Media: Adoption Institute in the News Archive
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'National Conversation' Suggested About All Aspects of Adoption
Pertman asserted this month that "a national conversation" is needed about all aspects of adoption in order for it "to get on a level playing field as a normal, natural way of forming a family." Pertman made his comments in a Jan. 18 article in USA Today
, "Book Provides Open Talk about Adoption," by Steve Friess. The book referred to is "A Love Like No Other," a new collection of essays by adoptive parents - including Pertman - that was edited by Jill Smolowe and Pam Kruger. To read the article, go to:
Treating Women as 'Baby-Making Machines' is Called Unacceptable
Pertman asserts that turning "real-live-flesh-and-blood women into baby-making machines" is not acceptable on a human level or practical level, in a Feb. 20 Quad-City Times
article, "Mom Stranded in Iowa When She Vetoes Adoption," written by Dan Gearino. Pertman's comment referred to the practice of pregnant women being relocated from across the country to Sioux City to place their children for adoption. To read the article, go to:
Most Adoptions Go Well But 'We Have to get it Right Every Time'
In Feb. 19 article in the Iowa Courier
, "Adoption Changes Lead to Danger, Hope," by Dan Gearino, Pertman asserts that despite an increase in interstate adoptions and the potential for fraud, the vast majority of the time adoptions are conducted ethically. However, he cautions that adoption is "not the interstate transfer of refrigerators," and "so we have to get it right every time." To read the article, go to:
Faulty Stereotypes Cited as One Reason Records Stay Closed
In a Jan. 4 article in the Boston Globe
, "For N.H. Adoptees, a Glimpse into the Past" by Mac Daniel, the Adoption Institute's Executive Director, Adam Pertman, explained that the unsealing of adoption records is ''often framed solely as a search issue, and for most people, it isn't... It's the stereotype we have in our heads and not the facts that we have on the ground." Pertman also said research shows that the vast majority of birth mothers eventually want contact with or knowledge about their children who were adopted.
Concerned Raised about Adoptions Abroad for Tsunami Orphans
In a Jan. 6 article by Leslie Brody in The Record newspaper in New Jersey, "Americans Look to Open Homes, Adopt Orphans," Pertman said children in the countries devastated by the tsunami may have relatives who will be found, and he pointed out that these children could be further traumatized if they were to be moved quickly from their home countries.
Columnist Calls Florida's Prohibition on Gay Parents 'Hypocrisy'
In a commentary on Florida's ban on gay adoption, "Our Hypocrisy Deprives Kids of Real Homes," published on Jan. 13 in the Orlando Sentinel, columnist Mike Thomas quotes Pertman as saying that "gays and lesbians are adopting tough-to-adopt kids in high numbers" across the country, and that the Adoption Institute's study on adoption disruption found "nontraditional parents" have contributed to an increase in the successful placement of children from foster care.
Questions Raised about Oversight of Surrogacy Agencies
In an article published on Jan. 25 in the Salt Lake Tribune, "Baby? How about Two?" by Kirsten Stewart, Pertman raised questions about the level of oversight of surrogacy agencies. He compared the issue to that of adoption agencies, which are required to report to state licensing bureaus and seek accreditation from professional organizations.
Column Suggest Adoptees Should Have Access to Health Histories
Executive Director Adam Pertman, in a column published Feb. 14 in the Baltimore Sun, addressed U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona's recent initiative to persuade all Americans to obtain their family medical histories. Pertman wrote that "the anachronistic reality" is that "most states still prohibit adoptees, even after they reach adulthood, from obtaining their birth certificates or other documents that would enable them to follow the surgeon general's sage advice."
Newspaper in India Questions U.S. Thirst for Adoption Reality Show
An article in The Telegraph (Calcutta, India) ridiculed the recent Fox reality show, "Who's Your Daddy," and suggested that the taste for such programming had sunk too low. The author of the Feb. 15 article, "What We're Asking Is, Are You For Real?" quotes Pertman as criticizing the program as tasteless and offensive, saying that it turned a "deeply personal, complex situation" into a "money-grubbing game show."
Infant Abandonment Laws Described as 'Misguided Policies'
In a March 8 article in the Boston Globe, "Officials Tout 'Safe Haven' Success," by Madison Park and David Abel, Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman commented that "safe haven" laws have created "misguided public policies" and may encourage women who had not previously considered abandoning their children to do so. Pertman' remarks reflected research conducted by the Adoption Institute on infant abandonment and "safe haven" laws that have now been implemented in most states.
Issues Relating to Birth Culutre, Racial Prejudice Addressed
In a March 27 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, "For Chinese Adoptees, A Cross-Cultural Embrace," by Jeff Gammage, Adoption Institute Policy Director Hollee McGinnis explained that learning about the ancient culture of an adopted person's country of origin does not address the immediate challenges and sting of racial prejudice.
