Adoption articles that help

Vacation Planning

Vacations are a great way to begin enjoying your newly adopted baby or child.  But there are some keys to remember when taking a vacation with your new little one.

  1. Take plenty of changes of clothing.  Babies and children almost always have accidents and newly adoptive parents must think several changes per day to keep parents and child happy.
  2. Diapers, diapers and diaper wipes:  You don’t want to run out.  Yes, you can purchase these things at or near your vacation site, but don’t leave it to chance.  Whether you’re camping in Zion Park or enjoying a horseback ride at Zion Park lodging, it’s vital to take along extras.
  3. Sunscreen and sun shading for your adopted child is vital.  Begin early protecting that beautiful skin by making sure you add sun screen at regular intervals, have a sun hat and perhaps even sunglasses to protect those new little eyes as you hike Zion Park.
  4. Have a fully stocked first aid kit.  By planning ahead for scrapes or bumps with your newly adopted child, you will be ready for any emergency.  No matter how old the child, it’s interesting to note that many children get fevers on vacations, even in the beautiful Zion Park outdoors.
  5. Be flexible.  Yes, you want to hike in the Zion Park back country, but is your newly adopted child ready for that experience.  Probably not.  Besides do you want to carry all the changes of clothing, the diapers, the special camp bed and protection your child will need, perhaps this trip it would be wise to find a Zion Park lodging that suits your finances and needs.
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Adoption articles that help

First Vacation

Finally you have your newly adopted baby or child and you’re thinking about summer vacationing.  Just because you’re now a new parent is no reason to put off your trip to Zion Park near Springdale Utah.  Adopting parents are learning that, while adding a new life changing child to the home mix does disrupt some things, the excitement of adventure and camping can be enjoyed with children of all ages.  Many parents today enjoy the wonders at Zion Park with their children.  To ensure you have a positive experience with your newly adopted child, you might want to consider the following three tips:  Make your trip baby/child friendly, plan for the heat and be flexible.

On your first vacation to Zion Park, you may want to bag the idea of hiking the cliff trails and stay to the paved or “child” friendly trails where you can take your stroller.  You can also enjoy the scenic bus ride and get off at various points to hike and visit the Zion Park Visitor Center and then get back on the bus.  Give yourself plenty of chances to get in out of the sun and make sure you keep yourself and your baby or child hydrated.

Even though you love tent camping, new adoption parents might want to look into an RV rental or Zion Park lodging this first trip.  RV’s, motels, hotels and other Zion Park lodging have air conditioning when you and your child get hot and tired.  You can rest and sleep at night better in the cool and not worry that your child’s crying or fussing will bother others.

Flexibility is the key with a first time vacation with your newly adopted baby or child.  Both you and your child will need constant energy stops in Zion Park with snacks and lots of water.  You might have to cut your camping short and get a motel if your baby gets sick or you might have to plan for those times when your son or daughter gets fussy.  Take these new challenges in stride and don’t try to overdo, just stay flexible.

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Adoption articles that help

Here’s an article published on articlesbase.com  You might like to read my other articles on that site.  Susan

Children of all ages are now being made available at record levels through Ethiopian adoption.  International adoption agency adoptions are the safest and most secure way to participate in an Ethiopian adoption.  However, care and understanding should be taken by anyone considering an international adoption of any kind.  When considering an international adoption agency, an Ethiopian adoption might be a good choice, but these 10 tips may help in the decision process.

