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PLEASE INCLUDE THE ADOPTION INSTITUTE IN YOUR YEAR-END GIVING
We hope you find our e-newsletter helpful and informative. While this is a free service for our readers, it is not costless. As we approach the end of the year, we hope you will consider making a donation to support the e-newsletter and all the important work of the Adoption Institute. MORE
GUATEMALA TO RESUME INTERNATIONAL ADOPTIONS WITH PILOT PROGRAM
After nearly two years of suspension, international adoption from Guatemala reportedly will resume under a newly announced pilot program. Guatemalan officials closed the country's adoption program in 2007 amid widespread evidence of coercion, document falsification and kidnapping, according to a Nov. 20 Washington Post article ("Guatemala reopening international adoptions" by Juan Carlos Llorca). Guatemala has subsequently established a central adoption authority called the National Adoption Council, as well as a legal framework designed to prevent future problems. Details about the pilot program, including its starting date and participating countries, were not announced. To read the full article, go to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/20/AR2009112002642.html.
AUSTRALIA SUSPENDS ADOPTIONS FROM ETHIOPIA PENDING REVIEW
The Australian Attorney-General's office announced an interim suspension of the Ethiopia-Australia international adoption program, citing concerns that "Australia can no longer conduct intercountry adoptions in Ethiopia in a manner consistent with its obligations under the Hague Convention." According to the Attorney-General's web site, a final decision on whether and how to continue the adoption program will be made after the completion of a formal review at the end of this year. A major component of the review will address a new requirement for Australia to provide community development assistance, and whether doing so would constitute "improper financial gains." For more information, go to:
LANDMARK STUDY FINDS RACE AND ADOPTION ARE KEY IN IDENTITY FORMATION
On Nov. 9, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute published a landmark study of identity in adopted adults, finding that adoption was an increasingly significant aspect of identity as these individuals grew up and that it continued to be important throughout adulthood. "Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption," made possible with funding from the Kellogg Foundation, also compared identity outcomes in White domestic adoptees and transracially adopted adults. Most of the latter group (78% of respondents adopted from Korea) considered themselves White or wanted to be White as children, but shifted to identifying themselves as Korean-American as adults. They reported that travel to Korea, attending racially diverse schools, and having Korean role models were most helpful in developing a positive identity. To access the full paper or the executive summary, go to:
MOST CHILDREN ADOPTED FROM EASTERN EUROPE ASSESSED IN NORMAL RANGE
A longitudinal study of 50 children adopted from institutions in Eastern Europe assessed outcomes at ages 8-10, more than five years after adoption. It found that over three-fourths had IQ and achievement scores in the normal range. "Outcomes of Children Adopted from Eastern Europe," by Laurie Miller, Wilma Chan, Linda Tirella and Ellen Perrin, was published in a recent issue of the International Journal of Behavioral Development (Volume 33, Issue 4). Forty-four percent of children were assessed as having high externalizing behavioral scores, and parents of these children reported the greatest parenting stress. A surprising finding was that parental stress was inversely related to the child’s age at adoption; that is, parents of children who were adopted at younger ages reported the greatest parenting stress. To access a free abstract, go to: http://jbd.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/33/4/289.
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS FINDS OUTCOMES LESS FAVORABLE FOR NEGLECT CASES
Researchers compared outcomes for children removed from their families for reasons of neglect to those removed for abuse, finding that the neglect group stayed in the foster care system on average 92 days longer and were less likely to be reunified with their birth families (40% vs. 57%). "Placement Outcomes for Children Removed for Neglect," by Kimberly Bundy-Fazioli, Marc Winokur and Tobi DeLong-Hamilton, was published in the current issue of Child Welfare (Volume 88, Issue 3). The authors called for greater attention in research and practice to understanding and intervening with neglecting families. To access a free abstract, go to:
ADOPTEES LEAD UNPRECEDENTED EFFORT TO REFORM KOREAN PRACTICES
Korean adoptees are leading the fight for adoption reform in Korea, according to a Nov. 11 article by Limb Jae-un in the Korean newspaper JoonAng Daily. After an initial appeal to the Anti-corruption and Civil Rights Commission was dismissed, six adoptees mobilized unwed mothers, community groups, lawyers and lawmakers in an attempt to overhaul Korean adoption law. Proposed changes call for stronger government oversight of private adoption agencies, a 30-day waiting period before a mother must decide to relinquish, and improved access to records for adult adoptees. If successful, these efforts would be one of the first instances where adoptees returned to their country of birth and changed adoption practices through the government. To read the full story, go to:
http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2912372. To read the Adoption Institute's survey of Korean adoptees, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/research/2009_11_culture_camp.php.
