Hand In Hand: Because Every Child Deserves a Home

HIH Staff Meeting Feb 2013

Left to Right: June, Kim M., Bonnie, Susan, Kim K., Karin, MaryLee Lane (founder of Hand In Hand), Vickie, Rosemary

For the last 39 years Hand In Hand has been helping people find their way to children who are desperately in need of parents. We have placed more than 9,000 children in loving homes throughout the United States. Hand In Hand is a Hague accredited, Christian-based, non-denominational adoption agency, and licensed to place children throughout the United States: Why Choose Hand In Hand

Hand In Hand employs a “cradle-to-grave” philosophy. Our staff is trained and ready to assist the families from the first inquiry call until their adoptive child has become a healthy adult and beyond. The families are given thorough training about the adoption process as well as the issues surrounding children’s emotional needs. Hand In Hand plays the role of the expert on behalf of the families throughout the process, smoothing the mountains of bureaucratic paper into easy to follow avenues through Immigration and federal and foreign governments. We have always, and always will, follow the letter of the law of the country with which we are working, in order to protect the rights of the child. Following the placement of a child, Hand In Hand actively assists in the adjustment through our sensitive social workers who are available to the families indefinitely. If you are a family residing in a state other than where we have licensed offices, we will be working with your local home study agency.

Hand In Hand also supplies ongoing support to the families through country-specific support groups and cultural training sessions, quarterly newsletters, and annual agency picnics and holiday parties. Motherland Tours are taken with adoptees, once they are teenagers, who desire to return to their homeland to be in touch with their roots. As the young people testify, these are very rewarding and life changing for them.

Words are important but the SMILES of the children tell it all. An orphanage cannot be the ultimate for a child. Children need a home and loving parents to call their very own. As one walks through an orphanage one cannot help but see the pleading looks and the little arms extended for love. What better place for a once abandoned child, than to be placed in the arms of loving parents who will call that child their own forever.

History of Hand In Hand

motherland vickie's camera 084

A group of Hand In Hand families enjoy a Motherland Tour back to the Philippines.

In May of 1974, MaryLee Fahrenbrink Lane was living in the Philippines and recognized the enormous plight of hundreds of abandoned children who were unlikely to live even to age five. Due to MaryLee’s efforts, a pilot program was established in early 1975, which eventually led to an initial inter-country adoption program, with the first 16 children matched for placement by July of that year. While waiting to come home, children were placed with American and European foster families, where they were readied both physically and emotionally for travel to their new homes. In March of 1976, the Philippine government asked MaryLee to include additional abandoned and surrendered children into the foster home program.

MaryLee established a program called Create Responsive Infants By Sharing (CRIBS). Response to and support of this program was enormous and shortly resulted in approximately 350 children being given the chance and the will to live. Their medical needs were professionally met and emotional and nutritional needs were provided by loving foster families. As the children responded and the time and legal requirements were met, the children moved on to permanent and loving homes all around the world.

In 1977, due to changes within the Philippines, MaryLee returned to the United States where she incorporated internationally as a non-profit entity and received national attention for her efforts and the plight of children. Within a short time period where the Philippines attempted to place children only within the Philippines, their orphanages were overcrowded and MaryLee was able to participate in re-opening the inter-country adoption programs once again. A name change from CRIBS to Hand In Hand International Adoptions became official.

As the years since 1974 have passed, many new countries around the world have opened their doors for international adoptions and have requested assistance from Hand In Hand. Over 39 years later, over 9,000 children have been placed through the diligent efforts of a talented and dedicated staff led by the hopes and dreams of MaryLee.

Declaration of Purpose

DCL Court Day

Every Child Deserves a Home!

In a world where the rights of children are an issue, we believe that every child has a right to live and develop in a permanent nurturing family. However, for many children in this world, this is not a reality. In many third world nations, for example, hundreds of children are left to the care of overcrowded and understaffed orphanages, where the daily needs of the child are easily overlooked. Malnutrition, disease and death prey upon these innocent lives. It is the purpose of Hand In Hand to provide the necessary medical, dental, emotional and nutritional care for these needy and deserving children of the world, until such time that these children can be placed in permanent homes. In addition to caring and planning for foreign children, Hand In Hand recognizes needs of children within the United States. It is therefore our desire also to provide whatever services and programs we can, to facilitate children’s needs within our own community and to assist in locating permanent homes for waiting U.S. children. Hand In Hand stands ready, with a capable and loving staff, to assist in the placement of children from newborn to 16 years of age, regardless of the child’s heritage.