A delegation of officials from the Child Adoption Center in Bangkok and the Thai Children’s Welfare Department visited Dromore Central Primary School last week.
The delegation called in to the local school as part of a five-day visit to Northern Ireland, during which they met with local families who have adopted children from Thailand over the past 20 years.
The visit to Dromore Central Primary was co-ordinated by members of the Thai Adoption Group NI.
The Thai officials met P3 pupils Theo Souch and Lydia Briggs, who were both adopted from baby homes in Thailand by local families several years ago.
The delegation, which included Miss Chintana Watcharakul, Director of Intercountry Adoptions, who helps co-ordinate adoptions for families across the UK and Europe, and Mr Suthi Jantarawong, The Deputy Director General of Children and Youth, were welcomed to the school on Tuesday morning (May 8) by Principal Linda Allen.
“We are a very diverse and inclusive school and we are delighted that Theo and Lydia form part of our school family,” Mrs Allen commented.
“It was a pleasure to meet with the delegation and to show them around our school and some of the activities in which the children regularly participate.”
Lydia’s parents, Blackskull couple Stephen and Dianne Briggs, have adopted two children from Thailand, Caleb in 2006 and Lydia in 2012.
“The process was long, but the reward was greater,” Dianne said. “Caleb also attended Dromore Central Primary School until June 2017 and now attends Banbridge Academy.
“Both children settled really well into Dromore Central and have fully integrated into activities outside the school within the Dromore community.
“By visiting Dromore Central Primary School the Thai delegation have witnessed the high standard of the education delivered by Mrs Allen and her teaching staff. We are all very proud of the good news story the delegation will bring back to Thailand on their return.”
Theo’s parents, Vivienne and Nick Souch, said the officials from the Child Adoption Center are very interested in the welfare of the children who go through the adoption process and were keen to see the progress they are making in their new homes.
During their stay, the officials made similar visits to see pupils at schools in Bangor, Donaghadee and Lisburn.
They also joined families from the Thai Adoption Group NI for a get-together at the Glenavon Hotel in Cookstown, held talks with local adoption officials and adult adoptees at Stormont and visited a number of the Province’s best-known tourist attractions.