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EDITOR'S NOTE: This month, the Institute's e-newsletter adds a new category entitled "From Our Partners," in which we feature a project or announcement from each of the organizations with which we have formed partnerships to enhance our initiatives and impact. Please note that in the regular "Institute Update" section below, we are making a special appeal for support during National Adoption Month; the tough economy is straining our resources, and we hope you consider making a donation – small or large – to help us continue our unique, important work (including this newsletter).
AFCARS: MOST ADOPTEES REENTERING CARE ARE READOPTED OR REUNIFIED
Researchers used FY05 AFCARS data (Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System) to analyze the outcomes of 3,166 previously adopted children who exited care that year. Thirty-nine percent (1,241) involved adoption dissolutions, and 87.5 percent of these were adopted again. Of the remaining children, 59 percent (1,127) were reunified with their adoptive parents. "Displacement or Post-Adoption Placement? A Research Note," by Trudy Festinger and Penelope Maza, was published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Public Child Welfare (Volume 3, Issue 3). The authors advocate for use of the term "post-adoption placement" rather than displacement since many return to their adoptive homes. They found that these youth were entering care at a median of 13-16 years of age regardless of their age at adoption. To access an abstract, go to: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a914508665#
CANADIAN RESEARCH IDENTIFIES CROSS-CULTURAL FOSTERING CHALLENGES
Through qualitative analyses of phone interviews with foster parents, a group of Canadian researchers explored the benefits of cultural matching in foster care and the challenges of transcultural placements. Two articles in recent journals report their findings.
"Challenges of Transcultural Placements: Foster Parent Perspectives," by Jason Brown, David St. Arnault, Natalie George and Jennifer Sintzel, was published in the most recent issue of Child Welfare (Volume 88, Issue 3). Through phone interviews and group concept mapping, 61 foster parents identified seven challenges in transcultural placements and the manner in which they needed to address these to best support the child – understanding (accepting and accommodating child's traditions); respecting; learning (blending your values and theirs); compromising (integrating child's culture in family); disagreements; child's feelings; and teaching. Forty percent of Canadian children in care are Aboriginal, and the authors concluded that foster parents need to honor children's culture or risk damaging their sense of self and connections with birth family and community. To access an abstract, go to: http://www.cwla.org/articles/cwjabstracts.htm#0903
CASE STUDY DESCRIBES SUCCESSFUL ATTACHMENT THERAPY INTERVENTION
"I Deserve a Family: The Evolution of an Adolescent's Behavior and Beliefs About Himself and Others When Treated with Theraplay in Residential Care," by Michelle Robison, Sandra Lindaman, Mary Clemmons, Karen Doyle-Buckwalter and Marcia Ryan, was published in the August issue of Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal (Volume 26, Issue 4). The staff of Chaddock, a residential treatment center, presented a case study of successful attachment therapy with an adolescent who was adopted at age 4, but had lived in residential settings for five years when he began treatment. Through 23-months of attachment therapy, primarily involving Theraplay, he was able to move to a therapeutic foster home where he still resided a year later. The article can be purchased at:
CANADIAN ADOPTIONS GROW, WITH U.S. REPORTED AS SECOND-BIGGEST SOURCE
According to statistics released by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on Oct. 23, international adoptions to Canada increased overall by 11 percent, from 1,713 in 2007 to 1,909 in 2008. International adoptions from the United States to Canada doubled from 94 children to 189 children during this period, making the U.S. the second-largest source of adoptions for Canadians adopting from abroad; the highest number came from China (429 children in 2008). For more detailed statistics, including breakdowns by age, gender and province/territory of destination, visit the Adoption Council of Canada web site at:
STATE DEPARTMENT CITES PROGRESS BY VIETNAM, BUT RETAINS ADOPTION BAN
The U.S. State Department on Oct. 23 posted a notice saying that the Vietnamese government had recently circulated a draft of proposed changes to current adoption law that would "codify and coordinate domestic and intercountry adoption requirements and procedures." While the State Department said these proposed changes may enable Vietnam to become a party to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, it also reiterated previously stated concerns about corruption, fraud, and coercion – and added that adoption service providers and prospective parents "at this time … should not seek or accept" referrals from that country. To read the complete notice, go to:
ADOPTEES, ADOPTIVE PARENTS URGE SUPPORT OF SINGLE MOTHERS IN KOREA
In the Oct. 7 New York Times story "Group resists Korean stigma for unwed mothers," Choe Sang-Hun reports on the efforts of Dr. Richard Boas, an adoptive father and founder of the Korean Unwed Mothers Support Network, and Jane Jeong Trenka, a Korean adoptee and founder of Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea, to support single mothers in Korea. Although Korea has a long history of severe social stigma against unmarried mothers, Trenka argued that "culture is not an excuse to abuse human rights." According to the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, nearly 90 percent of the 1,250 children adopted internationally from Korea in 2008 were born to unmarried mothers. To read the full article, go to:
BLACK AND GERMAN: BIRACIAL POSTWAR ADOPTEES FIND COMMUNITY ONLINE
