IAC grew out of a government funded helpline and was established in 1997 as an independent charity Overseas Adoption Helpline by the Director Gill Haworth. Initially based in Highgate, north London in the Director's home the charity focused primarily on offering an Advice Line, running Information Days and providing publications. In 2001 the Helpline moved to the present administration offices in High Barnet and it was here that the first preparation courses began to run in November 2001. Since then the agency has grown and developed offering further services including an Intermediary service and further non professional and professional training. The name Overseas Adoption Helpline appeared a misnomer bearing in mind the range of services on offer and in 2006 Intercountry Adoption Centre was launched at a reception in the House of Lords hosted by Baroness Hamwee, an IAC Patron and Trustee.
Mike Brennan, former Trustee, Gill Haworth, IAC Director and Baroness Hamwee, IAC Patron at the launch
In 2008 Intercountry Adoption Centre took another step forward and was registered as an Adoption Agency. This enables the agency to develop two new services. Firstly to offer an assessment service to prospective adopters on behalf of their Local Authorities and secondly to offer a linking service with countries overseas to facilitate the placement of children to families in the UK.
IAC birthday celebrations
IAC celebrated its 10th birthday in May 2007 and celebrated with a dinner at the Royal Overseas Club in London. Ewan McGregor, himself an intercountry adopter, joined the occasion and drew the raffle. The evening not only provided a fitting way to celebrate the first 10 years but also raised valuable funds for the agency.
IAC Staff, Trustees and friends celebrate the agency's 10th birthday at a fundraising Gala Dinner