FRENCH LESBIAN WINS 11-YEAR LEGAL BATTLE TO ADOPT WITH HER PARTNER
A French lesbian will be allowed to adopt a child with her partner, ending an 11-year battle with the French courts, according to a Nov. 10 Reuters article ("French court says lesbian couple can adopt," by Gilbert Reilhac). The woman, identified only as "Emmanuelle B," filed her original petition to adopt in 1998 but it was rejected by local authorities. Since subsequent legal victories in both the European Court of Human Rights and the French anti-discriminatory body were not enforceable, her repeated petition attempts were denied as well. The Nov. 10 decision by a court in the French district of Besancon finally overruled the local authorities, clearing the way for "Emmanuelle B" and her partner to adopt. To read the full article, go to: http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE5A939620091110. To read the Adoption Institute's report on gay and lesbian adoption, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/policy/2008_09_expand_resources.php
HHS RELEASES MAJOR DATABOOK ON NATIONAL SURVEY OF ADOPTIVE PARENTS
Descriptive data from a nationally representative survey of adoptive parents was compiled in a resource book – Adoption USA: A Chartbook Based on the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents. This wide-ranging work was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and conducted by researchers at Child Trends. Data on 1,782 adopted children (excluding step-children) and over 70,000 other U.S. children describe the health and well-being of children and their families. The findings include: 1) The majority of adopted children have enriching experiences in their families and are more likely to be read to every day when they are young than are their counterparts in the general population (68% vs. 48%); 2) 81 percent of adopted children have parents who reported their relationship with their children as very warm and close; and 3) for private domestic adoptions, 68 percent reported post-adoption contact with birth family; that is partly because 41 percent of families in this category adopted a relative's child. To access the chartbook, go to: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/09/NSAP/chartbook/chartbook.cfm?id=1 .
UPCOMING ADOPTION QUARTERLY ISSUE FOCUSES ON ADOPTIVE PARENT SURVEY
An upcoming special issue of Adoption Quarterly will feature articles examining data from the National Survey of Adoptive Parents (NSAP), the largest-scale national survey of its kind ever conducted. AQ publishes high-quality, scholarly articles focusing on adoption and adoption-related issues. Articles may include quantitative or qualitative research using primary or secondary data, systematic literature reviews, meta-analyses, and empirically supported/theory-driven position papers. To learn more about the journal, see guidelines for author submissions, sign up for a subscription, or order current or back issues, go to: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t792303958~db=all.
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.
SPENCE-CHAPIN LAUNCHES SUPPORT PROGRAM FOR FOSTER ADOPTIVE FAMILIES
Spence-Chapin Services is launching Foster Care Adoption Support, an innovative new program that offers free post-adoption services – workshops, parent groups, children's groups and consultations – to strengthen families formed through foster care adoption in the New York area. Funded through a private grant, this program is an extension of the supportive services already provided by Spence-Chapin's Adoption Resource Center. Spence-Chapin will initially partner with Children's Aid Society, Good Shepherd Services, and Forestdale, Inc.; however, its services are open to all families formed through foster-care adoption. For more information, go to: http://www.spence-chapin.org/post-adoption-services/c0_post_adoption_services.php.
GROUNDBREAKING IDENTITY STUDY FEATURED IN NEW YORK TIMES
The Adoption Institute's new groundbreaking study, "Beyond Culture Camp: Promoting Healthy Identity Formation in Adoption," was prominently featured in The New York Times on Nov. 9. In an article titled "Adopted from Korea and in Search of Identity" by Ron Nixon, several adult Korean adoptees discussed how findings from the report reflected and validated their lived experiences with race, adoption and identity. The report recommends specific changes for adoption policy and practice based on responses from the largest group of transracial adoptees in the United States. Executive Director Adam Pertman explained, "We wanted to be able to draw on the knowledge and life experience of a group of individuals who can provide insight into what we need to do better." To read the Times article, go to:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/us/09adopt.html?_r=1&emc=eta1. To read the full report or executive summary, go to: http://www.adoptioninstitute.org/old/research/2009_11_culture_camp.php.
