Posts Tagged ‘ gay adoption ’

Adopted Kids Can Learn to Nurture Nature

Monday, November 5th, 2012

One of the sadder things I’ve learned from reading foster care family literature—in our family’s gradual search for a female toddler—is that many urban babies (who’ve been neglected or even abused) are anemic and don’t receive adequate Vitamin D because they’re never outside playing in a playground or sunbathing in a sand box.

As I searched for additional stats on domestic adoption and beginning the foster care process of adoption, I found this to celebrate:

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) joins the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) to set an unprecedented goal to get 10 million more kids to spend significant time outdoors over the next three years. Working together, they will combat the growing trend toward “lack of green time.”

Research shows children are spending long hours indoors using electronic media, yet they spend only mere minutes a day in unstructured outdoor play. This is affecting the health and well-being of children and is quickly causing a generation of kids who are becoming less healthy and who are disconnected from the natural world around them.

Local park and recreation agencies serve an essential role in preserving natural resources, providing open space and cultivating a connection to nature and the outdoors that can last a lifetime.

“We know that when children spend time outdoors they are more active and their overall well-being improves,” says Barbara Tulipane, President and CEO of NRPA. “Our nation’s parks and recreation areas are not just a solution for better health, but are the answer to inspiring a healthier generation of youth who appreciate and care for our open space lands and who will engage in environmental stewardship that will benefit our future.”

The 10 Million Kids Outdoors goal encourages kids to get outdoors and explore, play, and learn for 90 minutes per week. This outdoor time excludes time spent outdoors in organized sports, which while beneficial, does not provide children the same benefits as outdoor play in green spaces. By increasing outdoor time to 90 minutes per week, NRPA and NWF believe it will contribute to a significant increase in children’s connection to nature due in part to more time spent outdoors.

What rituals does your family do to play outside together?

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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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Protect Your Kids from Sexual Abuse

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

As my family and I dive into the whirlwind of domestic adoption and begin looking into a domestic adoption of an older kid from the Los Angeles foster care system, I’ve been surfing stats trying to figure out the odds of inheriting an older child that’s been abused in some way, Chances are, unfortunately very high if the kid is older than 11.

We’ve narrowed the age down to looking for a foster kid under 3 but the sex abuse thing continues to haunt me because we have one very healthy beautiful bio son who I would never hurt in a million years. We’d never bring a child into our home if we thought that new kid would someday hurt Sam. So I looked up several agencies to get the stats and they are not only worrisome, but they warm all parents about the common abuses of children everyone, and not just kids from foster care.

Child abuse in schools, homes, public places, it’s everywhere.

Good advice about what every parent can do to protect all kids from sex abuse:

•    Encourage children to respect the comfort and privacy of others. Teach children about privacy and respect.

•    Be cautious with playful touch, such as play fighting and tickling. These may be uncomfortable or scary reminders of sexual abuse to some children.

•    Help children learn the importance of privacy. Remind children to knock before entering bathrooms and bedrooms, and encourage children to dress and bathe themselves if they are able.

•    Keep adult sexuality private. Teenage siblings may need reminders about what is permitted in your home when boyfriends and girlfriends are present.

•    Be aware of and limit sexual messages received through the media. Children who have experienced sexual abuse can find sexual content disturbing. It may be helpful to monitor music and music videos, as well as television programs, video games, and movies containing nudity or sexual language.

•     Limit access to grown-up magazines and monitor children’s Internet use.

This is from the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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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.

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