Why the International Adoption Process Needs an Overhaul

Source: http://www.brownpoliticalreview.org

By Alexa Clark


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.

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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.


Fostering Successful Attachment in Intercountry Adoption

By: Madison Howard



Attachment is the glue that establishes the connection between a child and a parent. When a child is born and remains with a biological parent, bonding and attachment begin immediately. With adoption, however, that is not always the case. In intercountry adoption children often face multiple broken attachments, causing them to lack the foundation on which to build healthy relationships later in life. In cases of adoption, early attachments are too often disrupted or broken. Positive, consistent relationships with early childhood caregivers and, later, adoptive parents can help reestablish a child’s healthy attachment abilities.

The Basics of Attachment

To understand how to foster healthy attachment for children adopted internationally, it is important to understand the heart of the subject at hand: attachment theory. According to Bowlby, a pioneer in attachment theory, attachment is a biological, motivational system that develops within humans during our early years of life. This system is what stimulates children to try and find security, support, and care from specific "attachment figures" in their lives. In her first year, when the child becomes selective about which person she seeks out to provide these things, "selective attachment" occurs. This person the child has selected becomes a "secure base," meaning that she will use this person as a "home base" of sorts to venture out from and return to at any sight of "danger." When parents cultivate healthy and secure attachment relationships within their children as infants, they in turn cultivate an "internal felt sense of safety and trust, and an emerging sense of the self." Attachment, then, is not only important to relationships with parents and family members, it is also essential to children’s forming relationships in the world around them.

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International Search and Reunion: A Conversation with Susan Soonkeum Cox

By Susan Soonkeum Cox


Every adoptee has their own personal and unique adoption story. That history is a part of who they are, and remains a part of them as they move from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood.

As intercountry adoption has changed over the years, more international adoptees have become interested in searching for information and trying to learn more about their families, countries, and cultures of origin. An adoption search and/or reunion for an intercountry adoptee may look very different from one undertaken by a person adopted in the U.S. Typically an international adoption search will require working with officials in another country and dealing with complex legal issues, language translation, and cultural differences. To better understand the international search and reunion process, NCFA asked Susan Soonkeum Cox, Vice President of Policy and External Affairs at Holt International and a Korean adoptee, to share some of her own personal experiences.

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New NCFA Webinar! Understanding Grief and Loss

Register now for our newest webinar!

"Understanding Grief and Loss"

Join NCFA on Thursday, October 1st at 2pm EST when Bethany Christian Services’ Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations, Kris Faasse, will educate us on the basics of the grieving process. Special attention will be given to some common implications for birth parents and adopted children of various ages. We’ll explore the science, research, and experience of grief and loss in the context of adoption. This 90 minute webinar will include some time for Q & A with the expert.

In order to attend the webinar session, you must register by Wednesday, September 30th at Noon EST!

About the Presenter

Kris Faasse, LMSW, ACSW started working in the adoption arena as a pregnancy counselor working with expectant moms facing unplanned pregnancies and wrestling with decisions about whether to parent their children or make adoption plans. Currently, she serves as the National Director of Adoption Services for Bethany Christian Services, an adoption and family preservation agency with offices nationwide. She has over 20 years of experience and holds both a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in social work. Kris has trained both nationally and internationally on topics including openness in adoption, the adoption process, grief and loss issues and Safe Haven Laws.

How International Adoption Can be Wholly Misunderstood

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/us-couple-cleared-daughters-death-leaves-qatar-121649335.html

By Abdullah Rebhy


DOHA, Qatar (AP) — An American couple cleared of charges in their adopted daughter’s death left the Gulf Arab nation of Qatar on Wednesday, leaving behind them a nearly two-year saga that ended with a court ruling absolving them of any wrongdoing.

The Los Angeles couple, Matthew and Grace Huang, caught international attention after they were arrested in January 2013 on murder charges following the death in Qatar of their 8-year-old daughter Gloria, who was born in Ghana.

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Meeting Your Child & Travel

Source: http://www.adoption.net/adoptive-parents/node/25513?vnc=n5_M32SwtIT-Kl4uXQmgWbHpSJ5aLDAq591ziiKEHec&vnp=0

By Madeleine Melcher

ready_for_travel595 Exciting and, I am sure, heartbreaking at the same time, many families who are adopting Internationally are required to visit the country the child resides in at least once before bringing their child home on a subsequent visit. There is no doubt in my mind that many parents want to take special items with them for that first visit. But what can you take for your child on that first visit, knowing they will not yet be joining you for the trip home? Can you use your phone or laptop to preserve and share those memories? For answers to these questions, I reached out to Robin Sizemore of Hopscotch Adoptions to make the most of what you take for your child.

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Worthy and Reposted from: Amanda Mouttaki


There is an assumption that in order to travel the world you must be independently wealthy or have really good connections. The truth is neither of these things is true.  Having a global lifestyle is a choice (in most cases) that families and individuals make. Some people choose to have a large home in the suburbs with all the “nice things” in life, while others opt for the loft apartment in the city.  Still others choose a modest home, with other life luxuries like new cars or “toys”.  Then there’s those who instead choose to travel.  This is us. One of the major reasons we are able to move to Morocco in a few weeks is because we don’t have a mortgage or credit card debt.  If we had either (or both) of these things it would be difficult, if not impossible.