  1. All international adoption agencies are not principled.  Unfortunately there are less than honest individuals and groups who play on the emotions of potential adoption parents in an effort to encourage people to adopt through them.  Some of these groups show photo listings on the Internet which are designed to lure the adopting parent into an impulsive decision and cloud the judgment.  Don’t be fooled by these types of adoption advertising.  As one blogger said in her blog, don’t spend more time researching a car than they do researching an Ethiopian adoption.
  2. How can I be assured of an ethical Ethiopian adoption agency?  There are two important ways to tell if your Ethiopian adoption agency is ethical.  Find out if the adoption agency is a member of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS) and/or is Hague Accredited.  These two adoption agency recommendations can help you be assured of the adoption agency’s ethics during the adoption process and that the international adoption fees and expenses are set by the U.S. State Department.  Don’t just take the international adoption agency’s word; check out your agency on the JCICS and state adoption sites.
  3. What is the time wait for an Ethiopian adoption?  Don’t let anyone fool you, the wait time for Ethiopian adoptions is increasing as more and more restrictions and care is placed on placing these unique international adoptions.  It now takes 12 to 18 months to finalize an Ethiopian adoption.  The Ethiopian adoption courts are becoming stricter, and the government workers who are processing the international adoption paperwork on the children are becoming more vigilant.  Will I have to worry about the international adoption political climate as I work toward an Ethiopian adoption?  Yes.  While Ethiopia is a democratic nation, the government is very fragile.  However, a well educated and involved international adoption agency will be aware of all of these concerns and any potential changes or alerts from the U.S. government and be able to address any Ethiopian adoption problems that occur.  Do I have to travel to Ethiopia to finalize my international adoption?  Yes.  In the past, those finalizing Ethiopian adoptions could hire a guardian to bring the child to the U.S.  This saved money for airfare, hotels, travel, and other necessities.  However, since Ethiopian adoptions have become stricter, adopting parents are required to make two trips to Ethiopia.  Both of the adopting parents/parent are required to make the first trip to appear in person to “confirm” that they want to adopt the child.  This trip lasts about five to 10 days.  Beginning in May of 2010, the Ethiopian adoption courts change policy and now only require one parent to appear at the second adoption court hearing for the Ethiopian adoption finalization.    The second trip can be anywhere from six to 12 weeks later, and is another five to 10 days to finalize the Ethiopian adoption.
  4. Is a home study necessary with an Ethiopian adoption?  Absolutely.  Every international adoption agency will tell you the same thing–a strict home study by an approved home study social worker is essential.  Most Ethiopian adoption agencies will work in partnership with an adoption agency working with U.S. adoptions.  Adoption agencies are licensed to work in the U.S. in particular states.  These adoption agencies should also be licensed and accredited and have an ethical background.  The home study is designed to help you be placed with the child for whom you are best suited.  You will be asked all kinds of questions by the adoption agency’s home study social worker who will translate the adoption information into answers for the tons of paperwork required for the Ethiopian adoption.  Ethiopian adoptions are becoming more restrictive as the courts and government offices become more involved.  This is both helpful, but will cause even more paperwork or disqualify someone for adoption from Ethiopian adoption.  The Ethiopian adoption agency will help the adopting couple through the layers of paperwork and help you understand if you are eligible for an Ethiopian adoption.  The minimum age for adopting couples is 25, with the couple having to have been married at least one year.  In addition the maximum age of the mother is 45 years older than the adopted child.  There are important health restrictions on the adopting parent’s use of prescriptions medications and there will be a criminal background check.
  5. What are the health concerns I should know before an Ethiopian adoption?  International adoptions often have health concerns:  diseases, illnesses and handicaps.  Ethiopian adoptions are no different.  Many of the Ethiopian adoption children will be underweight since 65% of rural households live on $1.00/day and in poverty. Many families share the house with livestock and sanitation is often non-existent.  Ethiopian adoption children may have communicable diseases, HIV, or Hepatitis.  There are few doctors, hospitals or health centers and the average life expectance is 45 years old.  Other children may have been severely traumatized or have what is called an attachment disorder.  An ethical, JCICS and Hague Accredited Ethiopian adoption agency will work hard to provide the health records of the children they work with.  The adoption courts will only allow adoptions of those children who can meet strict U.S. and Ethiopian adoption requirements.

