Wide Horizons For Children is committed to helping adoptive parents maintain and nurture their child's connections to Ethiopia, Ethiopian culture and surviving birth family. Zimdina, our new Post Adoption Program for Ethiopia adoptive families, provides the opportunity for a more open and cross-cultural post adoption experience and bridges the geographic, cultural and language barriers families can encounter after their adoption. Our current Menu of Services includes:
- Interview with Birth Family
- Birth Family Correspondence with Delivery Confirmation
- Travel Back to Ethiopia: Full Service
- Travel Back to Ethiopia: Birth Family Visit Support Only
Register now to be eligible to receive all post adoption services.
Zimdina is the Amharic word for extended family. Extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, can provide important encouragement and support throughout a child's life. Children adopted from Ethiopia also have extended family from their early lives in Ethiopia. Birth family members may hold a place of great significance in the child's history or memory. While these people may not be a part of a child's everyday life, many children still care deeply and wish for a connection with Ethiopia.
The culture in Ethiopia supports openness and communication between birth and adoptive families and this can be an amazing gift to a child. Most WHFC adoptive families met surviving birth relatives or community members during their adoption or visited the region of Ethiopia where their child was born. With our help, you can now continue that relationship by writing letters, asking questions, visiting Ethiopia and meeting with surviving birth relatives. By honoring your child’s past connections, you can help build a strong foundation for their future.
Our Post Adoption Staff
WHFC has placed over 1,200 Ethiopian children in adoptive families. Our Ethiopian Team has an excellent understanding of adoption and of the cross-cultural challenges that can exist in communication. Our US Team, of experienced clinicians and international adoption professionals, has helped facilitate and support many post-adoption connections.
WHFC is committed to providing post adoption services to parents of Ethiopian children with the utmost respect for the birth family, adoptive family and the child. We believe that engaging a reputable agency, with trained Ethiopian staff, is critical to facilitating ethical and appropriate post adoption connections.
Birth Family: We believe that a child’s birth family deserves the highest degree of respect when contacted after the adoption. Our Ethiopian Team will:
- engage social workers the birth family knows and trusts to do interviews and translate post adoption meetings, whenever possible
- empower the birth family to make decisions about the amount, and level, of contact they desire with their child’s adoptive family
- provide accurate and culturally sensitive translations
- provide accurate information about post adoption life in America, without promises or guarantees
- protect birth family from opportunistic or unethical practices
Adoptive Parents: We believe that adoptive parents need high quality emotional and practical support when communicating with birth family or traveling to their child’s birth country. WHFC Ethiopian and US Teams will:
- counsel families on when to seek information, communicate with or visit their child’s birth family
- help parents assess a child’s readiness for information and interpret new or confusing information
- educate parents about cultural norms , expectations and ethical practice during post adoption contact with birth family
- provide accurate and culturally sensitive written and oral translations during meetings
The Child: We believe that children have a right to their history and that the child’s needs and desires must be primary in any post adoption services. WHFC Ethiopian and US Teams will:
- advocate for children to know their stories as developmentally appropriate
- recognize that we never know the whole story and that stories change and evolve as relationships develop
- recommend that children receive clinical preparation for visits to birth family and clinical follow up as needed
- involve older children in discussions of contact with birth family. Once children are adults they become the primary client.
Registration for Post Adoption Services
Registration is required to take advantage of WHFC Post Adoption Services. Although all WHFC adoptive families are eligible to register for all post adoption services in Ethiopia, the particular service offered may vary according to your child’s region of birth. Please check our Menu of Services for details.
WHFC may also be able to help adoptive families who completed their Ethiopian adoption through another agency on a case-by-case basis.