Archive for the ‘ Emotions Run Wild! ’ Category

Instead of Adoption? International Surrogacy Gaining Traction

Friday, October 26th, 2012

There is a surge of births through surrogacy and Hollywood is taking notice. E! News host Guiliana Rancic has a son by a surrogate mother, born last month. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick also have children born of a surrogate, just like actors Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.

Our reader 

Crystal Travis has experienced the anguish of infertility herself and selected surrogacy as a solution. She said, “Every family has the right to realize their dreams of parenthood in an affordable and low stress way.” Travis and her husband have a son born in India, and a pair of twins born two years later of the same surrogate mother in India.

Because of their experience, Crystal Travis started a consulting service for intended parents.

 Surrogacy costs about the same as adoption, but has an important benefit: The resulting baby has a genetic connection with one or both parents.

Choosing a surrogate mother in India is a fraction of the cost of surrogacy in the United States. But it can be difficult for prospective parents navigating their way through the paperwork and ensuring their baby gets good prenatal care. Travis has helped dozens of people become parents through surrogacy in India, overseeing the pregnancy, birth and homecoming every step of the way.

More than 25,000 babies are born through surrogate mothers in that country annually. 

Travis launched her consulting business after the birth of her twins. “Surrogacy is a 2.3 billion dollar industry in India,” she says. She frequently travels to India to meet with attorneys and have personal contact with the doctors providing prenatal care and delivery.

A support staff in India makes frequent calls to check on the progress of each pregnancy, and the well-being of surrogate mothers. There are fewer laws regulating surrogacy in India, which contributes to the lower cost and faster results. But adoption experts warm you must do your homework and only sign with international agencies that follow the international human rights laws of the Hague Convention. (Countries that follow stricter adoption legislation are less likely to be involved in child trafficking and baby selling.)

What do you think of the surge on Hollywood surrogacy? It’s definitely every bit as expensive as an international adoption, FYI.

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The Impact of Childhood Abuse on Adult Relationships


Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

As a mom blogger with a big mouth, I’m always knee-deep in studies and child-based research, trying to figure out the emotional pain/distance of adoption, and how to find energy, shortcuts and the laws and legislation to make my choices easier.

These studies (and a new book too) are recommended reading to families who are going through the demanding process of adoption: As you might know by now. children coming out of foster care often become adult addicts, and oftentimes children from dysfunctional families can carry silent, hidden wounds from the trauma of growing up with parental addiction, abuse, or neglect. Or the pain of being shuttled from foster home to foster home.

When these childhood anxieties remain buried and unattended, wounds can reemerge and get played out in adult, intimate partnerships and parenting, re-creating relationship dynamics that mirror early pain.

In this authoritative guide, bestselling author and renowned psychologist Dr. Tian Dayton explains the science behind how trauma lives in the body/mind and shapes our neurobiology.

The ACoA Trauma Syndrome: The Impact of Childhood Pain on Adult Relationships (HCI $16.95) is for anyone who has lived with dysfunction and trauma related to addiction, abuse, neglect, physical or mental illness, military service, or cultural/ethnic or religious prejudice.

It is about facing, processing, and healing childhood pain, marshaling strength and resilience, and taking charge of your own emotional life. Tell me a great story about adoption below in Comments, and we’ll go live with your story or book too.

Happy Halloween to adoptive children and parents everywhere. Tell me your story here:

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Trauma and Pain from Abuse in Foster Care

Friday, October 19th, 2012

A couple different readers of The Adoption Diaries have now recommmended a book to me to get some research under my belt and I want to share this info with all of you. This is what I’ve been reading about adoption and children who are neglected or abused in the foster care system on their way to adoption.

Adult children of addicts and children from dysfunctional families often carry silent, hidden wounds from the trauma of growing up with parental addiction, abuse, or neglect. When they remain buried and unattended, these wounds can reemerge and get played out in adult, intimate partnerships and parenting, re-creating relationship dynamics that mirror early pain.

In this authoritative guide, bestselling author and renowned psychologist Dr. Tian Dayton explains the science behind how trauma lives in the body/mind and shapes our neurobiology. The ACoA Trauma Syndrome: The Impact of Childhood Pain on Adult Relationships (HCI — $16.95) is for anyone who has lived with dysfunction and trauma related to addiction, abuse, neglect, physical or mental illness, military service, or cultural/ethnic or religious prejudice. It is about facing, processing, and healing childhood pain, marshaling strength and resilience, and taking charge of your own emotional life.