Hopefully you will be able to find an exceptional adoption agency who will work with you in your adoption process.  Best wishes in your adoption.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/home-and-family-articles/ethiopian-adoptions-five-keys-3725799.html#ixzz1DyTMYClX
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Adoption articles that help

A Recent Article I Wrote for Articlebase.com:

Finding new and exciting places to teach your children the outdoors fun like hiking, camping, and nature can be a challenge.  Zion National Park near Springdale Utah is a dream come true for the young explorer and the parent who is thrilled to see the wonder in his child’s eyes.  Whether you are a camper or enjoy staying in one of the many Zion Park lodging, your trip to this Utah National Park will be an experience you’ll remember for years to come. To help you in your nature plan, here are five great tips.

1.  Zion Park has trails suited for all ages.  If you plan on hiking remember temperatures in the summer can be hot so plan ahead with water and sunscreen and wear the proper clothing and shoes.

While Zion Park has hundreds of hiking areas, children of all ages will enjoy Weeping Rock, a half mile round trip hike to a small alcove featuring unique plant life.  Even though the hike is steep, but most children will have no concerns.

Riverside Walk is a flat paved path that is two miles round trip and follows the North Fork of the Virgin River.  This is a shady trail and many different animals live along this trail.  Hikers can use strollers and wheelchairs, if needed.

The Canyon Overlook trail is a little more of a challenge, one mile round trip.  This trail provides hikers with a brilliant vision of lower Zion Canyon.

Pa’rus Trial is a 3.5 mile round trip hike along the Virgin River.  This paved hike is accessible to bikes and strollers as well a wheelchair handy.  If the children get tired, visitors can stop off at the museum, sit in one a child oriented program then hop on the shuttle for a ride back to the park entrance or Springdale.

If your children are prepared for a longer hike, Emerald Pools would be a thrill.  This hike is a dream come true, a three mile trek and is highlighted by various Emerald Pools along the way.  There is a lower Emerald Pool Trail which can be an easier hike with shade and unique desert plants on display.

2.  Special Zion Park programs for kids.  The park offers three on-site special programs for children:  The Junior Explorer program, the Junior Ranger Program and the Nature Center programs.  Junior Rangers at Zion Park is a perennial favorite for children 12 and under.  Children receive a Junior Ranger booklet encouraging them to accomplish unique and different tasks and learning.  They then receive a decal from a ranger when the job is done.  Booklets are available at the Visitor Center.  The Junior Explorer program at Zion Park is a classroom-like experience where children ages 6–12 participate in a variety of activities like hands-on creative projects, games, learning about Zion Park’s unique animals like the Utah Prairie Dog found only in Utah, the myriad collection of wildflowers and other desert plants, and the great red sandstone cliffs.  If you would like to give your children a head start, become a Geodetective (this is an interactive program developed by Zion Park for grades one through 12K).  There is nothing like the Nature Center to excite and inform children about the beauties of Zion Park’s environment.  A nominal charge is charged for each section is charged.  Sessions run for two and a half hours, one in the morning, one in the afternoon.  Two sections are offered daily and each session offers unique and varied information, so children will want to return time and again.

3.  Zion Park Lodging with a bonus.  There are a variety of hotels and lodgings in Springdale Utah and around the park.  You’ll be able to find lodging for any budget and you’ll be excited and pleased with lodging activities or other activities available to the camper or visitor.  You can enjoy fishing, horseback riding, cruises and rafting along the Virgin River, swimming, rock climbing, ATV exploring, guided tours, campfires and much much more fun for the whole family.

4.  Like to drive with the children?  Scenic drives are abundant in the park.  Why not take the time to drive through the Mt. Carmel Tunnel, a wonder to see itself but one that leads you along some of the most beautiful and changing geology available in the U.S.  You’ll want to drive to Zion Park’s Checkerboard Mesa for a tope of the world view of twisted rocks and arches.

5.  Plants and animals for everyone.  Zion Park has some of the most beautiful and different plants and animals in the U.S.  If you’re a bird watcher, you will love Zion Park, home of 289 types of birds:  Peregrine Falcons, California Condors, Golden Eagles, and Hawks.  Over 79 mammals like Bighorn Sheep, Mule Deer, Desert Cottontails, Jackrabbits, Cougars, Coyotes, and Gray Foxes roam the land, with 28 different reptiles including lizards calling Zion Park their home.  Some interesting plants your children might enjoy seeing include sagebrush, the prickly pear Cactus Yucca, Juniper trees and Indian Paintbrush.

