Family Services Inc. has achieved Hague Accreditation through the Council on Accreditation (COA) as authorized by the U.S. Department of State. Family Services President and CEO Bob Feikema received official notification on December 18, 2015.
“We are delighted and proud that our program has earned Hague Accreditation from the Council on Accreditation. This highest level of accreditation for professional agency work in the area of international adoptions allows us to continue to work with our North Carolina families who are adopting from China, and also allows us to accept new clients adopting from Korea and other countries which require agencies to hold Hague accreditation,” says Mary Beth Page, program manager for the Adoption Program at Family Services. Page was instrumental in working with Family Solutions division director Rebecca Nagaishi to complete the extensive certification process that yielded Hague status.
Family Services has more than 75 years of experience helping individuals and couples expand their family through adoption.
“We believe that every child deserves a family,” explains Page, and our commitment is to help children find their forever families through a variety of adoption services.”
Those services include consultation for families seeking to adopt, placement and foster care of infants, domestic and international adoption support, open adoption assistance, services for families involved in relative, private or independent adoptions, and post-adoption support through on-going support groups and counseling services.
“Our services provide support at various stages–the immediate needs and those that arise years later,” says Page.
The Hague Convention is an international treaty created to ensure that intercountry adoptions are in the best interests of children and to prevent abduction, exploitation, sale, or trafficking of children. In 1994 the United States signed this treaty and agreed to develop regulations and a monitoring process for adoption service providers in the U.S. that worked with agencies in countries that signed onto the Convention. Congress passed The Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA) in October 2000, which serves as the implementing legislation for the United States. The IAA requires agencies and persons providing adoption services in cases involving Convention countries to be accredited or approved.
In July, 2006 the U.S. Department of State named COA as the only national accreditor for adoption service providers under the Hague Convention. Founded in 1977, COA is an independent, not-forprofit accreditor of the full of the continuum of community-based behavioral health care and social service organizations. COA’s mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying and promoting accreditation standards. COA envisions excellence in the delivery of human services globally, resulting in the well-being of individuals, families and communities.
Hague accreditation attests that Family Services is in substantial compliance with the Hague Convention Accreditation Standards for the next four years, at which time the reaccreditation process will resume again in 2019.
For more information about the Hague Convention, including a full list of participating countries, please visit the Hague Conference on Private International Law’s website at www.hcch.net.
Learn more about Family Services’ Adoption Program here.