America World Adoptions (AWA) does domestic infant placements for childless married couples living in Virginia and international placement in India, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, El Salvador, and China for couples and individuals across the United States. The agency has previously placed children from Haiti and Honduras, but when this article was written they were not accepting applicants to adopt from those countries. Since its beginning in 1994, the agency has placed 3,750 orphans from 13 different countries.
AWA is licensed and Hague/COA accredited in 24 states. To see which services the agency offers in a particular state, prospective clients can select a state. Each state has a page showing the cost breakdown, local seminars and references, FAQs for that particular state, and contact information.
Along with standard training and preparation for adoptive parents before placement, America World Adoption makes available unique learning experiences for families who have already adopted or are considering adoption. AWA's "Storyteller Missions" advocate adoption by providing adopted children to experience the culture of their birthplace together with their adoptive parents. The 2016 mission trips are to China, Haiti, Ethiopia, Honduras, Uganda, India, Cambodia, and China. Welcoming Angels is AWA's temporary hosting program where U.S. families can host orphaned children ages 8+ from China for 2-3 weeks. Hosting fees are about $2,000 per child, and AWA hosting liaisons usually help organize fundraising efforts to help cover the cost. All children must return to their native country after the program is over, but they are all adoption-eligible if families would like to begin the adoption process after the program.
Adoptive families can expect to pay around $30,000 or less for a domestic adoption in Virginia, the only state currently accepting domestic applications:
International adoption fees through AWA are generally in the same range as domestic fees, even including travel expenses. Here are the averages and wait times:
The agency provides a 10 percent discount for families who fit the following criteria:
The agency is transparent about which fees are refundable and transferrable, and which are not. The biggest payment, the bulk of the placement fee, is not paid until the child is in the adoptive family's care, which helps prevent the need for a refund or transfer. If a family is matched with a birthmother through another agency while enrolled with AWA, AWA will cover the post-placement services with the first installment of the program fee paid when entering the pool.
Many prospective adoptive families will not meet the agency's standards of sexual orientation and faith identity. In addition, each country has its own eligibility requirements that must be met. America World Adoption believes children should only be placed into Christian families with a heterosexual marriage or single heterosexual individual. In addition, one of the parents, or the individual, must affirm one of AWA's four specific statements of faith.
While most agencies encourage a degree of openness in adoption, AWA requires it of adoptive families placing domestically. This may not be a common deterrent, as the majority of both birth and adoptive parents desire a level of openness - but it is a limiting criterion nonetheless. All families must agree to the following:
The calling to adoption is no small thing. We have had wonderful experiences with America World, for 2 adoptions and a 3rd in process. Everyone is truly professional, Christ-centered, and fully supportive and communicative with us. In the post-adoption stage and beyond, AWAA continues to support us greatly with resources to encourage and equip adoptive families. AWAA's heart is for the orphan, and it is clear in everything they do and how they do it. It's a first-class agency and we love their mission. Their website is a great resource, as it continues to help us become educated about adoption, adoptive parenting, and orphan ministry.