Be sure and enjoy the Zion Park lodging areas on you fun bound trip.  Check on line for hundreds of places to stay near Zion Park and plan today for a great summer of fun with Zion Park activities.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/parenting-articles/do-your-children-love-nature-and-the-outdoors-five-reasons-to-visit-zion-national-park-4163375.html#ixzz1DJEYAdYX

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Adoption articles that help

Be Protected, Choose a Hague Convention Country

International adoptions can be frightening at best and a disaster at worst.  One way to protect yourself as you begin the process is to only choose to adopt a child that is from a licensed Hague Accredited Adoption agency who only works with convention countries.  Convention countries agree to specific adoption procedures, disclosure policies and fee restrictions.  Here are five reasons why you should choose a convention country adoption agency for your international adoption.

  1. Not only is the agency licensed in the state you reside, it is accredited and approved by the US State Department.  These accrediting entities of the State Department regulate policies, fees, and have strict requirements for adoption agencies and adopting parents.
  2. You will have a specific service contract that gives you all the information about policies, fees, history, relationships your adoption agency has, what they will and won’t do, how they can help and many other positive information disclosures non accredited agencies don’t have to provide.
  3. The Home Study for your adoption will be licensed by both the state and federal government and will be required to meet strict standards.  You will be getting the best of the best in Home Study personnel.
  4. Convention Countries require 10 hours of parent education.  This is vital in understanding the country, what the process will be and will help you to understand many international adoption concerns.
  5. Paperwork.  All international adoptions require extensive paperwork for the adoption completion.  Convention countries are sticklers for this information, and by having an agency that lives by the convention rules, you know you won’t be stymied along the way.
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Adoption articles that help

International Adoption plan hints

Well, you’ve decided to adopt a child and are planning for an international adoption.  Wonderful, what an exciting and challenging time you have ahead.  Before you actually sign any contracts, however, you need to ensure your success by choosing just the right International adoption agency.  There are hundreds upon hundreds of adoption services out there, so where should you turn?  Here are two important tips to ensure you don’t get scammed.

  1. Hague Accredited.  With several national and international adoption frauds  recently being reported in the news, make sure you get the right start by choosing a Hague Accredited international adoption agency.  The Hague convention establishes rules to prevent abduction, sale of or traffic in children and works for the best interests of the child.  A Hague accredited international adoption agency has been approved and recognized by the US government as meeting specific criteria about children, placement, costs, and uniform standards of ethics and professionalism.
  2. Profit vs. non-profit.  A for-profit adoption agency is there to make money–a profit to meet their expenses, provide salaries for staff and at the end of the year to allow owners to receive dividends.  This isn’t a bad thing; it’s just one way of doing business.  A non-profit organization is required to meet certain federal management guidelines as outlined in their 501(c)(3) charter.  Usually non-profit organizations have programs where they are actively engaged in humanitarian work in addition to watching out for the needs of the children they serve.

Here’s hoping your will research even more information about international adoption agencies and how they handle adoptions before you begin your adoption process.

Good luck,

Susan

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Adoption articles that help

Financial planning is a must

As the New Year becomes a reality, those adopting should consider some specific financial planning for the wonderful event.  Whether you are just starting or have been waiting for some time, now is an excellent time to meet with your accountant to take advantages of adoption tax incentives, meet with your company and see if they will offer some help in the adoption process, meet with your insurance, to see what steps need to be taken to ensure your child has the health care she needs, and have a family planning session to study strategic ways to gather the needed adoption costs.  Your accountant will help you set up an account so the money you get for the adoption will not be considered as income on your taxes.

