Posts Tagged ‘ adoption homestudy ’

National Outrage for “3 Adopted Kids Abused by New Father”

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:

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USA and Russia Regulate International Adoptions

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Adoption relations began to fray long before the headline-grabbing news in 2010 about a young American mother who was so terrified and traumatized her newly adopted Russian child, that she sent the pale 7-year-old back to Russia on a plane on a one-way ticket with a short note pinned to his coat!

So shame on Tory Hansen for returning the kid so gracelessly but two years later she is still in legal wranglings about it. The boy’s new Russian foster home (who said he was traumatized by his adoptive mother and the failed adoption) may be entitled to financial payments from this poor mother who got shafted out of an adopted child and then still has to pay for him.

You can tell I’m torn on the subject.

In my humble opinion, Russian adoption agencies may have overlooked some very neurotic or dangerous behavior because they wanted to find the boy a home so badly. But the adoptive mother claims in court papers that the wayward child she was handed had no business being adopted, she was unprepared to handle a child with deep psychological scars. The mom was afraid for her own life at night; he was creepy.

According to one Russian children study, over 100,000 Russian children have been adopted by US parents. At least 19 of them were killed by their new families within past decade, and some adoption charities put the number who died of illness or accidents at 40.

“We realize this agreement is not ideal, but it gives more grounds and starting points for cooperation with our US partners to avoid recurrence of a series of tragic events related to adopted children from Russia,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said. The agreement was signed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on July, 13, 2011.

Tell me your adoption story here in Comments below:

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The History of Adoption – How Did the Practice Start?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

I surfed a bunch of sites and called an adoption resource line to research how the actual practice of adoption even started. I thought it began in the olden days between extended families very casually, but that’s only one part of the history of adoption. How did families and neighbors begin taking each others’ children?

Ancient adoptions can be traced back to the Roman Empire where wealthy, aristocratic families without male heirs would adopt older boys or men from within their community, extended family or local village in order to continue the family lineage and name.

Adoption declined during the Middle Ages when pure bloodlines became more important for inheritance and land owners.

Until the 1850s, informal adoptions — from family to family — would take in the occasional orphaned neighbor child. As informal adoptions increased, the need for legalizing the process became law.

In 1853, Charles Loring Brace, a protestant minister who founded the Children’s Aid Society of New York, conceived the idea to relocate and find homes for orphans from the Civil War. Some documents claim that orphaned and adopted kids ended up as servants or worse but the era after the war shaped America’s foster care system.

Through the 20th century, states passed adoption legislation to protect and serve orphans. President Theodore Roosevelt recommended moving away from institutional orphanages and placing children in family homes.

From closed adoption in the 1940s and 1950s, gradually the industry has progressed to more “open adoptions” without the stigma for birth mothers.

Adoptions reached their highest point in 1970, and have leveled off.

In the last two decades, international adoption is popular too, providing homes to children that have been orphaned by war, disease and global poverty.

Read more about The History of Adoption,  and tell me your adoption story in Comments below.

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Actress Nia Vardalos Adopts Daughter from Foster Care

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Part 2: If you joined us Monday, we interviewed the star of An American Girl: McKenna Shoots For The Stars, which just launched on DVD. Gorgeous Greek actress Nia Vardalos finally plays a mother in the movies.

At first Vardalos and her husband were interested in an international adoption – but they waited over five years on a Chinese international adoption for a young daughter. Simultaneously, she also waited for four long years for a Greek daughter . Then, nothing.

Two years went by, then three, four and even five years of waiting for an international adoption.

Four years ago, Nia signed up with a US Foster Care agency. Vardalos said, “Ultimately when I started working with American Foster Care, we met our daughter nine months later.”

She remembers the day about four years ago: “We were really excited when we met her for the first time. She was being brought to an office to meet us. She didn’t know who we were. She was almost three years old, but the agency does a really nice thing; they don’t tell the child they are meeting prospective parents. It’s called a chemistry meeting. We all just have fun.”

The thrilled couple drove into the parking garage of the agency, and she was there. Vardalos said, “We walked toward her and my first thought was, ‘Oh I found you. Finally, finally, finally. We never looked back.’”

Vardalos’ daughter is 7 now, and the actress refuses to reveal her name or a full-frontal photograph [see photo above].  “We want to give her a normal life.”

Vardalos believed the hardest part of the adoption process was waiting for her gorgeous girl but also making sure she was then comfortable and well-loved when she finally arrived. “We wanted to be sure our daughter knew this was a continuation of her life. And assimilating a 3-year-old into our house was emotional. We had just bought a white couch a month before. Mistake.”

Vardalos said, “I became a much more nurturing person – also as an actress – since I became a mother. I think every parent wonders how to balance motherhood and work, time for me and my friends and keeping up on FaceBook and exercise. How do we do it all? Parenthood is just so real.”

Tell us your adoption story here, and thanks to actress Nia Vardalos for sharing her domestic adoption experiences.

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Actress Nia Vardalos Talks Adoption, American Girl Movie

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Part 1:  I talked to bubbly Nia Vardalos, star of An American Girl: McKenna Shoots For The Stars, which launched on Blu-raylast week.  Vardalos dishes to The Adoption Diaries about her own family’s domestic adoption, the emotional journey, and what it’s like to finally play a mother for the first time in the movies.

Adoption Diaries: Coming from a strong Greek and ethnic background, did you initially look into international adoption?
Nia Vardalos: Yes, and if you personally feel that your child could be maybe in India or in China then sign up with those agencies and get on those waiting lists and get out there and find your child. We also looked into a private domestic [adoption] which costs approximately $30,000 and of course there are big costs associated with international adoption as well.

AD: How did you narrow down your huge international search into a local, domestic adoption with a toddler?
NV: We finally signed up for a domestic adoption via American Foster Care, which oddly is almost cost free. We didn’t know that when we started the process. We are still on waiting lists for many countries, but it just happened that ours was free, or nearly free because we started the process here [in the domestic foster care system].

“We waited on a waiting list for China for about five years and then simultaneously we were on a waiting list for Greece on a 4-year waiting list. That was hard.”

She continued, “For infant domestic adoption [private newborn adoption] you fill out paperwork and you make a profile on yourself and then the birth mother chooses the prospective family. We did not get matched in that way — it  never happened that way for our family. Ultimately we started working with American Foster Care, and ironically we met our daughter nine months later, via domestic foster care agencies.”

Join us again on Wednesday when we continue interviewing Nia Vardalos about her new movie, which launched on Blu-Ray last week, An American Girl: McKenna Shoots For The Stars.

Photo Credit: Gene Reed

 

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff