Posts Tagged ‘ adoptive parents ’

Domestic Adoption and Foster Care in the USA

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

In the U.S., there are thousands of foster care youth waiting to be adopted. Many are older (more than 9 years old), and with each passing year, they are less likely to be adopted, and more likely to “age out” of the foster care system without the support of a caring and  responsible adult.

Studies have shown that older youth are more likely to be adopted by people who know them. Yet, adults often don’t have opportunities to meet these wonderful children who are longing for a permanent family. According to the adoption service KidSave.org, older kids are frequently not even considered. Many of these children are overlooked for adoption because they are not babies or toddlers. Older kids have a lot of value and can add much joy to a family. Children age 11 and older in the foster care system are more likely to grow up in the system than be adopted.

Stats for kids age 11 and older still in foster care, according to KidSave.org: 

  1. One in 10 will commit suicide
  2. Less than half will finish high school
  3. As many as 50% go to jail
  4. One in 4 will become parents before age 20

This great organization (thanks for the readers who recommended the site)  is seeking volunteers in many different areas across the country. If you are interested in becoming a Kidsave volunteer, log onto a local schedule.  Volunteers are needed to create events, serve on committees, find auction items, build attendance, get the word out, and support fund raising, support programs, and help with logistics.

KidSave.org has an astounding goal: To connect 1,000,000 orphans and foster youth to parents and mentors across the country by the year 2020. Count me in — we need more support for foster kids who are so sadly aging out of the system.

How can you help? Log on and find out.

Add a Comment

Adoption News from England’s Prime Minister

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

England’s Prime Minister David Cameron just reported the law in England will be changed to encourage more foster care councils to do this — so more babies can find a loving home earlier. Much, much earlier, according to the BBC adoption report. And why can’t we start doing that here in the USA?

Cameroon calls it “shocking” that so many babies taken in to care at one month wait 15 months (or more) to be adopted. According to PM Cameron and the BBC the UK government has pledged to simplify and speed up the adoption process. It wants babies to be placed with prospective adoptive parents before the courts have decided to remove them permanently from their natural parents.

In some cases, there might be disappointment for those trying to adopt, because the foster care system and domestic adoption courts of the UK might eventually decide to return the child to its natural parents.

Most often, children are moved from foster carers to adoptive parents once the courts have decided that the child should be adopted, a process that most often takes more than a year.

On average, a child waits two years and seven months to be placed with an adoptive family in England, about the same as here. The BBC reported that  ministers highlighted figures which showed that of the 3,660 children under the age of one who were in care in England in 2010-11, only 60 were adopted.

David Cameron said: “Childrens’ needs must be at the very heart of the adoption process – it’s shocking that we have a system where 50% of one-month-old babies who come to the care system go on to be adopted but wait 15 months to be placed in a permanent, loving home. These new plans will see babies placed with approved adopters who will foster first, and help provide a stable home at a much earlier stage in a child’s life. This way, we’re trying our very best to avoid the disruption that can be so damaging to a child’s development and so detrimental to their future well-being.”

People who wanted to adopt would be prepared to take the risks involved, he said, “because they know how important early stability is to a neglected child.”

Why can’t America jump on the bandwagon and make it easier and more efficient to adopt kids in foster care? Do you think it should take two years to rescue and love an adopted child? No way.

Add a Comment

My Gay Friends Want to Adopt, Too

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Adoption is hard enough on prospective parents, but if you are gay, I’d say it’s triple tough and in many places across the world, you cannot openly adopt if you’re gay and living with your openly gay spouse. To me, that’s sounds old-fashioned and slightly barbaric to me.

I mean… People who do not believe in same-sex parents who should be legally able to adopt are simply religious zealots, are they not? I mean, why wouldn’t you want two healthy grownups not to adopt a poor, homeless kid?

My gay friends have a much more difficult time even slogging through the endless paperwork (we’re all in our forties) and successful, in long-term relationships. And our gay friend-couples can certainly afford an international adoption (better than my family) that tops off at $35,000 – $50,000.

In the past, and perhaps in some areas of the country still today, gay couples have lied in order to adopt. Usually with one partner adopting and the other pretending to be a roommate or a friend. But it is necessary to realize the importance of honesty when adopting. It is legal to omit information, it is not legal to lie when asked a specific question. But lying in this instance is considered fraud and may be cause an adoption to be aborted, so to speak.

It’s more common for one partner to adopt and then for the second to apply as the second parent, or co-parent. Second parent adoptions creates a second legally recognized parent.

According to stats I found from The Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, this is the only way for gay couples to both become legal parents of their children. Second parent adoptions have been granted by the courts in twenty-one states.

