Posts Tagged ‘ single parent adoption ’

USA and Russia Regulate International Adoptions

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Adoption relations began to fray long before the headline-grabbing news in 2010 about a young American mother who was so terrified and traumatized her newly adopted Russian child, that she sent the pale 7-year-old back to Russia on a plane on a one-way ticket with a short note pinned to his coat!

So shame on Tory Hansen for returning the kid so gracelessly but two years later she is still in legal wranglings about it. The boy’s new Russian foster home (who said he was traumatized by his adoptive mother and the failed adoption) may be entitled to financial payments from this poor mother who got shafted out of an adopted child and then still has to pay for him.

You can tell I’m torn on the subject.

In my humble opinion, Russian adoption agencies may have overlooked some very neurotic or dangerous behavior because they wanted to find the boy a home so badly. But the adoptive mother claims in court papers that the wayward child she was handed had no business being adopted, she was unprepared to handle a child with deep psychological scars. The mom was afraid for her own life at night; he was creepy.

According to one Russian children study, over 100,000 Russian children have been adopted by US parents. At least 19 of them were killed by their new families within past decade, and some adoption charities put the number who died of illness or accidents at 40.

“We realize this agreement is not ideal, but it gives more grounds and starting points for cooperation with our US partners to avoid recurrence of a series of tragic events related to adopted children from Russia,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said. The agreement was signed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on July, 13, 2011.

Tell me your adoption story here in Comments below:

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Domestic Adoption and Foster Care in the USA

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

In the U.S., there are thousands of foster care youth waiting to be adopted. Many are older (more than 9 years old), and with each passing year, they are less likely to be adopted, and more likely to “age out” of the foster care system without the support of a caring and  responsible adult.

Studies have shown that older youth are more likely to be adopted by people who know them. Yet, adults often don’t have opportunities to meet these wonderful children who are longing for a permanent family. According to the adoption service KidSave.org, older kids are frequently not even considered. Many of these children are overlooked for adoption because they are not babies or toddlers. Older kids have a lot of value and can add much joy to a family. Children age 11 and older in the foster care system are more likely to grow up in the system than be adopted.

Stats for kids age 11 and older still in foster care, according to KidSave.org: 

  1. One in 10 will commit suicide
  2. Less than half will finish high school
  3. As many as 50% go to jail
  4. One in 4 will become parents before age 20

This great organization (thanks for the readers who recommended the site)  is seeking volunteers in many different areas across the country. If you are interested in becoming a Kidsave volunteer, log onto a local schedule.  Volunteers are needed to create events, serve on committees, find auction items, build attendance, get the word out, and support fund raising, support programs, and help with logistics.

KidSave.org has an astounding goal: To connect 1,000,000 orphans and foster youth to parents and mentors across the country by the year 2020. Count me in — we need more support for foster kids who are so sadly aging out of the system.

How can you help? Log on and find out.

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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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Two Million Adopted Children in the United States on Earth Day

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Let’s celebrate upcoming Earth Day in style. There are roughly 1.5 million – 2 million adopted children in the United States right now, well over 2% of all U.S. children. But my research parameters change constantly, so by next month this might be outdated info.

The criteria on adoption changes dramatically per year, every time a new international law is passed, or when you consider that a major portion of domestic adoptions  occur when a new step-parents adopt their spouse’s kids. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) gathered adoption totals from a variety of sources, and estimated that 126,951 children were adopted through international, foster care, private agency, independent and step-parent adoptions. NCSC estimated that stepparent adoptions accounted for 42% of all adoptions and foster care adoptions 15%.

When step-parents adopt, that totally skews research for me. If you marry someone and adopt their kids, it’s not like forging an international or domestic adoption journey with total stranger yourself. For the purposes of The Adoption Diaries, I’m always searching for the most updated statistics on domestic adoption, international adoption, and especially those families who adopt after age 40, which is most appropriate to our family’s situation. Over the last year or so, my husband, son Sam (bio son who is six years old) and I had contemplated both local fostering and international adoption. We’ve narrowed down an international Indian adoption perhaps next year.

I just came up on a pretty recent update on how many families in the USA are actively adopting within the last two years. The surge, in some cases, accounts for many single women trying to adopt solo for the first time, according to research by the Adoption Institute in a related study entitled, “The Number of Adoptions Have Fluctuated Over Time.”

For a variety of societal and economic reasons, there have been dramatic fluctuations in the annual number of adoptions. For instance, adoptions skyrocketed from a low of 50,000 in 1944 to a high of 175,000 in 1970.  Think about the difference two decades make… While there are reporting mechanisms for foster care and international adoptions, states are not legally required to record the number of private, domestic adoptions.

Another interesting stat I found on the Adoption Institute site is that nearly 60% of Americans have a personal connection to adoption in their own lives. That is so correct! Since I’ve been writing this column, for instance, I discovered quite by accident that no less than three of my pretty close friends were adopted!  The Adoption Institute’s Public Opinion Benchmark survey found that 58% of Americans know someone who has been adopted, has adopted a child or has relinquished a child for adoption.

And some stats I cannot even get my hands on yet have to do with Single-Parent Adoptions and Gay Parents Adoptions because so many gay parents cannot divulge their true sexual orientations when they choose to adopt. They check off the Single Parent box instead.  What do you think of single, gay parents adopting? I am all for it on The Adoption Diaries — are you?

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Ready to Adopt Quiz: Is the Timing Right?

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

One thing everyone agrees on — whether you’ve been adopted yourself, plan to adopt in the near future, or even if you have very firm beliefs about the process itself.  Here’s the truth: Adoption is an emotional roller coaster that both beings out the best in your family (social responsibility, loyalty and the ability to love) and challenges any family to come together in new ways.

Take this great readiness quiz on Parents.com to see if emotionally, you are prepared to proceed on this roller-coaster journey of adoption. The second question has tripped up our family for six months because I simply have not been ready to move forward in the international adoption process, and several strikes against us have cropped up.

This is the question that stalled us for several months:

True or false: My partner is not as open to adopting a child as I am.

True, True and True

Also, we considered our finances carefully, and though we’ve wanted to adopt internationally for a couple years now, we haven’t had the capital, and an international adoption can cost upwards of $30,000. For starter, yup, that’s right.

Adoption readiness also hinges on whether or not you know other adoptive families who have experienced happy outcomes. This support system — primed and ready — really helps prepare your family to welcome a new addition. And helps you wait it out, which may be the longest part of the journey. We are just starting to meet other potential families at adoption seminars and while they’re always emotional, Darrin and Sam and I feel untouched somehow. We don’t care about other peoples stories that much — we want to hear more about the pitfalls so we don’t do them as well.

I spoke briefly last week to a social worker at an agency we no longer want to work with but every piece of narrowing down helps the adoption cause. But answer this: Why don’t my eyes fill with congratulatory tears every time I meet a family who’s recently adopted? Should I not feel a sense of urgency or relief that adoption still happens with regularity? “Not again,” I think to myself and try to edge out the door. Am I just envious?

Do you have moving-forward adoption tips for Parents.com?

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