International Social Services (ISS) Responding to illegal adoptions

Responding to illegal adoptions: A professional handbook

Worldwide, more than half a million children have been adopted abroad and have become adults. Today, many of them are searching for their origins, history, biological parents or extended family. At times, these searches can lead to findings of illegal practices.

International Social Service (ISS) with a group of experts, launches this resource for professionals working with individuals affected by an illegal adoption, offering hope from an otherwise gloomy reality.  Responding to illegal adoptions: A professional handbook is structured around four main Chapters, each focusing on the potential responses available to a finding of an illegal adoption from a specific standpoint: legal, psychosocial, social and political. Personal testimonies are woven into the Chapters, highlighting the harsh reality, challenges and achievements of those most affected. Likewise, multiple promising practices illustrating initiatives to address potential difficulties successfully, creatively and sustainably, are provided.

The professional handbook does not, of course, purport to have an answer to every situation, but it does provide numerous avenues for dealing with feelings such as anger, grief, regret, disappointment and disillusionment when facing an illegal adoption – ideally providing some hope. Whilst the past cannot be changed, we live in the present with an opportunity to make the future brighter

For more information contact

Children & Families Across Borders – Conference – Melbourne 4th-5th April 2016

Click here – Registrations are now open February 20, 2016

Welcome, we look forward to hosting you in Melbourne. Registrations are now open, so please book today.

In today’s world, the movement of children across international borders – with or without their families – has become an issue of critical importance for governments, humanitarian organisations, policy makers and researchers and concerned citizens in many countries.

International Social Service (ISS) Australia and the University of Melbourne’s School of Social Work present “Children and Families Across Borders: Challenges and Opportunities for Action”, a two day international conference on the movement of children and families across borders.

The Conference will seek to bring together a cross-disciplinary group of participants to consider seven specific topics related to the Conference’s broader theme. Presenters include those from academia and service organisations, international and local guests, and professionals from legal, social work and many other backgrounds.

Places are strictly limited so please register now to secure your involvement in this special event.


This website could help you find your birth parents through social media

SBS LIFE – By Shami Sivasubramanian   2 MAR 2016 – 11:48 AM

‘I’m Adopted’ is a website that provides support to adopted children who are looking for their birth parents.

It’s common for adopted children to want to find their birth parents. What is less common is for adoptees to use social media to find them.

Meet Alex Gilbert, a 23-year-old media producer in Auckland, New Zealand, who’s done just that. And now he’s using his own experiences online to help and support others who were also adopted at birth.

His website I’m Adopted is a platform for anyone to simply share their stories and experience with adoption or being adopted, and to support them in the journey to finding their birth parents.

“I call it a community group for adopted people,” says Gilbert.

“For example, if I want to find my birth parents, I may decide to share my story through I’m Adopted. People see the stories, share them, and help each other. That is what amazes me the most!” says Gilbert.

Gilbert, who single-handedly runs both the social media platforms and website for I’m Adopted, says the project began last August as a safe space to discuss adoption, which he found was a topic many people shied away from.


Click here to read the full article.

A Place to Call Home

True North – Series 6: 2. A Place to Call Home BBC Documentary 2016

In 1975 Vance McElhinney was pulled from war-torn Vietnam and transplanted to Northern Ireland. Forty years on he returns east for the first time, but where will he find a place to call home?


Click here to watch.

International Social Services Viet Nam Report 2015

Latest report from ISS on child abandonment & relinquishment in Vietnam