International Spotlight: Albania

 

Albania is a small country located on the southeastern Balkan Peninsula of Europe. The country of Albania has a population of around 2.8 million people. The capitol city of Tirana is home to about 900,000 of that population. Of those 2.8 million people making up the Albanian population, around 857,000 of them are children. Of those children, 31,000 of them are currently abandoned and living in orphanages throughout the country. There are several reasons as to why children in Albania may end up in orphanages, but no matter how they found themselves there, every single one of them are in need of a loving family to help them reach their full potential. Every child that resides in these orphanages has a story, and that story includes things like neglect, abuse, and vulnerability. Even with the obstacles that have been dealt to some of these children, we know that each one of them is one loving family away from completely rewriting their story. Currently, Nightlight is the only agency from the United States working with the Albania Adoption Committee (AAC) on international adoptions. The Albania Adoption Committee is the central authority in Albania who oversees all adoptions in the country. There are other countries around the globe who work with the AAC, but Nightlight is the sole American agency. See details about our program here.

 

The Albania Adoption Committee does like to prioritize keeping children in country through domestic adoption programs. Often times, the children that are adopted domestically are the younger and healthier children. If the AAC cannot place a child domestically in country, that is when they will free the child up for international adoption. Generally, children that are available for international adoption have some sort of special need, developmental delay, are older in age, or have a combination of these. One thing that makes Nightlight’s Albania program so unique in comparison to other programs, is that we can get referrals of younger children with more mild to moderate special needs. We often get referrals from the AAC of children ranging in ages from 2-15, children with mild to severe special needs, as well as sibling sets.

 

Another notable point about the Nightlight program is that it is a relatively short program in the realm of international adoptions. The time frame we are currently seeing from start of adoption to adoption completed, is around 2 years. Also in the program, we currently have two waiting children who have been referred to us by the AAC that we are actively searching for families for. You can view the profiles of these two children through Nightlights’ Adoption Bridge webpage. To view the profiles of our available children in Albania, you can click on the waiting children icon located at the top of the Adoption Bridge home screen. Then in the “Search Children” box located on the left hand side of the screen, you can refine the search by choosing Eastern Europe under the “New Locations” tab. All children located in Albania will have an “A” located in front of their name. If you are interested in learning more about a waiting child in our Albania program, you can contact Anna Lee (anna@nightlight.org) and she can provide you with the child’s full file to review.

 

Since we have just recently wrapped up a great year full of blessings in the Albania program, we found it fitting to highlight some of the accomplishments here. In the year of 2022, the Albania program saw five children come home with their forever families and another five children get officially matched! It was a joy-filled year for the program with many reasons to celebrate!

 

We are hopeful to continue to grow the Albania program in the coming years. If you are interested in joining the program, you can contact Anna Lee through email at anna@nightlight.org or call our Kentucky office at (859)-263-9964. Families that apply in the month of January will receive a $500 grant toward their adoption fees.

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