Posts Tagged ‘ Hague Convention ’

Celebrating National Adoption Month with Hillary Clinton

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

national adoption month for toddlersThis past month of November, America celebrated National Adoption Month with feel-good stories each week, and I have another one for you below. However, before you read another installation of a new Adoption Diary, check out what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said as she opened legislation at the top of the month. Her words are inspiring for parents everywhere.

Announcing her support for National Adoption Month, Hillary Clinton said, “Over the last ten years, American families have opened their hearts and homes to more than 200,000 children from other countries. They have given vulnerable children the opportunity to thrive. Families who adopt are enriched by the love of their new children, and the heritage they bring from their birth countries. This November, we celebrate National Adoption Month and join with groups across the nation to recognize these special families. The State Department is committed to safeguarding the interests of children, birth parents, and adoptive parents worldwide.” — Hillary Clinton 2012

Here’s the happy new adoption story. Tammy Gilmore decided to do her part in it this Thanksgiving Day with a second adoption.

Only a year earlier, Gilmore adopted a 3-year-old boy named Alexander. Gilmore is a single mother who works for an attorney who has experience working with adoptive families in the Iowa area. She adopted Alexander and was then driven to adopt his little brother as well. Gilmore went through IowaKids.net, which is a website where many agencies collaborate in order to help people who want to foster and adopt children. There are several agencies in cooperation in this partnership.

The agencies that are in partnership attempt to find homes for the over 700 children eligible for adoption and the 6,000 that are in foster care. There are over 1000,000 kids in the United States waiting to be adopted.

Learn more about foster care and adoption here. Tell me your story below in the comments.

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New Website Spreads Awareness of Dangers of “Orphanage Tourism”

Monday, November 26th, 2012

international adoption nutritionIf you are even considering an international adoption, much like my family is with a toddler daughter in India, you must thoroughly do your homework, document all your paperwork, legalize everything — and make sure you’re not stealing some poor mother’s newborn in a Third World Country without her knowledge.

It happens all the time, but international rules and regulations are halting such illegal practices.

This helpful website is to educate people about what orphanage tourism is and the devastating affect is having on the children of Cambodia, many of whom are not even orphans. Most governments and child care professionals regard the institutionalization of children in orphanages as the very last resort. Unfortunately, in Cambodia it is increasingly becoming the first, mainly due to the increased demand from travelers and donors for more and more orphanages. Others are nothing more than money-making scams that are specifically targeting unsuspecting tourists.

Considering International Adoption?

The group’s spokesperson said in an interview, “Few of these people that are trying to help are actually qualified to work with traumatized or vulnerable children, so what we end up with is an even more dire situation. We really want to get the word out about this important cause, and let well-intentioned people know that there are better alternatives and avenues through which they can help.”

“The fact is, most travelers, donors, and volunteers are completely unaware that they are fueling this problem or that they may be doing more harm than good,” comments the group spokesperson. Media Note: Because many of the most profiteering Cambodian orphanages have close ties with the government (some of those who have spoken out about this in the past have been threatened) this group prefers to remain anonymous for now.

“We encourage visitors to become educated about orphanage tourism, and to help us continue to raise awareness by sharing the information they learn here with others. The goal is to stop fueling the orphanage industry and find ways to support vulnerable children and their families, not split them up. The children of Cambodia, and around the world, deserve better.”

You can help channel the good intentions of travelers and donors towards initiatives that provide more positive support for children, and support family based care, reducing the separation of children and their communities.”

Are you considering international adoption of a baby or a special needs toddler? What countries are you considering?

 

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100 Adopted Kids Find New Homes this Thanksgiving Season

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

domestic adoption thanksgvingCurrently, there are 56,138 children in foster care in California with 13,394 children waiting for adoptive families.

Children’s Bureau has a highly-regarded foster care and adoption program that helps more than 500 foster children find safe, nurturing homes and facilitates more than 100 foster-to-adoptions each year. They are the good guys!

Their programs help children newborn to 18 years of age. Homes are needed for infants, sibling sets of brothers and sisters, older children and children of all ethnicities, especially African American children. Our foster and adoptive parents are given the support, resources and tools they need to help these fragile children to trust, love and feel much more confident about their place in the world.

