Archive for the ‘ Adoptive Families ’ Category

“I’m Having Their Baby” on Oxygen Tonight

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

It’s long overdue, in this era of reality TV, that we peel away the layers of private, domestic adoption process to visit with families who actually rode the roller-coaster of domestic adoption. It’s about time.

In the new show, in each of six, hour-long installments, you view the journey and personality of each birth mother, and watch hurdles faced by adoptive parents. I love that you bear witness to surely one of the biggest joys in life.

On the trailer for “I’m Having Their Baby,” I watched, the common thread for each birth mother is, more than anything, she wants the very best in life for her unborn child.

Giving your beautiful baby to another family in a private adoption where they pretty much take over the care and feeding of your new baby.

“I’m Having Their Baby” shows an honest portrayal of women who are in the midst of dealing with the most difficult decision of their lives,” said Rod Aissa, Senior VP, Oxygen Media. “These human interest stories are powerful… as it reveals themes of love, hardship, and inner strength.”

The premiere episode, which airs tonight, features Amanda, a 28-year-old mother raising two boy, as well as her boyfriend’s son. Amanda shows you why placing her unborn child into another loving family and making those difficult decisions are brave and terrifying.

Another tear-jerker features Mariah, eight months pregnant, who lives with her boyfriend and 9-month-old daughter in Indiana. She doesn’t want to “turn out like girls in her community,” a too-young and struggling single mother. Brave stories of courageous women and families, such cool stuff.

“I’m Having Their Baby” is produced by Hud:sun Media. Tell me what you think about these adoption stories.

 

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

The History of Adoption – How Did the Practice Start?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

I surfed a bunch of sites and called an adoption resource line to research how the actual practice of adoption even started. I thought it began in the olden days between extended families very casually, but that’s only one part of the history of adoption. How did families and neighbors begin taking each others’ children?

Ancient adoptions can be traced back to the Roman Empire where wealthy, aristocratic families without male heirs would adopt older boys or men from within their community, extended family or local village in order to continue the family lineage and name.

Adoption declined during the Middle Ages when pure bloodlines became more important for inheritance and land owners.

Until the 1850s, informal adoptions — from family to family — would take in the occasional orphaned neighbor child. As informal adoptions increased, the need for legalizing the process became law.

In 1853, Charles Loring Brace, a protestant minister who founded the Children’s Aid Society of New York, conceived the idea to relocate and find homes for orphans from the Civil War. Some documents claim that orphaned and adopted kids ended up as servants or worse but the era after the war shaped America’s foster care system.

Through the 20th century, states passed adoption legislation to protect and serve orphans. President Theodore Roosevelt recommended moving away from institutional orphanages and placing children in family homes.

From closed adoption in the 1940s and 1950s, gradually the industry has progressed to more “open adoptions” without the stigma for birth mothers.

Adoptions reached their highest point in 1970, and have leveled off.

In the last two decades, international adoption is popular too, providing homes to children that have been orphaned by war, disease and global poverty.

Read more about The History of Adoption,  and tell me your adoption story in Comments below.

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International Toddler Adoption or Stolen-Child Trafficking?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

As news of child trafficking in China and Guatemala make headlines, rumors explode about international adoptions in these countries, and how big a role  child trafficking plays in poor countries where newborns may be stolen for adoption to wealthier and more stable countries.

Countries that have placed limits, sometimes closed or partially closed because of concerns over coercion of birthparents or “illegal adoption” include Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, Guatemala, and Romania. China, reputedly, is working to contain corroborated trafficking within its orphanage system.

Faced with such accounts of trafficking,
parents of course have an instinctive reaction of shock or guilt or even disbelief. By adopting, could you have fueled this trade?

Some parents who adopt internationally will question the need to bring up things that happened in their child’s past. Could you personally admit that money may have driven your birth parents’ decision, or that your joyful toddler comes from poor parents who never even gave consent?

If corruption exists in your child’s birth country or may have played a role in your baby’s adoption, I believe it’s not your fault. You didn’t set out to “steal” anyone’s baby.

Tell me what you think about international adoption from a country that gives you doubts?

While we’re on controversial adoption subjects, do you think that Hollywood A-list celebs who adopt children get an easier time of it because they can likely afford an international adoption?