ADOPTIVE PARENTS CONCERNED ABOUT REPORTS OF TRAFFICKING IN CHINA
Some parents who adopted from China are deeply concerned that their children may have been kidnapped, according to a Nov. 11 LA Times article titled "Trafficking reports raise heart-wrenching questions for adoptive parents." A 2005 congressional report describes trafficking in China as "pervasive," and the Canadian government opened an investigation after an earlier LA Times article confirmed multiple instances where children had been seized by local officials and sold for adoption. Institute Executive Director Pertman cautioned that "We shouldn't draw overly broad conclusions from any specific examples" but added: "One kid, one birth mother where it's done badly, unethically or for the wrong reasons is one too many." To read the rest of the article, go to:
CHANGES IN ADOPTION DESCRIBED AS 'MORE RESPECTFUL, LESS CLANDESTINE'
A Nov. 17 article in The Sacramento Bee examined how adoption, as well as the families formed through adoption, have changed over time. While in the past adoptions were traditionally "closed" and little information was known of the birthparents, there has been an increasing focus on "the best interests of the child," which often includes maintaining ties to the child's history. Executive Director Pertman described this shift in adoption practice by saying that adoptions "have become more respectful, less clandestine, and less stigmatized." Furthermore, resources for adoptive families – such as professionals trained in adoption, support networks, and educational materials – are more readily available than in the past. To read the article and see a list of resources, go to:
NEW HONORARY BOARD INCLUDES 'WOMAN OF THE YEAR' DR. JANE ARONSON
The Donaldson Adoption Institute is pleased to announce that it is forming an Honorary Board, which will allow us to partner with and honor prominent individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to our work and mission. All of the founding members will be announced soon, but for now we'll focus on one, Dr. Jane Aronson, who was selected by Glamour Magazine as one of its "Women of the Year" for 2009 in a Nov. 3 article entitled "Jane Aronson: The Guardian Angel," by Susan Dominus. Aronson, a pediatrician and adoptive parent, founded the Worldwide Orphans Foundation in 1997 to address the deplorable conditions she saw in some countries' orphanages. A pioneer in the field of adoption medicine, Aronson continues to treat internationally adopted children and counsel adoptive parents from her office in New York. Reflecting on her work, Adoption Institute Executive Director Pertman said, "She shone a spotlight on what we should be doing. ... A lot of people give lip service to wanting to make the world better for children. She actually does it." To read more, go to:
INSTITUTE TO COSPONSOR CONFERENCE WITH UMASS RESEARCH PROGRAM
The Adoption Institute is pleased to announce that it will co-sponsor the second Rudd Adoption Conference, together with the Rudd Adoption Research Program and the Center for Research on Families at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The theme of the event – which will take place in April 2010 – will be "New Worlds of Adoption: Linking Research with Practice," and the featured speakers will be the Adoption Institute Senior Research Fellows and the Institute’s Policy Staff. For further information, contact Stephanie Covelli at [email protected] or 413-545-3905. Registration information will be posted at
PLEASE INCLUDE THE ADOPTION INSTITUTE IN YOUR YEAR-END GIVING
We hope you find our e-newsletter helpful and informative. While this is a free service for our readers, it is not costless. As we approach year's end, we hope you will consider making a donation to support all the important work of the Adoption Institute. We know that this has been a tough year economically for almost everyone. That is why it is especially important that you, who care about adoption ethics and equity, and understand the importance of evidence-based, enlightened practice and policies, step forward to support our work.
We cannot further our unique, high-impact initiatives without your donations. The Institute does not have an endowment, so your year-end gift will make a real difference in what we can do to improve adoption for millions of children and families. If you are interested in talking about ways to maximize your support of the Institute, such as requesting that friends and families donate to the Institute on your behalf in lieu of holiday gifts, please contact Laura James at [email protected]. Some of our current projects available for support include:
• TRANSCULTURAL ADOPTION & IDENTITY
• RIGHTS & WELL-BEING OF BIRTHPARENTS
• EXPANDING RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE
• ADOPTION AGENCY PRACTICES WITH GAYS AND LESBIANS
• ADOPTIVE PARENT PREPARATION PROJECT
• RESTORING RIGHTS TO ACCESS BIRTH RECORDS
• EDUCATE THE EDUCATORS AND ADOPTION IN THE MEDIA PROGRAMS
THANKS TO ALL WHO SUPPORTED MATT DONALDSON'S GRAND CANYON HIKE!
Matt Donaldson spent the weekend before Thanksgiving hiking through the Grand Canyon to raise funds for the Adoption Institute. Matt, a longtime friend and former Board member, is the son of the late Evan B. Donaldson, an adoptive mother and devoted advocate for children. An avid outdoorsman, Matt undertakes a physical challenge each year to support 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 Rockies, and in previous years he completed the Iron Man Triathlon. This year, Matt raised almost $7,000 for the Institute by hiking through the Grand Canyon. Our thanks and congratulations to Matt, and our deepest gratitude to all those who supported him.
SUPPORT BUILDS 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 year's event will honor Peter Levine of Creative Artists Agency, an adoptive father of two, a passionate advocate for children who need loving families, and an active supporter (and former Board member) of the Adoption Institute, as well as a founding member of the Institute's LA Advisory Council. Corporate sponsors so far include the Kennedy/Marshall Company and RKO Pictures. The event will be at a private home, so please contact Laura James at [email protected] or (212) 925-4089 for information on sponsorship opportunities and on how to attend this always-fun and celebrity-filled event.
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. Our Event Co-Chairs – Sandy McManus, Kim Donaldson, Hollis Forbes and Doug Mehne – are already hard at work lining up spectacular food and wine for this delicious event. Guests last year got to sample gourmet dishes 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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