Adoption STAR has written many times that the current incarnation of the Adoption Tax Credit will expire in December 2012. Currently, families that finalize their adoption in 2012 will be eligible for an un-refundable credit of up to $12,170. Those finalize their adoption in 2013 would only be eligible for the tax credit if it is a special needs adoption.
There is currently a bill, entitled the Making Adoption Affordable Act, that could save the adoption tax credit, and ensure that adoption will be affordable to families in the future. According to New York State Citizens’ Coalition for Children (NYSCCC) one way make sure this bill is enacted is by contacting your local representative in the US House of Representatives, and asking that they cosponsor the bipartisan bill H.R. 4373, Making Adoption Affordable Act.
To contact your local representative, you can call (202)225-3121 and ask for their office. You can find your representatives name at this website.
Adoption STAR is always looking for ways to make adoption affordable for families, and the Adoption Tax Credit, is one great way to do so. You do not need to be an adoptive family to be affected by the Adoption Tax Credit, so we encourage you to call your local representative, and also pass along this information to your friends and family so they can do the same!
For more information on the saving the Adoption Tax Credit, you can contact Adoption STAR by email or Toll-Free at 1(866)691-3300.
Jennifer M. Koontz recently wrote an article for Huffington Post about being a proud adoptive parent and making sure your child is proud of his birth heritage. In the article Koontz writes about an experience she recently had, where she attempted to connect with a mother who had a child who seemed to be adopted internationally, like her daughter was.
While at Target, Koontz and her young daughter attempted to stop and speak with this woman, Koontz writes that she stopped the woman and said “I have a daughter who was born in South America. Was your son born in South America?” Koontz writes that the mother looked down and walked away quickly with no response.
This anecdote leads into Koontz’ main point, that there is no need to run and hide from adoption and that adoptive parents should be teaching their children to be proud of who they are and not to hide from their differences. Koontz concedes that some people who ask questions about adoption may not do-so in a politically correct way, but she believes that most of the questions come from people who would like to learn more about adoption.
“I never want my daughter to run away from who she is; I want her to feel proud of her background, her appearance, her personality, and I want her to give thanks for the person she was made to be.”
Adoption STAR agrees with Koontz that it’s very important to begin speaking with your child about adoption at a very early age. This can be done by reading books to them starting at birth where the main character is adopted or is different from their family. As your children grow older, they will have more questions about their adoption journey, and the key will be to openly and honestly answer their questions.
If you would like more information on speaking with your children about their adoption journey, you can contact your Adoption STAR Family Advocate, or you can contact the agency directly by email or toll-free at 1(866)691-3300.
We’d love to hear how you connect and network with other adoptive families, and how you answer questions about your children’s adoption journeys.
To read the full Huffington Post article, please click here.
The Adoption STAR Pen recently made a trip to Boston to take in the sights and a ball game at Fenway Park. Check out its pictures from Harvard and Fenway Park. Extra points if you can name the “Three Lies” from the “Statue of lies” pictured below.
The goal of the Adoption STAR Pen Around The World Project is to tell a story at the end of the year of where the Pen has been in 2012. If you would like to participate by taking pictures with the pen, please email Alex Rubin with a request for pens. Once you receive the pens and take the pictures, please send them back to Alex.
To view all of the photos from the Adoption STAR Pen’s travels, please visit and subscribe to Adoption STAR’s Pinterest page.
The Adoption STAR Pen at famous Fenway Park in front of the “Green Mon-stah.”
The Adoption STAR Pen at the gravesite of famous nursery rhymes author, Mother Goose.
Adoption STAR is searching for a full-time Administrative Assistant position (in our Williamsville, NY office). Candidates must be able to multi-task and regularly exhibit a friendly demeanor and positive attitude. The Administrative Assistant will manage the overall administrative operations of the office, supporting the Client Relationship Manager, Executive Assistant, CEO and agency staff.
Desired Skills and Experience: Strong organizational and record-keeping skills; must be detail-oriented; computer proficient especially with Macs; experience using databases; ability to manage a multi-line telephone system and direct calls accordingly; familiar and comfortable with office equipment and facilities management; must possess excellent written and verbal communications skills; proven ability to work in a team environment and take initiative on projects; willing to respond quickly and flexibly to changing events and work assignments in a dynamic and challenging work environment; experience with finance-related tasks (such as petty cash management, check request development, corporate credit card reconciliation, etc.).
Preferred candidate has a Bachelors degree or an Associates degree with at least two years of experience in a professional office environment. Fast learners who are interested in this entry level position are encouraged to apply.
How to Apply: Interested candidates should e-mail their resume to Michael Hill, Associate Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to a resume, candidates need to include a cover letter that outlines your interest in the position, why you’re an ideal candidate, salary history, and salary requirements. No phone calls please.
Upon receipt of the aforementioned documents, qualified candidates will be sent an e-mail questionnaire for further consideration. All candidates called in for an interview will have to complete on-site testing as a part of the in-person interview process.
Adoption STAR is headquartered in Williamsville, NY. Adoption STAR is a non-profit adoption agency that provides support, training, advocacy and resources in an effort to help children find their forever families.
Good luck and please feel free to share this job opening information with anyone you think might be interested!
