Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cherish Our Children International

Leah Spring, who is at this very moment bringing home her third adopted son with Down Syndrome from Serbia, also runs an info blog about Serbian adoption.  In her first adoption, she was burned by some corrupt agents and facilitators, and after working to expose and clean up the culprits, she educated herself about the Serbian process, which was transformed at the same time.  These days, all adoptions must be processed directly by the government Ministry of Justice -- no outside agencies are allowed. The process is very streamlined, taking only a few months altogether, with just about 3 weeks in-country.  Cutting out the middlemen has slashed costs, as well. An average Serbian adoption now costs $10-15K, less than half of most other countries.

Most adoptive families, however, are reluctant to proceed without the handholding of a knowledgeable agency.  Here is where Cherish Our Children International (COCI) comes in.  This is a non-profit organization with projects around the world, ranging from providing medical care and education to children in Kenya to sponsoring Jewish/Arab integrated soccer leagues for disadvantaged kids in Israel to helping incarcerated youths in Texas break the cycle of crime.  In Serbia, they work to improve the quality of life for institutionalized orphans, especially those with special needs.  As part of that, they assist adoptive parents with the logistics of the in-country process free of charge.

However, they also have projects aimed at helping integrate children with special needs into their society at home.  With minimal manpower, they find ways to make a difference in the lives of families, so that children with disabilities are able to have their needs met at home, in the care of their loving families, instead of being institutionalized for life.  Here is a 2-part video showing the kind of work they do:


  1. Mr.Matir Asurim,think you're not well informed about Cherish Our Children International,and Leah Spring that works for them.Check about her blog "my ianna blog"and the fees that this agency and leah charge for their services regarding inter-country adoption in Serbia.COCI charges 800$USD DAILY from the prospective adoptive families.For WHAT services?Leah is payed too,for what services?the facilitator charges 1500$USD for minor services.Families pay additionaly for the services of the intercountry translation,transportation,lodging...
    So COCI and its employeess are actually robbing the families acting humanity.My friend,it's all about the financial benefit of all those involved in foreign adoption.Money makes the world turn around!!!

    1. In the itemization for Asher's adoption, Leah clarifies that the per diem cost was 15 Euros/day, for a total of $600. It is also clear from context that $800 is the total (per diem x #days) since the total cost for the adoption is far less than $800x20 days would be. That seems like a reasonable daily budget to me....

      As I indicated in my post, COCI is not an adoption agency. They do many diverse projects around the world. Their work in Serbia is just one piece of that. Their fees pretty much cover costs, with little overhead.

      What is your beef with COCI, Anonymous? Have you had any personal, negative experiences with them? If so, by all means, I'd want to know!


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