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Jillian Michaels and Partner Adopt Daughter from Haiti

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

This beautiful daughter bonding photograph of NBC’s former Biggest Loser top trainer Jillian Michaels spotted running mommy errands with newly adopted daughter, Lukensia, at a farmer’s market in Malibu this weekend. We were right down the street. And pretty envious.

It’s certainly been a busy month for the former star and her younger girlfriend Heidi Rhoades who also also gave birth to a son, Phoenix, on May 3 here in Los Angeles. I’m nearly positive Jillian adopted Lu as a single mom because Haiti is very conservative about who adopts from their country. They do not allow gay people to adopt at this time.

In fact, my husband and I looked into adopting from Haiti two years ago, we even started the paperwork on adopting internationally from Haiti, and immediately ran into trouble. We could not adopt from Haiti for three huge reasons, and yet Jillian Michaels can adopt as a lesbian.

  1. We were too old.
  2. My husband has a chronic health condition they could not overlook.
  3. We’re not half as rich as Jillian Michaels.
  4. We could not prove our church affiliation!

Really, that last one is ludicrous — at least to me. Haiti and the adoption agencies that work in Haiti are very Catholic organizations, and needed proof and comments about our fitness for parenthood from our very own church affiliation.

Needless to say, my Jewish husband and I (zero church affiliations) stopped the paperwork, and we began to examine and re-think adopting from another country with less restrictions, more specifically India. We’re progressing into an international adoption with an Indian daughter.

Jillian Michaels has said she waited two years for her daughter Lu, and we’ve been waiting a lot longer than that. I wonder… if we had big cash $$$ like Jillian Michaels, would our adoption wait be cut in half?

Tell me your adoption story here, and many happy wishes to Lu, Jillian Michaels and their new  insta-family. Thank goodness for Lu, and one less hungry orphan in Haiti.

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Adopting is Too Expensive for Many Families

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Reader Joanne inspires me with her adoption story of two kids and how her family fared through the ultimate roller-coaster of domestic adoption, but ended up with two county-sponsored adoptions via foster care that cost her family little to no financial investment. I don’t know about you, but not being able to afford adoption is the worst thing.

If innocent little kids can find worthy homes but don’t all because of money, something is incredibly wrong with our legal adoption system.

Joanne said, “I would love to keep hope alive since it was something my family had to do while waiting. We were living in California at the time and applied to the local county adoptions.  We moved through all the classes you are now going through, and we were placed on a list to be matched.

While I had three grown sons from a previous marriage, my husband never had children and always wanted one. Since my bio clock was done for — we were both well over 40 at the time — we decided to try foster to adoption. Our home study was approved in May 2002 and we did get matched with a newborn on Christmas eve. The county had a program called concurrent planning where  you are placed with an infant that is 95% sure will lead to an adoption.

It was unfortunate that during that emotional first placement, the birth mother changed her mind and after six glorious days, our potential new daughter was returned back to her birth mother.”

Joanne and her husband waited another four months or so after finishing classes,  until March 200, to get the call about a safe surrender baby girl. All 50 states have some kind of safe surrender program where the birth mom can drop off an infant at any hospital or fire station and not be prosecuted for doing so.

Joanne’s daughter was delivered by the birth mother at a hospital where she left saying she did not want the baby.  Joanne said, “We brought her home at 2 ½ months old and her adoption was finalized in September 2004 so it was a total of 20 months all together.”

In late May 2006 we  were matched with yet another safe surrender baby girl. This little one was a home birth and the birth mother dropped her off at a hospital and left. She was only 2.5 pounds, and was in the hospital for months. We started visiting her daily, feeding and holding her until she was able to come home. Since being placed with us that July, we finalized her adoption in April 2007,  only nine months later.”

Joanne’s family has moved to a different state and they are now in the process of getting a foster care license in their new state so we they can again  help children who need a safe place. She said, “At this point, we are in our mid-fifties and very happy with our late-in-life adoptions and being able to help others. I hope that my life story will encourage others to keep their dream alive.

Keep up the great work, Nicole!” Tell me your adoption story here:

Thank you back, Joanne, the world needs more parents like you. 

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff