(This information is from the online adoption classes we are taking.)
--The Polish language is the official language of Poland. Until recent decades Russian was commonly learned as a second language, but now has been replaced by English and German as the most common second languages studied and spoken.
-- Poland is considered to have one of the healthiest economies of the post-communist countries, and is currently the fastest growing country within the European Union. Since 2004, European Union (EU) membership and access to EU structural funds have provided a major boost to the economy. GDP growth has been strong and steady since 1992 and Poland is the only member of the European Union to have avoided a decline in GDP. Poland is recognized as a regional economic power within Central Europe, possessing nearly 40 percent of the 500 biggest companies in the region (by revenues). Poland was the only member of the EU to avoid the recession of the late 2000s, a testament to the Polish economy's stability.
-- Tourism in Poland contributes to the country's overall economy. Poland was the 17th most visited country by foreign tourists in 2012. The most popular cities are Warsaw, Kraków, Wroclaw, Poznan, Lodz, Torun, including the historic site of the Auschwitz concentration camp near Oswiecim.
-- In 1736, Father Gabriel Piotr (G.P.) Baudouina founded the first orphanage in Poland and over 36,000 children have passed through this one facility alone. Today the Father G. P. Baudouin Home for Small Children, located in Warsaw, is the largest and the oldest such institution in Poland. In Poland today there are 350 orphanages-the highest number in Central Europe- including about 100 smaller orphanages run by families. They are home to about 80,000 children.
-- Over the years there have been fewer parentless orphans and more social orphans. Social orphans are children who are removed from their parental home because of neglect, abuse, or whose parents had lost their parental rights. About 96% of children in the Polish foster care system today are social orphans and the remaining children have lost both parents.
-- According to Polish law, the children qualifying for international adoption are the children who could not find a family in Poland. Children are available for adoption because of poverty, inability to parent a child with special needs, abandonment or rights having been severed by the Polish courts. The children frequently reside in orphanages and some children may reside in foster homes.
--When a referral is made, the prospective adoptive parents will usually receive several photographs and 2-3 pages of medical information.