Posts Tagged ‘ toddler adoption ’

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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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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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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Making Inspiring Art for Adopted Kids

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Lisa Barbero an artist and avid reader of The Adoption Diaries here on sent me the map, at right. She said, “I’ve loved reading your blog. Your honest and heartfelt perspective on parenting and adoption are wonderful.

Just thought I’d drop a line to tell you about the art I make and how it’s begun to catch the eyes of many adoptive parents. I make custom skylines and country maps from all over the world. Parents have taken to commissioning me to make representations of their adopted countries otherwise obscure hometowns, especially those which may be in tucked away little villages in places like China or Eastern Europe.”

Recently Lisa was asked to create a large scale poster of Ethiopia [see at right] for a family adopting a son from there. I’m also currently working on South Korea and the Ukraine for other adoptive families who want to bring their new, adopted children into a home where their parents respect and recognize their own countries too. I think that’s an amazing and gracious idea!

Lisa said, “I am honored to get the opportunity to make these unique pieces of art, which can not only provide a special sentiment to the room of any child, but especially to those coming from other countries. The introduction of that special little boy or girl into their new home can be made that much more comfortable by seeing a familiar part of their former home on their nursery walls. So, I thought there must be many more children out there who could be helped in their adoption transitions as well.”

If you or yours are expecting a new foster child or an adopted kid into your home any time in the future, commission Lisa to create beautiful, vibrant art that will make them feel loved, welcomed and nurtured. Thanks for reading, Lisa, and stay in touch!

Tell me your own adoption story here.

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New Children’s Book ‘Vegan is Love’ Teaches Benefits of Vegetarianism

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Vegetarianism is good for all people, the planet and animals all over the world. Yup, a little radical but I believe most of that is true, in large part. While Veganism means not eating any eggs or fish — and I do believe growing children need some healthy proteins — there are great takeaway lessons in this book.

“Vegan Is Love is a childrens’ book, but at its core, it’s about democracy, supply and demand, and engaging ourselves in the public realm,” said author-illustrator Ruby Roth. “Fast food companies don’t think your kids are too young to be marketed to, agribusiness uses the word ‘sustainable’ to talk about GMOs, and marine parks and zoos want kids to believe they are conservationists. If you don’t educate your children, someone else will.”

In Vegan Is Love (North Atlantic Books), Roth teaches a new generation of young readers about choices and the personal agency of people—big and small—in creating a more sustainable, peaceful, and compassionate world. Vegan Is Love is the first complete guide to the vegan philosophy and lifestyle for children. It addresses the daily opportunities children have to protect animals, the environment, and people around the world. From the clothes we wear, to the products we buy, to the food we eat and the entertainment we choose, Roth shows young readers the far-reaching ethical and environmental rewards of vegan choices. It includes a back-of-the-book list of actions and resources to empower kids to be the change they wish to see in the world.

Author Ruby Roth is a Los Angeles-based activist, artist, writer, and former teacher whose children’s books have received international attention for their sensitive yet frank advocacy of a vegan diet and lifestyle. She has degrees in art and American Studies, and for nearly a decade has researched and spoken publicly on animal agriculture, health, nutrition, and the benefits of a vegan diet. Her first book That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, published by North Atlantic Books, has been praised by celebrities, leading activists and parents, as well as attacked by the likes of agribusiness executives.

Join me next week when we explore domestic adoption versus international adoption!

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