Guatemala900 Statement: Ending Reunification Efforts In Best Interest of Children with Pending Adoptions in Guatemala

Source: http://guatemala900.org

By Guatemala900

g900bannerjc-300x67 We the Guatemala900, citing the importance of preserving the affective familial bonds that have been developed in the past 6+ years between children with pending adoptions in Guatemala and their corresponding US adoptive families, now believe that the Guatemalan government should immediately suspend current efforts to reunify the children with their biological families. In addition to honoring these longstanding bonds that the children have already obtained, we also believe the reunifications are inappropriate because they are riddled with coercive practices that pressure biological families to take custody of the children they willingly placed for adoption over half a decade ago.

The Guatemalan government recently started intense reunification efforts where both immediate and extended biological relatives of the adoptive children are sought out and pressured to take the child back and end the adoption.  Reunification is a very legitimate function in the world of child placement, but the current efforts with the pending adoptions in Guatemala are no longer appropriate and not in the children’s best interest.

Read more.

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Watch How a Pro Surfer Inspires Autistic Kids to Smile

Source: news.yahoo.com

Pro Surfer Israel Paskowitz Uses His Unique Expertise to Help Autistic Children

IMG_3134 It was a summer day in 1969 on Tourmaline Canyon Beach in San Diego, when Israel “Izzy” Paskowitz fell in love with surfing. He was 6 when his father, legendary surfer Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, took him out to ride together on his board. “I will never forget that wave,” says Izzy, “it was my kick off into the tribe.” Considered the first family of surfing, Izzy is the fourth of nine children of Doc and Juliette. They lived a nomadic life in a 24-foot camper and traveled the country for roughly 23 years.

By the time of Izzy’s first surfing experience, Doc, a Stanford graduate and a doctor, had left his career to fulfill his love of travel, family and surfing. Doc believed true wisdom did not come from formal education but from life experience and surfing. The family’s journey is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film, "Surfwise."

Read More & Watch the Video.

UNICEF’s Unethical War Against International Adoption

Source: http://ethicsalarms.com

Unicef%20no%2006-27-2013 There are few things more harmful than a trusted organization associated with good will and good deeds that uses its influence irresponsibly, and there are few organizations with more accumulated trust than UNICEF, the United Nations organization dedicated to children’s rights, safety and welfare. That UNICEF could be promoting policies that actually harms children seems too awful to contemplate, but that appears to be what is occurring. The problem is that most people have grown up thinking of the organization as the epitome of international virtue. UNICEF doing something that hurts kids? Impossible. Since the group’s impressive moral authority seems to be focused in an unethical direction, the damage it can do before public opinion turns is substantial.

Alert: Russia Post-Placement Reports

russia%20post%20placement%20report%2006-26-2013 Russia requires post-placement reports to provide information regarding the welfare of children adopted by U.S. families.  Reports should be prepared in accordance with the requirements established by the Russian government and as agreed to during the adoption process.  All reports should be translated into Russian.  Reports may be submitted to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation directly at the address included below or can be sent to the regional authorities where the adoption was completed.  More information regarding post-placement reports can be found on the Russia country information sheet.

Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation
Department of State Policy for the Protection of Children’s Rights
51 Lysinovskaya St.
Moscow, 117997

We strongly urge you to comply with the requirements established by the Russia government and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner.  Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process.

Source: http://adoption.state.gov

Adoption is Not the Same as Having a Child of Your Own

adoption onesie by adoptionbug.comLast week, I blogged on some insensitive comments posted on an essay about the pain felt by many infertile woman on Mother’s Day.  (“Why Not Just Adopt”)  It wasn’t, however, just the infertile that were maimed by thoughtlessness.  A number of comments by infertile people in response to the questions of why not adopt echoed Maire: “Adoption is not the same as having a child of your own.”

Read more.

Source: Creating A Family

Disrupting Birth Order through Adoption Radio Podcast

th Listen to internet radio with Creating a Family on Blog Talk Radio.

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl Opinion: A Victory for Children and Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Lauren Koch
(703) 216‐4756
lkoch@adoptioncouncil.org

June 25, 2013 – Alexandria, VA – On June 25, 2013, The Supreme Court of the United States
released their opinion on Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, argued before the Court April 16, 2013.
National Council For Adoption participated by submitting an amicus brief asking the Court to
act in a way that would allow children’s complete best interests to be reviewed when their case
was impacted by the Indian Child Welfare Act. We believe the Court has done just that by
interpreting the provisions in question in a way that allow the Indian Child Welfare Act to
continue to protect the culture and heritage within a family without harming the larger best
interests of children.

