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Stuck: The Current State of International Adoption

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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Daily News Roundup

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup1 in 25 teens addicted to Internet, study finds
A new study following Connecticut high school students found 1 in 25 students reported irresistible urges to be on the Internet and experienced discomfort and tension when they were not online. The study also found that these students are more likely to use drugs and be depressed and aggressive than students who do not have problematic Internet use. (MSNBC)

Kids of Deployed Parents May Face Mental Health Risks
Researches from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences found that children who have parents deployed have a higher risk of developing psychiatric problems that require hospitalization. Out of the 375,000 children, ages 9-17, there was a 10% increased risk in psychiatric hospitalization among children whose parents were deployed. (Yahoo)

Q&A With a Family Therapist: How Kids Survive Family Secrets
Due to the recent parent infidelity in the media, a professor at the University of California discusses how children respond to family secrets, how secrets affect children compared to teens and what parents can do to minimize secrets harming their child. (Yahoo)

(more…)

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