March in Washington to help orphans on Friday, May 17

March on Washington to bring attention to plight of orphans around the world Photo: U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2014 — On Friday, May 17 Washington will host a major social justice march when an estimated 1,000 people from around the country converge to bring attention to the broken international adoption system.

The Step Forward for Orphans March is intended to draw attention to the need for reform of the international adoption system.  Currently, international adoptions are at all time low and there is little light on the horizon. The few countries from which Americans can still adopt have dwindled to a handful, and even those are now processing adoptions at a trickling pace.  Bureaucratic wrangling and administrative delays have caused this crisis.

The result? Millions of children stuck are in orphanages with little to no hope of ever joining permanent families.

The organizers of the march, an organization called Both Ends Burning, which focuses on working towards solution and reforms in adoption, hope that the march — the first of its kind — will raise awareness of the plight of orphaned children around the world. 

Marchers will meet at Washington Monument at noon and proceed to Senate Park.  Many of those marching plan to visit the offices of elected officials after the march to urge reform.

A few lawmakers have been champions of these voiceless children.  Others have remained willfully blind to the issue.  The goal of the march to Capitol Hill is to encourage other lawmakers to focus their attention on the issue.

Senator Mary Landrieu, long a champion of children, will be introducing new legislation addressing the U.S. role in international adoption and how we can improve our process and help more orphans get into permanent families.  

In addition to next Friday’s march, there is an online petition for signatures that will be presenting to president Obama and the Secretary of State, urging action on behalf of these stranded children.


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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.

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