Both Ends Burning/Craig Juntunen

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Department of State reported the latest figures for inter-country adoption. No surprise – the decline continues. There were 5,648 adoptions from abroad in fiscal year 2015, down from 6,438 the prior year and off 75% from the peak in 2004.

Gladney is doing well in China, Taiwan and Colombia. We are fortunate to have long standing relationships with caring government officials and wonderful orphanage partners, who readily acknowledge the benefits of a child being in a permanent, loving family and the detriment to a child of living in an institution for an extended period of time.

Progress in these three countries is encouraging, but we need to continue to advocate at the national level in concert with other organizations (NCFA, BEB, CCAI, CAFO) for every child’s right to a loving family to become more widely-accepted and embraced.

On Sunday, I will be traveling to Los Angeles to participate in the second Both Ends Burning symposium. The first took place 18 months ago at Harvard and 20 countries were represented.

This time, there will be child welfare leaders from 28 countries. The Department of State and UNICEF have accepted invitations from Both Ends Burning to participate.

I tremendously admire Craig Juntunen, the founder of Both Ends Burning.
He is collegial when he needs to be and confrontational when that’s called for. He has a passion for righting the wrong of these children unnecessarily languishing in institutions. His passion borders on anger. Ours should too. And his passion has remained intense for a decade. He never wavers and neither should we.