We recently published our official recommendations on how to handle social media as it relates to adoption as a birth parent or adoptive parent http://adoptionstar.com/child-placement/adoption-and-social-media-recommendations-for-healthy-ongoing-communication/. Here is an article on using Facebook to find family members. In this article the author writes about her experiences helping her father find his biological brother who was adopted.
His brother was adopted in Ohio, which seals all of its adoption records. Because her father had a letter with his brother’s name on it, she had a head start and by using Facebook, gsadoptionregistry.com and other people-finder websites, the author was able to track down her father’s brother’s daughter (her first cousin) on Facebook. After sending a few Facebook messages, and with the help of a mutual friend, they contacted each other and were able to set up a meeting between the brothers.
It is a very interesting story to read, and I am sure we will be hearing more and more about adult adoptees using Facebook and other social media accounts to find birth family members. What are your thoughts on using Social Media for birth family searches?
New York Democratic Assemblyman David Weprin (D-24th A.D.) is sponsoring legislation concerning his “Bill of Adoptee Rights” (A.2003) to open adoption records in New York State. His bill cleared the Assembly health committee in April 2011 and Weprin expects a full Assembly vote in June 2011. This movement to change NYS Adoption Law has been coined the “Unsealed Initiative.” This legislative reform organization is working directly with legislators and lobbying for the passage of the “Bill of Adoptee Rights.”
“The passage of the ‘Bill of Adoptee Rights’ will provide adult adoptees with access to information that a non-adopted person has a legal right to obtain,” said Assemblyman Weprin. In New York State, an adult adoptee cannot access his or her original birth certificate. This bill will allow adult adoptees to request and receive a non-certified copy of an original birth certificate and/or a medical history form, if available.
For more information, you may visit the Unsealed Initiative’s website
“Help me. Help me help you. Help me…help you. HelpMeHelpYou.”
While watching Jerry Maguire for the millionth time recently, this line stuck out to me. As Tom Cruise rapidly repeated “Help me help you, help me…help you, help…me help you,” I was thinking about the Adoption STAR blog.
The blog is over one month old and we have some really exciting projects coming in the future, including videos, podcasts and much more, but we’d like to know what topics you would like for us to cover. Would you like to see more adoption related news? more commentary and opinion? More adoption journey stories? Are you interested reviews of adoption books and movies?
Our goal is to make the blog a mandatory visit on a daily basis, so we’d like to hear from our readers! Please feel free to leave responses in the blog comments, or you can email Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For some, the thought of becoming pregnant is a dream come true, while for others it’s an unexpected situation. Whatever the circumstances, there are questions that need to be answered.
One of the first answers you may want to know is approximately when you are due. The Adoption STAR website provides a pregnancy calculator that can give you an approximate date. If you believe you are pregnant and have not seen a doctor, we suggest you make an appointment to receive an official pregnancy test and due date.
After receiving confirmation from a physician that you are pregnant, you may want to visit the Adoption STAR page that will give you specifics on pregnancy nutrition, weight gain during pregnancy, exercising during pregnancy, and prenatal care. You will also want to consult your doctor with any questions about these topics.
Lastly, if your pregnancy is unplanned and you’re considering all of your parenting options, the Adoption STAR website can help you begin to think about adoption as an option.
After reading this page, you would want to review the specifics of creating an adoption plan. If you’re interested in hearing more about creating an adoption plan, then you can fill out the expectant parent information request form, or contact Adoption STAR by phone toll free at 866-691-3300.
Whether your pregnancy was planned or unplanned it is always important to be informed and as prepared as possible.
Using positive adoption language is important in every-day life. If you are involved in the adoption process it’s important that you know the positive terminology so that you can pass it along to your family, as well as friends and co-workers who may not know what they are saying can be construed as offensive.
Each week we will review a positive adoption term and it’s unconstructive counterpart. If you have any suggestions for more positive or negative terms that we haven’t covered yet, please leave them in the comments, or email Alex at email@example.com.
Today’s positive adoption phrase is “birth child” and its negative counterpart is “own child.” Whether you are an adoptive parent or birth parent, there is no “own child” as the child would not have the life that he/she currently has without all of his/her adoptive and birth parents.
Often people unfamiliar with adoption ask, “Do you have any of your own children?” This is a common question and is often cited as one of the most uncomfortable and un-welcomed questions received by adoptive parents. How you answer communicates to the person asking and to your child who may be listening that your child belongs with you and your family.
It is important for your son/daughter to know that they are loved by both their adoptive and birth parents. Labeling the birth parent as the “real parent” or having your son/daughter called the birth parents “own child” would not be in the best interest of the child.
