Archive for the ‘ Preconception ’ Category

Bad News: Halting Certain International Adoptions

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

international adoption of older childrenLast week a reader said I was limiting my chances of international adoption by minimizing the countries we work with because we’ll only adopt via countries that follow the protective Hague Conventions (India, Russia and more) to protect children internationally from child trafficking, baby stealing and “orphanage tourism.”

Then I read another scary warning story [see international adoption scary scenario below] and I’m gladdened that our family’s international adoption has gone slow and steady through conventional and legal channels at every turn. All told, an international adoption from India will cost about $35,000 and take three years total, but we dragged our feet,

Adoption news: November 8, 2012 the Council on Accreditation (COA) canceled the Hague accreditation of Children of Africa Enterprises Hope Adoption Agency (“Hope”) for failing to maintain substantial compliance with the U.S. accreditation standards at 22 Code of Federal Regulations. Prior to this date, Hope was a Hague accredited adoption service provider authorized to operate in both Hague and non-Hague countries.

As a result of this cancellation, Hope must cease to provide all adoption services in connection with cases covered under the Hague Adoption Convention. This adoption service provider currently operates in Ethiopia. Please note that according to U.S. regulations, this cancellation will not affect Hope’s ability to work in non-Hague countries. Persons with an open case with Hope may contact the adoption service provider directly to find out whether and how the cancellation may affect your adoption services.

Updated info: The government of Chad has also  prohibited international adoptions for similar reasons.

Do our homework on the Hague Convention if you are adopting internationally. What’s your adoption story?

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

Celebrating National Adoption Month with Hillary Clinton

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

national adoption month for toddlersThis past month of November, America celebrated National Adoption Month with feel-good stories each week, and I have another one for you below. However, before you read another installation of a new Adoption Diary, check out what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said as she opened legislation at the top of the month. Her words are inspiring for parents everywhere.

Announcing her support for National Adoption Month, Hillary Clinton said, “Over the last ten 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. This November, we celebrate National Adoption Month and join with groups across the nation to recognize these special families. The State Department is committed to safeguarding the interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents worldwide.” — Hillary Clinton 2012

Here’s the happy new adoption story. Tammy Gilmore decided to do her part in it this Thanksgiving Day with a second adoption.

Only a year earlier, Gilmore adopted a 3-year-old boy named Alexander. Gilmore is a single mother who works for an attorney who has experience working with adoptive families in the Iowa area. She adopted Alexander and was then driven to adopt his little brother as well. Gilmore went through IowaKids.net, which is a website where many agencies collaborate in order to help people who want to foster and adopt children. There are several agencies in cooperation in this partnership.

The agencies that are in partnership attempt to find homes for the over 700 children eligible for adoption and the 6,000 that are in foster care. There are over 1000,000 kids in the United States waiting to be adopted.

Learn more about foster care and adoption here. Tell me your story below in the comments.

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

Part 2: An Open Adoption Letter from a New Mom

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Author Lori Holden asks other parents about the benefits of open adoption over closed, domestic adoption. “The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole” (Rowman & Littlefield  2013) answers questions that benefit all prospective parents:

What are the benefits to those involved, and what are the costs?

And what are the biggest fears most families have about an open adoption?

Lori said, “In listening to people from all walks of adoption (adoptive parents, first parents, adult adoptees) while researching and writing my book, the prime fear I hear from adopting parents is that they’ll never be considered the ‘real’ parent. That they feel like as much distance as possible needs to be put between their newly-formed family and the not-so-convenient spare parent out there ready and wanting to rapaciously take over.

This fear is at the root of much dysfunctional thinking and acting in open adoption relationships. But though simple awareness of that fear, it can be examined and resolved, and this type of thinking is like splitting the baby. Remember that Solomon tale? The wise king knew how to tease out the ‘real” mother when two women came to him claiming the same baby. When his “solution” was to split the baby in half, thereby sharing it with both claimants, the “real’ mother would be the one to do whatever it takes to keep the baby whole and well, even if it meant loss to her.

Adoption creates a split between a child’s biology and biography. Openness is an effective way to heal that split. That’s the premise of my book. Your child’s biology comes from one set of parents and his biography gets written by another set. Both are important to that child. Both make that child who he is, who he will be.

Why not allow – encourage — children to do the same with multiple parents? Does loving my son take anything away from my daughter? That would be ridiculous. Likewise, enabling my children to love me for my contributions and their birth moms for their contributions takes away nothing from me.

“I’m so glad you asked about fear in adoption, Nicole.”

For I’m confident that even deeper than the fear that birth parents will reclaim the child they birthed and placed (which rarely happens in ethically-done adoptions) is the fear that the adopting parents will never themselves feel legitimate due to a competing claim on the child. That’s a fear that adopting parents can examine and resolve mindfully.”

Well said, Lori, I’m buying the book! Tell me your adoption story here:

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

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.

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

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:

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