An estimated 7,000 children born to German women and African-American GIs after World War II were subsequently adopted by American families, according to a story in Spiegel Online International. "Germany's 'brown babies': The difficulties of post-war Black children of GIs," by Stephanie Siek, describes the complicated task of understanding both the German and Black American aspects of racial and cultural identity, noting that many adoptees "had no idea" they were half German or even that they were adopted. It was not until the advent of the Internet that these adoptees began to connect, share their stories and realize they were not "the only ones." One adoptee in the story says the online Black-German community "gives me a sense of identity. ...It brings me to my roots." To read the full story, go to:
A NEW COURSE FROM OUR LATEST PARTNER: ONLINE LEARNING LEADER ALP
Adoption Learning Partners (ALP) has added a new course, "Ain't Misbehavin': Discipline and the Adopted Child," to its growing array of offerings. This course is filled with interactive exercises to help parents respond to challenging behavior. The Adoption Institute is delighted to announce this partnership with ALP, which offers e-learning courses on all types of adoptions for pre-adoptive parents, adoptive parents and social service professionals. Popular courses include "The Journey of Attachment," "Medical Issues in International Adoption" and "Let's Talk Adoption: A Lifetime of Family Conversations." For more information or to sign up for a course, please visit ALP's website at
CWLA EXTENDS EARLY REGISTRATION FOR NATIONAL CONFERENCE IN JANUARY
The Child Welfare League of America has extended early registration for "Children 2010: Leading a New Era," its national conference on Jan. 25-27 in Washington, D.C. This annual event offers invaluable, informative workshops that highlight evidence-based strategies in a broad range of areas including adoption, health care, homelessness, mental health, youth in transition, and others. Adoption Institute staff members – including Adam Pertman, David Brodzinsky, Susan Smith and Jeanne Howard – will give presentations based on the Institute's work in the "adoption track" of the conference. For more information or to register, go to: http://guest.cvent.com/EVENTS/Info/Summary.aspx?e=83f5d3b4-a17f-4ff3-9528-2aff22908]45e.
LIFECARE TO OFFER SERIES OF WEBINARS ON ADOPTION IN THE WORKPLACE
LifeCare, the nation's premier provider of human resources work and family benefits, is planning three webinars on adoption for its client companies – in November, January and February. Adoption Institute Executive Director Adam Pertman will conduct the presentations for LifeCare, which employs a team of adoption specialists (trained, in part, by the Adoption Institute) to answer questions and provide resources for corporate clients and their employees. The webinars are the first "official" products of the two organizations' new partnership, which is designed to improve policies, practices and understanding of adoption issues in the workplace. For more information about LifeCare, go to:
ADOPTION QUARTERLY ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR FUTURE ISSUES
Adoption Quarterly, the premier interdisciplinary, international journal in the field, is accepting submissions for its future issues. AQ Editor Scott Ryan is the dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Texas in Arlington and is a Senior Research Fellow of the Adoption Institute; the Institute's Executive Director, Adam Pertman, is the publication's Associate Editor. For more information or to reach Dr. Ryan, send an email to AdoptionQuarterly@hotmail.com; to learn more about the journal– including instructions for author submissions, signing up for a subscription, or ordering current or back copies – go to:
SPENCE-CHAPIN OFFERS WORKSHOP ON PREPARING TO VISIT BIRTH COUNTRIES
Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children, which is celebrating its 100th year of service, will hold a workshop entitled
"Preparing for a Visit to the Birth Country" at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 18 at the agency's headquarters in Manhattan. The presentation – which is open to all adoptive families – is intended to help parents explore their children's (and their own) potential fears, expectations and reactions to such a trip. Over a decade ago, Spence-Chapin provided the funding to start the Adoption Institute as an independent entity, and it has continued to support the Institute’s work. For more information about the agency or to register for the workshop, go to the Calendar of Events at:
ORPHAN ANGELS SUPPORTING, SPONSORING ADOPTION WEEK IN AUSTRALIA
Orphan Angels, an Australia-based nonprofit organization, is helping organize the country's second Adoption Week (modeled on the annual Adoption Month in the U.S.). The foundation strives to improve the lives of orphans worldwide, while working – in large part with the research provided by the Adoption Institute – to improve adoption-related policies, practices and attitudes in Australia. Deborra-lee Furness, the founder of Orphan Angels, said in a statement that her organization works with the Institute because it "addresses so many complexities to be sure that the most ethical, moral and transparent measures are taken" in adoption. To learn more about Orphan Angels, go to
DNA TEST UNCOVERS AN ADOPTION REUNION MIX-UP – FOUR YEARS LATER
An article in The Baltimore Sun on Oct. 12 tells the story of an adult adoptee and a biological father who had reunited because they believed they were genetically related – but a DNA test four years later showed that they were not. The adoption agency that facilitated the reunion apologized for its error and called it "tragic." Executive Director Pertman is quoted as saying that "the secretive ways of the past" had contributed to the heart-wrenching mistake and added that this story "is an abject lesson on how to not conduct good, strong, ethical adoptions." The article explores the quest of an adoptee in search of his identity and biological parents still looking to find their son. To read the entire article, go to:
CELEBRATE NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH WITH A GIFT TO THE INSTITUTE
The Adoption Institute works very hard, every day, to improve laws, policies and practices that affect all those touched by adoption; to remove lingering stigmas and negative stereotypes; to level the playing field so every child and family gets equal treatment; and, most pointedly, to help the too-many thousands of boys and girls for whom loving, permanent families remain just a dream. You know our initiatives have deep influence – both for individuals and families, and systemically. But we cannot maintain the quality and impact of our work without your support. Corporations and foundations are cutting grants to nonprofits because of the recession, so it is individuals like you – who share our commitment to fair and ethical policies and practices – who make our work possible. November is National Adoption Month, and we hope you will consider celebrating it by donating to the Adoption Institute. To donate, mail your check (with "Adoption Month" in the memo line) to:
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
120 E. 38th Street
New York, NY 10016
MATT DONALDSON HIKES THE GRAND CANYON TO BENEFIT THE INSTITUTE
Matt Donaldson will spend the weekend of Nov. 23-24 hiking through the Grand Canyon to raise support for the Adoption Institute. Matt, a long-time friend and former Adoption Institute Board member, is the son of the late Evan B. Donaldson, an adoptive mother and devoted advocate for children in need of permanent, loving homes. An avid outdoorsman, Matt undertakes a physical challenge each year to raise funds for the Institute's programs, thereby honoring his mother and helping continue the vital work she cared so deeply about. Last year, Matt rode his bike 100 miles through the Colorado Rocky Mountains as part of the Leadville Trail 100, and in previous years, he has completed the Iron Man Triathlon. To support Matt's efforts this year (and provide much-needed support to the Institute in these difficult financial times), you can send your check to (with "Matt Donaldson" or "Grand Canyon" in the memo line):
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
120 E. 38th Street
New York, NY 10016
Finally, you can donate or ask questions by contacting Development Director Laura James at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling her at (212) 925-4089.
SAVE THE DATE FOR OUR TWO BIG EVENTS – IN LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK
The Adoption Institute’s annual benefit in Los Angeles will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. This is always a fun party, full of movie and television stars, and movers and shakers in the entertainment industry, all devoted to supporting the work of the Institute to make adoption fairer and more beneficial for everyone it touches. The event will be at a private home, so please contact Laura James at email@example.com or (212) 925-4089 for information on sponsorship opportunities and on how to attend.
Our annual "Taste of Spring" benefit, the Institute's major fundraising event of the year, will be held on Thursday, May 13, 2010, at the Midtown Loft in New York City. We are delighted that Sandy McManus and Kim Donaldson have agreed to once again serve as Co-Chairs of the event, joined this year by Hollis Forbes and Doug Mehne. Guests last year got to sample gourmet foods prepared and served in person by master chefs Jean-Georges Vongrichten, David Burke, Jonathan Waxman and Zarela Martinez, while mingling with stars including Hugh Jackman, Bette Midler and Kristin Chenoweth. We hope you can join us for a festive and delicious evening in support of our unique, important work.
If attending parties are not "your thing," please consider helping our work go forward by:
• Making a donation - and asking friends and relatives to honor birthdays and
anniversaries with gifts to the Institute
• Making a gift to the Institute in a loved one's honor or memory
• Including the Institute in your estate plans
• Using your contacts to introduce us to foundations, corporations and
other sources of support
• Making "in-kind" donations of computer equipment, air miles and hotel vouchers
Since its establishment in 1996, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute has been a pre-eminent, independent voice for improving adoption for everyone it touches - particularly children - through innovative programs, educational initiatives, research and analysis, and advocacy for better practices, policies and laws.
Our award-winning web site, www.adoptioninstitute.org/old, is a popular and reliable source for accurate adoption information.
Support Our Work
The Adoption Institute was established in 1996 with a one-time grant. To continue our work, we depend on new and renewable sources of funding. We need the financial support of people like you whose lives have been touched by adoption and who care
about the future of vulnerable children everywhere. Please send a generous contribution to the Adoption Institute’s annual fund today. To donate, please call 212-925-4089 or go online to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/about/support.php,
or print and complete this form http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/donate/donatereply.pdf,
and fax it to 775-796-6592, or mail it with your check or credit card information to:
The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
120 East 38th Street
New York, NY 10016
The Adoption Institute e-Newsletter highlights laws, policy, practice, news, research, and public opinion to educate readers about emerging issues and new information that may impact adoption. The Adoption Institute does not make any representations about the accuracy or reliability of the information reported in the newsletter, and inclusion of items in the newsletter does not signify Adoption Institute support of author perspectives or positions.
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