Sylvia Needs a Family!

Sylvia needs a family!
Sylvia lives in the U.S. and needs a family to adopt her domestically!

One look at these pictures, and you can see that Sylvia is an adorable, happy child with a big, wide smile and sparkling eyes. She loves engaging and interacting with others, and has a sweet temperament and rarely cries, much preferring to laugh and giggle instead. One of her favorite things to do is play with her foster sibling, with whom she has a very close relationship. Continue reading “Sylvia Needs a Family!”

With A College Degree, Her Life Will Never Be The Same

When Tham Sao Run is home for a visit, her accounting books are so foreign to her family, they could be written in another language.

Neither of her parents have bank accounts. Sao Run isn’t sure if anyone in her village does.

Sao Run reads in the shade under her stilted house, learning about cash flows and shareholders equity. A rusting blue bicycle rests against one stilt and chickens pick through the grass and dust.

In high school, Sao Run raised chickens to pay for her school supplies, books and uniforms. She was especially proud to purchase her bike, a cherished item that meant she would no longer have to walk an hour each way to her high school classes. Continue reading “With A College Degree, Her Life Will Never Be The Same”

Upcoming fee changes you should know about!

Fee Changes

Providing the best possible experience for families and children in our adoption programs is of the utmost importance to us. Our high quality, hands-on services and support consistently makes us the top-rated adoption organization in the country and families give us a 99 percent satisfaction rating.

We always strive to keep our costs below average. However, to continue to provide high quality services and care for the children in our adoption programs, we will be slightly adjusting our fee structure and increasing the Application Fee and the U.S. Processing Fee.

This is the first time we’ve raised the fees since 2014, and we apologize for any inconvenience this causes you or your family.

On September 1, the application fee will increase from $300 to $350. With the increase, we still remain at or below the average application fee of other adoption agencies.

Additionally, in order to spread out costs for families, we plan to split our U.S. Processing fee into two separate charges. We are increasing this fee in order to ensure we can provide quality, personalized support and services to your family prior to homestudy approval.

In the infographic above, you can see the direct comparison between the old structure and the new structure, along with a timeline of when each fee will be due.

We appreciate your understanding as we continue to always do what is best for children who need families.

For a more detailed look at Holt’s fees and additional costs related to adoption, please visit our website.

Thank you,

Lisa H. Vertulfo, LMSW
Vice President of Adoption Services

Note: These new fees are only for applications received on or after September 1.


Christopher Needs a Family!

Christopher needs a family!
Christopher’s face is hidden for privacy, but there are many awesome pictures of him available on file!
Christopher urgently needs a family before he ages out of the adoption process on his 14th birthday!

This 13-year-old boy is one of the sweetest, smartest and determined boys you will ever meet. At summer camp he was quick to make friends with the teachers and talk about things he learned in school. He is studying English and loves to interact with foreigners when he has the chance. Christopher is so full of joy and enthusiasm, it is almost hard to believe he has such a difficult background.

He was raised for several years by his grandmother and was very close to her. They lived on a mountain in a fairly remote area where she taught him to be independent and pursue his dreams.

One day, he came home from school to find that she had passed away.

Christopher needs a family!Not letting his circumstances dictate his future, Christopher stayed in the same house continuing to cook, clean and take care of himself. Eventually he was reported to the local social welfare office and they brought him to the group home where he now lives.

Christopher has tested positive for HIV, which is well controlled with medication. His group home is for children who have HIV, and he is reportedly doing really well there.

Both Christopher’s physical and cognitive development are on track, and he is well liked by those around him! He loves to play sports, paint pictures, ride his bike and be the class clown.

Christopher’s biggest hope is to one day have an adoptive family. He likes the idea of having brothers, sisters and maybe even a dog! He understands his need for a permanent family, and he realizes that he is running out of time.

Could you or someone you know be the right family for Christopher? For more information, visit his photolisting profile, read about other families who have adopted children with HIV, and contact our China child match coordinator, Jessica Zeeb, at

DOB: 08/08/04 | China

Aubrey Needs a Family!

Aubrey Needs a family!
Aubrey is not a cartoon, obviously.

In fact, this silhouette that we use to represent her is nothing close to reality. Unlike this bland and formless photo, she is bright eyed with a grin from cheek to cheek, and if you could see her, you would be able to tell that she is so full of joy! Instead of pigtails, she wears her hair in a short pixie cut, and loves brightly colored dresses. We wish you could see Aubrey and understand what we are talking about, but the adoption authority in her country doesn’t allow us to share her photo on social media. However, if you request information, you can see the photos we have on file for Aubrey and get a glimpse of her personality! Continue reading “Aubrey Needs a Family!”

The Story of My Life

Through the Independent Living and Educational Assistance Program in the Philippines, young adults aging out of institutional care gain the skills to live successfully on their own. Marlon Cruz was once an ILEA scholar. This is the story of his life, as told by Marlon. 

I was 5 years old when I got lost in the market of Marikina City and never found my parents again. That was the start of my struggles in life. I did not know where I would stay and how I would eat. I came to the point that I was sleeping anywhere I could. To survive, I started to carry baskets and bags of goods for people in the marketplace so I could get money for food. When authorities learned that I had no parents, they put me in an orphanage and they started to look for my parents.

But nobody was found and nobody came back to claim me.

The barangay authorities sent me to Boys Town Complex in Markina City, an institution for children without parents. I was admitted in Mahay, a section in the institution where children like me are housed. I had mixed feelings, happy but sad. Happy because there were people who would care for me and there was food, so I did not have to wonder how I would find food to eat. Happy that I would not experience again what I had been through, I experienced playing again. I focused my attention on playing to avoid thinking of my lost parents and continuing to wonder why I no longer have parents. Continue reading “The Story of My Life”

If We Don’t Adopt Him, Who Will?

When Eric and Jen Grabill first read about their son, Landon, on Holt’s China photolisting, they knew they could give this boy with a severe birth defect the love and care he needed. They also knew that at home with them, he would have access to something he would likely never have in China: an education.

Adoption was something that Eric and I had always planned. We never knew when or where, but we knew we wanted to make a difference in a child’s life. Just like having biological children, no one ever thinks they are ready, but when they do have children they figure things out as they go. So we decided to move forward without “feeling” we were ready and just trusting that it was the right thing to do.

We were early in our process when I found a little boy on Holt’s China photolisting. His innocent little face with his big almond-shaped eyes really caught me. Without hesitation, I clicked on the button to request more information about this little guy. Continue reading “If We Don’t Adopt Him, Who Will?”

Preventing Trafficking, Keeping Children Safe in Cambodia Part 3/3

Part three of three

Pelly, second from the left, at a community group meeting in her village.

Just down the road from Yai lives Pelly and her family. With four children to care for and feed, Pelly used to travel to Thailand to work, making just a few dollars a day tilling and harvesting fields for other farmers or doing manual labor. Her husband makes about $7 per day working construction, but he often travels for work, too. Continue reading “Preventing Trafficking, Keeping Children Safe in Cambodia Part 3/3”