personal doctor’s contact information, medication lists or letter from your doctor if you need any special accommodations and insurance information in your carry-on luggage.    

Some families utilize the services of an International Medical Travel clinic, but most likely your doctor and the CDC can cover your needs.  You’ll want to also check the Visa page for your country destination to be sure you’re not caught without proper documentation if required for entry.   You can find the correlating embassy by visiting the country page on the Department of State’s Intercountry Adoption website. 

If you  or your child will have any specific medical needs or mobility issues, it’s good to communicate with your airline in advance of ticket purchase to be sure you can be accommodated safely.  Some airlines have restrictions on the level of medical fragility they will permit to board.  It’s best to check and get it in writing between your doctor and the airline if possible.  Know your passenger rights on inter country flights as well as domestic flights.

Don’t forget travel insurance!  Travel insurance, health and life policies.  Are they up to date? Another level of security is your home owners policy.  Be sure to check the policy, because in many cases if you have anything broken or destroyed while traveling, your home owners insurance may cover the loss.   If you have a medical emergency, be sure you call your provider to get authorization in advance.  Call your insurance provider before you leave to be sure you understand the limits of your coverage. 

Before a family travels abroad to bring their child home, they have usually had a consult with an  InternationalĂ‚  Medical Adoption Specialist that assists families in evaluating the child’s health and needs.  This doctor will already be familiar with your child’s specific needs and may be able to make recommendations for specific medications or care your child may need while abroad or during travel.  Evaluations and consultations can be from $250-$850 and offer an array of amenities that can fit every family’s needs or budget.  Look for the doctor that can review your child’s information ongoing as you get updates, that will make specific requests for screenings, tests etc to help you better understand your child’s developmental progress while waiting, and of course, be available during and after you return home to see your child’s medical and developmental  goals are being met.  Some clinics will even Skype with you during your child’s medical evaluation while abroad.  The clinics can be a wealth of resources and are worth every penny. 

While you are in country, you can also avail yourself of the embassy panel physician.  You can find the list of embassy approved physicians on the US embassy website for the country you are in.  Again, check with your insurance provider to be sure your visit is covered for reimbursement when you return home.    Save all of your receipts, prescriptions and notes.  Your regular doctor will want to follow up on the treatment.

And of course, always check for travel warnings for the countries you would be traveling or transiting through.   You’ll want to be sure to register with the US embassy for emergency events, evacuations or terror threats.  

We always value our families’ feedback. Please tell us what you want in the next newsletter! We would love for our families to share their adoption stories! Please contact Michelle Moreau with any feedback or if you would like to write an article for a future newsletter.

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News From Armenia: Just Watch Me Now!

Hopscotch is proud of our super star, with a starring role in the "Variety" commercial.  "Variety" is a children’s charity that advocates for kids with needs.


See Video.

News from Armenia: Hopscotch Family Celebrates Their New Son!!!


Save The Date. AFG Event on June 4 in NYC

Save The Date! June 4

AFG Benefit and Cocktail Reception at the Ukrainian Institute in NYC (located in the historic Fletcher-Sinclair mansion on Fifth Avenue) on June 4, 2014. An extraordinary evening with Georgian wine and hor d’oeuvres, a musical performance and an art auction! Event Tickets will be available online soon and another email will be sent when they are available. Proceeds from this event will benefit AFG’s humanitarian aid projects in Georgia.


Where & When

Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Ukrainian Institute of America, 2 E 79th St, New York, NY 10075

This event would not be possible without the support of the Ukrainian Institute of America, Pheasant’s Tears Wines, Oda House Restaurant and Dita Naylor-Leyland



If you would like to help sponsor this event, we would welcome your kind generosity.

American Friends of Georgia, Inc. is a U.S. non-profit, non-political 501(c)(3) public charity with tax exempt status.

The organization’s mission is to provide practical humanitarian assistance to the peoples of Georgia in order to improve educational, economic, social, medical and environmental conditions.

Thank you for your support !


Marusya Chavchavadze

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