Adoption's Impact on Jewish Community is Examined
In a March 27 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Jewish America's Changing Faces," by Leslie A. Pappas, Pertman commented on how transracial and intercountry adoptions have expanded the definition of what it means to look Jewish, the challenges these adoptees may face as a result, and the racial and religious issues faced by the Jewish community.
Barriers to Foster Adoption Spark Wide Attention to Problem
The Adoption Institute's most recently released study, which draws attention to the systemic barriers that prevent children in foster care from finding permanent homes, "Listening to Parents: Overcoming Barriers to the Adoption of Children from Foster Care," was cited in numerous national and international media. It drew wide attention to the needs of the 126,000 children available for adoption from foster care, and the specific problems experienced by prospective adoptive parents.
As States Consider Opening Records, Current Laws Called 'Dinosaurs'
In an April 19 article in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald, "Adoptees Seek Access to Keys to Their Pasts," by Tess Nacelewicz, Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman comments on efforts in Maine and other states to allow adult adoptees access to their birth records. Pertman says the laws sealing such records are "dinosaurs" that "reflect a period of time that no longer exists when adoption was mired in shame and secrecy."
Embryo Transfers Raise Issues About When Life Begins, Adoptions
In a May 26 article in the Boston Herald, "'Embryo Adoptions' Give Life to Controversial Debates," by Stephanie Schorow, Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman comments on some of the complex aspects of this emerging reproductive technology. Pertman says an agency that carries out such programs, in which the frozen embryos from infertility treatments are "adopted" and implanted into prospective parents, "defines where life starts in particular, not just rhetorically.'' In addition, Pertman raises concerns about the impact of "embryo transfers" on children who already are born and need permanent homes.
Adopted Adults Often Find Search for Birth Relatives Challenging
In a May 8 article in the York (Pennsylvania) Daily Record, "Finding a Mom in the Paper," by Jennifer Gish, Adoption Institute Policy & Operations Director Hollee McGinnis comments on the challenges adult adopted people face when searching for biological relatives.
Measurement of Success and Focus of 'Safe Haven' Laws are Questioned
In a May 24 article in the (Virginia) Daily Press, "An Option for Mothers," by Lisa Finneran, Executive Director Adam Pertman challenges the notion that 'safe haven' laws, which allow a mother to abandon her unwanted newborn at designated locations without facing criminal charges, can be deemed as successful based on the number of babies legally abandoned. Pertman say there is no evidence those children would otherwise have been unsafely abandoned, and he criticizes the laws for not providing any help to mothers in crisis.
Despite Setbacks, Momentum Behind Opening Adoption Records
In a June 29 article in the Washington Times by Cheryl Wetzstein, "Adoption Battle Rages," Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman asserts that despite some legislative defeats that continue to prohibit adult adopted people from accessing their adoption records, there is momentum favoring the opening of records. Pertman says most adoption agencies now offer open adoptions, in which birth and adoptive families maintain contact, and points out that there is no evidence of any negative consequences in states that have opened records in recent years.
Subsidy Cuts Seen Contributing to Fewer Foster Adoptions in MO.
In a June 15 article published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Adoption of Foster Children Declines," by Matt Franck, Pertman asserts that state budget cuts passed in April - which dramatically reduced adoption subsides - have likely contributed to the recent drop in the number of children adopted from Missouri's foster care system.
Questions Raised About Adoption of American Children Abroad
In a June 6 article in People magazine, "Why are American Babies Being Adopted Abroad?" by Anne-Marie O'Neill, Executive Director Adam Pertman comments on whether enough is being done to find homes in the U.S. for the hundreds of children, almost all African-American or biracial, being adopted overseas by foreigners.
'Battles Still Raging' Over Infant Adandonment Laws
In a July 10 article published in the Boston Globe, "Six Years After First 'Safe Haven' Laws, Battles Sill Raging," by Eric Ferkenhoff, Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman questions whether the children being left in `safe havens' would otherwise have been unsafely abandoned and suggests they might have instead been raised by family members or placed for adoption through traditional means. He also points out that these children are left without any identity or medical information.
'Helping Kids Feel Comfortable in Their Skin is a Positive Thing'
In a July 17 article by Rachel La Corte, "Lt. Gov. Owen, Sons, Make Trek to South Korea in Support of Cross-Cultural Adoption," published in the Seattle Times, Executive Director Pertman explains that trips to an adopted person's birth country are becoming increasingly common, and are an important experience that contributes to an adopted person's understanding of who they are. "Helping kids feel comfortable in their skin is a positive thing," he said.
More Single Women Becoming Parents Through Adoption
In a July 14 article on MSNBC.com, "With No Mr. Right in Sight, Time for Plan B," by Lorie A. Parch, Pertman points out the growing trend of single women - including more African-American women adopting from foster care - who want to parent and are willing to adopt older children or children of a different race than their own.
