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Ukrainian Orphans Seek New Parents In Bay Area

August 22, 2008, 11:00 3129 Author: ktvu.com ktvu.com At an unusual Thursday night pizza party in Palo Alto, advocates for ten orphans visiting from Ukraine held out hope that the children might find new homes as they met prospective parents during a two-week trip to the United States

At an unusual Thursday night pizza party in Palo Alto, advocates for ten orphans visiting from Ukraine held out hope that the children might find new homes as they met prospective parents during a two-week trip to the United States.

Organizers say the odds of them finding a new home is much greater here.

"If they stay in Ukraine, they have a 20-percent chance of finding a family. If they come here, it's 80-percent," said David Avilla of Advocates for Orphans International.

Avilla and his wife paid for and organized the orphans' visit. They know first hand the difference adoption can make. They have adopted five children from Russia.

The process of finding parents is unconventional. "It's by word of mouth, a friend of a friend. I thank God for email," explained Kerry Avilla.

A prospective parent at Thursday's pizza party said it was one of those e-mails that piqued his interest in adopting . "Just send out this e-mail you know. The hope was that they would be interested in adopting," said Rob Harris of San Francisco. "It just so happened we were interested in the process ten years ago before we had our daughter."

Before the start of the pizza party, prospective adoptive parents had been identified for four of the Ukranian children. Organizers say that number could double by Friday. The adoption process takes about one year to complete.

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