Posts Tagged ‘ sibling 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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Follow Up: 3 Adopted Kids Raped, Abused by New Father

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Sometimes a single blog on The Adoption Diaries raises such a fuss, issues such a stream of rage and outcry that I may revisit it. A couple weeks ago I found a short item from Ohio about a new adoptive father that not only raped his three new children (two boys and a girl ages 9 until 13). This  official unholy monster  also prostituted the children to several male friends. Read about it here. Well, so many dozens of you wrote in and wanted him dead and prosecuted.

So many of your readers were equally as violent in your responses that I could not print your rage and anger. It was very upsetting, actually. This horrible man is going to court next week on charged that will likely keep him in prison for the rest of his life; the  two other men who raped those kids have now also been arrested. The three kids have been returned to that state’s foster care system where they hopefully can heal under a more careful and watchful eye! But could that happen again? Folks, it happens every day in the foster care system!

To counteract that post, reader Dawn had this to say. She is one mother who is absolutely outraged:

She wrote, “There are so many happy and beautiful stories of adoption to be told, but this tale is NOT about adoption. It is about a predator.  Adoptive parent screening is very extensive.  I am an adoptive mother and can attest to the scrutiny and examination that we all go through. So sad for these children who were already failed and have endured further trauma. This is the exception, NOT the rule.  The screening process may not be perfect, but I would love to compare it to that of parents who conceive children. Yeah…that is non-existent.

Dawn also questioned, “Who is testing this adoptive family? Who is screened, tested, interviewed or trained safefully prior to becoming parents?  Just a little balance for this awful and tragic story.  Please do not focus on the wrong element. Bad parents are bad parents. Most all children who are in protective custody or waiting for forever loving foster/adoptive families did not arrive there because of abuse at the hands of an adoptive parent.”

Thanks for responding in such a healthy and balanced way, Dawn. You also helped my mood and my emotions! Tune in on Friday.

Happy Earth Day, moms and dads!

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Three Adopted Kids Raped and Abused by New Father

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

From Ohio, comes a totally despicable tale. Adopting from foster care, you hear all too-many stories like this but many kids never tell because they could end up somewhere far worse.

A 39-year old man is accusing of raping his three adopted children and allowing other men to have sex with them.

Kenneth Brant is charged with three counts of rape and one of compelling prostitution. Police say Brandt was arrested during an online sting in which an undercover detective arranged to have sex with one of the children.

Brandt had legally adopted three children and was in the process of adopting a fourth who lived with him. The children include three boys and a 9-year-old girl.

Police say one of the children, a 10-year old boy, told them two other men besides the suspect had sex with him. Police said the other two boys, ages 9 and 12, also said the suspect had sex with them.

The boy initially told police that he did not want to divulge because he was afraid he would be  separated from his brothers.  The kids were adopted in 2011 from Texas through a private adoption agency, which is now under investigation. The two other male rapists were also arrested.

Uh! You must wonder about the processes behind this private adoption! How well was this guy screened? How did he get three kids and those poor babies. Is anyone else completely outraged by this story? It sets back private adoption by three decades — who can you trust with these vulnerable, beautiful innocent kids?

Someone tell me a happy story of adoption, please!

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“Only Children are Spoiled and Self-Absorbed”

Friday, March 9th, 2012

PArents Blog JPG Sam and cuz RileyThat’s a recurring theme my friends and acquaintances repeat as another good reason to adopt a second child. Interestingly, Single-child families have almost doubled in number, to about 1 in 5 since the 1960s, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

I generally don’t buy the whole “only children are too spoiled” scenario. Poppycock… I believe in part how you parent your only child (or your triplets, or our adopted kids) determines just how spoiled he becomes.

A Time Magazine investigation showed that the negative myths about maladjusted only-children arise because these parents have more time, energy and money to invest in their single offspring, who receives all the soccer classes, piano lessons and laser-focused emotional attention. Incidentally, researchers note this excess attention leads to not just higher SAT scores but also to higher self-esteem.

The U.S. Census reports that the single child family is the fastest growing family unit. So when someone, perhaps your friend who can afford to have four kids and two nannies, urges you need to have another child, spit out the facts about only children and the myths that surround them.

Myth: Only children are bossy and aggressive.

Only children learn quickly that attempting to run the show, a ploy that they may get away with at home, doesn’t work with friends and a bossy, aggressive attitude is a quick ticket to ostracism from the group. Lacking siblings, only children want to be included and well liked. A brother or a sister may buoy Sam as he grows into the most thoughtful, amazing young man.

Myth: Only children mature too quickly.

Children with siblings relate and talk to their siblings rather than their parents. The only child’s primary role models are parents. The result is that only children may simulate  adult behavior as well as adult speech patterns and develop good reasoning skills early on making them better equipped to handle the ups and downs of growing up. Myths die hard and slowly. Families with one child outnumber those with two children, so the single child family is here to stay.

Myths are not a great reason to adopt another child! Tell me what you think about only children, as it pertains to adoption! There must be balance between the joy our kids give us and the sacrifices we make to care for them.

Caption: Sam Straff and his first-cousin Riley Straff (who is also an only child!)

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Completion of the 3-Hour Foster Family Orientation

Monday, February 27th, 2012

adopting a baby from foster care Up until husband Darrin and I completed our 3-hour “Resource Parent” Foster family application and orientation, I did not realize that you can be both a foster parent and an adoptive parent at the same time when you register with the county and pass their 24 hours of training. You can foster a child and apply to adopt that child simultaneously; it’s a great way to make triple-sure you are the best match for that child!

These are great definitions to keep in mind if you’re looking to adopt domestically:

  • A foster parent provides a loving but temporary stable home for a child and helps them reunite with broth parents or family members.
  • An adoptive parent provides a permanent stable home once it has been determined that the child cannot live safely with their birth parent or birth family.

In fact, with domestic adoption, you can be single, married, divorced or living with a partner. There is no mandated minimum income but you must be able to show how you support both yourself and a foster child. And I found out, gladly, that I can be a different race, culture or even sexual orientation that my foster or adopted child through the county process.

My worst-case scenario is hosting a foster child, applying to adopt that beloved foster child over a period of months… and then having the birth partners want her back. No way! If I had to knowingly return a child to a questionable family who might hurt her or negate all the stable love we’d provided a child for months, I might end up in jail.

I might do all kinds of crazy things to keep her. My husband Darrin wants us to write  in our application that we’re open to a sibling group but I don’t think I can handle that, either.

Since “returning the foster-child scenario” is one of my biggest fears, a cold dread stops me from signing up for the 24 hours of domestic adoption training, I need to hear a successful  adoption story from parents out there who actually fostered a child and then went on to adopt that child!

I’m begging adoptive parents to out there to send me your success story with fostering, and I will print it!

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