Join Us This Thursday: All About The Birth Family Search

Birth Family Search | Adoption Learning Partners

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Open records, DNA testing, family tree websites, social media, Google, orphanage searches by other families, even a birth relative doing a reverse search to find information on your child; all can lead quite quickly to an unscheduled, and unprepared for, reunion.

The question is no longer IF your child will one day (sooner rather than later) be able to locate a birth relative, but when. For most domestic adoptees, it is now just a matter of time. For international adoptees, the search is becoming easier and easier.

Join Martha Osborne, adoptee, adoptive mother, and founder of RainbowKids.com, as she shares the realities of birth family search today and provides tips and tools to make informed choices, including:

  1. Talking to your pre-teen and teen about searching
  2. Gauging if your child is emotionally ready to conduct a search
  3. How to handle a birth relative reaching out directly through social media or email
  4. Identifying safety risks and how to avoid them
  5. The tools available today both for search and for obtaining a medical profile on an adoptee without allowing DNA information to be released

Click here to learn more and register >

Advocating for the Child’s Human Right to Family

Source: http://www.adoptioncouncil.org/

By: Elizabeth Bartholet

Important legislation has recently been introduced in Congress designed to transform the understanding of the rights of unparented children and relatedly of international adoption. This legislation amends the law governing the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) annual reports on human rights violations. It requires that DOS consider for inclusion in future reports the violation of unparented children’s rights involved in shutting down international adoption and thus condemning children to ongoing institutionalization. For more information about this legislation, see http://cap.law.harvard.edu/current-legislation/.

All those who believe in children’s rights to family, all those who decry the restrictions on international adoption that have denied many tens of thousands of children the nurturing parents they need, should devote their best efforts to supporting this proposed legislation. It represents an extraordinary opportunity to transform the understanding of child rights in ways that are essential to transforming policy – policy that has been enormously destructive of child rights and interests.

Continue reading.

Attention Alabama Families: IAC Presents "Adoption Boot Camp" – June 3rd, 2017

The International Adoption Clinic at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham (AL) will be hosting a live seminar entitled “Adoption Boot Camp” on June 3rd, 2017 from 8:30am to 5:00pm in the Bradley Lecture Hall at Children’s Hospital.

The focus of Adoption Boot Camp will be on internationally and domestically adopted children or those children in the foster care setting. Discussed will be the awareness of medical, emotional, and developmental needs to expect once home. 

While hosted on the same date, our domestic and international focused seminars are held separately so that the focus is on the specific needs of those families, whether adopting from the U.S. or another country.

Please forward this flyer to any family going through the domestic/foster care or international adoption process OR families already home with their child who you feel would take great benefit from these topics.

The seminar is also opened to professionals within the field of adoption or who would like further education on these topics. CEUs will be available for both social workers and nurses. If you are a professional seeking to attend, please see the flyer noted “for professionals” flyer and pass along to others that will benefit from this educational seminar.

The deadline to register will be: May 20th, 2017

Adoption Notice – Adoptions from Ghana after March 2, 2017

Ghana Flag 2012On January 1, 2017, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force for Ghana. After reviewing Ghana’s Amended Children’s Act of 2016, and confirming the establishment of Ghana’s Central Authority, the United States has determined that it will now be able to issue Hague Adoption Certificates for adoptions from Ghana. Consular officers will verify on a case-by-case basis that an intercountry adoption can proceed in accordance with the Convention, as well as with U.S. laws and U.S. obligations. 

The Department of State cautions U.S. prospective adoptive parents that there may be delays in the adoption process while Ghana works to implement its new adoption laws, regulations, and procedures. Prospective adoptive parents initiating an intercountry adoption on or after January 1, 2017, should work closely with their U.S. accredited adoption service provider (ASP) to ensure they complete all necessary steps under Ghana’s adoption process in accordance with Ghanaian and U.S. laws.  

Continue reading.

Race, Culture and Adoption Class Offered by Adoption Support Alliance

http://barnimages.com/“Race, Culture and Adoption” class offered by Adoption Support Alliance.  Saturday, March 11th from 1 – 3 pm at Christ Central Church/ 658 Center in Charlotte.  The cost is $50 per person and $60 per couple.  The course provides your family with 2 educational credit hours.

If your family is considering or has adopted transracially or transculturally, this is a wonderful opportunity.  Visit their webpage to register today!

To register visit www.adoptionsupportalliance.org

Re-Aligning U.S. State Department Policy to Support Child Rights to Family

Source: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org

by Elizabeth Bartholet and Chuck Johnson

The current State Department has developed policies that have been disastrous for children languishing in institutions abroad. There are many millions of such children, some of them orphaned, some abandoned by or removed from their birth parents.

Most of these children have no likelihood of finding a family in their country of origin. International adoption provides their best prospect for a family, and the social science shows that such adoption works extremely well for children, helping repair damage done prior to adoption and enabling children adopted at early ages to thrive. By contrast the brain and social science shows that institutions cause mental, emotional and physical damage destructive of a child’s potential.

Despite this evidence, the State Department has joined with other forces to help shut down international adoption as a meaningful option for institutionalized children, bowing to claims that equate such adoption with first-world imperialism, child trafficking and cultural genocide. As a result, the number of children adopted into the U.S. has dropped by two-thirds since 2004.

Continue reading.

Help Us Ask for Change

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Dear Families and Friends of Adoption:

The National Council For Adoption has a blog to help families and friends through adoption understand the ramifications of the new Proposed Intercountry Adoption Regulations.  If you find it helpful and you want to encourage others to join us in giving voice to orphaned children around the world, please share this on your own social media. 

