Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Parent to Parent: International Adoption
Adopting an orphan is a life-changing experience for all involved. In tonight's Parent to Parent, Seven's Lynn Martinez shows us parents who are reaching out to other countries to create their new families and hope others will follow their example.
WSVN -- And baby makes three for the Clover family, they just adopted 8-month-old Emmanuel from Ethopia.
Matt: "We ultimately chose Ethiopia. There's over four million orphans, statistics vary, just massive need there."
And here's 4-year-old Quinn, he's an All-American boy. Now, he was born in Haiti, in 2005, found abandoned on a doorstep.
Craig Juntunen: "I'll never forget how, when we brought him back, how tightly he held on to my thumb just for dear life. That was the bond. That's how it all started."
Craig and Kathi Juntenen adopted Quinn and another son and a daughter from Haiti. They also started the Chances 4 Children Foundation, which runs and funds an orphanage there.
Craig Juntunen: "Some say there are 150 million orphaned or abandoned children in the world today. There's millions of Quinns in the world who just need someone to reach out and give them the love they deserve and give them a home."
Celebs like Madonna and Brad and Angelina have put international adoption in the spotlight with their growing families from countries like Ethiopia, Cambodia and Vietnam, but despite their high-profile cases, Craig says the number of international adoptions has actually dropped.
Craig Juntunen: "What has derailed this process is high cost, high bureaucracy and a lack of awareness."
Adopting a foreign child can cost between $25,000 and $30,000, and it takes time. Most adoptions take up to two years to complete.
Kathryn Clover: "It's a very difficult process. It takes a toll on your family emotionally, and there's a lot of red tape, and we were constantly working on different paperwork aspects and things, but it's definitely worth it."
Craig Juntunen wrote a book to raise awareness about adopting his three kids from Haiti, and his foundation is working with different countries to hopefully streamline the international adoption process and make it more affordable.
Craig Juntunen: "These children, in other parts of the world, don't have a chance because they don't have any future, and that's what's changed my life, and that's why I'm out on this crusade now, and that's why Chances 4 Children wants to change the world."
Lynn Martinez: "International adoptions peaked in 2004 with more than 22,000 adoptions. That's expected to drop to less than 10,000 this year."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Chances 4 Children