So many people have asked me how we financially are able to make this move and I’ve shared some of our plans but essentially we have very limited debt and we have location independent jobs (we can do them from anywhere). There are a lot of ways to make an international move and/or a global-mobile lifestyle possible. Before taking the jump I highly consider reading this post I wrote on 4 Tips to Start Planning an International Relocation.  These tips really helped us get started. But, our way certainly isn’t the only way.  Here are many many more.


1) Limited Savings

What if you only had $900 in savings?  Would you take the jump and begin a traveling life? Talon Windwalker and his son set out and have been on the road for the last 800+ days! He shares some unique ideas for earning money while traveling and keeping a global lifestyle in motion.

2) Using Saved Money

Several years ago I remember watching a segment on TV about a family who was biking from Alaska to Argentina and immediately thought “wow how awesome is that?!” M was 5 years old and my mind immediately wandered to thinking how it might be possible. Nancy and John began their journey with a chunk of change saved up but also got creative along the way. If you’ve got a mortgage and other life expenses but still want to take on a global adventure I highly recommend reading how they did it!

3) Digital Nomads

Want to be a digital nomad? I just recently heard this term used to describe someone who fills the role of a freelance digital commuter.  Yay this is us!  I’ve been working from home for the last two years, and once we’re in Morocco (and traveling about) this will certainly be us. If becoming a digital nomad and/or blogging as a means to create a global lifestyle is something you want to explore, the Bohemian Travelers have an excellent post about how they do this.  I also love that they provide a glimpse at their travel expenses.

4)  Saving Money To and During Travel

Long before we considered moving internationally we began getting questions about how we could afford to travel so often.  As I wrote above, travel is a choice that we’ve made – it’s important to us and therefore we assign it as a priority when budgeting. The Traveling Praters have run up against this question too and share some of their answers – most of which are the same answer as I would give! There are so many ways to save money before and during travel, if you maximize these savings you can afford to travel more often.

5) Use a Mortgage to Your Advantage

But, what if you do have a house and mortgage…I have to be honest this isn’t something I’ve even thought about or considered having never owned a home.  With 2 Kids in Tow has spent the last year traveling and have leveraged the value in and of their home to make this possible.  I’m not sure if all or some of the options they have used are available to US homeowners but they are clever and certainly worth asking a lender about!

6) A Global Lifestyle Does Not Usually Mean No Work!

Will we be working when we move to Morocco and travel on that side of the globe?  Absolutely! There are very few people who make long-term travel a choice who do not work. Many people wonder how they can possibly work overseas when they have never done so before. Jennifer of Edventure Project sums this up really well when she says, “we converted existing skill sets and developed a few new ones to things that could be done remotely.” This really is the key to overcoming this hurdle. This is also a really great article to check out if you’re a writer or dream of being a traveling writer!

7) Real Budget Travel is Possible when Flexible

If anyone hates the word budget it’s me.  I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of person.  This however, is not realistic when planning to travel internationally.  The safety nets just disappear and having and maintaining income is incredibly important. Keryn of Walking on Travels did a round-up post of several traveling families with their recommendations for a budget vacation.  The takeaway?  Budget travel is a relative term. I have to admit I laughed to myself when she talked about a news article with a “budget” vacation starting at $4500.  One of the biggest expenses is going to always be “getting there” which is where flexibility has to come into play.  For example we really are hoping to visit Eastern Europe while we’re in Morocco.  Tickets from Marrakech to Prague are running over $600 per person.  But we can get a flight into Milan, Italy for about 100 euro round-trip…guess which destination wins??

8) Saving for Travel

So you’ve decided you’re really going to do this travel thing.  Now it’s time to start trimming the budget and setting aside some money.  I shared that we have a “safety fund” that we’ve put money into.  This is important to us. It’s not a requirement.  If having some money set aside just in case or to get you off the ground running is a priority, this post from Walking on Travels will give you some real (and easy!) ideas to get started today.   
9) Creating a Budget

It’s one thing to think about a budget, or even to write it down, or even just assume it will be similar to a household budget you have at home.  But, I really think when living internationally and/or traveling full-time it’s a different ball game.  Heidi of Wagoner’s Abroad provides a really good down and dirty breakdown of their budget categories and expenses when they first moved to Spain. I think this post is an excellent place to start planning your budget.

10) Occassional International Travel

I say occasional but what I really mean is internationally travel every year or every other year. If you’re not looking to move abroad or travel nonstop but simply want to take a trip every year or two this post from Kids on a Plane provides some great advice for how to save for this type of travel. You’ll have a bit more wiggle room and flexibility (you could always decide you don’t have it in your budget to take the trip).   This is the type of travel we have done for years and these tips are a great way to get started.

See more at: http://marocmama.com/2013/07/how-can-you-afford-a-global-lifestyle-10-bloggers-share-their-story.html#sthash.HnQpNZpo.dpuf

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