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Trauma, Race and Invisibility: The Power of Getting Woke

Racial and ethnic self-understanding illuminates the way in which the self can become invisible rather than understood.” For decades, transracial adoptees have shared their experiences related to race, adoption and identity and what they need — this generation is no different.

Fall 2016 DAI Newsletter

DAI UPDATE ON THE ROAD WITH DAI In September, The Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) partnered with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services and Fostering Change for Children to host an Open Adoption Learning Session for…

Race, Class and Culture: A Conversation with April Dinwoodie

Transracial adoptions are an increasingly common aspect of the adoption experience. While transracial adoptive families represent the most visibly obvious adoptive families, it is arguable that all adoptions – even those where families of experience closely resemble families of origin – are transcultural. No two families are exactly the same and no two families operate exactly the same.

These Korean Adoptees Grew Up Like Typical American Kids. Then They Learned They Weren’t Citizens.

On a warm summer afternoon, the central Seoul neighborhood of Itaewon was buzzing with the chaotic energy of an international city. Neon storefront lights flashed across the sidewalks, mixing with the Korean pop music that wafted from the local shops. Yellow taxis whizzed past the herds of tourists on the streets. And deep inside the bowels of an underground restaurant, a tattooed, unusually muscular Korean man, who goes by the name D, was rushing to prep dinner service.

Our Differences: Let’s Celebrate Instead of Shame

Bullying is far from a childhood rite of passage – it’s a public health issue. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, “one out of every four students (22%) report being bullied during the school…

Seeing Color: Why It Matters for Transracial Adoptive Families

In combating this issue, the goal is not to achieve a colorblind society but rather one that celebrates, instead of victimizes, differences in color. For families of adoption, particularly those who combine racial and cultural differences, it is essential that they engage in transformational dialogue and behavior surrounding these issues. Yet, too often, families are not provided with the right education or challenged in the right way to think meaningfully about differences in race, culture and class, and how these issues will impact their children and family.

Transracial Adoption Support Systems Scarce Despite Difficulties

Some city departments have started reaching out to Asian-American communities to foster Asian-American children, as Los Angeles County did last December. But while the majority of agencies follow MEPA’s and IEPA’s non-discrimination policies, they are not nearly as careful in following the second portion of the laws, which require good-faith effort to recruit ethnically diverse families, according to a 2008 study by the Donaldson Adoption Institute.

Meet me in the Middle: On Identity and Belonging

I felt that much of the time, I was Chinese when the locals wanted me to be, and I was American when they wanted me to be, but I was rarely understood as a Chinese-American. Though I did create memories and get to know my hometown, I didn’t find the sense of belonging I initially sought when I arrived. I left China in an obscure state – leaving one hometown to go to the other, while not feeling total belonging in either place.
Since coming back to the United States again, the importance of finding spaces of belonging has become even more critical as I continue to unpack my experiences in China. I’ve realized as an adoptee, person of color, immigrant, and woman that often times the places most familiar to me are not where I feel that sense of belonging that I crave. I’ve had to actively work to carve out spaces and find people who understand me in intimate ways. And it is with them, who see me as not just Chinese or American, but everything else in between, where I belong

‘Orphan hosting’ boosts adoption odds by bringing children to U.S. to visit families

Critics of hosting programs favor domestic adoption programs within a child’s own country. They question the emotional effect on children who are hosted, but ultimately never adopted. And while some families have great experiences adopting through hosting, others can feel like hosting was a honeymoon compared to the reality of parenting full time when the adoption is finalized.