Today’s blog post is a preview of Adoption STAR’s brand new E-Book entitled “Adoption and Social Media: The Effects of Social Media and The Internet on Child Adoption.” This book covers the history of social media, having an open adoption relationship via social media, performing adoption searches using social media, and keeping your children safe on the Internet. To receive your FREE copy of this E-Book, please email email@example.com.
Chapter 2: Keeping your child safe on Social Media
Social Media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others, all have privacy settings that users can manipulate to make their profiles as public or private as they see fit. The next two chapters will look into speaking openly and honestly to your children about the positives and the dangers that the Internet presents, as well as updating privacy settings on all three websites.
There are many classes and workshops available to parents that teach them about the positives and detriments of social media, and prepare them to keep their children safe on the Internet. One proactive tip is to join Facebook and Twitter yourself if you haven’t done so already. This way you will know what your kids will and will not be able to do on the social media sites. Also, by being “friends” with your children on social media sites, it may prevent them from publicly posting videos, photos and status updates that may be inappropriate.
It will be difficult to keep your teenage children off of social media sites. Even if you do not allow Facebook, Twitter and similar sites at your house, your kids will most likely have Internet opportunities at school, on their cellphones or at a friend’s house. Instead of fighting against joining social media sites, it is often more reasonable to allow children of a certain age to join them, while making them follow strict rules.
These rules can include:
– That they must be “friends” with you on all of their social media sites, and that they can not block you from viewing any part of their public profile.
– They must provide you with the email address and password for all of their social media accounts so that you can see any private messages and confirm they have not blocked you from viewing their profile.
Setting Internet and social media usage guidelines for your children is important, it’s also important to be a positive role model for your children on the Internet. If your children see you posting inappropriate photos (past or present) or sharing too much information in your status updates, then you are setting a precedent that it is OK for them to do the same. By remaining socially appropriate on your social media page, you are teaching your children what you expect of them.
Being friends with your children on social media, viewing their profiles regularly and being a positive Internet role model is a start to keeping them safe on the Internet. Another important aspect is speaking to them regularly about the dangers of the World Wide Web. It’s important to discuss with your children that people may not be who they claim to be online, and to never give out private information like a phone number, address, social security number etc.
When speaking with your children about the dangers of the Internet, try to find ways to connect with them by using age-appropriate examples that they can relate to. A scene from a movie or an article from a newspaper can provide the starting point for a conversation about the dangers of the Internet. These tangible examples can provide a good opportunity to make an impression with your children.
If you would like to read the full Adoption STAR E-Book on social media and child adoption, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your FREE copy.
The Adoption STAR Family Picnic is Sunday, August 5, and we’re looking for volunteers for the event! Volunteers can either join a committee to help plan the event, or they can help the day-of to make sure it’s a great day for everyone. The picnic will take place at Ellicot Creek Park (shelters 10A and 10B).
Whether you have a few hours the day-of, or would like to contribute more time before the event, please see below regarding different opportunities
Games/Craft Committees – a kid at heart? this might be the right committee for you!
Food/Beverage Committees – help us organize food pick up logistics, as well as reaching out to area business for donations, gift cards, etc.
Day of the Event
Grill Masters Team (4-6 people needed)
Set up of event (beginning at 11am)
Clean up of event
Registration Table help (2-3 people needed)
All Adoption STAR adoptive families and waiting families are encouraged to attend and/or volunteer for the picnic. If you would like more information on volunteering, please email Adoption STAR Volunteer Coordinator, Joelle Ruetimann, or you can reach her by phone at (716)639-3900.
Adoption STAR adoptive families and waiting families in Albany will be holding a Hawaiian Picnic on Sunday, July 15, at the Crossings at Colonie (580 Albany Shaker Road Loudonville, New York 12211) starting at 10 am. Families will be meting at the picnic tables near the playground.
Because this is a Hawaiian Picnic, all parents and kids are encouraged to wear their favorite Hawaiian shirts and dresses!
- Cream Cheese
We’d like to thank everyone for their patience while we work out the final kinks to the brand new Adoption STAR website. We’re sure that everyone will appreciate the “User-Friendliness” of this new site, and this blog post will share some of the new features.
- One big change to the new website is the home page which now very clearly directs users to the sections they are looking for. If you are pregnant and would like more information on pregnancy counseling and making an adoption plan, just click on the title “Are you Pregnant and Looking For Support?” Which is located across the large “right-hand” photo. For prospective parents looking for more information on adoption, clicking on the “Looking to Adopt?” title, located across the right-hand photo, will bring you to the adoptive parents section. You will find all of the other sections of the website across the “mast-head” on the top of each page, or in the “quick-links” section on the bottom of each page.
- A new feature on the site is the search function, which is located in the top right corner of the website. By typing the subject you are looking for into the search menu, you will find all of the content on the Adoption STAR website that pertains to that specific topic.
- Two more fun additions to the new Adoption STAR website are the revolving quotes from adoptive parents and birth parents, which you will find in the bottom right corner of each page, and the rotating archived blog posts which will appear on the left-hand side of many pages. To read the full archived blog post that appears, just click on the title of the post.
You will notice that many of the pages will look different but all of the informative and interesting content from our previous site remain. If you have any questions or need help finding a specific blog post or article, please email email@example.com.