In 1975 a small group of organizations joined forces to share information, elevate practices and collaborate on projects that served children both in the U.S. and abroad. One year later their efforts resulted in the creation of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services as an international non-profit. And as the name suggests, the focus was not exclusive to intercountry adoption. In fact, back in 1976, there were only a few countries using intercountry adoption as an option for orphans and only a few agencies, the largest of which was Holt International – one of Joint Council’s founding members.
For the next 20 years, we continued on as an all volunteer association with an annual conference and snail-mail newsletter. As we grew in size and scope, a professional staff was needed to lead Joint Council. Under the leadership of Maureen Evans, our first Executive Director, we became a leading voice for intercountry adoption and created the Joint Council Medical Institute.
In 2006, Joint Council began a program that would transform it from a trade association that served its members into a coalition of leading social service organizations that serve children and families. We changed our mission, expanded our programs and increased our impact, but we haven’t lost our focus, expertise and passion for ethical intercountry adoption.
With a membership of over 250 organizations, $760 million in collective services, a reach into 52 countries and a base of over 60,000 supporters, Joint Council is aggressively moving forward to serve more children, strengthen more families and protect the right of every child to a permanent, safe and loving family.