Local adoption organization will host meeting on campus
By KATE STEER
Adoption is often a lengthy, costly and frustrating process.
A local organization is working to make that process easier on the families involved. This Sunday, representatives from Adoption Network Domestic and International (ANDI) and families who have experienced the adoption process will meet on campus to share their stories.
The organization was founded in 1994 by Mary Jo Anastasio, who died in 1998.
"She was a leading expert on adoption in North America, really," said Fran Anastasio, current director and daughter of the 1994 founder Mary Jo Anastasio, who died last year. ANDI, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding homes for children, works as a partner and local connection for families interested in adoption. It specializes in international adoptions.
"We work with groups that have political and legal connections with countries to complete the process," said Anastasio. "The only concern we have is finding loving homes for unwanted children."
Because most people have fears about international adoptions, ANDI is able to find international children quite readily, said Anastasio.
"Things like politics in China are preventing people from pursuing international adoption," she said. "About 80 percent of the cases we handle are international."
Apprehension about domestic adoption is also on the rise. "The rights of birth parents are scaring people away from domestic adoptions," said Anastasio.
It seems like there are more international children than there are couples to take them, she added.
"It's a complicated process and we want to make it understandable and simplified for people," Anastasio said.
ANDI has a special connection to the University. Last spring, ANDI started an internship to train students in all facets of adoption.
"A lot of students are interested in the non-profit sector, so this is a great opportunity," Anastasio said.
Senior Michele Visnosky is the current intern at ANDI. "Basically, I'm learning a lot about the adoption process both internationally and domestically," she said.
Anastasio is coordinating the Sunday seminar and has a simple goal in mind: "We want to educate people on the adoption process and dispel the fear involved in international adoption."
Karen Price, missionary and staff member of Dillon International, one of the groups that works with ANDI, will be presenting information and answering questions on international adoption. The presentation will also include testimony from international families who have completed the adoption process and from families still involved in the process.
The adoption seminar is free and will meet Sunday at 2 p.m. in 119 O'Shaughnessy. Anyone interested in international adoption is encouraged to attend.
All News Stories for Friday, November 5, 1999