International Youth Camp Offers Opportunity to Discuss Adoption
In an Aug. 18 interview with the Korea Times, "Adoptee Finds Identity Through Youth Camp," Adoption Institute Policy and Operations Director Hollee McGinnis describes her opportunity to be a guest lecturer at the 40th anniversary of the Korean UNESCO International Youth Camp - in which had participated in 1996 - as a chance to share "my personal experience as an adopted person ... and show that adoption is a very natural way of forming a family."
Public Television to Produce Show Inspired by 'Adoption Nation'
WGBH Boston, a preeminent public broadcasting producer, has launched a website to promote a two-hour documentary, "Adoption: An American Revolution." The project, which will include educational outreach through libraries and schools, was inspired by Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman's book "Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America." In an Aug. 4 article in the Boston Globe, "WGBH Appeals to Viewers to Fund Show about Adoption," by Joanna Weiss, Pertman says a realistic portrayal of adoption is needed because too many programs - like January's "Who's Your Daddy?" - misrepresent adoption's realities.
Adoptive Parents' Search for Chinese Children's Kin Complicated
In a Sept. 11 article by Jeff Gammage, "Two Unrelated Adoptions, One Big Discovery: Twins," published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Policy and Operations Director Hollee McGinnis comments on the motivations of adoptive parents of Chinese children to actively search for their children's biological siblings.
Barrier to Foster Adoptions Said to Include 'Bad Customer Service'
Adoption Institute Senior Fellow Jeff Katz discusses barriers to adoption of children from foster care in a Sept. 13 "Ask This" interview by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Based on his research published by the Institute, "Listening to Parents: Overcoming the Barriers to the Adoption of Children from Foster Care," Katz comments on the reasons some public child welfare agencies treat prospective adoptive parents poorly (a major barrier) and makes suggestions on how to make adoption more accessible.
Faith=Based Agencies Vary on Placing Children with Same-Sex Couples
In an Oct. 21 article in the Boston Globe, "Archdiocesan Agency Aids in Adoptions by Gays," by Patricia Wen, Executive Director Pertman comments that in recent years Jewish- and Lutheran-affiliated adoption agencies have accepted applications from gays and lesbians at a far higher rate than by Catholic- or Methodist- affiliated organizations. His comments were based on the Institute's 2003 study, "Adoption by Gays and Lesbians: A National Survey of Adoption Agency Policies, Practices and Attitudes."
California Case Illustrates 'Limits' of Safe Haven Laws
An Oct. 16 story about Holly Ashcraft, a college student in California charged with murder after the body of her newborn baby was discovered in a trashcan, raised questions about the effectiveness of "safe haven" laws intended to prevent such tragedies. "USC Case Shows Limits of Laws to Save Babies," by Rebecca Trounson and Hector Becarra in the Los Angeles Times, was one of a growing number of accounts to suggest problems with the safe haven approach. Institute Executive Director Pertman pointed out that these laws apparently have not led to a decrease in the number of infants being unsafely abandoned but instead are "persuading women who never would have abandoned their babies to do so."
Adoption's Impact on Jewish Identity, Community and Future
An Oct. 29 article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, by Jane Clifford, examines the issues involved when Jews adopt children internationally, focusing on a family that adopted a girl from China and on adoptees' "place in a much bigger picture .. of increasing concern in some circles about the continuity of the Jewish people." The article quotes from "Adoption Nation," Executive Director Pertman's book, which says that "whatever (adoption) might accomplish for the adults in the picture, it provides a systematic opportunity for children to grow up in stable homes with loving parents."
Radio Interview Reflects on 50 Years of Intercountry Adoptions
Executive Director Pertman was recently interviewed by Michael Montgomery of American Radio Works for a project entitled, "Finding Home: Fifty Years of International Adoption." Pertman spoke of the "cultural transformation" that is being spurred by intercountry adoption, along with other specific changes and challenges.
Employer Benefits that Help Adoptive Families, Help Morale
In the November issue of Employee Benefits, "Adoption Benefits Mature in the Workplace," by Leah Carlson, Pertman comments on the phenomenon of employer adoption benefits and on how such benefits show respect for adoptive families, are helpful for workplace morale, and place adoptive families on a par with families formed in other ways.
Questions Raised About Effectiveness of Iowa's 'Safe Haven' Statute
In a Dec. 25 article published in the DesMoine Register, "Newborns' Haven Law Gets Little Publicity," by Bonnie Harris, Executive Director Adam Pertman asserts that 'safe haven' laws can "encourage women to discard their babies anonymously, without providing any medical identity for the child." Pertman's comments, based on the Institute's study "Unintended Consequences," reflect research that indicates women who unsafely abandon their babies tend not to be the ones who utilize safe haven laws.
Outdated Assumptions Fuel Challenges to Finding Families for Teens
A Dec. 9 article in the New York Times, by Fernanda Santos, examines efforts to promote adoptions in New York City for the growing number of foster teens in public care. In "Painful Reality TV; Show Reflects Urgent Push for Teenage Adoption," Pertman attributes some of the challenges to finding permanent, loving families for teens to the outdated perception that "kids who were in the double-digit age brackets were unadoptable."