Posts Tagged ‘ Hague Convention ’

If France Legalizes Same-Sex Adoptions, Why Not the USA?

Friday, August 24th, 2012

adoption domestic and internationalWith so many unloved orphans in the world, born during times of great war and poverty, why would our government forbid gay couples, or “same sex couples” from adopting an unwanted child?

In France, a more forward-thinking country — you must admit, in this case — the new Socialist government would likely legalize marriage and adoption for same-sex couples, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said back in July.

President Francois Hollande, who took office months ago, pledged to legalize gay marriage and adoption during his election campaign but had given no time frame. Since Hollande’s Socialists won an absolute majority in parliamentary elections two weeks ago, the conservative  party, which opposed the measure under former president Nicolas Sarkozy, can do nothing to stop it.

“The government has made it an objective for the next few months to work on implementing its campaign commitments on the fight against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity,” Ayrault’s office said in a statement.

In addition, the government would discuss strategies for making life easier for transgender people. This is very forward-thinking  — to me — from France, a country that describes itself as “two-thirds Roman Catholic.

As recently as 2006, a survey indicated that most French were opposed to changing the definition of marriage, but now more than 60 percent support the idea. A majority also favors allowing gay couples to adopt children.

(Independent French thinker Hollande, by the way, fathered four children out of wedlock with his former partner.) No judgements on fatherhood but…

Do you think gay couples should be allowed to legally adopt a child? Tell me your adoption opinion here.

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In Australia, Newborn Adoption Scandal

Monday, August 13th, 2012

In a small local newspaper outside of Sydney, Australia, a family obstetrician named Brian Hooloahan who is getting on in years, finally went on the record with adoption and birth mother atrocities he witnessed in the seventies, against babies and their birth mothers.  During his days as a medical student at the Crown Street Women’s Hospital in Sydney, the Nowra obstetrician repeatedly saw newborns taken from their unwed teenage mothers moments after birth.

A Senate inquiry has been launched to find how thousands of young and unwed mothers were forced to give up their children for adoption between the 1940s and 1970s will hand down its findings tomorrow. One surprisingly statistic:  In 1971, 10,000 children were adopted in Australia, compared to only 384 just a few years ago.

As you can tell, in the seventies, that’s a whole lot of newborn adoptions. Something smells fishy! The inquiry reported heart-wrenching tales of women who were pressured or threatened in order to secure signatures on adoption consent forms. In the great interview originally reported in the Illa Warra Mercury, Dr. Hoolahan remembered:

‘‘I remember the girls calling out ‘I just want to touch my baby, please let me see my baby’ and they were crying and howling and it was the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I was absolutely powerless… I was a young student and I expressed my opinion but nobody really listened. It was like something out of the Middle Ages.’’

He said governments were complicit with the practice because they provided the services for the children to be removed.

How terrible for all those unwed mothers, those poor young women. Tell me what you think about international adoption here:

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New Countries Partner for International Adoptions

Monday, July 16th, 2012

As my family wends its way through the grueling, mystifying journey of international adoption, I keep my ear out for countries that follow the Hague Convention, and work with those agencies only.

The Convention was originally written to help countries regulate international adoptions and to protect children.

The Hague Convention’s main goals are to:

· Protect the best interests of adopted children

· Standardize processes between countries

· Prevent child abuse, such as trafficking in children

The new Ghana program offered by Adoption Associates said two separate trips are required: one to meet the child and attend a court hearing and the second to obtain the child’s visa and bring the child home.

So many families are passionate about the plight of African orphans, but one couple has been in the news lately because of a paperwork jam and they are awaiting a sibling adoption in Ghana. They left a couple biological kids at home with relatives.

Read all about this Orange Country, Calif. family who is being detained in Ghana after being totally cleared of child trafficking. The couple had to post bond for their own release and their passports were finally returned.

How scary.

Tell me your adoption story here:

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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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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.

 

 

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