World AIDS Awareness Day: Considering HIV-positive orphans

aidsThe climate of international adoption is constantly changing and new challenges seem to continuously arise. Few know this better than our founders, Lily Nie and Joshua Zhong.

They founded CCAI in 1992 after seeing the devastating orphan humanitarian crisis that arose from China’s one-child policy firsthand. Since then, CCAI has grown to become the No. 1 ranked China adoption agency in the world by the CCCWA (China’s adoption authority) and has finalized close to 12,000 adoptions.

China is not the only country CCAI works with, however. Nie and Zhong have held tight to the belief that all orphan’s lives matter and CCAI has remained dedicated to assisting in adoptions in all ways ethically possible. CCAI maintains adoption programs for US citizens through Latvia, Bulgaria and Ukraine, offers home study services, has a robust charity program, and offers post adoption support indefinitely for adoptive families.

On this World AIDS Awareness Day, Dec. 1, 2016, CCAI asks for your consideration of HIV-positive orphans residing in Eastern Europe.

“Orphans in Eastern Europe are generally older children or children with special needs and can be harder to advocate for because their home countries often don’t allow for specific child advocating on social media,” said Allison Miner, CCAI’s Bulgaria, Latvia and Ukraine Program Coordinator. “Beyond these challenges, there is a larger percentage of children from Eastern European countries that have the HIV infection than children in other areas of the world.”

This is true to a staggering degree. Between 2001 and 2009, diagnoses of HIV in the Eastern European/Central Asia region grew by 66 percent, while globally the same measurement decreased by 17 percent, according to an article by the Sofia Echo.

The World Health Organization released a report stating Ukraine leads Europe in rates of infection, with 1.6 percent of the adult population infected with HIV or AIDS.

“Despite the advances in medical treatment since the ‘AIDS epidemic’ in the 1980s, many people are still very hesitant to consider adopting a child that is HIV-positive,” Miner said. “There is a heavy stigma around the infection, but it is important to consider the advances in medical technology and the treatability of the disease due to antiretroviral drugs. More than that, it is important to see these children as just that—children in need of loving families. It is heartbreaking to think that a child may not have a family because they have a disease beyond their control.”

CCAI asks for your support and consideration of HIV-positive orphans in Eastern Europe. If you are interested in learning more about adoption through CCAI’s Eastern European programs, please contact Allison Miner at 404-250-0055 x206.