U.N. Urges Morocco Crackdown on Child Labor

w460 The U.N. children’s fund on Thursday called for "major mobilization" in Morocco against the phenomenon of child labor after a young house maid died from burns in the southern coastal resort of Agadir.

The Moroccan teenager died after suffering serious burns to her hands and face, an NGO said on Tuesday, adding that her employer is in police custody.

The case "relates to a girl, aged between 15 and 17, who worked as the house maid of a couple and who died on Sunday," said Omar el-Kindi, president of the NGO Insaf, confirming media reports.

"This drama adds to a series of similar terrible events," UNICEF said on Thursday.

It recalled its "strong condemnation of child labor" and urged "major mobilization for an end to this phenomenon of ‘little maids.’"

"We consider young girls doing domestic work to be one of the worst forms of child exploitation," said Morocco’s UNICEF representative, Aloys Kamuragiye.

Last November, Human Rights Watch called on Moroccan authorities to put an end to the recruitment and exploitation of child domestic workers.

It said girls as young eight were being recruited as maids, frequently beaten, verbally abused and sometimes refused adequate food by their employers.

A bill outlawing the employment of minors as domestic workers has been proposed but not yet been voted through parliament.

"The draft law on domestic labor could offer a beginning in legal protection to end children working as maids," the UNICEF statement said, and encouraged "the government and parliament to speed up its adoption."

The U.N. body also urged Moroccans themselves to change the practice. Reports say that between 60,000 and 80,000 young girls work as maids in the north African country.

Source: naharnet.com


News from Armenia

IMG_0374Happiness is… a snowy day, a delicious mug of hot chocolate, lots of sleigh rides and of course, a loving and permanent family to call her very own!   Hopscotch welcomes home this beautiful little girl from Armenia.  If you are thinking about adoption or how you can change the life of a child, contact us today!  Children are waiting for families like yours.


Beauty in all things new…




37th Annual Child Welfare Symposium

Register for the 37th Annual Child Welfare Symposium Today!

Curriculum Highlights
Intercountry Adoption

A host of new speakers and session topics promise to make the 37th Annual Child Welfare Symposium one of our most energized and educational gatherings to date. This one is not to be missed. We’ll cover topics that matter the most to you today, including serving children with special needs, post-adoption nutrition, and the future of intercountry adoption.


Monday, May 20
Micronutrient Deficiencies in Children from Eastern Europe, Ethiopia, and China Dr. Dana Johnson

Monday, May 20
When and How to Access Early Intervention and Special Education Services Dr. Lisa Nalven

Monday, May 20
Action Plan for Children in Adversity: What You Need to Know Dr. Neil Boothby

Monday, May 20
Understanding the Medical, Nutritional, and Feeding Needs of Children with Special Needs Mishelle Rudzinski and Dr. Elaine Schulte

Tuesday, May 21
An Integrated Approach to Child Welfare Round Table Discussion Country Focus: India

Tuesday, May 21
Overseas Relationship Management and Risk
Dr. Kjersti Olson

Tuesday, May 21
Standards of Best Practice for Adoptive Parents: Ethics, Economics, and Responsibilities Maureen McCauley Evans

Tuesday, May 21
An Integrated Approach to Child Welfare Round Table Discussion Country Focus: Haiti

Tuesday, May 21
Intercountry Adoption and the US Government

Tuesday, May 21
Lightning Talks! Various Presenters

Wednesday, May 22

Baby Markets: Thinking the Unthinkable in International Adoption Dr. Mark Montgomery

Wednesday, May 22
An Integrated Approach to Child Welfare Round Table Discussion Country Focus: China

Wednesday, May 22

The Search of Origins in the Context of Intercountry Adoption Raffaella Pregliasco and Carlotta Alloero

Wednesday, May 22
An Integrated Approach to Child Welfare Round Table Discussion Country Focus: Ethiopia

Monday Spotlight

Carolyn Twietmeyer, Founder and Executive Director of Project HOPEFUL, will present on HIV Adoption and A New Clinical Model with Dr. Larry Gray and Linda Walsh. The new clinical model will aim to achieve the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) comprehensive health evaluation of the newly adopted child, with special emphasis on adopting the HIV+ child, including the personal experience of an adoptive family.


Tuesday Spotlight

Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, will discuss Best Practices in Intercountry Adoption: Improving Children’s Prospects for Living in Families. He will report on a new Adoption Institute study that includes two surveys (one for professionals, one for parents) covering policy and practice, plus interviews with policymakers in birth countries and adopting countries. The research focuses on critical issues impacting intercountry adoption, assesses the Hague Convention’s impact, and proposes best practices.

Wednesday Spotlight

Martha Osborne, Founder and Executive Director of RainbowKids.com Adoption Advocacy, will speak on Ethical and Effective Advocacy in International Adoption. Adoption professionals will be empowered with new tools, privacy techniques, and a specific plan for integration of methods into their online and offline advocacy plan for individual children. The presentation will also outline The Waiting Child Advocacy Plan and will be heavily focused on explaining and demonstrating how to ethically advocate for a waiting child using tools created specifically for Intercountry Adoption professionals.

