Both Ends Burning: Organization devoted to solving international adoption crisis

Both Ends Burning is an organization focused on reforming the broken international adoption system
Photo: BEB

NEW YORK, October 31, 2011 — This is the beginning of a Red Thread series that will profile worthy organizations working to assist orphaned and foster care children.

Both Ends Burning is one of the newest but most influential organizations in the adoption community.  Its focus is clear: fix the broken international adoption system.

 “I started Both Ends Burning to create a culture of adoption and contest the current dysfunctional system that is damaging so many children,” says founder Craig Juntunen.  “Our work is simply defined: to help more children have a chance to grow up in families.”

Juntunen and his wife are the parents of three children they adopted from Haiti five years ago.  Since adopting his own children, Juntunen has become a champion of orphaned children around the world and has dedicated himself to working for change. 

“Everyday I witness my own children’s development.  They now have dreams and a chance to chase those dream,” he says.  “But I have also witnessed kids languishing in orphanages in many corners of our world.  They don’t have any dreams and they won’t have a chance to realize the inner greatness inside of them because of their circumstances.” 

The impetus to start Both Ends Burning came after Juntunen’s realization that inter-country adoptions were on the wane because of bureaucratic wrangling, which causes children to suffer needlessly. Some are stuck in orphanages, others are homeless living without families, educational opportunities or medical care.

“Lots of people would like to adopt these kids and give them a chance, but today adoption is not encouraged or in many cases not allowed,” he notes.  “This tragic disconnect, this injustice, is my motivation to try to change things for them.  It’s what Both Ends Burning is about.”

Juntunen is currently at work on a film about the troubling state of international adoption and why the seriousness of the problem calls for a massive social movement.  The movie will be released nationwide in spring 2012.

For more information on Both Ends Burning and to learn more about what you can do help orphans around the world, visit the Both Ends Burning website.

International Adoption Crisis from Both Ends Burning on Vimeo.


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Andrea Poe

Andrea Poe is a veteran journalist, whose work has appeared in thousands of publications, including Town & Country, Marie Claire and Entrepreneur.  She is the author of several books and her work has appeared in many others, including anthologies and college textbooks. 

Andrea serves as editor of the Travel & Food section at The Washington Times Communities.  Her love of travel has led her to cover everything from remote villages in the Andes to her hometown of New York, from Paris to Pittsburgh, from Beijing to the Bahamas.  No matter where she travels, she likes to uncover the unusual and share with readers those often-overlooked aspects of a place and its people.  She dubs her column Raven’s Eye as a nod to her illustrious (and, yes, infamous) relative, Edgar Allan Poe, a writer who knew more than a little something about the quirky and unique.  

Andrea is also mother to Maxine, who was adopted from Vietnam in 2006, and is the inspiration for The Red Thread column on adoption at The Washington Times Communities.   Andrea is currently at work on a book on international adoption.

In addition to her work as mother, writer and traveler, she is the founder and president of Media Branding International, a consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations craft and promote their image in media outlets around the globe.

Find Andrea at andpoe@Twitter, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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