Journeys of the Heart was recently accredited in Honduras with DINAF to collaborate in the placement of children with adoptive families here in the US. Journeys sent me to Honduras in November to meet our new partners at DINAF as well as the attorney who will be representing our families, and to get to know a little bit about the country.
The staff at DINAF (their front entrance is at left) are wonderful, caring people, who want to build a strong program with integrity in Honduras. We spoke for more than an hour about how Journeys’ families are prepared and educated for each adoption, and we also spoke at length about social work issues that can arise in an adoption. I feel confident that they know what they are doing. DINAF only began as an agency a year ago, but in their first year they not only hired and trained their staff but also placed 44 children. Our attorney tells me the staff at DINAF works hard to provide permanency for the children in their care.
Our attorney in Honduras has many, many years of experience working with children in the abandonment process as well as with adoptive families. She impressed me as someone who understands the legal processes profoundly, but who also is a caring individual who wants to see children and families come together. I have no doubt that our families will be well cared for during their time in Honduras.
We visited a number of hotels in Tegucigalpa where families may stay during their first visit (5-7 working days), with swimming pools and malls next door, as well as apartment/hotels where families can stay less expensively for their second visit (4-8 weeks) that also have places for children to run and play and are close to malls or children’s parks. In every place we went, there were English speaking staff to help the adoptive families and provide them with a homey atmosphere to make the days fly by while they are in Honduras.
The process appears very straightforward. We know exactly what documents the families must present, how the assignment process goes, what happens during the first and second trips, the post adopt process, and so on. We are happy to be working with DINAF and our attorney because they are both very organized and clear about processes.
Here are some photos of Tegucigalpa, Honduras’ capital city. The current population is about 1.1 million. The city has developed over hills and valleys and has a charm all its own. When I was there in November, the temperature was in the upper 80’s, so it was quite a contrast to temperatures back home in Oregon!
And here are some photos of Honduran children (not available for adoption): This is a great program and a good time to get in on the ground floor. DINAF only has about 200 families on their waiting list so we anticipate that the wait for assignment won’t be more than about 24 months, even for young healthy children, and, of course, families open to older children, or children with some kind of special need will be assigned even more quickly. Let me know if you are interested!
Julie Eagleson, Honduras Program Director
Journeys of the Heart