The Court reversed the South Carolina Supreme Court in a 5‐4 decision. The opinion of the
Court delivered by Justice Alito (joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Breyer) addresses 3
key pieces of the Indian Child Welfare Act and decides the following:

1. “25 U.S.C. §1912(f) which bars involuntary termination of a parent’s rights in the
absence of a heightened showing that serious harm to the Indian Child is likely to result
from the parent’s ‘continued custody’ of the child – does not apply when, as here, the
relevant parent never had custody of the child.”

2. “25 U.S.C. §1912(d) which conditions involuntary termination of parental rights with
respect to an Indian child on a showing that remedial efforts have been made to prevent
the ‘breakup of the Indian family’ – is inapplicable when, as here, the parent abandoned
the Indian child before birth and never had custody of the child.”

3. “25 U.S.C. §1915(a), which provides placement preferences for the adoption of Indian
children, does not bar a non‐Indian family like Adoptive Couple from adopting an Indian
child when no other eligible candidates have sought to adopt the child.”

“This is a wonderful victory for children and adoption” said Megan Lindsey, Director of Public
Policy and Education. “The Court chose to prioritize and protect the best interests of children,
preserving culture as a priority, but promising a balanced interpretation that allows a child’s
broader best interests to be considered. We at National Council For Adoption are so grateful to
the Court for hearing and deciding this important case in a way that shows their commitment
to children and families.”

# # #
Passionately committed to the belief that every child deserves to thrive in a nurturing,
permanent family, NCFA’s mission is to meet the diverse needs of children, birthparents,
adopted individuals, adoptive families, and all those touched by adoption through global
advocacy, education, research, legislative action, and collaboration.

More information is available on our website, www.adoptioncouncil.org.

News from Morocco

Moroccan-Baby-Shower%2006-26-2013 This week eleven Spanish families were permitted to return to Spain with their children.  One Pakistani family was declined.  No reason was given as to why the Pakistani family was denied.  As always, we’ll keep you updated as we learn more information. 

Good News About Attachment in Toddler Adoption

attachment%2006-26-2013 Researchers were pleased to see that 38% of the toddlers had formed strong attachment with their adoptive parents as early as the initial assessment (1-3 months post adoption), and 90% having done so by the 2nd assessment (7-9 months post-adoption).  Considering that most of these young children had lived their whole lives in institutions before adoption, these were very encouraging results.

Source: http://www.creatingafamily.org/blog

Hopscotch Adoptions Attends Cultural Competency Workshop

Hopscotch Adoptions staff attended a workshop on Cultural Competency last week, presented by B. Todd Posey, M.Ed., LPCS, LCAS. This article seemed particularly relevant in how, as professionals we have daily opportunities to relate information to families regarding all aspects and considerations of international adoption that can be impacted by culture; customs, biases, language, belief systems , etc. Families often find it difficult to reconcile another’s culture when attempting to super-impose our own culture over the other. We all have the best intentions, but work with a limited frame of reference. What makes sense in one family or country can be totally counter-intuitive in another, yet both are practical and reasonable within their own context. As parents to children from different cultures, I hope we are all working hard to respect the differences and foster a great appreciation for the "new" or "different" our children come from. How do you incorporate your child’s original culture?

By Robin Sizemore, Executive Director of Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc

Culture Clash: When Should I Get My Foster Daughter’s Ears Pierced?

By Rebecca from Fosterhood

clip_image001When should I get my infant foster daughter’s ears pierced? It was the furthest thing on my mind until case workers, friends, and strangers who identify as black began asking me about it daily. That is, they were asking me about my black foster daughter’s ears, but made no mention toward my similarly-aged, white-looking (she’s 1/2 Jewish and 1/2 Hispanic) foster daughter.

In talking with friends, I expressed that I do want to get my 7-month-old black foster daughter’s ears pierced now (with her mom’s consent), but not my lighter-skinned 3-month-old daughter. Why is that? I started to ask around amongst my white friends who echoed my involuntary, visceral response to the topic. Earrings on a black baby are adorable, but on a white baby they look was described as "cheap" or "trashy." These descriptions are always whispered in shame. Where do these stereotypes arise? How do these biases come about? And do we need to talk about it in order to undo them?
I’ve spent several hours searching academic literature and even the internet for a break-down of the average age of ear piercing within different cultures, but I’ve come up empty. My unofficial poll of the age in which parents should get their child’s ears pierced goes something like this:

African-American/Black = 4-6 months

Hispanic = soon after birth

Low-income whites = toddler age

High-income whites = between age 7-10

From a health and safety perspective, no major pediatric medical association takes a stand regarding appropriate age for ear piercing nor do they indicate that it’s harmful. Parents are left to make the ear piercing decision based on culture and tradition, which includes factors like ethnic background and socio-economic status.

I’d love to hear what age you got your ears pierced and how you think (or don’t think) skin color and income plays an unconscious part. Most importantly, I’d like for any discussion I’ve opened-up to be respectful of all people’s differences.

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