The Trauma Syndrome:  Impact of Childhood Pain on Adult Relationships

Alan Levitt, former Associate Director of the White House Drug Policy Office and Director of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign said reading this book, “Dayton’s new book should be required reading for policy and program makers at all levels of government.”

About the author: Tian Dayton, MA, PhD, TEP, has a Masters in educational psychology and a PhD in clinical psychology and is a board-certified trainer in psychodrama. She is also a licensed Creative Arts Therapist and a certified Montessori teacher. She created a model for treating trauma called Relationship Trauma Repair, which is currently in use at treatment centers across the United States.

Tell me your adoption story here:

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Adopting a Sibling Group is a Bigger Deal Than One

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

One of the first things you realize when you start filling out domestic adoption paperwork via foster care and the county — in our case Los Angeles County —  you realize how many brothers and sisters must be separated during the domestic adoption process because it’s nearly impossible to take in two, three or even four siblings.

How can one adoptive family go through the foster-to-adopt plan with more than one child? If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I chicken out pretty quickly. When all you think your little family can handle is one foster toddler, but there’s the chance you’d get a child faster if you agree to foster her siblings, too.

This happens all the time. If me and my family (with husband and bio son Sam) agree to foster siblings we’d have a foster delivery far quicker than usual. I heard from reader Shell, who said she had to look deep inside her heart and soul before she began the adoption process for a sibling group.

Shell told me, “We are so very blessed. We adopted two different sibling groups of three children each. All of these kids are as close as any family I have met, and this also includes my eldest daughter who is my biological daughter.” Shell also said, “We loved a sibling group of three teens and then some years later, we were honored once again to receive three much littler ones.”

All of these foster children had horrific beginnings, though Shell declined to divulge the terrible symptoms and sexual abuse some of the children had experienced either in foster care or their own homes. But this she will admit for all six adopted children, including her own bio daughter, who is a spectacular older sister to the younger children still at home.

Looking back, Shell said, “With love all of these children turned into amazing human beings, surrounded by love, support and goodness. My eldest boy has even traveled to Uganda to help orphaned children there and another one of my adopted children went to Mexico [on a humanitarian trip]. Plus, our little ones now volunteer several days per month to help our homeless local community.

My littlest ones donate all their clothing, blankets and food to the needy. All of my teenagers have now graduated high school, and all have gone onto colleges. My three younger ones [from the last sibling adoption] are still home and they are loved beyond measure.”

Shell says that her family “is nothing special. Our story doesn’t make the news and I am certain there are many like us, but we are nothing sensational. I want to bring those [homeless or unloved] children home with me.”

I want to hear more adoption success stories like mama Shell’s. She told me, “Happy adoption stories are everywhere, unheard but real.”

Tell me your story here:

 

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International Adoption Policies Improve Every Year

Friday, September 21st, 2012

As my family moves forward with the potential to adopt a toddler daughter from India, we also learn that international adoption relieves resource-starved nations of the burden of supporting un-parented children.

The additional costs those orphaned children will exact as they graduate from childhoods of deprivation to adulthood — where they will also disproportionately populate the ranks of the unemployed, the homeless, and the incarcerated.

There are millions of un-parented children exist worldwide, growing up in institutions, on the streets, in group homes, in foster care, and in families where they may suffer abuse and neglect.

International adoption (at its peak in the early years of the twenty-first century) provided homes for roughly 40,000 children annually, including more than 20,000 homes in the United States, according to the Department of State. 

The UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs stated in 2010 that international adoption brings new resources into countries in the form of adoption fees and charitable contributions. While wars between nations and hostility between different ethnic groups are, sadly, part of our present, so is globalization and the continuing trend to taking care of kids caught in conflict, famine and poverty.

After two years of contemplating an international adoption, I do understand the need for such excessive paperwork via home studies and I accept that foreign countries have whole sets of different immigration laws and needs, but adopting a baby in need from a different and far-flung country should not be quite so difficult.

But adopting a toddler child from a group home in India (who so desperately needs a mom and dad) should not take more than two years.

We’ll miss the most formative two years of our kid’s life. I call foul, I don’t like the odds. And so we keep planning to double our odds, and we have begun filing paperwork for a domestic adoption training class at the same time.

How long do you think an international adoption should honestly take with valid security questions and the kid’s care uppermost in everyone’s mind? One year? Why can’t we rush through the  international immigration and customs process and why does it take two years to adopt from India? Arrrgh.

Tell me your adoption story here in Comments below:

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