Dear Friends of ISS-USA,
As November comes to a close, we reflect on some of the key events of this month.
National Adoption Month is a time to increase awareness of the need for adoptive families for thousands of children in the U.S. awaiting permanent families. National Adoption Month shines a spotlight on the critical need to find families for older youth, as more than 20,000 children age out of the U.S. foster care system every year without ever having found a permanent family. It is also a time to think critically about how we can better protect, support and advocate for children; prevent family separation; connect children to families; support and protect children post-adoption; and provide ongoing support to understand and serve adopted children's needs through adolescence and into adulthood.
In addition, we have been horrified to watch stories unfold of hardships faced by Syrian children and families as they risk their lives to flee in order to seek safety and refuge within Europe's borders and beyond. We have cried at the senseless loss of life caused by terrorists in Paris, Beirut, and other places. We hold our breath as fear causes many otherwise well-meaning Americans to turn their backs on welcoming Syrian refugees into their own communities.
ISS respects and acknowledges that there are different paths and perspectives to achieve the globally accepted goals set forth by UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is now in its 25th year. Regardless of how we achieve these goals, most of us agree that all children deserve protection at all times.
This holiday season, I encourage you to do three things:
1) Give an extra hug or support to a child or children; their futures depend on our collective love and support;
2) Give to ISS-USA, since our future also depends on your support; and
3) Stay informed about these issues. Fear and ignorance can cause us to act in misguided ways. The issues surrounding the refugee crisis, the path to citizenship, and complexities of adoption are all incredibly complicated subjects. Please visit
to learn more about refugees, intercountry adoption, and ways to support vulnerable populations.