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CCAA's Visit to Harrah's

CCAA's Visit to Harrah's PDF Print E-mail


Dear Friends,

An official delegation led by Mr. Zhang Zhong, Deputy Director General of the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA), made a special visit to Harrah’s Adoption International Mission on Sunday, June 17th, which just happened to be Fathers’ Day. Accompanying him were Ms. Zhao, Administrative Director of the CCAA; Ms. Guo, Accounting Director of the CCAA; Ms. Zhang Lan, Director of CCAA’s Waiting Child Program; Mr. Ji, of CCAA’s Administration Department Ms. Liu, CCAA staff in the Charity Department; Ms. Xu, Accounting Director of the Ministry of Civil Affairs; and Mr. He, Director of the Shanxi Provincial Civil Affairs Bureau, and Mr. Wang, CCAA’s translator.

CCAA’s delagation toured our agency office and then met with many of our families later in the day. While at the office, Mr. Zhang spoke of his many memories of John’s visits to CCAA throughout the years that we have been finding families for China’s orphaned children. He told us that he was proud to have known and to have been partnered with us for over ten years. We, of course, asked questions about the length of time that it is now taking to receive referrals, and Mr. Zhang told us that CCAA is trying to locate more orphanages to work with for international adoption. Unfortunately, Mr. Zhang foresees a future wait of up to two-and-a-half-years before the pendulum swings back to again shorten the wait time. He told us that the new policies that CCAA has put into effect as of May 1st have significantly reduced the number of dossiers being submitted now.

We were also informed that CCAA is going to attempt a new way of handling the Waiting Child program on a trial basis. The idea is to partner foreign adoption agencies with particular orphanages in China who have significant numbers of special needs children. This partnership has the potential of allowing agencies to contact orphanages directly for updated information about the children instead of the current cumbersome manner of our having to contact CCAA; then CCAA contacts the provincial Civil Affairs; then the provincial CA contacts the orphanage with the inquiry. Currently, when the update is obtained, the orphanage must contact provincial CA, which usually waits for a group of updates to be in their hands before any further action is taken. Once the Civil Affairs office has collected enough updates, it sends them on to CCAA, who then forwards them to the various agencies. While we can certainly appreciate how this partnership might streamline the process of getting updated information about the children, it is still unclear to us how this would also fit in with the standards of the Hague Treaty. We do not know when this trial might begin either.

After our meeting at the agency, it was off to our get-together with families. Many families at all stages of the process decided to spend their Father’s Day with the people who either had made, or would make, them families. We treated everyone in attendance to a real Texas Barbeque that was enjoyed by all. Some of our daughters danced a traditional Chinese dance for the officials and received enthusiastic applause for their artistry. And when the clowns stopped painting faces and led the children in the Chicken Dance, some of the officials (including Zhang Zhong himself) joined in!

Best Wishes,

Jackie Harrah 

2008 Jun