Archive for the ‘ Preconception ’ Category

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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New TV Show on “The New Normal” Family

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Tomorrow night, NBC launches ”The New Normal” with Andrew Rannells and The Hangover’s Justin Bartha who portray a gay couple searching for a surrogate to carry their child.

The show has already created controversy among conservative groups who strongly believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman, and is calling for a boycott of the show.

Not me! I say, everyone should watch and applaud same-sex couples adoption children until there are no more abused, abandoned orphans in the world. How can you deny these kids a good home?

On the show, Bryan (Rannells) and David (Bartha) are a Los Angeles couple with successful careers and a committed, loving partnership. Like many of my LA friends.

There is one thing that this couple is missing: a baby. From the creators of Glee, enter Goldie, a woman with a checkered past and she  decides to move to Hollywood with her eight-year-old daughter to escape a dead-end life and a small-minded grandmother (played by Ellen Barkin). Desperate, broke and fertile, Goldie quickly becomes the surrogate and quite possibly the girl of their dreams.

“If it were only this… easy,” said Fred Silberberg, a gay father of three. “It’s unfortunate that surrogacy will be the butt of jokes when many people who can’t have children here are going to places like India, where women are kept in what equates to a sweat shop to produce babies for profit. My hope is that this show brings the discussion to the forefront.”

Fred Silberberg is a California State Bar Certified Family Law Specialist. He added, “Many people who can’t have children are traveling [and adoption internationally] in places like India, where women are kept in what equates to a sweat shop to produce babies for profit.”

Silberberg is a well-published writer and contributor on family law issues and related social commentaries.

Helping push the adoption agenda is what we all hope at The Adoption Diaries, too. What do you guys think about same-sex adoption and surrogacy? Comment intelligently below, please.
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Happy Adoption Story from a Family of Adopted Kids

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

I asked readers of The Adoption Diaries to tell me a happy, true story of adoption because we’ve been focusing on some of the recent foster care and adoption horror stories, like the Sandusky scandal at Penn State.

So outspoken reader Jamie wrote, “Here’s a good adoption story. If you did more research you would find many good stories. My aunt and uncle adopted my cousin when he was two days old, and he is loved, treated with all the respect in the world. He was never abused by anyone. My own parents adopted three children: my older brother was adopted when he was 7; my sister and I were adopted at ages 3 and 4.

Raised happy, good Jewish kids by the grace of God. We all had wonderful childhoods and we’re all still close.  My brother went on to be an underwater welder, my sisters are both in college now and I’m an aesthetician; all four good people with great lives.

I am sure that  99% of adoptive parents are good loving people who don’t rape or abuse there children…”

That’s a smart response to my lamenting posts about adopting from foster care and being afraid of the the emotional composition of these kids, many of whom were born addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Breaking News: Father’s Age Is Linked to Autism

Cell mutations become more numerous with advancing age, so older men are more likely than younger ones to father a child who develops autism or schizophrenia. Scientists just reported in Nature last week, the age of mothers had no significance.

According to the study, surging rate of autism diagnoses over recent decades is partially attributable to the increasing average age of fathers, and may account for as many as 30 percent of new cases. The overall risk to a man in his forties is 2 percent and increases each year.

There are many autistic children up for adoption in foster care situations all across America; it takes a strong commitment to parent a troubled kid.

Do you know anyone who’d adopted an autistic child and has tips for other parents?

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Siblings Adopted Separately Finally Find Each Other

Monday, August 6th, 2012

A cheerful bus driver from Otswego, Ill. found his long-lost sister this year in a local feel-good story originally reported in the Chicago Sun Times.

Illinois passed a law in November 2011 that allowed those adopted after January 1, 1946, to apply for their birth certificates without consent from birth parents. (The previous year, a law was passed applying to those born before that deadline.)

Since the new law took effect, more than 6,600 Illinois-born adult adoptees have requested a copy of their original birth certificate, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Less than 1 percent of birth parents have requested anonymity, which is great news and illustrates the new openess around domestic adoption.

The driver Rick Stadel said his beloved adoptive parents told him he had a sister named Jacqueline. For 20 years, Rick and two half-brothers have been steadily trying to locate her.

The family did a search a few months ago on Ancestory.com, who located the missing Jacqueline. Her name, which had been changed to Lois when she was adopted a s a baby, popped up because she too had registered immediately when the new law went into effect last November.

The back-story is five siblings were born in Mother Cabrini Hospital in Chicago. Catherine, who died at age 61, kept and raised Carmen and Angelo and was married to each of their dads. Lois, Rick and Kathy were eventually placed for adoption.

Rick Stadel and Kathy Brooks — his new sister from Washington State –  both see the resemblance.

Isn’t this a great story?

Do you also have positive adoption news for me? Tell me in Comments below.

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Sexual Abuse of Young Children in Foster Care

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Faithful reader of The Adoption Diaries, reader Amy was absolutely horrified by this post we ran last month about a new foster-adoptive single father who not only raped his three new adopted children (ages 9 – 13 boys and girls), but he prostituted the kids out to his friends as well. This article made many of you physically ill. Me too.

So Amy then did more digging for me on credible instances where older children in an adoptive (or foster) family do abuse the younger children in the home, whether those younger children are, in fact,  biological children or other, younger foster kids.

Amy said she found a research paper from 2003 about how up to half of all child abuse in foster care situations is performed by older kids who’ve seen far too much trouble in foster care. She said, “Up to 50 percent of those who sexually abuse children are under the age of 18 themselves.”

– Hunter, J.A., Figueredo, A., Malamuth, N.M., & Becker, J.V. (2003). Juvenile sex offenders: Toward the Development of a typology. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, (2003) Volume 15, No. 1.

When the Sexual Predator is Another Child

It is terrible that sex abuse at home occurred when an older new foster brother (a teenager) was brought into the foster parents home and he ended up sexually molesting their 9-year-old. Ugh. While it is commendable that a family would foster a 17-year-old male who lives with younger children (boys or girls), it raises questions too.

Amy said to me, “I have to wonder what they were thinking.  And, what was the private adoption agency thinking? Did they not know that a 9-year-old biological daughter was in that house?

This happens not only with a non-family foster placement, but also with bio-related children being placed with family members who have young children.  The most recent case I heard was of a 7 -year-old sexually assaulting his 5-year-old cousin.

Amy said, “I think that in the foster care system,  any foster parent, whether bio-related or not, should have an idea of the history of the child being placed and the potential risk. Some children should simply not be placed in a house with other children. And I think you need to be just as wary about older children who can gain access to children via the parents running an in-home daycare.”

Ditto, Amy, thanks for sharing on The Adoption Diaries. Does anyone know a great story about a healthy mixing of bio kids and foster children? I’d love to hear it!

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