ISS-USA December Newsletter
A message from our Executive Director
Dear Friends of ISS-USA,

After 8 years, ISS-USA is moving offices to a new location. As most of you know, moving under any circumstance is stressful. In the past few weeks, we have been scheduling movers, getting rid of old files, migrating old technology to new systems, packing, cleaning, and organizing. Through it all, we have had the help of many individuals to coordinate and orchestrate a smooth transition. 

This is, of course, in stark contrast to hundreds of thousands of children and families who are forced from their homes because of violence, poverty, and natural disasters. Many of these forced migrants do not have access to the services and support they need to safely transition from one location to another. Imagine that you are a child being roused from sleep to flee your home, leave behind your friends, and abandon the only life you have known. Imagine that you are forced to travel with strangers and there is never enough to eat. Imagine heading to an unknown place where you don't know if you will be welcomed and safe, or rejected and forced to keep moving. Imagine not knowing if you will be able to go to school or see your family again. 

Migrating children and families are faced with these types of questions, uncertainties, and fears every day in our world. Unlike a move that is planned and welcomed, these migrating families often do not have access to critical services and support to ensure positive outcome. 

Please help us continue to play an integral role in connecting migrating, abducted, adopted, abandoned, abused or neglected children to the services, and resources they need. Your support of ISS-USA helps provide resolutions and positive outcomes for vulnerable children crossing borders.

Best wishes,
Julie
Support ISS-USA This Holiday Season
As we celebrate the holidays, we are very grateful for your interest in, and support for, our work. Your donations make it possible for us to provide critical services to children and families separated by international borders.

When you donate to ISS-USA, you are helping to...
  • Provide comprehensive training to legal, judicial and social service professionals involved in finding permanent homes for children with family overseas
  • Ensure that judges who make decisions on behalf of children separated from their families have access to necessary information to make a decision in the best interest of the child
  • Connect an international adoptee with his or her biological relatives
  • Support the training of social workers on best practices in international family finding, conducting home studies to ensure residences are safe for children, or alerting authorities when a child may be in danger
  • Support the rights of all children to be protected from abuse, neglect, trafficking or abandonment.  
Become a Cross Border Champion today by signing up to make a recurring monthly gift.  Your gift helps connect vulnerable children, adults, and families separated by an international border to the services and support they need.
ISS-USA is Moving Offices

After 8 years in our current office, ISS-USA is moving offices to 22 Light Street, just a few blocks away in Baltimore's central downtown business district. We are excited to reside in a newly-constructed, open space that is designed to facilitate enhanced collaboration and communication.

Our new address will be:


Please update your records with our new address.
Stephen Cullen Joins ISS-USA Board of Directors!

ISS-USA is pleased to announce that Stephen Cullen, head of Miles & Stockbridge's Family Law & Private Clients Group, has joined ISS-USA's Board of Directors

Stephen helps clients domestically and overseas in the most difficult of situations faced by individuals, couples, families and children. He represents parents and children in state, interstate, UCCJEA and international family and child law cases and is an expert on the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. He has handled more of these types of cases under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction than any other practice in the world. 

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Did you know that children and adolescents with disabilities are 17 times more likely to live in an institution than their peers without disabilities? December 3rd marked International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPwD). Under the global blueprint of "leave no one behind," the theme for this year's IDPwD is inclusion, access, and empowerment for people of all abilities. In keeping with that spirit, ISS-USA and ISS-GS are currently looking to launch a project to provide alternative care options for children with disabilities in institutions in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Learn more about this joint ISS project to advocate for, and protect children with, disabilities.

Thank you for celebrating #GivingTuesday & #MarylandGivesMore with ISS-USA

Thanks to your support and contributions, you helped ISS-USA exceed its fundraising goal to raise over $1,000 on #GivingTuesday, the global day dedicated to giving. Your support helps us continue to provide critical services to vulnerable children and families for both our inter-country and repatriation programs. These contributions support services including searching for and connecting adoptees and their biological families, facilitating family mediation and relative placements for kids in foster care, referring families to legal resources, and coordinating social services to ensure the safety and well-being of vulnerable children. Thank you for spreading the word about our work and donating to us!
International Human Rights Day

On December 10th, ISS-USA joined other organizations in celebrating International Human Rights Day by committing to continue to protect human rights for children and families across borders.

ISS-USA Reunites Adopted Daughter with Father

In 1969, Robert was an emerging figure in the New York theater scene. As a young director, he was receiving rave reviews for his off-Broadway plays. After four years of working almost non-stop, he decided to take a sabbatical and spend a year in England. There he met, and fell in love with, Trisha. They moved in together and lived happily for the next 18 months. As things began to become a bit too routine for his liking, Robert decided to return to his theater career in New York. Trisha was three months pregnant when Robert flew back to the States. Trisha gave birth to their daughter, Chloe, in February of 1971 and gave her up for adoption to a US military family stationed in the UK.

In 2015, Chloe contacted the ISS branch in England to search for Robert. The case was referred to ISS-USA, and our organization began to look for Robert. Only two weeks after the first tracing letter was sent, Robert called the office. He reacted with overwhelming surprise and excitement. Robert said that he "sort of" knew that Trisha was pregnant but had never heard from her, so he had put that phase of his young life behind him.

Robert wrote his first letter to Chloe within a week of talking with the ISS case worker. Meanwhile, ISS-USA discovered that Chloe was now living in Massachusetts, a mere 3 hours from Robert.

Robert has already bought two train tickets to Boston for Christmas: he will be taking his 10 year old son to meet his big sister.
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