Archive for the ‘ Leads and Developments ’ Category

Looking Toward Foster Care Training to Adopt Locally

Monday, December 10th, 2012

domestic adoption and child abuseWhile my family waits and sorts through some ambivalent feelings about how shifting our adoption interests from a toddler Indian little girl to a local little boy from the Los Angeles’ County foster care system has actually set us back some months, the real news is we are suddenly very clear on wanting a sibling for Sam.

Adoption preconception is taking our family a really long time.

Because of my investigations into local adoption, I found this alarming statistic from the county. I urge you to think about this stat during the holiday season as you purchase bountiful gifts for your spoiled kids, take family vacations, and play with new toys all month. So many children have no such circumstances. It kills me around this time of year.

International Adoption: Last month during National Adoption Month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “Over the last 10 years, American families have opened their hearts and homes to more than 200,000 children from other countries. They have given vulnerable children the opportunity to thrive. Families who adopt are enriched by the love of their new children, and the heritage they bring from their birth countries. The State Department is committed to safeguarding the interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents worldwide.”

Domestic Adoption: According to national adoption research, in the United States, there are 3,000 children abused each day and four of them will die. (Forty percent of these children were under the age of six.) The age group with the highest abuse rate is 0-3 years.

Nationally, the highest form of abuse is neglect, followed by physical abuse. Some of these reasons make me yearn to adopt a troubled child, and yet I don’t have enough fortitude for it, I’m not that kind of mom. I like things easy…

In stats I found from last year, there were 56,138 children in foster care in California with 13,394 children waiting for adoptive families.

Where are you within your adoption journey? Tell me in the comments below.

 

 

 

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New Website Spreads Awareness of Dangers of “Orphanage Tourism”

Monday, November 26th, 2012

international adoption nutritionIf you are even considering an international adoption, much like my family is with a toddler daughter in India, you must thoroughly do your homework, document all your paperwork, legalize everything — and make sure you’re not stealing some poor mother’s newborn in a Third World Country without her knowledge.

It happens all the time, but international rules and regulations are halting such illegal practices.

This helpful website is to educate people about what orphanage tourism is and the devastating affect is having on the children of Cambodia, many of whom are not even orphans. Most governments and child care professionals regard the institutionalization of children in orphanages as the very last resort. Unfortunately, in Cambodia it is increasingly becoming the first, mainly due to the increased demand from travelers and donors for more and more orphanages. Others are nothing more than money-making scams that are specifically targeting unsuspecting tourists.

Considering International Adoption?

The group’s spokesperson said in an interview, “Few of these people that are trying to help are actually qualified to work with traumatized or vulnerable children, so what we end up with is an even more dire situation. We really want to get the word out about this important cause, and let well-intentioned people know that there are better alternatives and avenues through which they can help.”

“The fact is, most travelers, donors, and volunteers are completely unaware that they are fueling this problem or that they may be doing more harm than good,” comments the group spokesperson. Media Note: Because many of the most profiteering Cambodian orphanages have close ties with the government (some of those who have spoken out about this in the past have been threatened) this group prefers to remain anonymous for now.

“We encourage visitors to become educated about orphanage tourism, and to help us continue to raise awareness by sharing the information they learn here with others. The goal is to stop fueling the orphanage industry and find ways to support vulnerable children and their families, not split them up. The children of Cambodia, and around the world, deserve better.”

You can help channel the good intentions of travelers and donors towards initiatives that provide more positive support for children, and support family based care, reducing the separation of children and their communities.”

Are you considering international adoption of a baby or a special needs toddler? What countries are you considering?

 

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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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911 Preparing for Poison Prevention Week

Monday, October 15th, 2012

protect your children The Poison Prevention Week Council today announced the winners of the 2013 National Poison Prevention Week poster contest, and wants to remind parents—all parents and foster parents and adoptive parents—to discuss and highlight with your family the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. In honor of awareness week, the winning poster in each division will be featured on the 2013 National Poison Prevention Week posters. First, second and third place winners in each division will be posted on poisonprevention.org.

More than 150 posters were submitted from around the nation. One winner was selected in each of the three divisions: grades kindergarten through two; three through five; and six through eight.

The winners of the 2013 National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW) Poster Contest are as follows:

  • Grades kindergarten through two: Colby Johnson from Mercer, Pennsylvania
  • Grades three through five: Alayna Ryan from Antwerp, Ohio
  • Grades six through eight: Natalie Loos from Jacksonville, Florida

Winners were selected based on creativity, design and poisoning prevention messages.

“The children, and the art teachers who inspire them, continue to impress us with their creativity and talent,” said Courtney Wilson, Poison Prevention Week Council chair. “It has been a pleasure to review all of the submissions. We are extremely proud of the winners and are excited to share their work.”

Order a poster for your classroom or a child’s bedroom. Posters can be ordered through the website.

NPPW shows how every day people can and do prevent poisonings. We invite you to review the information on our website and become actively involved in helping ensure the safety of children and adults in your home and your community. This is one of the nubers to know if you become a foster parent, which is why I follow this link now: 

 

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Readers React: “Can We Change Our Mind on Adoption?”

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Wow, I received a lot of flack from you readers on my former posts about feeling like the cost of international adoption is so deflating, and yet my family far prefers this option to a more open, domestic adoption. We even thought about trying to adopt a dog first to see if that will take the place of another being, another warm heart pumping, into our household. Well, the dog is working out great but the missing second child — on addition to my bio son Sam — is nowhere to be seen.

And adopting a second dog also made us realize again how much more work two is than one. Having one perfect beautiful bio child is pretty easy and amazing. But waiting for this missing daughter from India (who will be over four when we ever meet her) is losing its luster. My 6-year-old doesn’t even want to share his toys anymore.

Reader Renee said “I was adopted as an infant, but I already had an identity of my own. I was someone’s daughter BEFORE I was adopted. Any infant not born to you with be someone else’s son or daughter. It will have the genes, traits, abilities, talents, physical characteristics, etc., of its biological family, just as you have the genes, traits, abilities, talents, physical characteristics of yours and your husband has the genes, traits, abilities, talents, physical characteristics, etc., of his.

What your husband wants is a Cabbage Patch Kid. They sell them at Target; please go buy him one instead of helping him to destroy a human being with his mind-boggling narcissism.”

Thanks, I think, Renee. Adoption is hard enough without all the critiques and bad advice though.

“Let’s just stick with the dog,” I told my husband after reading a dozen nasty comments. And then, finally, one reader who happens to be a social worker responded, and helped me understand:

Lori said, “It sounds like you are exploring many options for building your family. It’s great that you reach out to people who can fill in what you haven’t yet experienced. It’s difficult, when you’re merely talking about a theoretical baby or child, to  ‘get deep down,’ that eventually you will be raising an actual child-tween-teen-adult who comes to you with her own blueprint, DNA, memories, traits, temperament, etc — things that are, in many ways, set. And removed from the influences of you and your husband.

“It can be a tough pill for a pre-adoptive parent to swallow, but it’s also a beautiful thing for a parent to watch a daughter who is yours (as in being claimed by, not as in ownership) blossom in surprising and unexpected ways.”

Thanks for all the pros and cons, tell me more in the comments below!

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