See the full Symposium Schedule & detailed descriptions of all of our Workshops

IAC 247 Results

iac-results-11-30-2011-1Click here for the March 28, 2013 IAC Results (PDF) including referrals that were issued in IAC Session 247 which was held on February 21, 2013.

Top 10 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

New Webinar!

Tuesday, May 14
6:00 PM Central

Q&A: 7:00 PM

Adopted people and adoptive parents don’t always look at adoption the same way. Many of the issues adoptees struggle with may be difficult for parents to understand and come to terms with. And it’s ever changing. A parent’s and a child’s adoption experiences change over time, based on life events, ability to understand the circumstances, and new facts as they become available or are discovered.

Understanding your child’s feelings about adoption is essential, so how do you gain some insight?

We’ve gathered a panel of adopted people, to discuss:

  • What they wish their parents had known
  • What feelings they shared with their parents and what they kept to themselves
  • What kept them from talking to their parents when they were younger and why
  • What you as a parent can do to help your child express himself

Submit your questions to our panel here or by tweeting them to @adoptiontweet using #ALPtop10.

GIRL RISING: New Documentary

Watch the trailer – it’s awesome: http://10x10act.org/girl-rising/.

Girl Rising tells the stories of 9 girls from around the world who face – and overcome – unbelievable obstacles on the path toward getting an education. Each girl’s story was written by an author and is narrated by a cast of great actresses, including Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, and others. The cinematography is stunning. 

Screening set for Monday April 22nd at 7:30pm at the Cinema 10 in Winston Salem, North Carolina (3424 Yadkinville Road). 

Want to come?  Tickets are sold in advance @: http://gathr.us/screening/2349.

A portion of Girl Rising ticket sales will help fund programs for girls.  Seeing the film literally makes an impact on girls’ lives and supports the global effort for girls’ education.

The Role of Humor in Family Resilience Survey

If you have friends who also are parenting children who are ill or who have a disability, please share this link with them and encourage them to help, too.

If you have friends who are parents whose children are healthy and have no disabilities, please share this link with them and ask them to complete a similar survey for families without health care needs.

How Are Trans-Racial Adoptees and Families Faring?

editgrmafam We invite you to participate in the study below and bring your voice to the discussion. 

Hello! My name is Candice Presseau, and I am graduate student in the College of Education at Lehigh University. I am currently completing my doctoral dissertation research study under the supervision of my advisor, Dr. Cirleen DeBlaere, and am interested in studying the life experiences and well-being of racial minority individuals who have been trans-racially adopted by White parents or a White single parent.

It is our hope that with this study, we can contribute to the understanding of the experiences of adopted persons raised by parents with different racial backgrounds and experiences from their own.

Your participation is essential to achieving this goal, so we hope that you will take part in our study.  In order to participate, you must identify as a member of racial minority group, have been trans-racially adopted by White parents or single White parent, currently live in North America, and be 18 years of age or older. If you would like to participate in our study, please click on the link below and you will be directed to the online survey.

Thank you very much in advance for your time!  Please feel free to pass on this link to other people who might be eligible. If you have any question about this study, please feel free to contact me at cdp309@lehigh.edu. This research has been approved by the Lehigh University Institutional Review Board (IRB# 397756-1).


Candice Presseau, M.A.

Shannon Patterson
Academic Study Skills Consultant
Counseling Psychology Doctoral Student
Lehigh University
111 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA   18015

Raising Global Children Day 1: “Traveling” to Morocco through the five senses with Stephanie Meade

March 25, 2013 | plushkies.com

Stephanie-Meade-InCultureParent-300x275 Welcome to Day 1 of our blog post series “Raising Global Children: 10 Multicultural Blogger Moms Show Us How It’s Done”.

The purpose of the series is to learn with these 10 multicultural moms who are raising children to be global citizens and to connect to the broader worldwide community of parents and educators who care about this same thing.

Today, as the first day of the series, we are interviewing Stephanie Meade who is the Founder & Editor in Chief of “InCultureParent”, an online magazine for parents raising little global citizens. Stephanie, born in the US, and her husband, who is from Morocco, are raising their two bicultural daughters to be bilingual in English and Arabic, and have introduced some Spanish and French to them as well

1. What inspired you to start InCultureParent? How do you come up with content for the site?

It hit me one night after having my second daughter that the types of things I was googling (“are bilingual children late speakers,” “celebrating two religions in your home”) probably weren’t unique to my Moroccan-American, bilingual household. Multicultural families are found all over the world and our numbers are growing. I realized there was no parenting website at that time that brought together different cultural perspectives on raising children, provided resources for raising bilingual kids as well as explored topics of faith (all different faiths, not solely Judaism and Christianity which you find in many American websites), and also offered multicultural book reviews, recipes, crafts and more. I wanted a really comprehensive parenting website that would have everything you needed to raise a little global citizen, and above all represent the diversity in parenting styles around the world.

