Orphanage Partnerships in China Bolster Special Needs Adoption

Holt’s social work manager for the China program, Marissa Leuallen, explains how Holt helped to develop China’s “one-to-one” program — unique agency-orphanage partnerships designed to find families for the many older children and children with special needs living in China’s social welfare system.

China PartnershipsOver the past decade, those of us who have worked in international adoption from China— or adopted a child from China — have meandered through an ever-changing environment. A program once known for placing healthy infant girls now places almost as many boys as girls, more toddlers and school-aged children than babies and — perhaps most significantly — nearly every child now joining families through the China program has at least some minor medical or development needs. Adoption professionals have evolved our methods for training, preparing and supporting adoptive families to build confidence and bolster resources so they can best meet the needs of their child. What you may not know is that we do this same work on the other side of the world — with government officials, caregivers and orphanage staff in China.

Holt actually, quite naturally, pioneered the idea of one-to-one partnerships in China.

Holt’s work with Chinese welfare institutions started in the early 1990s and has grown and broadened tremendously throughout the country. Over the past two decades, our presence and reputation in China has paved the way for new programs and services like group homes, foster care, medical and educational support, nutritional and feeding training and support, and adoption partnerships with many child welfare institutions.

These partnerships emerged in response to a need that became apparent during the international adoption surge of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Continue reading “Orphanage Partnerships in China Bolster Special Needs Adoption”