Tsunami adoptions won't be easy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tsunami adoptions won't be easy

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January 6, 2005

Thomasville-Thousands of children are orphaned after deadly tsunamis struck Southeast Asia.

Many people in the United States are touched by the disaster and are ready to give those kids new homes. "It's certainly not going to happen right away," explained Thomasville's Open Arms Adoption Agency CEO, Walter Gilbert.

The possibility of adopting any children orphaned by the tsunami could take at least a year. Gilbert says "They need as much as a year to try and reunite children with extended family," and with many people still unaccounted for, the parents of those children could actually still be alive.

"There needs to be a time of trying to find, relocate parents, "said Gilbert. Not only is there a chance of some of the kids being reunited with their families, but foreign adoption laws can also lower the possibility, Especially in India. Gilbert explains "They have recently in the last year limited foreign adoptions to only those of Indian decent so the rest of us can't adopt Indian children anymore."

Thailand is receptive to foreign adoptions, and although policies are more strict in Indonesia where at least 35,000 children have lost one or both of their parentS, in time, giving some of these kids a home in the United States may become reality.

Posted by jennifer.hulsey@walb.com at 5:52 PM.