Good Morning everyone, we’re halfway to the long weekend!
The current state of the economy has affected many personal decisions such as where and when to go on vacation, whether to get a new car, and now according to this MSNBC article, whether or not to have a child.
The article interviewed several families who are ready to have children, but have pushed back the decision due to financial hardship. These stories are not just a fad either, as according to the article “The U.S. Fertility rate fell 4 percent from 2007-09,” The Federal Centers for Disease Control said this was the largest drop in 30 years. The article relates the drop in fertility rate from 2007-09 with the recession, saying that those two years were the worst recession years of the past 30 years.
While it is true that having a baby either biologically or through the adoption process can be expensive, CNN recently did a profile on Becky Fawcett and her not-for-profit group “helpusadopt.org.” The profile said that “Since 2007, the group has awarded over $300,000 in financial assistance toward adoption expenses.”
According to the article approved couples can receive grants ranging from $500-$15,000, which can be used to help offset expenses for “domestic, international, foster care and special needs adoption.”
Lately more and more information has been released about China and the way the government has handled adoptions for many years. Two weeks ago, the number one Chinese investigative reporting magazine, Caixin, published a long feature on many families who have had their children taken away by the Chinese government because they were in violation of the one-child per family law.
According to a report by MSNBC, This feature opened the eyes of many Chinese citizens who live in cities and were unaware of the situations in the poverty-stricken farmlands of the country.
The Caixin report said that over the past 10 years there have been instances of family planning officials demanding that families pay in some cases more than 10,000 Yuan in Family Planning Violation Fees, or else they will take their second child and sell it into adoption. The article says that the local government officials have supported this Family Planning practice.
The Caixin reported that between 2000-05 at least 16 children from Gaoping, a poverty mountain town in China, were taken from their families because they couldn’t pay the fines. 12 of these 16 children were later sent to an orphanage for adoption.
The article says that once these children are sent to an orphanage, the orphanage must place an ad in a newspaper for 60 days, however if no one claims the child they are given a new name and birthdate and placed for adoption. The biggest issue is that many of these impoverished families living in the mountains never see the newspaper ads and are unable to fight for their children according to the article.
The Caixin article says that China has been practicing population control since the 1970’s and instituted the one-child per family law in 1982. These regulations have been credited with “bringing Gaoping’s population under control” according to the article. However the article also said that the laws go against ancient local traditions such as “sons offer valuable insurance against old age, and more children bring more happiness.”
This post is just the tip of the article’s iceberg, and I would suggest reading the entire article and watching this linked video to gain a better understanding of the current Chinese adoption issues. If you are considering international adoption from any country, working with an agency will help you clear many of the hurdles you may face.
For more information on adopting from China visit the US Department of State website.
Good Morning Everyone!
Here is a great blog post from “Portrait of Adoption.” The writer of the post, Carrie Goldman, has two biological children and one daughter who she and her husband adopted. Yesterday, she wrote about something that many adoptive families have to deal with, the fact that your adopted child may not look like the rest of the family.
What I liked about the way Goldman handled the specific situation in the post was that she reminded her daughter that they had a lot in common such as their love for dessert, soccer and movies, among other things. Goldman also reminded her daughter that when she smiles she looks like her birth mother and siblings. If this weren’t enough Goldman also straightened her hair so that she would look more like her daughter.
How have you/will you handle these conversations when your children ask why they may not necessarily look like the rest of the family?
For those who have not seen our new staff bio pages, we have recently added introduction videos for the staff members. I’d like to take this opportunity over the next few weeks to feature a different staff member on the blog.
A little bit about Lisa
Surf and Turf
Favorite current band/artist:
Favorite band/artist growing up:
Favorite aspect of working in the adoption field:
“Receiving the birth announcements from the adoptive parents.”
To read Lisa’s full staff bio and watch her video click here.
Good Morning Everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend. If you come across an article related to adoption or families, that you think other readers would enjoy please don’t hesitate the link to Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s article takes us away from the specific topic of adoption, and focuses on parenting. A new type of pregnancy class is being taught in some high schools in Virginia, and part of the curriculum includes taking care of a “robot baby” for a weekend. The article says that the baby simulator is programmed to cry throughout the night and needs to be fed and changed. The schools hope that this experience will help show teens all of the responsibilities of being a parent at such a young age.
This article brings up a lot of questions. What do you think about the tactics used in the class? Do you feel this experience will show teens what life may be like should they become pregnant and a parent at a young age? Do you think adoption would ever cross their minds? Do you think this curriculum even includes a discussion on parenting alternatives?