In your family financial planning meeting, you might want to consider ways to bring in extra money to add to your adoption cost pile.  One idea is to begin planning a non-profit event where folks from all over the city can help.  Another idea would be to send out money requests to some of your family, neighbors and workers to help you with the costs by donation.  Garage sales, product sales, concerts, eBay selling, and other ideas can help add to your funds.  Make sure you follow your accountant’s guidelines carefully in whatever type of fundraising you do. Here’s wishing you a wonderfully prosperous new year of funds for your adoption.

Happy reading,

Susan

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Adoption articles that help

Ring in the New Year with hope

This year has so much promise and hope, despite the economy and wars in many countries; it’s a time for hoping that each child can find a loving and caring home in which to live.  There’s something special about watching my grandchildren open the small Christmas remembrance from Granny and Grandpa and being thankful for a $2 book and thrilled with a candy straw that gives me hope for those children not so fortunate will find homes this year.

What can be done this New Year to help?  Think adoption, national, international or foster care.  Sure it will be a challenge, but isn’t everyone up for a good challenge during the New Year months?  Perhaps it is time you studied out what would be needed financially to adopt this year.  Instead of opening a Christmas account, open an adoption account.  It might be time to encourage your place of employment to offer incentives or grants to those who want to adopt (the business can get some good tax advantages right now), Or you just might want to talk with an adoption agency to see if they can tell you the ins and outs of adoption and point you to some good adoption counseling.  One of the Tweets I follow is an on-line adoption counselor, Robyn Gobbel adoptions.  Now I haven’t used Robyn, so look closely at her background and prices, she’s just one of many counselors out there.

Another new year’s goal could be to gather adoption information by finding articles or visiting an adoption agency review site.  There are many articles written each day on adoption, and by reading and studying as much information as you can you’ll be able to make a decision that is just right for you.

At this New Year’s season, I want to wish everyone hope and a new child.

Happy reading,

Susan

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Adoption articles that help

Plan your 2010 Taxes now

This Christmas plan ahead for your April taxes.  This year there are some great tax credits for adopting that you might want to consider.  However, you should always check with your CPA for befits structured to your individual situation.  The new ruling reads:

The Internal Revenue Service today issued guidance on the expanded adoption credit included in the Affordable Care Act. The IRS also released a draft version of the form that eligible adoption taxpayers will use to claim the newly-expanded adoption credit on 2010 tax returns filed next year.

The Affordable Care Act raises the maximum adoption credit to $13,170 per child, up from $12,150 in 2009. It also makes the credit refundable, meaning that eligible taxpayers can get it even if they owe no tax for that year. In general, the credit is based on the reasonable and necessary expenses related to a legal adoption, including adoption fees, court costs, attorney’s fees and travel expenses. Income limits and other special rules apply.

In addition to filling out Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, eligible taxpayers must include with their 2010 tax returns one or more adoption-related documents, detailed in the guidance issued today.

The documentation requirements, designed to ensure that taxpayers properly claim the credit, mean that taxpayers claiming the credit will have to file paper tax returns. Normally, it takes six to eight weeks to get a refund claimed on a complete and accurate paper return where all required documents are attached. The IRS encourages taxpayers to use direct deposit to speed their refund.

Taxpayers claiming the credit will still be able to use IRS Free File to prepare their returns, but the returns must be printed out and sent to the IRS, along with all required documentation.

Contact your tax person and see if you qualify.

Happy reading,

Susan

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Adoption articles that help

International Adoptions, Beware!

Recently I was reading a blog from one of the adoption information groups, C.A.S.E.@CASEadopt I Tweet and came across an article about the horrendous ring of child traffickers working under the guise of International Christian Adoption Agencies.  I was stunned and deeply concerned.  If you can’t trust a “Christian” adoption agency, who can you trust?  This is a difficult question and problem that won’t be solved overnight, but one you can hopefully avoid by using only International Adoption agencies (Christian or other), who are Hague accredited and are member of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS).  Of course there is no guarantee, but these two agencies closely monitor those International adoption agencies who work with them to ensure the agencies are following the rules.

Happy reading,

Susan

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