Wyatt Lemaster was a newly adopted fifth grader who kept looking around in wonder, according to local Los Angeles news reports. “It means never getting taken away again,” the fifth-grader said softly during a  moment of reflection at the the fifth-floor reception area of the Edmund D. Edleman Children’s Courthouse last week.

Adopted Families Give Thanks This Year

As we wait for another child, most likely a foster child like one of the kids here, we give thanks at home for all that we already have. Such abundance.

Take a few moments to revel in gratitude for all of the joys you have, for the way your body moves, for love and family and the sunshine in your life. Happy Thanksgiving holidays, and tell me your adoption story here:

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Instead of Adoption? International Surrogacy Gaining Traction

Friday, October 26th, 2012

There is a surge of births through surrogacy and Hollywood is taking notice. E! News host Guiliana Rancic has a son by a surrogate mother, born last month. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick also have children born of a surrogate, just like actors Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.

Our reader 

Crystal Travis has experienced the anguish of infertility herself and selected surrogacy as a solution. She said, “Every family has the right to realize their dreams of parenthood in an affordable and low stress way.” Travis and her husband have a son born in India, and a pair of twins born two years later of the same surrogate mother in India.

Because of their experience, Crystal Travis started a consulting service for intended parents.

 Surrogacy costs about the same as adoption, but has an important benefit: The resulting baby has a genetic connection with one or both parents.

Choosing a surrogate mother in India is a fraction of the cost of surrogacy in the United States. But it can be difficult for prospective parents navigating their way through the paperwork and ensuring their baby gets good prenatal care. Travis has helped dozens of people become parents through surrogacy in India, overseeing the pregnancy, birth and homecoming every step of the way.

More than 25,000 babies are born through surrogate mothers in that country annually. 

Travis launched her consulting business after the birth of her twins. “Surrogacy is a 2.3 billion dollar industry in India,” she says. She frequently travels to India to meet with attorneys and have personal contact with the doctors providing prenatal care and delivery.

A support staff in India makes frequent calls to check on the progress of each pregnancy, and the well-being of surrogate mothers. There are fewer laws regulating surrogacy in India, which contributes to the lower cost and faster results. But adoption experts warm you must do your homework and only sign with international agencies that follow the international human rights laws of the Hague Convention. (Countries that follow stricter adoption legislation are less likely to be involved in child trafficking and baby selling.)

What do you think of the surge on Hollywood surrogacy? It’s definitely every bit as expensive as an international adoption, FYI.

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Update: Adoptive Parents Travel to Ghana for 4 Siblings

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Here is a happy ending to the story we ran last week on an Irvine couple who traveled to Ghana with two biological children last month. Originally, we thought, how awesome and easy it souded, after waiting two years for a sibling group from Ghana, this family was about to inherit four siblings younger than 10. Imagine?

And then the worst happened when the arrived in Ghana for immigration paperwork and their new adopted kids. The married couple was actually held in a prison-like environment during adoption proceedings.

The big-hearted Irvine Calif. couple and their two children recently traveled to Ghana in order to adopt a set of four young siblings, and they became entwined in a bureaucratic, international adoption nightmare.

See the original story here. Long story short? The entire family is happy to be home!

According to the Orange Country Register reports, Sol and Christine Moghadam were accused of child trafficking when the family and their two biological sons went to Ghana to pick up their new siblings. But an anonymous phone call accusing the Moghadams of child trafficking prompted police to arrest both parents and put all the children into an orphanage.

The two biological sons, ages 3 and 7, and the four adoptive children were taken from them and placed in a Ghanaian orphanage. Their biological sons were returned to them the following day, after the couple posted bail. The whole family, all eight of them, were reunited within a couple days and they now have their passports back.

“We are investigating a couple who arrived at the airport with six children – four blacks and two whites – which aroused the suspicion of security officers at the airport who stopped them from traveling,” an official with the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of the Ghanaian police told the Associated Press. “They say the children were adopted, and we are investigating to find out if this has been properly granted by a court of proper jurisdiction.”‘

In a video created on their behalf, the couple and their friends say Christine Moghadam was forced to spend a night in jail while Sol Moghadam was held in a detention center. “Ghanaian police did not tell us about our rights until the day after they detained us; they did not tell us about the offense at the time of the arrest; violence was involved… Thank you for your prayers.”

They were never charged with anything!

What do you think of the mountains of paperwork, endless immigration legalities and slow-moving beurocracy that prevent orphans from being adopted? Tell me your adoption story here:

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