Book Review: International Adoption: Sensitive Advice for Prospective Parents

International Adoption: Sensitive Advice for Prospective Parents is a collaboration between Jean Knoll and Mary-Kate Murphy. Jean Knoll kept a journal throughout the process which led through two failed referrals, two adoption agencies and three countries to the eventual adoption of her daughter Jessie in Peru. Katie Murphy met her briefly in Peru just before returning to the U.S. with her own Peruvian daughter. Murphy writes commentary chapters giving some of the background of international adoption. These appear in between segments of Knoll’s journal. Knoll adopted as a single parent; Murphy has a husband and a biological son. There is … Continue reading

Lesser-Known Programs with Shorter Timeframes: Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America

My last blog offered some general information, thoughts and cautions about adopting from countries with lesser-known, perhaps newer adoption programs with shorter wait times than many other country programs. It also profiled two Asian countries with such programs. This blog presents countries in the Caribbean, Latin America and Eastern Europe which have relatively short timeframes for adoption. Jamaica is a very new program begun in October 2008. It is offered through the adoption agency Hands Across the Water (you can also contact this agency, and agencies working in all the countries described here, through the contact wizard at, described … Continue reading

New Adoption Programs with Shorter Wait Times

My last blog referred to a site listing adoption requirements by country, including several countries with small and fairly new adoption programs. Many of these programs have shorter timeframes than countries whose adoption programs are more well-known. A word of caution is in order here: timeframes can be unpredictable when a country is new. Perhaps their court system or passport and visa offices don’t work as quickly as their adoption approval process. Perhaps the system will be vulnerable to major changes when a new administration and/or legislative body takes office. While these programs are understandably attractive to those who want … Continue reading

What Is the Hague Convention? -–An Overview

This past spring marks two years since the Hague Convention on International Adoption took effect in the U.S. This treaty actually was written in 1993, but had to be ratified by various signatory nations, some of which had different dates set for their country to come into compliance with the treaty. Two years ago, the internet was buzzing with fears that small adoption agencies , perhaps small faith-based programs or programs that specialized in a certain, relatively unusual sending country, such as Poland, would not be able to meet its provisions and would stop operating, thus putting children in areas … Continue reading

The Gates Donate $1.5 Billion to Maternal Health

We all know that Bill Gates has more money than God and Oprah put together, but it seems he tries to use at least part of it for good. Gates’ wife, Melinda announced this week that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is donating $1.5 billion to programs in developing countries to promote maternal and child health, including nutrition, vaccination, and family planning. In an interview with NPR’s Michele Norris, Melinda said, “We said AIDS is important, we said malaria is important, we’re saying now maternal and child deaths are important — and guess what? It’s actually possible to fix … Continue reading

Book Review: Carolyn’s Story

Carolyn’s Story is told from the viewpoint of the author’s nine-year-old daughter, who was adopted from Honduras when she was a baby. The book is longer than most adoption picture books and will appeal to somewhat older children than picture books, although younger children will be engaged by the photos and simple narration. The book is also unique in featuring the situation of many adoptive children: a family where one parent has children, often grown, from a prior marriage. Wishing to have children together, the new couple—often past prime childbearing years—turn to adoption. Carolyn’s story includes a visit to her … Continue reading