Posts Tagged ‘ newborn adoption ’

Do Celebrities Get Special Treatment with Adoption?

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Adoption Fever is grabbing more celebrities than ever before. Or is it that we’re just noticing a lot more often these days? Anything that publicizes adopting orphaned or homeless children from war-torn, impoverished countries is worth writing about. I celebrate you, Angelina Jolie.

The newest Hollywood celeb to adopt a child is Charlize Theron. The 36-year-old South African beauty’s new son Jackson was reportedly born in the U.S.  Another recent adoption is actress Connie Britton, 45, co-star of The American Horror Story. She just adopted a transracial son from Ethiopia.  Mary Louise Parker, 47, also adopted a baby girl from Ethiopia, named Caroline, in 2007. Another recent adoption, of course, is Mariska Gargitay. In the span of six months, Hargitay and her husband, actor Peter Hermann, adopted a 13-month old daughter and then a son right

Celebrity adoptions, most especially transracial adoptions such as Sandra Bullock’s and Madonna’s make publicity waves because the public questions if these superstar adults get special treatment in adoption because of who they are, and how much money they can afford to donate to adoption causes that may (may!) pave the way to a more efficient streamlined adoption. While the rest of us poorer sweat it out for a few more years?

Who cares if Hollywood celebs receive any special treatment if they are helping poor countries in a macro kind of way! So what if Madonna got a green light to adopt two penniless, uneducated children from Malawi? She also funneled millions to local schools and drew worldwide attention to the plight of these poor, malnourished kids. Good for her, at least she did something about it.

Ann Reese, co-founder and executive director of the Center for Adoption Policy, has stated on the record, she doesn’t believe celebrities receive any special treatment when it comes to adoption.

“We see no evidence that the adoption process is easier for celebrities,” Reese said. “Successful celebrity adoption is a good thing, because we think that adoption should be a viable method of forming families,” she said. “The more positive media coverage there is of families formed through adoption, the better chance that children in need of parents will find them.”

Do you think Hollywood A-listers have an edge up on adoption because they’re famous or super-wealthy?

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Part 1: Mom Chooses Open Adoptions for Transracial Daughters

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Rachel Garlinghouse certainly got my instant attention! She wrote, “Now we are the parents of two African-American girls. Ellis is age 3, Emery age 1, and we will adopt again, either domestic infant adoption or through foster care.”

Rachel, 29, and her husband Steve, 33, are Illinois natives and they chose “fully open adoptions” Twice! This means both families communicate regularly, exchange photos and spend quality time throughout the year.

“Steve and I also speak at adoption training sessions and I facilitate an adoptive mom support group,” said Rachel.

I knew in a moment that this high-energy mom had a good story!

Rachel said, “We chose fully open adoption because adoption isn’t about the adoptive parents. Plus, adoption agencies cater to open adoptions and realize that the person making the ultimate sacrifice is the biological parent [who might wish to maintain contact.] Adoption isn’t about what makes me happy and comfortable, it’s about what is best for my child.”

As an adoptive parent, I had to get over myself, Rachel said.

“If my child’s biological parent(s) and siblings want regular contact, who am I to say no? ”

Rachel and Steve waited an excruciating 14 months for their first child. She knows why! “For the first year, we were only open to a white, healthy child. However, we did a lot of reading and we spoke with transracial families, and we talked and we prayed. We ultimately decided that we would be great parents to a child of any race.”

Come back on Friday when we meet both of Rachel’s gorgeous daughters.

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Part 2: Military Couple Fights to Adopt During Deployment

Friday, December 16th, 2011

After four years of infertility, Jessica and Greg from Arizona were shocked when a social worker put their adoption plans on hold because Greg was deployed for 10 months. All the paperwork and home study and hard work…

Jessica said, “We fought tooth and nail to become certified. Our social worker demanded we see a counselor and psychologist who both told her that they saw no reason why we could not pursue adoption. Here I was a new Army wife with a husband that was about to leave for 10 months. Would we end up in divorce, like she said, because military divorce rates are the highest?”

After basic training, Greg went to Officer Candidate School and then he left for basic training in June and wasn’t set to come home until April.  Greg was still in basic training when Jessica got a call of a newborn girl becoming available to them for via adoption.

“The day I was suppose to leave for Greg’s graduation was the day she was born. I hadn’t seen my husband for 10 weeks and I felt torn. Deep down, I had this bad feeling that something was going to go wrong and all I wanted was to see Greg.”

That adoption did fail for many reasons, and the couple moved onto private adoption with an expensive attorney who accepted the military family’s new circumstances. “We began working with him in the beginning of April and we were matched by the end of May. I do not recommend networking on your own… it is a roller coaster ride. Friends and family would tell us about every possible adoption situation, there were nine possible matches, but none came to fruition.”

