Hello! My name is Ann , and I have been following all of your discussions as I have made my decision to adopt from Panama.
A friend of mine brought up a good question yesterday . Can I go and see the Panamanian orphanages prior to committing to my agency? She thinks I should be sure the children are getting reasonably good care and aren't laying around in a crib all day. Has anyone done this? Lauri, I know that you have been to Panama and returned. What did you think about the orphange you saw? How many different orphanages do the agencies work with?
Any information you guys can share would be most appreciated. I am just beginning the waiting game. My home study visits are done and my INS papers are filed. I just have to sign my agency contract and complete my dossier. I am a single person doing this on my own, so I may need lots of pep talks from those who know what's going on!!!
Hi Ann and welcome aboard. I haven't posted much in the last few months as I've been consumed with trying to get all my paperwork organized and sent out. I too am single and adopting. I've complete all my paperwork and have sent it to my agency and am awaiting for my fingerprint appointment from CIS formerly BCIS formerly INS. I refuse to set myself for any timelines yet. As for the orphanages in Panama, I've done some missionary work there and no, the ones I've been to do not leave the children lying around in cribs. The workers all seem to be very loving and affectionate toward the children and despite the poverty that is apparent in lack of funding to support these orphanages, they aren't the worse case scenarios by a long shot. I've seen much worse environments in South Africa and a friend told me of her experience adopting in Russia and there were lots of babies just lying in cribs. I find that the Latin people are extremely loving and affectionate to children and do their best to care for them considering their situation. There are many orphanges throughout Panama some are private and quite nice. It depends which agency you chose to work with that will determine from which orphanage your child will come from. They all have working relationships with particular attorneys and orphanages. Hope that helps! Anita
Since the above question was posed to you (and you have the most recent experience :) ), I have another related question first:
Based on what your agency (CAI?) told you and maybe what the DNA director told you, is your situation (being referred an infant) the "rule" or the "exception"?
I ask this because it seems that many people are thinking this is a rule (the norm), that there are lots of babies available in Panama, and my reading and conversations with people living in Panama (not to mention what you posted a few weeks back) suggest otherwise.
What did your agency tell you when you said you wanted to adopt an infant? Did they think it would be feasible? Do you think you received an infant referall due the availability of infants, or might there have been another reason?
I certainly don't mean any disrespect to Lauri OR Annaboo. Lauri is a saint to this board IMHO! )!:D But it might be helpful to get the real skinny on the infant availability situation rather than trusting what agencies tell you when they're trying to get your business. ) :rolleyes:
P.S. I really like the Delta idea, Lauri! I checked online and with the 35% discount, we could get our tickets for $450 or so each (and NOT have to pay the fee to change return dates)!
We are working with CAI and are wanting a non-white young infant at the time of referral. After our dossier was at the DNA about a month our agency called us to ask if we would be interested in a 1 yr old girl. Since our daughter is 2 yrs old, we want a larger age gap and we are willing to wait. Recently, we were told by CAI that we would probably be waiting for awhile.
The wait after the time of a referral until travel can be several months. I suggest people ask their agencies about age in respect to time of referral and at time of receiving the child.
It is our understanding also, that young infants available in Panama for adoption is rare but not uncommon. There obviously are less white infants than mixed races. There is a law requiring a waiting period so bringing home a child under six months is probably not going to happen based on the information we are getting.
There is a HUGE number of children in orphanages in Panama but only a few are adoptable because of the current system.
Question on orphanages:
We only went to one orphanage while we were in Panama. It was a private one supported by our Agency (CIA). It was a very nice house in a nice neighborhood. I found the workers to be very loving and affectionate to the children. They certainly do not spend alot of time in the cribs. It averaged about 1 worker to 5 children, which is as good as the daycares in the States. By our standards the place was poor, but they had beds for each child, air conditioning in the bedrooms and a TV.
Questions about infants:
We were told by our agency that infant referrals by Panama are considered the premium. DNA also told us that we should consider ourselves very lucky to get this child. We considered ourselves lucky to get our referral as quickly as we did regardless of the age. We did not ask for an infant. We ask for a child under 3 years old and we were very open on everything about the child. So, I don't exactly know how we got an infant. I am by no means an expert on referrals or the number of children available in Panama.
Thank you, Lauri, for answering our questions. Whatever the circumstances, I am very happy for you and your child!
Janemarie- if you don't mind -what agency are you using? I'm trying to find an agency -not thrilled with any! I'm considering independent bu scared that will increase the wait, thanks, Sandy
I cannot get into that site for Malambo. :( Says the page is unavailable. Can anyone else get in?
WOW! Thanks, Kim, for all the great information about the orphanages in Panama. Sounds like a quick trip during my spring break wouldn't be a good idea. I'll check into my Catholic church here in Atlanta and see if I can get any information about a connection that way. A summer trip might work out for me!!! Congratulations on your adoption of Juliana. Sounds like you had a great experience during your time in Panama.
I have no idea why the URL Kim posted was deleted. I've been to that site before and it is NOT an "agency/facilitator/placement service" Web site, but rather the site of an orphanage in Panama! The only info you can get from that Web site is where to send donations for the children who live there and how to "sponsor" a child through monthly monetary donations!!!
There is nothing on that site about adoption or adopting a child from Panama! :confused:
Of course, if you removed it yourself, Kim, then please disregard this post.
I thought you might get a kick out of this! I found a news site with a picture of your old Panamanian friend!
For everyone else, you can search for any of the orphanages Kim mentioned above at the www (dot) epasa (dot) com site: [url][/url]
Just type in the orphanage name (in Spanish) underneath "Busqueda Rapida." Then click the button (upper right) that says "Buscar." (Not the "Borrar" button! That means "to erase".)
P.S. (to the moderator) If URLs are no longer permited, please let us know! So far, there have been no public announcements of this.
OMG, It's Sor Lordes. She still looks as young as ever and I can't believe how Moises grew up. What a wonderful way to start off my morning. I wish my Spanish wasn't as rusty as I know it is. UGH!!!
If I could figure out how to post pictures, I'd show another little success story. Kim P. What about you? I'm sure Julianna is so much bigger than the last time I saw her.
Thank you for taking me down memory lady. That's just awesome.
Thank you Reb. You've also made mine. (Typing through the tears.)
My pleasure, ladies!
If you find any other orphanage pics through that Web site's search function (that I posted), let us know!
The gist of that story is how so many children are being helped...especially the children with AIDS...and that Sor Lourdes won't retire until God tells her to (or eyes can no longer stay open). ;-)
FYI: I've found that AltaVista is a much better search engine for Central American sites.
--so glad I made your days!
P.S. to K...We finally have an abandonment hearing court date. Woohoo!!!
Hey, Kim and K! I found another pic of little Moises!
(This link has nothing to do with adoption. It's a school in Panama!)
Hi, I was wondering if you could provide the names of some of the orphanages you visited. I'm looking to do some volunteer work and I can't seem to find any orphanages in or around Panama City other than Hogar San Jos de Malambo. Thank you