Post Adoption Depression: Causes and Prevention

Post-Adoption-Depression-300x183$20.00 ********FREE TO HOPSCOTCH PLACING CLIENTS!!!!!

Post adoption depression and parent attachment disorder are surprisingly common and seldom talked about. After all, since you’ve tried so hard to become a parent, many adoptive parents are ashamed to admit that they are struggling.


Adoption Alert: Uganda’s Residency and Fostering Requirement 02/02/2017

ugandaflagimage1 As reported in our June 2016 Adoption Notice, the Children Act Amendments of 2016 require non-Ugandan prospective adoptive parents to spend one year living in Uganda fostering the child(ren) they intend to adopt. It has come to the attention of the Department of State that in an effort to fulfill that requirement, some adoption service providers (ASPs) may be arranging for Ugandan residents to foster children on behalf of U.S. prospective adoptive parents. We urge prospective adoptive parents to carefully consider the following information before considering using “proxy fostering.”

Officials from Uganda’s Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development (MGLSD), which has authority over Uganda’s adoption process, have told the State Department they are still in the process of drafting regulations to define how the Children Act amendments will be implemented. Therefore, there is limited information available about Uganda’s adoption requirements, and no assurance that the Ugandan government will accept proxy fostering as a way to fulfill the one-year residence and fostering requirement for adoption. Moreover, the MGLSD has verbally informed Embassy Kampala that its current intention is for the regulations to require prospective adoptive parents to physically reside in Uganda and foster their adoptive children there for a period of 12 months.

If you have questions about this notice, please contact the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues via email at  Please continue to monitor our website for updates on adoptions in Uganda.

Podcast Regarding Sibling Adoption


Creating A Family Podcast: Our guests to talk about sibling adoption are Kimberly Offutt, a social worker at Bethany Christian Services and Erin Q. Nasmyth, a licensed clinical social worker with Hopscotch Adoptions, who has spent spent the last ten years working with families and children in the foster care system, in child mental health, and supporting families in adoption.

Orphan No More!


Amazing testaments to how long children are waiting for the one thing every child should have – a forever family.

Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart by Michelle Madrid Branch


41AYF6KM75L Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart is a powerful compilation of stories from people across the country and around the world, who have been personally touched by the miracle of adoption. The timely importance of this book cannot be overstated. Roughly 500,000 children are in U.S. are in foster care today. Millions more wait in orphanages around the world for their forever families. Each story, found within the pages of Adoption Means Love: Triumph of the Heart, reaches deep into the soul and compassionately uncovers the ribbons of truth that connect us all, Honestly and poignantly, the book celebrates the transformation and triumph that is adoption.

Learn more.

The Promise: Truth From The Trenches of Adoption by Christen Shepherd and Lisa Highfield


product_thumbnail.php When Christen Shepherd adopted four children from foster care she jumped into the treacherous waters of raising traumatized children. Because of mammoth tantrums, explosive rages, destroyed rooms, and unending grief, the Shepherds enlisted the help of a Child and Youth Counsellor, Lisa Highfield. The Promise is a raw and compelling read. It offers insight into the behaviors of adopted and foster children, and gives hope to struggling parents who are at a loss after bringing wounded children into the family.

Learn more.

Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Couter


41JhKKJ3w-L._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_“Sunshine, you’re my baby and I’m your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she’s not your mama.” Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system.

Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative,humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed – and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice.

Learn more.

Square Peg Edition by Dawn Davenport of Creating A Family


By Dawn Davenport of Creating A Family

exclusion%20different When groups of parents hang out or socialize, I’ve noticed that parents of kids with special needs or learning disabilities tend to find each other. It’s as if we have a homing signal that draws us together. We share something and understand things in a way that other parents sometime don’t get.

It doesn’t even have to be a life altering special need; it’s enough to be parenting a square peg in our round-holed world– the type of kid who just doesn’t fit the mold.

