Meet the Spring Family: The Family that Adopted Six Children with Down Syndrome (And One with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) by Special Books by Special Kids

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The Spring family adopted six children with Down syndrome and one with Fetal Alcohol syndrome. The seven are now learning to function together as a family as their parents’ guide each individual to their full potential.

#adoption #downsyndrome #serbia #adoptionislove #hopscotchadoptions

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Robyn Gobbel, LCSW Presents: Race & Development- Next Webinar with Guest Presenter!

Melanie Chung Sherman, LCSW, a guest presenter will bring an important topic that falls outside of Robyn Gobbel’s area of expertise! 

Building Trust by Addressing the Hard Stuff: Race & Development

Working with children who have experience complex trauma, toxic stress, and/or adoption often means working with children of color.  Melanie Chung Sherman, LCSW will help us tackle this tough topic so we can better support children who experience the toxic stress of racism.

Melanie has expertise in adoption, attachment, and complex trauma.  She’s an excellent presenter and obviously in an hour webinar she will only be able to gloss over the tip of the iceberg.  Nonetheless, this will be an important webinar for everyone:

  • Parenting a child of color
  • Working with children of color (teacher, social worker, case worker, CASA, therapist, Sunday School Teacher, etc.)
  • Feeling uncertain or uncomfortable about how to address the impact of race and racial awareness

As always, webinars are only $14 and you do not have to attend live.  Everyone who registers will receive lifetime and unlimited access to the recordings. You must register by the evening of Wednesday September 12.

All the details and registration is available on this website, so CLICK HERE!

What About Your Adopted Child’s Dual Citizenship?

Click here to view “Multiple Citizenship in Adoption: An Introduction” (PDF)

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Southwest Airlines Celebrates Adoption!

Click here to see the video>

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Your Opportunity To Impact Adoptive Family Services – Please Take This Survey.

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Adoption Support Alliance is a nonprofit organization in Charlotte, North Carolina that was founded to support adoptive families.  They are conducting a survey of adoptive parents to learn more about how They can best meet families’ needs.  Please take ten minutes (or less) to share your thoughts with them. 

Adoption Support Alliance greatly appreciates your time and insights: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T7HLNYV (Please share and re-tweet this survey)

There Are No Unwanted Children: Just Unfound Families

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Why the International Adoption Process Needs an Overhaul

Source: http://www.brownpoliticalreview.org

By Alexa Clark

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Year-long waits, onerous assessments, and disappointment—prospective adopters in developed countries have a lot to deal with when trying to adopt a child. The scarcity of adoptable children and rigor of the adoption processes in developed countries drive prospective adopters abroad in the hope of finding children to join their families. Due to the prevalence of disease, poverty, and abandonment as well as fledgling social safety nets, less developed countries often have many children in state care that are in pressing need of adoption. In the latter half of the 20th century, many of these countries welcomed international adoption. Under that system, children were matched with more affluent parents who could provide better lives for them than could be expected in the state system, and overcrowded state children’s homes were relieved of the difficulty of caring beyond their capacities.

While international adoption is an ideal solution for both the overcrowding of state childcare systems in developing countries and the difficulties of adopting children in developed ones, it’s currently on the decline. Intercountry adoption fell by 64 percent between 2004 and 2013 in the top 10 adopting countries, indicating a seismic shift away from the practice of adopting children abroad. While modest gains in health and income mean fewer children are orphaned and abandoned, these factors alone do not explain the huge shift away from intercountry adoption. Rather, the decline is the result of an international law that tightens the regulatory barriers to intercountry adoption, decreasing its attractiveness to prospective adopters and increasing negative sentiments towards international adoption in countries where it used to be common.

Continue reading.

Supporting Military Families in Adoption, by Laura Beauvais

By Laura Beauvais

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Military families have the potential to be outstanding adoptive families. They often have an incredible support network of friends. Military families tend to be flexible and adaptable and those are qualities that can help make great parents. The installments, where they often live, usually provide no-cost health care, including occupational, physical, and speech therapy, as well as counseling. Dental and vision care are usually provided with a co-pay. Even when military personnel move, the support systems are similar in the next location, so these families do not have to “relearn” what is available at the next location. If an adopted child has serious needs that cannot be met at an installation’s facilities, the military parent cannot be transferred to that installation, as outlined in the Exceptional Family Member Program.

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The Importance of Obtaining Certificates of Citizenship

citizenship1Nobody enjoys filing paperwork or paying filing fees, and for families that have completed an international adoption, they often think they have had more than enough of both. Fortunately, most international adoptions now result in a certificate of citizenship (COC) being issued without any additional process or fees. That has not always been the case, and still is not always so, especially in cases where the child was issued an IR-4/HR-4 visa. In these situations, the child does not automatically become a U.S. citizen, and the placement requires finalization here in the United States.

Obtaining a COC for any child adopted internationally is an important way to definitively establish and demonstrate citizenship. When the cost of COCs was significantly increasing last year, NCFA hosted a webinar led by McLane Layton and Christine Poarch. NCFA also made available a printable factsheet addressing FAQs about certificates of citizenship. These resources continue to be helpful to better understand this issue.

Adoptive families may ask, “Why would I pay for this if I already have proof of citizenship with a U.S. passport or state issued birth certificate?” Although there may be other ways and options to prove citizenship, the Certificate of Citizenship remains the most permanent and definitive way of doing so. Unlike passports, the certificate of citizenship never expires. State issued birth certificates are not always accepted as proof of citizenship, with issues raised if the name has changed or if the birth certificate lists a foreign place of birth.

Adoption professionals who have worked in this field for a number of years strongly advise a family to obtain a COC on behalf of their internationally adopted child. Sue Hollar, the Executive Director & CEO of The Barker Adoption Foundation, is a strong advocate of agencies working to ensure families have obtained COCs. She says, “Adoption agencies and adoptive families have an ethical and moral responsibility to these kids. At Barker, we hold a financial deposit from families and return it upon receiving a copy of the COC… No kid/adult should suffer the consequences of not having the documentation.”

NCFA strongly encourages adoption agencies to obtain copies of the certificate of citizenship as part of their post-adoption reporting. This practice will ensure that families are obtaining their COCs within a reasonable timeframe upon returning, instead of many years later when it may be more difficult for the adoptive family to locate required documentation.

The application for a COC is called the N-600 and can be accessed through USCIS’s website here.

For more family-oriented intercountry adoption resources, visit the Global Adoption section of NCFA’s blog.

The Scariest Special Need of All—Would You Adopt This Child?

Source: https://creatingafamily.org

By Dawn Davenport

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In my experience there is one special need that scares prospective adoptive parents the most. The one where even parents who have a wide range of acceptance for special needs will often say “no”. The special need that is preventing thousands of children from being adopted. That special need is being the victim of sexual abuse. Yes, that special need is actually being the victim of abuse!

Through no fault of their own these children have been sexually abused and are now being victimized again by the near universal fear of raising a child that has been sexually abused. Irony anyone?

I have been told by countless social worker that if the child has a record of sexual abuse in their file or a record of showing the symptoms of having been sexually abused, the chances of finding an adoptive family becomes infinitely harder. This breaks my heart.

Continue reading.

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