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Hands Across The Water Maintains Accreditation, Can Continue Providing International Adoptions

HATW recently received notice of its official accreditation to provide intercountry adoption services for the next four years from the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity, Inc. (IAMME). The process of going through accreditation took nearly a year, involved HATW’s staff and Board of Directors, and leaves the agency as Michigan’s only remaining Hague-accredited adoption agency providing a full array of intercountry adoption services. The agency currently oversees adoption programs in Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Bulgaria, while also providing home study and post adoption supervision services to families in Michigan who are adopting using agencies in other states that offer programs in other countries. HATW also provides, on a limited basis, primary provider oversight of adoptions in countries where no accredited agency has an established program.

“Over time, the number of agencies offering these services has dwindled due to several different factors,” notes HATW Executive Director Katie Page Sander. “We feel strongly, however, that although international adoption is only one aspect of our services to children and families, it’s part of the original bedrock of the agency, and we want to continue offering this service as long as it remains possible.”

Many agencies have either had their accreditation revoked due to failure to meet stringent standards for ethical standards and practices or have allowed their accreditation to lapse due to the cost, time and effort required to maintain it. The number of countries who allow adoptions to families in the U.S. has dwindled over time as well, but HATW receives multiple inquiries each week from people not only in Michigan but from across the country who wish to adopt internationally; often those inquiries come from U.S. citizens who wish to adopt family members. “As long as there is a clear need, we hope to provide a resource for these families, “said Page Sander. “Our staff includes several people whose lives have been touched by international adoption, mine included. We have a passion for this work and are so thrilled that IAAME sees how much energy and commitment there is to continue doing it with the same care and attention we have always provided our families.”

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