One of the things we get is the inherent “what if’s” and “what then’s” that seem to come with the territory of parenting a child that is “different”. The fears that wake us up at night with a grip of panic about what the future will bring for this child…  and also for us.

Read more.

UNICEF Fostering Success Comes With A Price: Pemanency Denied to Unparented Children


Deinstitucionalizacija-01_-_380 Having seen great foster care provided to children in Serbia, I can personally attest to how great this is for kids… EXCEPT…. UNICEF holds solidly to the goal for every unparented child is to have a “family environment” rather than making permanency planning the end goal for every child – a forever family – not just a family “environment”. 

Read more.

5 Tips to Stay Healthy & Happily Married When Adopting


By Dawn Davenport


Parenthood is stressful. We love the little darlings, but they can put a major strain on the marriage. This is especially true if our child has special challenges from being exposed to alcohol or drugs during pregnancy or was adopted at an older age and carries the baggage of abuse and neglect. What’s the trick to staying happily married when adopting or fostering children from hard places.

An all too typical pattern in adoption (and in marriage in general) is for one parent to take the lead in becoming educated about adoption, the challenges, and the type of parenting these children respond to best. Often this same parent has been the “pusher” or “moving force” behind the adoption. Often this parent is the mother. This doesn’t bode well when the challenges of adopting or fostering hit.

It’s not helpful at this point to say that the non-educated, non-pusher parent (usually the father) needs to have been educated and supported before you reach this point. That ship has already sailed. So what to do when you feel your marriage fraying under the pressure of adopting or fostering a child that has experienced trauma?

I asked this question to Dr. Karyn Purvis, author of The Connected Child, and the founder and Director of the TCU Institute of Child Development on a Creating a Family Radio show about Raising and Healing Abused and Neglected Kids. In typical Dr. Purvis fashion she had some very specific and practical advice, with a few comments of my own thrown in for good measure.

Tips For Staying Happily Married When Adopting/Fostering

  1. Make time for each other. It is crucial to nurture your marriage while parenting. Nurturance takes time and it takes intention. You must schedule time to be with your spouse as a spouse, rather than as a parent discussing the kids, the house, life’s problems. I believe a weekly “Date Night” may just have saved my marriage. It doesn’t have to be at night and it doesn’t have to cost money, but it does have to happen. Find time to do an activity you both enjoy and make a point to schedule time to do it on a regular basis. Dr. Purvis suggested taking a walk together regularly. Bottom line: find a way to have fun together again.
  2. Model what works. Rather than telling your partner how to do things, show him. If it works to improve your child’s behavior and lower his anxiety, your spouse will see it. Sometimes our words get in the way.
  3. Who should educate? You do have to talk about the kids, but often the not-as-involved parent feels ambushed by these conversations which are full of what needs to be done or how he isn’t doing things right. Is it possible that someone other than you would be better at helping to educate your spouse? Would he attend your child’s therapy session and hear from the therapist what works best? Would he listen to the many Creating a Family radio show/podcasts on parenting children who have been abused and neglected during his commute to work or while he works out?
  4. Double up on self-care. Parenting is hard work, and worrying about your marriage is even harder. You are under a lot of stress and stress makes many (all?) of us difficult to live with. You owe it to yourself and to your marriage to take care of yourself. What you need is individual to you, but for most of us includes regular exercise, enough sleep, and something to look forward to each day—a good book and time to read, a trip to Starbucks by yourself, an occasional massage, a small tub of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, or a night out with your friends.
  5. Show some compassion. The biology of most mothers leads them to want to nurture their children and figure out how to meet their children’s needs. The biology of most fathers leads them to want to protect their family. The continual chaos that can happen when adopting or fostering a child who is struggling with the aftermath of abuse and neglect makes many dads feel powerless. Powerless is a lousy place to be, and many fathers just give up. Understanding the reasons why, goes a long way to lowering your frustration. [I struggled with the gender stereotyping in this piece of Dr. Purvis’s advice, but I have to admit that it rings true.]
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