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Show Hope and The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption

In everything we do at Show Hope, we strive for utmost integrity and compassion. Foundational to the ministry of Show Hope is a desire to respond to God’s invitation to care for children who have been orphaned. We seek to do this by engaging the church and reducing barriers to adoption. Show Hope relies on a foundational litmus when prayerfully making decisions – does the endeavor first and foremost protect the child(ren) we seek to serve? This intersects with how we capture and communicate the stories we share, the care we provide in China, the support offered through our Pre+Post Adoption efforts, and the way in which we award Adoption Aid grants. These four areas are key to the holistic approach Show Hope seeks to model when we, as Christians first and foremost, step out in faith to care for children and families. We are hopeful that in doing so we are not just promoting adoption, but adoption done well. With this in mind, Show Hope has decided that Adoption Aid applications submitted after July 1, 2016, for adoptions from countries not party to the Hague Adoption Convention will not be considered eligible for an award.

To date, more than 8,600 children have come home from 60+ countries, including the U.S., with the help of a Show Hope Adoption Aid grant. As our organization has matured, so have our experiences and knowledge of issues surrounding adoption. In order to best protect vulnerable children, Show Hope employs the P.R.A.Y. acronym to remind ourselves that adoption is most appropriately considered within the following spectrum of care: Preservation of families, Reunification of families, Adoption, and Youth service such as foster care or residential care.

Show Hope focuses its efforts namely in the latter two categories and acknowledges adoption is a solution to consider for children who are waiting for a family, but it is not the only, nor necessarily the best solution. The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) exists as an international agreement to safeguard inter-country adoptions. It endeavors to protect children and their families against the risks of unregulated adoptions abroad, and ensures that inter-country adoptions are in the best interest of the children involved by preventing the abduction, sale of, or trafficking of children.

We believe it is paramount that legal and procedural safeguards are in place both in the sending and receiving countries for adoptions to remain ethical and in the best interest of the child. Show Hope recognizes that ethical qualms can easily surface when a vulnerable populace and a monetized response co-exist. To that end, Show Hope would be remiss not to accept that as a function of living in a broken world, not only are children and their families negatively affected by sin, but all too often so are the systems and processes put in place to protect them. While we accept that the Hague Adoption Convention is not an exhaustive solution, it functions as a resource for Show Hope in guiding our practices as an active, granting organization.

Therefore, we felt this decision necessary to best protect waiting children, encourage and educate families toward healthy adoptions, and steward well the donor dollars entrusted to our organization. It is our prayer that the heartbeat of Show Hope can be heard even behind these difficult decisions.

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