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Friday, November 23rd, 2012
I found this great heartwarming local story from the East Coast about adopting on Thanksgiving, and it warms the cockles of my heart. Share with your own family this weekend, and Happy Thanksgiving.
The Rhode Island Family Court finalized the adoptions during a special ceremony held Saturday in Providence. More than 250 people attended the event presided over by Chief Judge Haiganush Bedrosian. He noted that the adoptions occurred Thanksgiving week and told adopting parents that is a perfect time to give thanks for their love for and commitment to the children they adopted.
Highlights from the ceremony include three siblings who were reunited as members of one family. Rhode Island performs about 500 adoptions a year, but about 300 children are still waiting for permanent homes. Teens, sibling groups and children with special needs are the hardest to place. Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Suttell also participated in Saturday’s celebration.
And then… More Fantastic Adoption News:
One hundred Orange County, Calif., foster care children were legally adopted just in time for Thanksgiving weekend. Even better, many were older kids, transracial teens and sibling groups which are typically much more difficult to place.
Currently, there are 56,138 children in foster care in California with 13,394 children waiting for adoptive families. Please share your happy Thanksgiving adoption stories with me here.
And then, even More Good Adoption News from Haiti:
In previous posts, I groused about being too old and cut out of the international adoption process in the country of Haiti, which was frustrating to my whole family. I received a supportive email from Diana Boni, the Haiti Program Coordinator of All Blessings International, where she told me to keep an open mind. She said, “We cannot change Haitian law regarding adoptive parent eligibility and age or length of marriage, but we will always accept families based upon their ability to parent, not their religious affiliation.
“There are a great many changes occurring in Haitian adoptions right now, but we believe that these changes will lead to a safer, more protected adoption process for the children of Haiti.”
Haiti Program Coordinator
All Blessings International
Friday, August 31st, 2012
When we first aired this Ohio horror story about a foster dad who adopted three young kids and began prostituting them to his friends. To that end, I want to reprint two smart messages and Comments you left for me:
Reader Jess says, “By no means am I defending this man or the other two involved with this sick act on these children. But the three men involved are not the only issue here. Why isn’t anyone holding the private adoption agency accountable. Where was the triple background check that should have been done? And why wasn’t there any mention of social workers doing home visits and followups?
Yes, I agree these men should be justly dealt with. But, as you know, our justice system isn’t the best thing going. It is well noted that there are a lot of the justice system and government system that are behind our nation’s biggest problem of human trafficking. We live in a country that has become so relaxed on the issues that should be our biggest concerns and yet those issues that should be our least on the ones that our most looked at.”
And reader JL commented, “This story is very sad but what I didn’t see was the obvious factor — deception. Foster parents are interviewed extensively and, in Illinois anyway, require references, a physical exam, and criminal background checks. The fact of the matter is, a predator can and will hide. Look at Sandusky.
We are talking about a type of person who has leaned through years and years how to play people and say what is needed to get hat
he wants. There are very few warning signs for these types of people.
Mostly because the only people aware of these issues are the victims or, in this case, people who are also participating in the illegal act. In Illinois, foster care and adoption workers are required to visit licensed homes at least once a month. They are required to talk to the children alone as well. There will always be bad apples in every bunch. Sad but true.
The only thing that we should focus on and can focus on is what can we do to help. What canwe change in the system to make it more stringent? All issues we as a child welfare system struggle to balance every day.”
Thanks for everyone for reading and taking notice of these topics to help adopted kids:
Friday, August 10th, 2012
Last month in a shocking expose extensively reported in China Daily, the daily newspaper launched reports and undercover photographs of orphans chained up in a government-run welfare institute in Wenzhou (Cangnan county) which has shocked and horrified readers all across Asia. In the last accounts, the newspaper noted “Experts said a lack of professional nursing staff was the main reason the children were chained and said such cases occurred at welfare institutes across China.”
Other child care professionals commented that the “tie-up” is widely accepted. This welfare institute housed 21 children who are now being moved elsewhere. Apparently there is no provision under Chinese law which would allow the Chinese government to bring charges of child abuse against orphanage employees that were trying to help house unwanted children overnight.
The photos depicted 2-year old Guo Qun tethered to the back of an old wooden chair by a strip of cloth around his neck. Next to him 8-year old Guo Cheng’s right foot was tied to the same chair by a chain. In comments that rocked China authorities said staff of Cangnan County Social Welfare Institute tied up the boys due to safety concerns. “Children (of the welfare house) are only restrained when they have a twitch or a propensity to violence — they’re free for the rest of time.”
According to Wu, both the boys were born with defects and that is why they ended up in the institute. The Institute houses 21 orphans, 19 of them were born with defects. The average age is nine, poor babies. Lost souls.
Do you have fears about adopting internationally? My family is not eligible to adopt from China because we’re too old.
How about you?
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.
Monday, July 30th, 2012
After 12 months of personalized research between international adoption (more specifically, a young daughter from India) and doing all my research, I find that the average the time it takes to adopt a toddler via international adoption from the countries we looked at (Haiti, Russia and India) is two years. On the other hand, I now know families that have registered with the county — in these cases Los Angeles Country — taken all their training hours and been placed on foster-to-adopt lists in under a year.
Waiting less than a year for an adoption is more like it.
Has anyone out there been able to speed up the international adoption process? I realize that it’s quicker to adopt an Indian daughter if you are Indian and live nearly anywhere. It also helps to possess wads of adoption cash.
Domestically, I spoke to a single dad of two adopted American children and although he won’t go on the record (he is a gay dad who had to lie about his partner throughout the Home Study and adoption paperwork) this gay did swears that the second adoption only took a few months because everyone knew he was ready to plunk down $80,000 for a perfect little blond, Caucasian newborn.
(Off the record, this dad told me that his first adoption of a transracial child — also a private adoption via birth mother and attorneys — took much longer than adoption number two. He confirms that thick bank accounts can speed your process along.)
Over the last decade, U.S. families have adopted on average approximately 20,000 children from foreign nations each year.
Generally speaking, to qualify as an adoption for immigration purposes, the adopted child has the same rights and privileges as a child by birth (such as inheritance rights, etc.). “Simple”, “conditional”, or “limited” adoptions are more accurately described as guardianship and are not considered adoptions for U.S. immigration purposes.
The Hague Convention establishes important standards and safeguards to protect intercountry adoptions. These protections apply to you if you choose to adopt from a country that is also party to the Convention. Your adoption will be known as a Convention Adoption. It will be important early on to determine if you wish to pursue a Convention adoption, and you do, trust me you do.
How long should it honestly take to adopt a child in need? Tell me what you think here: