Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2002 (10.3)
Page 8

Reader's Forum
Why Adopt from Azerbaijan

A recent letter addressed to the AzerbaijanAdopt ListServ asked how some of the members had decided to adopt children from the country of Azerbaijan. The following reply is printed with permission.

Our decision to choose Azerbaijan really came down to a "gut feeling." It was a fluke that we even learned about one of the programs there. An agency that we contacted sent us a packet of all their programs-not just for Russia, Kazakhstan and Guatemala, which were the three countries that we were considering. The countries were listed in alphabetical order, which meant that Azerbaijan was at the top of the list. At the time, we didn't even know where Azerbaijan was located.

So we went to the Internet and, by luck, stumbled upon Azerbaijan International's web site []. Then, we found this ListServ [AzerbaijanAdopt]. The more we learned about Azerbaijan, the people, the country and its history, the more we were convinced that this country was not only a place we would like to visit whether we adopted from there or not, but that it was a country that we would like to "adopt." When it comes to international adoption, we really believe that it's essential to have some sort of emotional ties to the country of your child's birth so that you can teach him about it, genuinely respect it, and value the traditions and history of the people. For us, Azerbaijan fits the bill. Besides, the children there are just beautiful.

Through our research, we learned that Azerbaijanis truly respects children. We heard that the Baby House [orphanage] workers genuinely care for the children, doing the best they can with their limited resources. We were also concerned about fetal alcohol syndrome and its impact. We've learned that incidence of this condition is much lower in Azerbaijan than in Russia, although we knew that there is no absolute guarantee that we wouldn't run into the problem. I'm sure you will find the country that feels right to you as you embark on the journey that will help you complete your family.

Sarah Estell

Note: Greg and Sarah Estell have nearly completed the adoption process and hope to pick up their son in Baku towards the end of this year.

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