Posts Tagged ‘ toddler adopt ’

A Drug-Free America for all Children

Friday, November 16th, 2012

If you’ve tuned in for the last few months, you know that there’s a much higher rate of alcohol abuse and drug use among foster children in America. It makes a prospective adoptive parents reconsider how old a child they are willing to bring into the home, for istance. When you begin foster-care training to adopt a domestic kid out of foster care, part of your scary training is how to handle the emotional tribulations with a drug-addled baby. How sad.

To celebrate a drug-free American and help more kids get adopted out of foster care: The National Family Partnership® (NFP)  is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. In 1985 after the murder of a DEA agent, parents, youth and teachers in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the destruction caused by drugs.

This year, families got involved by entering a contest to promote awareness in their neighborhoods and win a drug prevention grant for their schools.

Ten lucky winners from regions across the U.S. will be announced at events at their winning schools in December.  Students bring the Red Ribbon Week® message home by working alongside parents to decorate their front doors, mailboxes, fence, etc. with this year’s theme “The Best Me Is Drug Free.”

Do you ever talk to your young kids about drugs? And if you are a foster parents with experience fostering kids with problems, contact me here, and tell me your story!

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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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Foster Kids: There are Monsters Under our Beds

Friday, October 5th, 2012

After going back and forth relentlessly between domestic adoption, closed adoption (my husband) versus open domestic adoption (the wife), we are at a standstill. Bio son Sam has been waiting so long for a young sister or brother that he almost doesn’t care anymore (two years and counting). At age 4, Sam was excited about a sibling; at six he’s nearly over it.

Another standstill: It’s harder and harder to leap over all the adoption barricades: finances, emotions, huge disagreements, our busy working lives, etc.

Barricade #1: Cost of an international adoption which is clearly the winner vote by our family. Hard to scare up the initial $15,000 to get the international adoption ball rolling. The total cost of an international Indian adoption for a young toddler daughter will costs total between $30,000 – $50,000.

We have some emotional obstacles around international adoption as well: Some parents who adopt internationally will question the need to bring up things that happened in their child’s past. Could you personally admit that money may have driven your birth parents’ decision, or that your joyful toddler comes from poor parents who never even gave consent?

If corruption exists in your child’s birth country or may have played a role in your baby’s adoption, I believe it’s not your fault. You didn’t set out to “steal” anyone’s baby.

From International Adoption to Domestic Adoption

You can read about our fears and ignorance around foster children in previous posts, but I still urge everyone to look into local domestic adoptions first. You adopt in a shorter amount of time and deeply serve your local community.

Re: Domestic Adoption from the Los Angeles County foster and family agencies. After several posts over the last few weeks, devout reader Jayme, who spent young, formative years in foster care in another state wrote to me.

Looking back, she remembered, “Nothing short of horrid. We used to be told about the monsters under our beds when we were young. Sometimes I wonder if they really are real? Monsters are everywhere. I learned the hard way.

“Sad sad sad,” said reader Jayme. Keep up the good work on adoptions, and I will. Share your stories with me:

 

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LA County Proclaims September 10 – 14 “Family Reunification Week”

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Three years ago, Michael Nash, Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, with the support of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, initiated the first ever “Family Reunification Week.”

The annual celebration recognizes the thousands of families that have complied with specific court requirements and safely reunited with their children.

There are three components to this year’s celebration: On Tuesday, September 11th, six  family reunification “Heroes” were honored (a group of parents, social workers, and organizations that have done an exemplary job)  for supporting the safe return of children to their homes and families and presented with a special scroll presentation by Chairman Yaroslavsky’s Children’s Deputy Lisa Mandel at the Hall of Administration.

The most emotional part of the program was undoubtedly hree families sharing their personal stories on how they reunited with their children.  Parents in Partnership, a DCFS program that utilizes parents who have successfully navigated the Dependency Court system to reunify with their children and are now coaching other families on how to do the same, will discuss their successful program.

Later today, the media is invited to attend a press conference at Juvenile Court where reporters can witness a unique event, similar in format to National Adoption Day, as court officially terminates the cases of eight families whose parents have successfully reunified with their children.  These eight families represent over 3,000 families that reunify with their children each year.

The system actually accomplishes that more often than not. Of the 25,000 plus children under our court’s jurisdiction today, almost 15,000 are either being safely maintained at home or are in a reunification plan with their families.

But here’s the rub: Would you be able to hand off a beloved foster care child back to biological parents who may have, at one time, neglected or abused their own children?

Not sure I could be that strong… Comment here.

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Foster Care Child Burned by Hot Spoons, Tortured

Friday, July 20th, 2012

LA County’s child protective services can be scary from the outside looking in. My family is worried about adopting from local foster care and inheriting a sick child with issues we don’t want to handle. That’s the truth.

When you’ve been through foster resource family orientation and filed paperwork to be a foster parent or a foster-to-adopt family, you must take 24 hours (four consecutive Tuesdays for six hours each) of lessons, seminars and what if situations.

In these 6-hour sessions, you play-act with your mate (if you have one) so you’re better prepared for a foster toddler who may have seen some sad situations, or been neglected or abused.

At the beginning of summer, we postponed the mandatory 24 hours of foster family training because our schedules were so busy but also because of stories like these:

According to the LA Times, a 5-year-old boy, known as Johnny, was rescued from a San Bernardino home in 2009,  burned with a glue gun and hot spoons. He had been starved and sodomized, punched and forced to crouch motionless.

Foster parents Martin Roland Morales, 35, and Juan Carlos Santos-Herrera, 22, were found guilty of torture, child abuse and sodomizing a child less than 10 years of age. Another adult, Crystal Rodriguez, 35, was convicted of child endangerment after failing to protect another young victim,  according to reports.

Child welfare officials in Los Angeles County determined the allegations that he had been abused were unfounded and the officials determined that the “child [was] not at risk.”

An internal review concluded that the finding was wrong. Johnny, now 8, lives in an adoptive home and is academically gifted.

All across American, little lids are abused in the foster care system and beyond. I don’t think I can personally handle scary emotionally abused child who could light my house on fire. Poison my dogs. You know?

What are my odds? Does this sound terrible?

Tell me your adoption story in Comments below.

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