Archive for the ‘ Leads and Developments ’ Category

5 Adoption-Friendly Workplaces in the USA

Monday, October 1st, 2012

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption works to make adoption an affordable option for every working parent. Their goal is to provide companies with the support needed to provide adoption benefits to employees and recognize the forward-thinking employers that already have adoption benefits in place.

Each year, the Foundation announces a list of employers with the best adoption benefits in the nation. Rankings are based on the maximum amount of financial reimbursement and paid leave for employees who adopt. Honorees include the top 100, the top 10 by size and the top five in each industry.

No surprise that The Wendy’s Company is number one, but check out the following five:

Hanes Brands
Barilla America
LiquidNet Holdings (tie)
United Business Media LLC
Boston Scientific

The Dave Thomas Foundation offers “employee adoption kits” which includes a CD with forms and sample benefit plans, making it easy to propose and establish an adoption benefits policy in your workplace. This kit also contains an Employer Kit for you to pass on to your organization’s decision maker.

Employers who complete our adoption benefits survey are considered for the list. The primary ranking criteria is the maximum amount of financial reimbursement per adoption, including any additional support for special needs adoption. The secondary criteria is the maximum amount of fully or partially paid leave for adoption. Employers with the combination of both criteria rank higher than those with just one.

Tell me about your adoption story here in Comments. 

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

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:

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Update: Adoptive Parents Travel to Ghana for 4 Siblings

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Here is a happy ending to the story we ran last week on an Irvine couple who traveled to Ghana with two biological children last month. Originally, we thought, how awesome and easy it souded, after waiting two years for a sibling group from Ghana, this family was about to inherit four siblings younger than 10. Imagine?

And then the worst happened when the arrived in Ghana for immigration paperwork and their new adopted kids. The married couple was actually held in a prison-like environment during adoption proceedings.

The big-hearted Irvine Calif. couple and their two children recently traveled to Ghana in order to adopt a set of four young siblings, and they became entwined in a bureaucratic, international adoption nightmare.

See the original story here. Long story short? The entire family is happy to be home!

According to the Orange Country Register reports, Sol and Christine Moghadam were accused of child trafficking when the family and their two biological sons went to Ghana to pick up their new siblings. But an anonymous phone call accusing the Moghadams of child trafficking prompted police to arrest both parents and put all the children into an orphanage.

The two biological sons, ages 3 and 7, and the four adoptive children were taken from them and placed in a Ghanaian orphanage. Their biological sons were returned to them the following day, after the couple posted bail. The whole family, all eight of them, were reunited within a couple days and they now have their passports back.

“We are investigating a couple who arrived at the airport with six children – four blacks and two whites – which aroused the suspicion of security officers at the airport who stopped them from traveling,” an official with the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghanaian police told the Associated Press. “They say the children were adopted, and we are investigating to find out if this has been properly granted by a court of proper jurisdiction.”‘

In a video created on their behalf, the couple and their friends say Christine Moghadam was forced to spend a night in jail while Sol Moghadam was held in a detention center. “Ghanaian police did not tell us about our rights until the day after they detained us; they did not tell us about the offense at the time of the arrest; violence was involved… Thank you for your prayers.”

They were never charged with anything!

What do you think of the mountains of paperwork, endless immigration legalities and slow-moving beurocracy that prevent orphans from being adopted? Tell me your adoption story here:

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

“I Am Living Proof Adoption Works”

Friday, September 7th, 2012

That’s the line Audrey wrote to me last month that totally got my attention. We sent a few emails back-and-forth and here is the story of abalanced adult who was also a happy, healthy adopted kid. She tells it better than I can.

Audrey said, “I am living proof that adoption works. I was only in foster care about five months before placement, adopted as an infant after my birth mother made the wonderful decision to give me up.

My birth mother was an honor college student in nursing school in South Carolina.  I commend the social worker who placed me with my parents,  an elementary school teacher (Mom) and a grocery store owner (Dad now deceased) in a rural community near Charleston.

I grew up an only child, wanting for nothing, with lots of love and firm discipline. My parents were very open with me that I was adopted, and explained this to me since the age of four. So, I grew up knowing that I was adopted. I was a member of the National Honor Society, the marching bank and my 10th grade class president.

I went on to  graduate from high school with honors and attended college  majoring in psychology. In 1985, during my senior year of college while at the University of South Carolina, I went to the adoption agency that had my records and obtained non-identifying information regarding my own adoption. I had a longing to know who I looked like. My parents were awesome, but there was still a missing piece to my life puzzle.

I was able to locate my birth mom and able to meet my biological dad. My maternal grandmother died last month and I am one of 22 grandchildren! During the years I got to know my own grandma, she shared so much wisdom with me. She also explained the household circumstances why I was placed for adoption. It was very evident that I was always loved. It was an economical decision and one that would give me the best life possible.

The end? I am so richly blessed. I also have two wonderful, beautiful, loving, educated and spiritual mothers.”

Thanks for your awesome adoption story, Audrey. Please Comment below if you have another one!

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Happy Labor Day Wishes for all Adopted Kids

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Moms and dads endure plenty of stress between work, keeping up with the family obligations, not to mention the anxiety of adoption, filling out all those forms, the huge financial burden, and then also the simple waiting and waiting for your beloved child who is growing older in a home or orphanage somewhere. You cannot kiss them good night or hold them when they get a cut or scrape.

Waiting to just make an adoption decision (domestic versus international, for instance) gets nerve-wracking. Take it from me.

Could this tumultuous waiting/hoping and false starting be bad for your health?

New research says, “Yes.” Mental stress can be more damaging to a woman’s heart than her male counterpart. But local cardiologists say learning how to cope will ensure mom is around to celebrate many more mother’s days to come.

Studies show coping with mental pressures and anxiety may be more taxing on the heart health of women.

The study, presented at a recent annual Experimental Biology meeting, showed men and women given the same stressful math problem all had an increase in blood pressure and heart rate while solving it. Normally, when heart rate and blood pressure rise, blood flow to the heart muscle increases so it can compensate. However, findings showed while the mens’ heart increased blood flow, the womens’ heart did not.

With many mothers overextending themselves, local cardiologists say stress management is a key factor in maintaining a healthy heart. “Stress reduction is important for everyone. This study suggests women especially need to monitor their stress to avoid heart problems. And, women who have heart-related symptoms while under stress, need to tell their doctor right away,” says Jeffrey Rothfeld M.D., F.A.C.C., a cardiologist at Bradenton Cardiology Center.

Studies of heart attack patients found that 15 to 30 percent of those admitted to a medical center had suffered from severe emotional stress. Below are some common triggers that can affect mothers at all stages of adoption and child-rearing:

As we celebrate a long weekend with our families, take the time to de-stress and take a day off of worrying about your adoption journey.

My family and I decided to take the summer off and re-think our adoption journey, because our finances are so tight we really cannot afford to adopt internationally any longer. We are in the middle of a long road to international and money has officially begun to run out.

As you enter or move through the world of adoption do you get totally stressed out like me? Tell me about it in Comments below.

 

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff