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Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Six years ago today, my husband and I officially put our hats (and about 75 pages of documents) into the ring in the hopes of adopting a second child from China. And if we hadn’t been lucky enough to find our daughter on our adoption agency’s list of children with known medical needs, we would still be waiting for China to match us with our child—with no end in sight to our wait. (Currently, the people at the “front” of the line for adopting from China have already been waiting six and a half years.)
We are not an anomaly, as a new documentary, Stuck, shows in dramatic detail. New regulations put into place by the U.S. and other countries to help stop corruption in international adoption haven’t been as successful at stopping it as everyone had hoped. Instead, it’s slowed down the process to adopt a child to the point where it now takes nearly 3 years to complete an adoption—and it’s led to many more children growing up in institutions, where they are often neglected and left ill-equipped for life after the orphanage. The documentary offers sad glimpses of life in the orphanages in Vietnam, Ethiopia, Romania and Haiti—and tells the stories of several families who were “stuck” at various points in their adoption stories.
I have to admit—the trailer for the documentary made me worry it was a little bit too much in the vein of “Let the Americans come in and save these poor orphans.” But after watching the movie, it’s clearly more balanced. Its message is that every child should have a family—and if one isn’t available in a child’s home country, if there’s another family with open arms across the border, let the child go there rather than languish in an orphanage.
If you’re considering international adoption—or know someone who is—definitely check this movie out. It’s a great way to get a real sense of what’s happening in international adoption right now.
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Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
Research from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Ethiopia, appearing in the journal Pediatrics, found that Parents will chose to feed their sons better portions than their daughters in times of food shortages. Female youths generally should be healthier than males, but under these circumstances girls became twice more likely to report illness.
Study Finds Nearly Half of School Social Workers Feel Unequipped to Handle Cyberbullying
In a survey of nearly 400 school social workers at the elementary, middle and high school levels, the researchers found that while all respondents felt that cyber bullying can cause psychological harm, including suicide, about 45 percent felt they were not equipped to handle cyber bullying, even though they recognized it as a problem. Further, only about 20 percent thought their school had an effective cyberbullying policy.
How to teach children to be optimists: listen, don’t label!
A Parent’s outlook on life has the potential to influence their child’s level of optimism. In order to generate a positive approach to life parents must be aware of their influence. Some steps recommended by Dr. Leslie Walker, Chief of Adolescent Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital, involve listening, avoiding labels, refrain from dismissive responses, and look for the bright side.
Poor Formula: Fussy Babies Get Solid Food Too Early
The Journal of Pediatrics reported on Monday that the early addition of solid foods and juice adds calories to a baby’s diet. Previous research has linked these excess calories to higher weight and body mass index , a measure of weight per height, in infancy and toddlerhood.
Woman Unaware of Pregnancy Delivers 7-Pound Baby
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Jessica Genaw gave birth New Years Eve to a seven pound ten ounce baby boy. But, she did not know she was pregnant until she was an ambulance on her way to deliver. Genaw had been taking birth control pills throughout her pregnancy and attributed her discomfort to bad stomach cramps. Her and her boyfriend are keeping their son, and named him Blake after his father.
Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
3 ways to lower breast cancer risk, despite your DNA: Women who make healthy lifestyle choices lower their risk of developing invasive breast cancer, regardless of whether they have a family history of the disease, according to a new study. [MSNBC]
Adoptions from Ethiopia rise, bucking global trend: As the overall number of international adoptions by Americans plummets, one country — Ethiopia — is emphatically bucking the trend, sending record numbers of children to the U.S. while winning praise for improving orphans’ prospects at home. [MSNBC]
For gay youths, middle school can be toughest time: Coming out at impressionable age makes students a target for bullies. [MSNBC]
Women with epilepsy may have a harder time conceiving: A study in the journal Neurology finds women with epilepsy may have a harder time conceiving than women without the disorder. Epilepsy results from the generation of electrical signals inside the brain, causing recurring seizures. [Paging Dr. Gupta/CNN]
The evolution of love: 5 ways to keep your marriage alive: We live in a world where the word divorce is rampant. However, for the fifty percent who don’t make it, there is another half who has kept their marriage alive. iMag interviewed couples that are at different stages of their married life, from one to 39 years, to see what the secrets are to staying together happily. [Fox News]
Siblings of autistic children may also have subtle traits: As many as one in five siblings of children with autism may have subtler problems with language and speech, according to new research involving nearly 3,000 children. [Business Week]
Down Syndrome births are down in U.S.: More than 90 percent of women carrying a child with Down Syndrome choose to end their pregnancies, but parents raising these kids say they’re a “gift.” (This article is a bit older, but I thought it was still very striking.) [ABC News]
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autism, breast cancer, Down syndrome, Ethiopia, gay, marriage, middle school | Categories:
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