As far as content, there are many writers from around the globe who write for the site. And we are always on the lookout for new perspectives. It probably also helps that I have lived in many different countries and have friends all over the world, many of whom have contributed content to InCultureParent!

2. Why do you think it is important for parents to raise global citizens?

We live in a world that is globalized where everything we do has a global footprint, from the very basic—like the things we wear to the food we eat, to the more experiential—the people we meet and the activities we engage in.  So to me, it’s not so much that raising a global citizen is important, I see it is the only way forward for our children if we want them to understand the world they are growing up in. Being able to understand other cultures and different perspectives, or at least be open to learning if a culture is new and different to them, is a critical part of this. Another key part is being able to speak multiple languages. I was raised monolingual but learned three languages as an adult (French, Spanish and Portuguese). I see how each of these languages has both given me a new way to think and allowed me to travel and make friends in so many places in the world. But I want my kids to benefit from learning a language from the time they are young. That to me is one of the most amazing gifts I can give my kids.

3. Having a bicultural family of your own, can you give us some insight on your family dynamic?

It was only this year that we realized my children thought everyone celebrated both Ramadan and Christmas! Although cute, as it reflects what we do in our family, it was a chance to talk about the many other holidays people celebrate. I think having two different cultures, religions and languages represented in our home, and that both my husband and I have lived outside our home countries, makes us more sensitive to educating our children about the world around us. As far as language goes, my husband only speaks in Arabic with the kids and I speak English. More and more I have been trying to speak some Spanish with them (I learned Spanish while living in Ecuador), as they now take Spanish in afterschool time, but my four-year-old especially resists my trying to change languages. We are trying to raise them in an atmosphere where being exposed to different cultures and languages is the norm, a daily part of life, not just an occasional experience.

We intentionally chose to live in a diverse place to raise our kids (Berkeley, CA), where there are many families from different backgrounds. My kids also celebrate holidays beyond just our own, thanks to the friends we have, which has been great.  I remember coming to work one morning last year and mentioned to a colleague that we were at a Rosh Hashanah dinner until late. He took a moment to process it, as a month or so before we had been celebrating Ramadan. He asked jokingly, “Aren’t those kids of yours going to be confused?” On the contrary, we think they’ll be forever enriched.

4. Are bicultural families growing? Are there any challenges? Any advice for those raising bicultural families of their own?

I think there have always been loads of bicultural families across the world, they are just not very prevalent in mainstream media. I have interviewed many families from different generations across the world as part of my series on Real Intercultural Families. I think it’s important to give more visibility to these types of families as we are so infrequently seen in media, but we are everywhere! And our numbers are also growing. Intercultural marriage is on the rise, as are mixed race children. And as far as language, just in the U.S., one in five children now speak a language other than English at home—it’s very exciting!

I think one of the challenges can be learning to accept and incorporate all aspects (not just the ones you like) of your partner’s culture into your home—this includes your in-laws, who in many cases may have very different beliefs about raising children. Having two religions in the house can be an additional challenge, especially in the case where a parent might be less flexible about compromising on a child’s religious upbringing. Talking through a lot of this stuff before having kids is really key. But sometimes parents’ ideas about faith can grow stronger and change after having kids. Luckily for my husband and I, we are both very flexible and talked extensively about our differences in culture and religion before raising kids. For us personally, this has not been a challenge.

As far as advice goes, well, what works for one family may not work for another as everyone has their own beliefs and ideas. But something that I think is helpful is to learn about, embrace and respect each other’s cultures. In my case, that has meant not only welcoming and taking pride in Moroccan culture, but also Islam.

5. Our main audience is teachers with international students. Do you have any tips for teachers on incorporating culture and diversity into their classrooms?

There are so many fun ways to incorporate culture and diversity into the classroom! The simplest way is through multicultural books that explore the world. If you want some great suggestions, you can check out our multicultural book reviews (http://www.incultureparent.com/category/reviews/).

Another idea is to “travel” to a country through the five senses. My husband and I presented a lesson on Morocco to my daughter’s preschool class last year through the five senses. We used Moroccan tea as the main attraction, as Moroccan tea is plenty sweet so kids love it, and built the lesson around it.  It is also fun for kids to watch how the tea is poured and to drink out of small, glass cups.  Here are the fun ways we used all the senses in a lesson:

Smell: Before it was made, the kids can smell the ingredients and guess which herb is used. For Moroccan tea, it’s mint.

While the tea was cooking, we had some time to talk a little about Morocco.

Site: We located Morocco on a map and told the kids five fun facts about Morocco using pictures.

Sound: They also learned how to say, “Hello” in Arabic. And we played some Moroccan music.

Touch: We had the ingredients to make an easy treat from dates and almonds that all the kids helped to create. Alternatively, you could have the kids make a craft to celebrate an upcoming holiday or any aspect of a culture. We have tons of ideas in our crafts section (http://www.incultureparent.com/category/crafts), which I know teachers have used so have a look!

Taste: Once the tea and sweets were ready, everyone was able to eat and drink together communally, a big part of Moroccan culture, with the music on in the background.

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