Monday, October 31, 2016

Georgia Roadblock



Georgia Roadblock

This past week has been made up of forms, forms, and more forms. Don'g get me wrong, I love paperwork and filing, it is what I am good at. Even so, finding the right forms to request a child abuse clearance in not easy when the state alters requirements every six months without notice. As a result of a sudden change, I uncovered a policy issue that can only be described as bad.


Georgia has been on my mind constantly and not in a good way. I discovered that as of July1, 2016 there is no longer a "direct method by which a private child welfare agency can obtain CPS information for private foster and adoptive families" (GADFCS, 2016). This poses as issue for Hague regulations which requires child abuse clearance from every state in which an adoptive parent has resided. With nothing but frustration, I continue to look for a solution to this policy issue and still do not see one. This hurdle has been a major roadblock in the way of preparing family's documents and it continues to be one. I have called every number the state of Georgia will release to find information but each one has led me to another dead end. Georgia may be glad it's on my mind but I want it out of my mind.

After talking with Beth, the intercountry adoption caseworker, she emailed the National Council for Adoption (NCFA) intercountry group to see if anyone has encountered the same problem. As it turns out, there are many individuals facing the same obstacle but there has been no success so far with obtaining the clearance. 

What I have learned from this experience is the value of using your resources and co-workers. Even though I did not receive the  answer I was hoping for, I discovered that I am not the only one struggling with this new policy. I have also learned that giving up is never the answer. For now, I will continue to search for a solution and will not give up until I find one. Even with this recent trial, I know that International Adoption is where I am meant to be and I hope to work toward changing this policy so that my job can be simplified in the future.

By: Alex Gideon
International Adoption Colombia Intern

P.S. 
      It was only appropriate to use the Georgia font for this post.
P.P.S 
      Only one peach was harmed in the making of this blog (my snack).
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If you have any questions about adoption, know someone facing an unplanned pregnancy, are considering adoption yourself, or just want to get involved and/or educated on the subject, please don’t hesitate to contact Gladney. We would love to talk to you!

Find out how you can become a Gladney intern or volunteer here. We currently have Fall 2016 internship openings in Human Services as well openings in IT, and Marketing.



Monday, October 3, 2016

Hi, I'm Alex



A Few Weeks In


      Hi, my name is Alex and i'm learning the ropes of International Adoption from Colombia. I am a Senior at Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!) getting my undergrad degree in Social Work with a minor in Child Development. I fell in love with the idea of working in foster care and adoptions when my brother and sister-in-law decided to foster three children not too long ago. So far I have been able to see some exciting things here at Gladney and I am thrilled I get to share my experiences with you. 

During my first few weeks here I have learned what and Apostille is and how to request one (even from Canada!), shadowed a New Beginnings home visit and Attended new employee orientation, domestic infant adoption orientation and pathways Training. I have gained so much knowledge just from these few events and this is not even the full list of what I have completed.

One accomplishment I am most proud of would be learning how to get a document authenticated in Canada. This may not sound like the most glorious assignment, but it was an adventure none the less. Canada does not comply with the Hague Convention so getting a document Apostilled is not an easy task. This road block led me to a million different websites trying to find a Canadian courier who would take a document to the foreign affairs office in Ontario Canada. Now, as a brand new intern I was already confused about the Apostille process and on top of that I had to learn what a courier was and how to find one. After days and hours of searching, I found the golden number, I called Canada and Shawn picked up. Shawn told me, "Oh it's easy aye," and the rest is history. The document is currently on its way back to the Gladney Center with a seal of authentication.

One of my more recent experiences here at Gladney would be attending Pathways Training. Unfortunately, because of of school, I was only able to attend the second day of training. Even with only experiencing half of the training, I feel as though I have a better sense of the traumatic backgrounds of the children we serve. The biggest concern of bringing home a child with a traumatic background would be to make sure they feel safe in the home and with the people around them. One concept that stuck with me through the training would be that this process of felt safety in a child can take a long time. I think that this training was more than beneficial for me to see as an intern because it gave me insight to a part of the adoption process I don't often get to see in my department.

So far, I wouldn't change my placement here at Gladney for anything. I am given new opportunities and experiences every day that I spend here. Since I have been here, I have yet to meet a Gladney staff member I do not enjoy being around. I can truly say I feel welcomed into to Gladney family and I cannot wait to see what these next two semesters (and beyond) have in store for me!

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If you have any questions about adoption, know someone facing an unplanned pregnancy, are considering adoption yourself, or just want to get involved and/or educated on the subject, please don’t hesitate to contact Gladney. We would love to talk to you!

Find out how you can become a Gladney intern or volunteer here. We currently have Fall 2016 internship openings in Human Services as well openings in IT, and Marketing.