On CBS News the other night, I gleefully watched Republican candidate Mitt Romney back-pedal from his original support of gay adoption last year. Now that conservatives are on his tail about his religious conservatism, Romney told the anchor how his “opposition to same-sex marriage ‘squared’ with his support for gay adoptions.”

How do you figure, Mitt?

Romney said, “… I think all states but one allow gay adoption, so that’s a position which has been decided by most of the state legislators, including the one in my state some time ago. So I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one.”

The Williams Institute, which analyzed the Census Bureau, showed that only 8,310 adopted children were living with same-sex couples in 2000, but the number grew to about 32,571 in 2009. The study suggests that almost half of gay families had adopted children from foster care. Amazing.

Are you for or against same-sex couples openly adopting children in need? Tell me in Comments below.

Add a Comment

Adoption Penalty for Giving an Abused Child Back. Fair?

Monday, June 11th, 2012

international adoption, sexual abuse child abuseTwo different international adoption follow-up stories continue to intrigue me, and I’d love to start the conversation for prospective parents of international children.

In 2010, when a single Tennesee mother returned her newly adopted Russian son, she had her reasons and was misled by an international adoption agency about the mental fitness of her child. After waiting years and begin trained in foster care and falling in love with a child from afar, and paying big bucks, you better know something was drastically wrong with that boy.

Courts are deciding if this adoptive mother should pay the boy child support until he turns 18. The thin pale boy presently lives in a group home and is reportedly doing well. I think that mom was misled and that the international agency should pay heartily.

Why do some international adoptions fail?

Here is the second story of international adoption, which both intrigues me for the vaguest of details. And yet it makes me so sad for the adoptive author mom and her two kids from Ethiopia, who all had such high hopes of international adoption of teenagers, which is difficult to begin with, and many teen adoptees have suffered great abuse.

At the age of 56, novelist Joyce Maynard adopted two Ethiopian girls, ages 6 and 11, whose mother had died from an AIDS-related illness. Maynard supposedly planed on writing about the adoption and their international travels together. Pretty cool.

Less than a year later, however, Maynard found another American family to take over the care and feeding of the sisters. She recently updated her fascinating blog, and I commend the artist on her ballsy honesty through a potentially torturous situation for all. I totally understand her, and sympathize with the situation.

Do you?

Last month Maynard wrote a letter to her followers explaining her long absence. In that email, she acknowledged that “there was no shortage of love or care—and despite some very happy and good times—the adoption failed.”

Tell me your adoption story here.

 

 

Add a Comment

Waiting for Your Adopted Child is Very Stressful

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Certainly, stress reduction is important for everyone, but a new study  suggests women especially need to monitor their stress to avoid heart problems. “Women who have heart-related symptoms while under stress, need to tell their doctor right away,” said Jeffrey Rothfeld M.D., a cardiologist at Bradenton Cardiology Center.

When you mix older parents who adopt with the ever-increasing risk of heart disease, studies of heart attack patients found that 15 to 30 percent of those admitted to a medical center had suffered from severe emotional stress. “High levels of stress make other risk factors such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure worse,” Dr. Rothfeld said.

Being able to identify stressors in life and releasing the tension they cause is critical in learning to cope with everyday pressure, as well as significant traumatic life events. Below are some common triggers that can affect mothers at all stages of life.

•    Illness, either personal or of a family member or friend
•    Death of a friend or loved one
•    Problems in a personal relationship
•    Work overload
•    Unemployment
•    Pregnancy and/or infertility
•    Financial concerns

“Identifying and addressing issues is the best way to reduce the release of stress hormones, like adrenalin, into the bloodstream that increase the likelihood of both heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest,” Dr. Rothfeld said. Some common techniques for coping with stress while you wait for your child to come home:

•    Eat and drink sensibly - Abusing alcohol and food may seem to reduce stress, but it actually adds to it.
•    Stop smoking - Aside from the obvious health risks of cigarettes, nicotine acts as a stimulant and brings on more stress symptoms.
•    Exercise regularly - Choose non-competitive activities and set reasonable goals. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins (natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude).
•    Relax every day – Choose from a variety of different techniques, such as meditation, to unwind.
•    Get enough rest – Even with proper diet and exercise, you can’t fight stress effectively without rest. You need time to recover so the time you spend asleep should be long enough to relax your mind as well as your body.

We can all help ourselves by recognizing what stresses us out and establishing coping strategies to help control how we respond to these situations, he said. Amen.

Tell me all about your non-stressful adoption story here!

Add a Comment