Holt International Children's Services

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Holt International Children's Services
Holt International Logo.jpg
HeadquartersEugene, Oregon
Coordinates44°03′44.7″N 123°05′12.4″W / 44.062417°N 123.086778°W / 44.062417; -123.086778
Official language
President & CEO
Phillip Littleton[1]

Holt International Children's Services (HICS) is a faith-based humanitarian organization and adoption agency based in Eugene, Oregon, United States, known for international adoption and child welfare. The nonprofit works in thirteen countries, including: Cambodia, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Mongolia, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand, Uganda, Vietnam, and the United States.[2] This work includes a range of services for children and families including efforts in nutrition, education, family strengthening, orphan care, foster care, family reunification, and child sponsorship.[3] The organization's stated mission is to seek a world where every child has a loving and secure home.[4]


In 1954, Harry (1904–1964) and Bertha Holt (1904–2000) were busy raising their six children on a farm near the small Willamette Valley city of Creswell. In addition to farming, Harry ran a lumber company. Bertha, trained as a nurse, was a homemaker and mother.[5]

After seeing a documentary film about "G.I. babies" of the Korean War in orphanages in Korea, the Holts decided they would adopt some of the children who needed families.[6] Harry began preparations to go to Korea, and Bertha asked a friend how to go about adopting eight children from another country. Learning that it would be possible only if both houses of Congress passed a law allowing it, Bertha Holt decided to push for such a law.[7]

Two months later, the "Holt Bill" was passed, and in October 1955, Harry Holt and eight children arrived at Portland International Airport. The resulting publicity stirred interest among many families in the United States. The Holts set about helping others to adopt, leading to the creation of the foundation.


In the year 2000,[8] Bertha Holt was awarded the Kellogg's Child Development Award from the World of Children Award for her work with the Holt International Children's Services.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Leaders Trusted to Keep the Holt Promise".
  2. ^ "Holt International - Holt International". www.holtinternational.org. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  3. ^ "Holt International". www.holtinternational.org. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  4. ^ "Holt International". www.holtinternational.org. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  5. ^ "Holt International - Holt International". www.holtinternational.org. Retrieved 2018-07-23.
  6. ^ Engeman, Richard H. (2009). The Oregon Companion: An Historical Gazetteer of The Useful, The Curious, and The Arcane. Portland, Oregon: Timber Press. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-88192-899-0.
  7. ^ Aeby, John (1999). "A Grandma for Thousands." Her Children Arise and Call Her Blessed, p. 2
  8. ^ "Bertha Holt" - WorldOfChildren.org. Retrieved July 9, 2013

External links[edit]