With encouragement,
Robin

*A very special thanks to our friend Nicole Skellenger, of MLJ Adoptions, who significantly supported the drafting process on this blog post!

———————————————

What’s Happening?

Recently, the Department of State (DOS) proposed new regulations that may significantly impact international adoption. Since 2004, international adoption has declined dramatically (by almost 75%). If the regulations pass, they have the potential to drastically change and further decrease the number of international adoptions, cause some adoption agencies to close leaving families with less options, and potentially lengthen the processing time of adoptions that do take place.

While NCFA supports some of the themes these proposed regulations set out to address, like improved education and high ethical standards, the impact of the proposed rules is worrisome to adoptive families and adoption professionals. Yet, we have an opportunity to ask for change! These rules are proposed and are not yet binding. Everyone may provide comments between now and November 7th to provide feedback on any concerns you may see.

Learn more.

Somewhere a Child is Waiting for You…

FB Waiting Child girl on swing happy child face summer 2016

Heart of the Matters Website and Courses are Updated and Refreshed

October 2016

Course Spotlight: Because They Waited

 

 

  • Quality: 10 hours of Hague compatible education

  • Refreshed:  Renewed with updated resources

  • Convenient: Mobile access

The Because They Waited™ education system is online with modules covering topics pertinent to individuals adopting a baby or an older child, internationally or through foster care.  Modules present "The Science" in a user friendly format, followed by "The Parenting" which offers concrete parenting tools.   "Wrap Up and Resources" as well as study materials are also provided for each topic.
Topics covered include:
Promoting healthy brain development
Sensory processing and sensory integration
Parenting to a child’s "real age" vs. chronological age
Understanding the internal alarm
Building attachment
Race and Culture
 
Contact us at info@heartofthemattereducation.com for a copy of the table of contents for Because They Waited.
 
More quality adoption education

   

Heart of the Matter Education  816 246-1100
info@heartofthemattereducation.com
www.heartofthemattereducation.com

Article from The Economist: Hundreds of thousands of children languish in orphanages. Adopting them should be made easier.

Source: http://www.economist.com/

Babies without borders

20160806_LDP001_0 OF THE 2 billion children in the world, about 15m are parentless. Millions more have been abandoned. Most of these unlucky kids are cared for by other relatives. Others live temporarily with foster parents. But hundreds of thousands languish in state institutions of varying degrees of grimness. The youngest and healthiest will probably find local adoptive parents. For older or disabled children, however, willing adopters from abroad are often the best and only option. Yet the total number of overseas adoptions is dwindling (see article).

There is a reason for this. For decades cross-border adoptions were often a racket. In Romania after the fall of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, thousands of orphans were adopted illegally. In post-civil-war Guatemala middlemen paid poor women a pittance to get pregnant repeatedly—or simply stole babies and sold them. When one country tightened the rules, the trade in babies moved somewhere laxer.

That trend has stopped. As countries have implemented the Hague Adoption Convention, passed in the wake of the Romanian exodus, they have stamped out the worst cases. Last year 12,500 children were adopted by overseas parents, about a third of the total just over a decade ago. The crackdown was necessary: babies are not goods to be trafficked. But many governments have gone too far. It is now too hard for willing, suitable parents to adopt needy children—and this hurts both the would-be adopters and, more importantly, the children.

Cambodia and Guatemala have stopped foreign adoptions completely; Russia has banned those by Americans. In many other countries the paperwork can take years. This is cruel. The early months and years of life are the most crucial. Depriving a child of parental love—inevitable in even the least dire orphanage—can cause lifelong scarring. The priority for any system should be to perform the necessary checks as quickly as possible and to place every child with foster or adoptive parents.

The Hague convention is a good starting-point. It says: first try to place an abandoned child with a relative; if that fails, try for a local adoption; and if a local family cannot be found, look overseas. Critics of international adoption point out that children who grow up in a different culture sometimes feel alienated and unhappy. This is true, but for many the alternative—growing up in an institution—is far worse.

When overseas adoption is a last resort, the children who end up with foreign families are the ones whom no one else wants: the older ones, the severely handicapped, members of unpopular ethnic minorities. In Guatemala only 10% of the children awaiting adoption are babies or toddlers without special needs. Few Guatemalans will consider taking the other 90%. Plenty of evangelical Christians in America would be happy to. It makes no sense to stop them.

No one cares for you a smidge

Creating a fast, safe adoption system should not be costly. Indeed, it should be cheaper than keeping children in institutions. All it takes is political will, as can be seen from the success of schemes in Peru and Colombia. Public databases that match children with good, willing parents work well locally in some rich countries. (Pennsylvania’s is praised, for example.) There is no reason why such systems should not be made international. Children need parents now, not next year.

Comment by Robin E. Sizemore

“All too often foreign governments come to rely on UNICEF’s child welfare policy of de-institutionalization programs, which on the surface appear to be in the best interest of any child. However, what has resulted is a permanency plan of foster care, as the end goal for these children. Governments are all too happy to rely on subsidized programs and justify it to the beat of ‘keeping children’s heritage and culture’ over a child’s TRUE best interest, which is a loving, suitable, permanent family – wherever that may be. The preamble of the Hague offers that ‘a family environment’ is every child’s right – until that phrase is removed, and permanent family is made the single goal for every child, we can continue to expect governments to fail children through policy and practices counter to any child’s best interest.”

Robin E. Sizemore
Executive Director of Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc and Adoptive parent

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