The couple began working with yet another adoption agency because the attorney moved too slowly. “Through our  journey, I learned that there are a lot of agencies and lawyers who view expectant couples and prospective adoptive couples as dollar signs and nothing else. Adoption should be about the unborn child and finding him or her loving parents not how much money will be made once the baby is born,” said Jessica.

They began the private adoption process in November of 2009. We were certified on July 14, 2010 and baby Elle was born July 12, 2011…exactly one year later. “My husband and I were in complete awe when we saw our daughter for the first time. I will never forget seeing her in  for the first time and thinking she was the most beautiful, tiny baby.”

“We knew at that moment that every tear and all the heartache we endured didn’t matter anymore. She was our heart’s cry and because of her, we were parents.”

The brave couple, photographed on right with Elle, is now expecting baby number two via private adoption, and Jessica writes about her journey on her own blog.

I want to thank Thea Ramirez of Adoption Share for introducing me to Jessica and also for helping other families find their child through private adoption.

Who else has a great adoption story for

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff

Celebrating International Adoption Month

Friday, November 11th, 2011

national adoption monthNovember is International (and National) Adoption Month. How will you celebrate? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is pleased to provide information for parents and prospective parents on preventing lead poisoning in children who are adopted from outside the United States. Many, many children adopted from overseas may have been exposed to lead in their birth countries.

This information is so important when you’re thinking about adopting internationally and from poverty-stricken countries, which might house orphans in older buildings:

  • Parents of children adopted within the last 3 months
  • Parents now going through the adoption process
  • All future prospective adoptive parents

Something else to consider and read up about regarding international adoptions: malnutrition. It pays to do your adoption homework! The information on the CDC’s website explains about lead poisoning prevention and international adoption.  This information includes a fact sheet, health education eCard, and key prevention messages that all parents should know about.

Also, to celebrate International Adoption Month, as well as National Adoption Month, I’d love all readers of  ”The Adoption Diaries” to enter their young one into the American Baby Magazine’s baby cover contest. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see an adopted or foster child winning the baby cover contest? I urge you to read all about it, and then enter your wee one!

I will be finding ways to celebrate adoption all month long, and the best way to do that (for me) is to find success stories about adoption and share them all with you… stay tuned!

A quick adoption update for me: Darrin and I have narrowed down an international agency where we can begin processing an international adoption of a daughter in India — she will likely be at least three years old. However, we have to plunk down an initial $15,000 to begin the process, and we don’t have that yet!

Nationally, Husband Darrin and I are officially signed up for 24 hours of foster training to begin in Los Angeles Country beginning in January. I’ll keep you posted!


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Adoption Update: Orphanages Closing in Haiti, Ethiopia

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

November is International (and National) Adoption Month

Occasionally, I am on the international government boards and follow legislation updates and facility closures, so  here are three international adoptions to update for your files this month. The Ethiopia orphanage changes are especially unnerving!

Haitian authorities have closed an orphanage outside the capital following complaints of neglect and abuse from U.S. missionaries working in the troubled country.

Officials with a Haitian child welfare agency say the Son of God orphanage has been closed permanently. Child welfare official Diem Pierre says the children will be taken by UNICEF to other group homes. The closure was an unusually strong move in a country where child welfare laws are rarely enforced. Inspectors found that children at the home were living in unsanitary conditions and were malnourished.

Ethiopian government officials confirmed the closure of several orphanages in the Southern Nations state due to revocation of the orphanages’ operational licenses. Each orphanage in Ethiopia receives an operational license that the Charities and Societies Administration administers and monitors to ensure compliance with Ethiopian regulations. Regional officials have confirmed that the affected childrens’ case files are currently being reviewed on a case by case basis by regional Ministry of Women’s Affairs offices. Here are some confirmed closures:

  1. SOS Infants Ethiopia (Arbaminch, Dila and Awassa branches)
  2. Gelgella Integrated Orphans (Tercha and Durame branches)
  3. Bethzatha Children’s Home Association (Sodo, Hosaena, Dila, Haidya, Durame, and Hawassa branches)
  4. Ethio Vision Development and Charities (Dila and Hawassa branches)
  5. Special Mission for Community Based Development (Hosaina branch)
  6. Initiative Ethiopia Child and Family Support (Hawassa branch)
  7. Resurrection Orphanage (Hosaina branch)

The State Department on Adoption in the Ukraine is resuming processing international adoption applications. However, SDA  informed the embassy that the new amendment to the Family Code is now in effect. This requires orphans to be registered on the central adoption registry for one year and to be at least five years old before they are eligible for inter-country adoption. The amendment exempts children with certain special needs, relative adoptions, and sibling adoptions. Please note that the Ukrainian government is in the process of updating the definition of special needs, a process which by law should be completed by the end of this month.

In cases already underway with international adoptions and where adoptive parents have already been approved by the SDA to adopt a particular child, these age demands will be waived. Basically, you can’t adopt a kid from the Ukraine until she is five years old or older now.

If you hear breaking adoption news, fill me in here and I will double-check and pass it on!

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Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff